As I mentioned last week,my oldest son turned 6 this past week and we had a low key yet wonderful birthday celebration. We have seemed to make it a tradition to go to the zoo to celebrate L’s birthday in October. It is always a fun thing to do that can take place during the day of the birthday if you have the party scheduled on a different day. The thing is this year, there was no party. We did the zoo on his actual birthday and Chuck E Cheese (per request of my son) the following day when my husband could take off work. Instead of a party we just spent the evening opening presents at home and making the birthday boy’s requested dinner: deep dish Chicago style pizza! Some day when I take pictures I will have to share our yummy recipe but for now I want to talk about the cake. It’s definitely a splurge-worthy recipe.
I was searching online for weeks prior to his birthday and of course visited Pinterest for some creative ideas. Unfortunately all I found were professional looking, out of this world, beautifully decorated birthday cakes. Seriously go do it: go to Pinterest, type in kid’s birthday cakes and see what you find. Talk about overwhelming and stressful! I wasn’t in the mindset to learn how to make fondant or super cool professional cakes. I just wanted to make a homemade birthday cake, in a simple flavor, with a cute kids theme.
Here is what I did with the mind of my own and no inspiration from Pinterest at all, thank you very much. The cake tasted delicious which is why I am sharing the recipe but I was pretty darn proud of my oh-so-easy and affordable cake decorations. Before I thought of this theme, I had to think about what little figurines we had at home- these mini dinosaurs popped into mind. They came along side a dinosaur book my daughter bought a while ago and they never get played with. Then I thought how cute they would look standing on the cake in some dirt- easy and done.
I started by sterilizing the little toys, threw some Oreo cookies into the food processor and used that as the dirt. My son had one request: that the cake be chocolate and that it have some candy on it so I included the M&M “dinosaur eggs” to meet the criteria. I also couldn’t resist picking up those old school candy letters to spell out “happy birthday”. Don’t you remember those as a kid? I sure do and I thought it looked better than if I were to write with icing myself.
I personally loved how it turned out! Maybe because it was stress free and I didn’t have to follow any directions. Maybe because I thought of it by myself and was not sucked into the Pinterest game (don’t get me wrong I still love ya Pinterest). Plus the cake itself was DELICIOUS. Dense, chocolatey and moist and the frosting was perfect.
Hope this helps you when you are looking for a fun, easy birthday cake theme that is stress-free! And sure, you can still pin it.
Before I let you go, we have to meal plan! This weekend I did a bad thing. A very bad thing. I went to the store on a whim and tried to meal plan as I shopped. I think it turned out ok, but it took me much longer because since I am on a budget I was no longer able to throw in a bunch of options into the cart. I had to think, plan and add up my costs along the way. Not fun. I only went over budget by $17, but I did get laundry detergent and coffee so those don’t count.
Chicken Wings (for appetizer), Salmon burgers (using the last of the salmon the hubs caught), Sweet Potato Bites, Salad
Southwestern Egg Rolls, Guacamole
Egg and Zucchini Bake, Mixed Green Salad, Rolls
Vegetarian Chickpea Stew
Lemon Chicken, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, some other side (undecided)