How To Make A Birthday Cake For Your Mother-In-Law

My journey making a layered birthday cake with fondant, whipped cream, pastry cream, diplomats cream and butter cream.

Cake from the front with Coca Cola on it
The birthday cake I made for my mother-in-law.

This story starts with an innocent girl getting excited about ordering a cake topper for her mother-in-law’s birthday. The excitement quickly fades as she realises this means she has to make a cake 🤯

The cake topper I had made for my mother-in-law with a little hat, seed packets and a spade
The cake topper I had made for my mother-in-law

So here’s what happened..

Step 1: Bake an orange cake.

Step 2: Realise the cake is way too freaking flat. Use a pizza tray to cool your cake because you can’t find the cake cooling rack you thought you had.

Flat orange cake
Flat orange cake

Step 3: Bake another cake. Also cool it on the pizza tray.

Chocolate cake cooking on pizza tray
Chocolate cake cooking on pizza tray

Step 4: Realise that using the pizza tray was a bad idea. Apparently the cake sticks to it. Remove your spotty cake from the pizza tray.

Spotty chocolate cake after sticking to pizza tray
Spotty chocolate cake after sticking to pizza tray

Step 5: Make pastry cream, by boiling some egg yolk, sugar, custard powder, and milk together.

Mixing pasty cream in saucepan
Mixing pasty cream over low heat

Step 6: Cool your pastry cream in a baking tray.

Pastry cream cooking in tray
Pastry cream cooking in tray

Step 7: Wonder how you’re going to decorate your cake. Experiment with the fondant decorations you made a few days ago.

Experimenting with the fondant decorations I made
Experimenting with the fondant decorations I made

Step 8: Question whether you should just do two separate cakes with different decorations.

Coca Cola and Danish flag cake
Coca Cola and Danish flag cake
Fondant flowers
Plus, I have all these fondant flowers.

Step 9: Nah. We’re making ONE cake. Look up how to make butter cream icing. Start on that. Pour the cream into your butter and find out the cream was too cold and it separated. Freak out. Pour in some more icing sugar to see if that fixes it. It seemed to. Hurrah!

Split buttercream getting fixed
Split buttercream getting fixed

Step 10: Try to whip some cream. Regret everything in life because whipping cream takes way too long. Get mad at your left hand for not being able to whip cream as well as your right hand.

Whipping cream
Whipping cream

Step 10: Take your pastry cream out of the fridge and mix it up. Yum.

Remixing refrigerated pastry cream
Remixing refrigerated pastry cream

Step 11: Combine the pastry cream with some whipped cream to make diplomats cream – the best thing you’ve ever tasted.

Delicious diplomat cream
Delicious diplomat cream

Step 12: Try to neatly slice the top off one of the cakes. Give up on your dreams of having a perfectly flat surface,

Top sliced off chocolate cake.
Top sliced off chocolate cake.

Step 13: Put the diplomat cream and pastry cream on that layer of the cake for the filling.

Chocolate cake with diplomat cream and pastry cream on top.
Chocolate cake with diplomat cream and pastry cream on top.

Step 14: Sit the other cake on top. Hope it doesn’t collapse.

Orange cake balancing precariously on top.
Orange cake balancing precariously on top.

Step 15: Hunt around for something to smooth the buttercream icing onto the cake with. Settle with an egg flipper because you have NO cake decorating equipment at all.

Egg flipper.
Perfect cake tool.

Step 16: Slap the buttercream onto the cake. Get laughed at by your partner for attempting to smooth it with an egg flipper. Use a wine box so you can spin your cake while decorating it, because you don’t have one of those fancy cake spinning things.

Slapped buttercream icing around the cake.
Slapped buttercream icing around the cake.

Step 17: Show your partner how many uses an egg flipper can really have. When you’re done whooping his ass, finish smoothing the buttercream around the cake.

Buttercream icing smoothed with an egg flipper.
Buttercream icing smoothed with an egg flipper.

Step 18: Make your own piping nozzle out of a Ziploc bag.

Ziploc bag with hole cut in the end.
Ziploc bag with hole cut in the end.

Step 19: Practice piping whipped cream flowers. Realise they look more like splooshes.

Whipped cream splooshes
Whipped cream splooshes

Step 20: Give up on your hopes of making whipped cream flowers with a Ziploc bag and start putting fondant decorations around the cake. Wonder if anyone will notice that your Coca Cola ended up looking more like Coca Gola.

Step 21: Put diplomats cream on top of the cake. And pipe whipped cream splooshes on top.

Cake with whipped cream splooshes
Cake with whipped cream splooshes

Step 22: Arrange the other decorations. It’s supposed to look like the dog walked all around the cake and wants her ball to be thrown.

Step 23: Don’t use these icing things you made because what even were they?? They were fun to make though.

Step 24: Freak out because the fondant on top is melting due to the diplomat cream being so moist.

Rushing over with the melting cake
Rushing over with the melting cake

Step 25: Rush over to your mother-in-law’s house and give her the cake.

Cake on the cable ready to be cut
Cake on the cable ready to be cut
A slice of the cake
A slice of the cake

Step 26: Be nicely surprised that the cake actually tastes good, in your opinion anyway. Explain to everyone how there’s five different types of cream/icing on the cake and how you had to watch YouTube videos on cake making for days to make this kind of mess.

Cake with a slice cut out
Cake with a slice cut out

Decide that you don’t want to make another cake for at least six months. Realise your YouTube feed is now filled with cake decorating videos. This is your life now.

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