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FABULOUS Birthday Cakes #1

By Jackie Burrell
Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 9:48 am in Cuisine.

Squid Birthday Cake (Courtesy How much do we love creative birthday cakes? Ohhh, so very, very much. Last year, as you may recall, we did a “10 Days of Birthday Cakes Countdown,” that showcased some of the most clever cakes ever, including sharks, snorkelers and seriously goofy cupcakes. The set of cake ideas was part of our contribution to an All About Parenting blog carnival on birthday celebrations, which I hosted on my other site. (We’re about to take the plunge into another All About Parenting carnival, by the way, this one on an Easter theme. You’ll hear more about that later, but if you’re a blogger and want to participate, follow that link for details.)

OK, back to the birthday cakes! We loved that birthday cake countdown so much, we’re doing it again, one per week, starting right … now. May we present, a purple squid cake? This hilarious little beauty (pictured) comes straight from, whose staff was kind enough to share the recipe and instructions. It’s the work of baker Karen Tack, of “Hello Cupcake” fame. (I’ll be interviewing Karen about her new book, “What’s New, Cupcake?” next week for a Food & Wine feature in the Times, Trib and Merc, so be sure to check back.) We can well imagine this cake as the star of an Under the Sea, Nemo or Little Mermaid birthday party, can’t you? Check out the details below, then venture over to, for 30 more eyepopping cakes, from penguins to purple squid.

Without further ado, here’s  Birthday Cake #1 from our 2010 countdown:

Squid Birthday Cake
Serves 8
9-inch round cake
2 graham crackers
1 can (16 oz) plus 1 cup vanilla frosting
Purple food coloring
2 Oreos, for the eyes
2 tablespoons purple decorating sugar
2 Junior Mints, for eyeballs
2 purple Laffy Taffy fruit chews, for tentacles
8 purple Smarties, for suction cups on the tentacles
Red licorice lace, purple jelly beans white ball sprinkles

Click here for detailed cutting and assembly instructions, or read on for a basic outline:

1. Using this template, trim the cake into an egg-like oval. Place the cake, with one of the trimmed pieces at the base, on a long, narrow serving platter. Tint some of the frosting a medium purple, and use it to ice the cake. Place some of the extra icing in a resealable, plastic freezer bag, like a Ziplock bag.

2. Cut the graham crackers into 2 rounded wings. Tint some of the remaining icing a darker purple and frost the graham crackers. (Place some of the icing in a second Ziplock bag and set aside.) Dust the wings with purple decorating sugar and place them at the pointed end of the cake (see photo for placement).

3. Snip a corner from the bags of the purple frosting and pipe tentacles of various lengths onto the serving platter, beneath the squid.

4. Shape each purple fruit chew into an oval and press them onto the base of the two longest tentacles. Press four Smarties into each, to form suction cups.

5. For the eyes, separate the Oreo halves and place half of each, cream side up, on the cake. Place the Junior Mints on the Oreo halves to form pupils. Add a red licorice smile, and use the purple jellybeans and white sprinkles to add detail.

Coming soon: Fabulous Birthday Cake #2

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5 Responses to “FABULOUS Birthday Cakes #1”

  1. JUDY W Says:

    Jackie…I love your column but I am having a hard time finding you since the Times is now with the SJ Mercury. I can only find you about one day a week and lucky that it pops up. Any suggestions? Thank You jw

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