When it's birthday time in your household, or perhaps when you want to give a good friend a birthday cake, do you don the apron and get baking up a storm or do you opt for buying one from a shop or bakery?
A bit of both. I love decorating cakes creatively for my kids birthdays but am not very good at the baking part. I now buy a ready-made plain sponge cake from the supermarket and then decorate it myself - like this rocket ship birthday cake. No-one seems to notice that I didn't actually bake the cake myself :-)
Sometimes I do. It depends how much time I've got and what kind of a cake the person having the birthday wants. If I know I can do a good job of it, I will do it myself. If there isn't enough time to get it right, I head for a cake shop.
This year I made a cake for my son for his party and bought one from the shop for him to take to his kindergarten. I normally do try and make one myself as I love baking and its a good time to experiment with new designs and icing etc.
I can do basic cakes (square or round ones) for small family celebrations. If something bigger or more sophisticated is needed I'd get a professional or a willing helper from my family to do it. My sister-in-law baked a fantastic rainbow layer cake for my daughter's third birthday. I'm still learning, so I might be able to make some fancier kids' party cakes with practice.
I used to bake a lot, but the house we are in now has a terrible oven which burns things on one side, so I have stopped baking. But when I did bake, I used to get a lot of requests for cakes from my friends, whether it was a birthday party or another occasion.
I can still remember my son carrying a castle cake to school in Grade 2 to share with his classmates. Its pic is one of many throughout the family album that I baked for my two kids over the years. The ORIGINAL Women's Weekly birthday cake book was my bible. I have passed it on to my daughter. May she have as many scary moments as I did. While living in Sydney, the weather was so hot that the clown's face melted and it looked as though he were crying. Very Pierrot. Nowadays it's a chainstore or Cheesecake Shop job.
Yes, I always make my kids'birthday cakes. I have three boys, 9-5-2 respectively. They all have their birthdays in June; the first and third on the third of June and the second one on the 23rd of June. So, I make three cakes simultaneously. I save a fortune, it's a lot of fun and I make precisely the cartoon characters the love. The compliments I get from everyone makes every moment worth it.
Although I love to bake, this is one thing I don't do. The only other family member in my household is my wife, and we would rather spend the day out doing something instead of baking. We both have a favourite cake that we can get at the local bakery, so that's what we do.
When the children were younger I made all sorts of different cakes for their birthdays. Nowadays I just make cakes and buy an expensive one from an Italian patisserie, or one of my daughters organises for a made to order cake from someone she found on the internet who makes and decorates amazing obes.