For me, home-made cakes are inextricably linked with my ideal of motherhood. Silly? Perhaps. Rooted in long-forgotten, overly-clichéd, über-traditional stereotypes? Possibly. But I still believe this: Moms bake cakes. Before all of all of you non-bakers out there get up-in-arms, rest-easy: I don’t hold anyone to this standard but myself.
For my daughter’s first birthday, I, (pause for effect, heavy sigh), served a store-bought cake (gasp in horror!). It is likely the case that I have been compensating ever since. As a result, I am always trying to kick it up a notch, challenging myself year after year to produce something spectacular. I’m not a professional, and I sure won’t be featured on the Food Network, a la the Ace of Cakes, but some of my attempts have turned out pretty well. As with Motherhood, sometimes you settle for less than perfection. Sometimes, just making the effort is what counts. But to truly communicate the depth of my obsession, a photo gallery of my most memorable creations is required. Here’s a small sample, more to come: