I don’t know what is going on right now, but once again it seems like everyone (and their wife) is celebrating their birthdays this month! [Note to self: Check whether there are any statistics as to why late September is a particularly popular month for conception.]
But that aside, do you all find that as the ‘cake maker’ of your social group, you have certain periods of the year when you find your skills are particularly in demand?
In some ways, it’s great because you never find yourself wondering what to get that tricky-to-buy-for friend as their birthday gift. But in all honesty, I generally always find it tricky to keep up with demand every single time May comes around!
One of the best lessons I have learned for my super busy month is to keep it simple! Once upon a time, I’d have tried to whip up one of my signature sculpted numbers for each and every single birthday celebrator, but, in more recent times, I’ve found that they are just as delighted with a well-made, simple-but-tasty little treat – and they take me an awful lot less time!
So far this month, we’ve celebrated the birthday of my work bestie, one of my one-to-one assistants, my sister and my mother-in-law – and those are just the ones that would usually have cakes (Sorry to those who missed out this year!).
The work bestie happens to be one of them-there gluten-free types, so for her, I rustled up a gluten-free take on my carrot and orange cupcakes (recipe available here), by using one batch of cupcake mix for each layer of this 7” cake – with four layers in total. To make it gluten-free, you just need to switch out the regular and wholemeal flours for an equivalent gluten-free alternative. I use Freee by Doves Farm Free from Gluten Self Raising White Flour.
This rather-orange number was decorated with crushed pecans and homemade macaron, which are the perfect treat for all your gluten-free friends as they don’t contain any flour.
A week later, to celebrate the birthday of the one-to-one assistant (who loves a fruity cake), I did a simpler take on Jane’s Patisserie’s Lemon and Blueberry Cake. My assistant loved it when I did it for my birthday back in January, so my reimagining with a zingy lemon buttercream was just the ticket.
My sister’s birthday was on Monday, but mercifully we haven’t arranged our meet up and celebration yet, so I have a bit longer to plan her treat – I’m under strict instructions to avoid chocolate though. Apparently, that’s what I keep giving her and she fancies a change…
Still to come though, we have my teaching assistant’s birthday this coming Friday and she DOES love chocolate cake as I discovered today, so it may be time to whip up another one of my Loaded Chocolate Cakes!
Oh, and just when you were thinking it was safe to come out of the kitchen, it’s my other half’s birthday on Monday – I don’t think I’ll get away with something simple this year as he’s starting to realise that the more elaborate cakes I create for the blog never seem to go in his direction – he usually gets fobbed off with the leftovers.
I’m still to decide what to do for his cake this year though, so any ideas (that will worth a blog post, of course) will be gratefully received…