Birthday Cakes

Between the two kids we have celebrated 6 birthdays now, as well as several of our own. We will enjoy the sixth birthday cake tonight or tomorrow, depending on how things shake out this afternoon. A look back on birthday cakes past seems like a good way to psych myself up (as if the thought of rich, chocolatey cake isn't enough? haha).
For some reason, I have it in my mind that birthday cakes should be round, and layered if possible. I haven't had a matching pair of round cake pans, though--which has led to somewhat creative use of my corningware and springform pans. This time I am excited to try my fancy removable bottom pan. I also take advantage of birthdays to try new things. Risky, it's true, but I guess I learn better under pressure.
Jane's first. Carrot cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. Brad made lovely tissue paper flowers. We decorated the top together. My cake writing makes me laugh.
Jane's third. A timely date for her birthday (8-8-08, opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics) + returning from a huge camping trip and still in California with extended family =extra fun for the birthday girl. Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. M&M's make excellent decorations, especially in Brad's hands.

Grey's first. I fell in love with the miniature birthday cake seen here and decided to do it for Grey. I took another tip from a friend and we made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting so the mess on Grey's face would be more photographic. It worked.
Jane's fourth. Jane's fourth birthday involved a lot of baking. Per Jane's request, for our family celebration we had a chocolate cake with berries (the blessings of a summer birthday). I was pretty happy with how everything turned out, especially the berry flower on top of all that delicious chocolate.
For her tea party, we had cupcakes and petit fours, three-fourths of which I made from scratch. (I used a mix for the cupcakes, and they were not gluten-free.)
For Brad's birthday last year, I made a two-layer lemon cake (homemade) with fluffy white frosting and strawberries. You can tell I was tired because I stubbornly didn't change the candle arrangement.
And now for Grey's second. I have an idea I'm excited about. I have homemade chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream frosting waiting in the fridge. Chocolate cake will be the best way to wrap up over a week of birthday celebrations for our little guy.

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