Now we are into chilly autumn, it's time for me to start thinking about birthdays for my two children. My daughter will be one later this month and my son will be four in early December. My daughter's birthday celebration will be a very simple, very small gathering of friends at home so not much to think about except for the cake. I do enjoy the fun and challenge of making a nice birthday cake.
For my son's three previous birthdays I made a teddy bear, a train and animal mini-cupcakes. We have yet to decide on what his will be this year but he has mentioned a pirate ship and also pointed out a very complicated looking Noah's ark!
I have used the Kids' Birthday Cakes (Australian Women's Weekly Essential) book and then recently bought 50 Easy Party Cakes. Both have a good range of types of cakes for boys and girls and easy to follow instructions for more amateur bakers like me! My only slight gripe with the Australian Women's Weekly book is that a lot of the decoration of the cakes depends on Australian sweets that can't be found over here. You can usually get by or improvise so it's not a big deal.
My mother always made lovely cakes for my birthdays. A hedgehog and a merry-go-round specifically stick out in my memory. She is my other source for ideas ;-). I do like having the books for inspiration even if I don't always follow their design exactly. It's also nice to look through them with my son and for him to point out cakes he likes the look of to help me decide on what to make for his birthday.
Do you make birthday cakes for your children or do you prefer to not have the stress of making it yourself?! Any favourite cakes from your childhood or that your own children have had for their birthdays? Any other books you would recommend?