Little did I know then that I was setting myself up for annual birthday requests to conjure a birthday girl/boy's dream in flour, eggs, butter and icing.
Growing up, we would pick a cake from the classic Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Book and my mum would recreate it beautifully - to instructions. We had the piano, the train, the clock, the paint pallet, the typewriter - so many!
My kids mostly seem to want to create original never before thought of cakes. Usually I take it as a challenge. Get excited...then stressed...then really stressed...then lick my fingers too much while using icing, then feel sick, I'm racing the clock, I'm spending zilch time with the kids, I'm having structural disasters, there are cake crumbs flying everywhere and I'm feeling high on glucose like I've been snorting icing sugar.
There have been Dolly Varden cakes, Eiffel tower cakes, swimming pool cakes even a Grotto of chocolate crackles to house a Virgin Mary statue. There was Shang from Mulan, a duckling, Mr. Potato head, Trotro, My Neighbour Totoro, trains and more trains.
Now I think I retire. I'm a complete disaster in the food colouring and icing confectionary department. I can't handle it any more.
All the birthdays come at once. In the last month I have made a swimming pool, an Olaf the Snowman from Frozen and a ten layer Princess and the Pea bed.
(The princess and the pea was a ten layer cake - five cakes bakes separately) in different colours. The bed ends were pretzels I dipped in chocolate and put together)
It takes up too much time and effort and stress! I don't think I can do it! I'm no good at it! I AM that pinterest disaster person! I'm over it! I DON'T EVEN EAT CAKE! I AM ALLERGIC TO CAKE! I AM A CAKE-TASTROPHY!
Yet I know that when next year comes around and a little voice says, "Please Mum can my birthday cake this year be the Taj Mahal in meringue" I will probably say yes.