When I was a kid, birthday cakes had simple adornments: Some frosting, candles, and maybe the guest of honour’s name handwritten in red food dye. But times have changed. Nowadays, it seems that no child’s party is complete without a sugar-filled masterpiece in the form of a shimmery unicorn head or a Lightning McQueen race car.
While the trend may be good for Instagram pics, it’s bad news for parents’ budgets.
Birthday parties. children daydream about them, while their parents often dread them. Before social media, parents had nothing to compare their kids' parties to, aside from a cursory glance at friends' events during drop-off and pick-up-time. Not to get all nostalgic, but some of my favourite birthdays were at the local McDonald's.
You know what makes for excellent birthday cake decor? Random little toys that your kid already has. Case in point: This creation by a mum named Beth Linzell. She picked up a chocolate cake from the store, and then raided her three-year-old’s room for trinkets to place on top of it. She found tractors and Paw Patrol coins, and added some chocolate chips and a sparkler candle.
“Kid thought it was the best thing ever to exist,” the mum wrote on Facebook.
My colleague Beth told me she did something similar when her kid requested a cake with a very specific scene involving characters from Cars. “We just ordered a blank cake and arranged toys on top,” she says.
Any easy-to-wipe toys would work — dinos, LEGO minifigures, plastic fairy dolls, teacups, trains. Get creative. Make a whole diorama if you feel compelled. Just remove them before serving and rinse them off before slyly placing them back into your kid’s toy chest.