Birthday parties are the bomb! Yes, it's true I love birthday parties. I didn't discover this until my son was nearing his first birthday and I stumbled upon a spread of 1st birthday cakes in a parenting magazine. A monster was born - not the kid - me.
Luckily my kid loves the whole birthday theme concept and is a willing co-conspirator. We've had a safari party with an eight foot long snake cake, two turtles made from cupcakes, a couple of castles, a farm scene, cupcakes with Bakugans on them and an Egyptian pyramid cake. This year we are back to cupcakes, topped with "sushi" made from rice cereal treats (pictures tomorrow). There is no mistaking these cakes for a bakery cake; no I'm just not that much of a perfectionist- notice the leaning pyramid above - and I'm not very artistic or neat. But a lot of homemade frosting, some candies and a few sprinkles and the cakes take on a special luster.
It's one of the reasons why my son continues to want his birthday party at home; most party locales won't let you bring a homemade cake, so we are destined to challenge the limits of my not-really-close-to-an-ace-of cake skills. I might not be a great decorator, but my heart is in the right place. And frankly, it's all about the homemade chocolate cake. The one made all those years ago is still the only cake I make on birthdays; it just morphs into different shapes.
I have my friend Michelle to thank for the one bowl wonder cake recipe, although she might not remember why. She gave me a bunch of old Taste of Home magazines one day and this cake recipe was in one of them. I still have the magazine just because of this recipe. It's not fancy, but it's easy and it definitely has that homemade taste.
Well, the cupcakes just came out of the oven. I'll frost them and top them with their 'sushi' pieces in the morning. I'll file the magazine away until the next occasion requiring a cake and head off to rest before final party preparations tomorrow morn.
As a parting gift, I pass on to you, the chocolate one-bowl cake recipe that truly is a piece of cake to bake. Enjoy!