A 2-hour birthday cake…

July 5, 2009 at 12:22 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 37 Comments

Yesterday was my birthday. Yes yes, I am an Independence baby. It’s alright to be jealous. The whole country celebrates my birthday with fireworks. How cool is that? Ok maybe it has something to do with America’s independence from Great Britain but I’m sure my birthday has a little to do with it too. Although I “might” have illusions of grandeur. (Who me? Naaaahhhh…)

If you read my Twitter, you know that I’ve been anticipating my husband baking my birthday cake. I’m such an evil wife. But in my defense I didn’t think he’d actually agree!

PS- Is it just me or are you singing the subject line to the tune of Gilligan’s island theme song? Ok so it’s just me then…

♪♫The mate was a mighty sailin’ man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour.

A three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
The Minnow would be lost. ♪♫


8:32am: I tiptoe into the bedroom (since I’ve been awake since 630am to watch the Serena vs Venus Wimbledon finals) and whisper to Hubs if he’s ready to bake my birthday cake yet. My answer is some incoherent mumbling, grunting and then finally a snore followed by the “roll over”.

9:17am: Hubs stumbles out bed in a zombie-like state, with arms outstretched, repeating “Coffeeeeee Coffeeeee”.

10:03am: After savoring his morning ritual of Grape Nuts (gross!) and his favorite coffee cup, he’s ready to bake. Actually I think his exact words were “BRING IT!” HA HA

10:10am: Notice that it took him 7 minutes to get started? He needed that time to set up his mini DVD player in the kitchen for any “down time” he said. Um. Sure husband. That makes sense. Since he bought the cake mix himself I wasn’t sure what he was baking. I assumed it would be funfetti but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he came home with red velvet. It’s not like it’s *MY* birthday right? He was actually quite excited to find red velvet cake mix. Duncan Hines red velvet to be exact. Probably more excited than the average man should be. Something about red velvet. Doesn’t seem to have the same affect on me. Go figure.

10:10am-10:12am: Two minutes. Count it. Two minutes to read and reread the instructions on the box. His first question. What kind of pan do we have? (Box says 325F or 350F depending on the type of pan)

10:13am: Hubs prepping the pans with PAM. He’s a tad overzealous with spraying so one pan has a good 1/2″ of PAM soup at the bottom. When he heard me make a little peep he replies with “Too much?” and starts blotting with paper towel. I realized when he started to move my KA mixer towards him that I am more protective of Ginger Spice than I thought. Yes, I named my KA mixer.

10:19am: Time for some vegetable oil, eggs and water. He was quite perplexed staring in my baking cabinet at the vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil and corn oil. When I called him on his hesitation, he argued that corn oil could be considered a vegetable too so he was weighing the options of using either. *smacks head* I have no words.

10:22am: His exact words were “Oooh it turned red!” followed by “Am I allowed to use my fingers?” (Gosh I hope so b/c I am a batter finger licker myself!)

10:26am: Watching my husband pour batter into 2 pans made me realize how ambidextrous you have to be to bake. Let’s just say that he didn’t really take advantage of the spatula in his left hand and preferred the “shake and jiggle” method of pouring the batter.

10:31am: Since there was some cake batter left over Hubs took the initiative of using it to make cupcakes. At this moment I realized why I love this man. We share the same philosophy: No batter left behind. Using the ice cream scoop was a little perplexing for him and he liked the slow and steady “pour” instead of pushing the release lever. Then switched to the scoop+spatula duo instead.

10:38am: Time to bake. At which point he refuted my mocking him about setting up his dvd player and proceeded to grab one of the dining chairs and sit in the middle of the kitchen and watch Scarface while the cake/cupcakes baked.

10:58am-11:08am Cupcakes come out first and then cake 10 minutes later.

11:08am-11:35am: Break for lunch while cakes cool. Side note: Asian Noodle Salad w grilled shrimp is tres delicious!

11:36am: I asked Hubs if he wanted to level the cakes with serrated knife or just frost uneven cakes and he went for it. What a trooper! He cracked me up after he was done b/c he started counting his fingers to make sure none were lost in the process. Do not try this at home, kids. We’re professionals.

11:38am: Frosting time! Watching Hubs frost the first layer was pure entertainment. There was no concept of “crumb coat” to him b/c he explained that the 2nd cake would cover the crumbs anyways. Touché Hubs touché.

11:41am: Now I don’t know about you and I don’t claim to be a professional cake layer-er either but when I put the second layer on, I use slow concise movements so that both layers are lined up exactly but Hubs does the “grab, hold above and drop” method. Hey whatever works right?

11:42am: I remember when I bought my cake turntable, Hubs didn’t understand why I couldn’t just use a plate but he admits after frosting the top and sides that it *IS* pretty useful. Duh?!? Again he had no concept of crumb coat and explained that the bits of red velvet cake in the frosting reminded him of sprinkles and he knows how much I love sprinkles. I swear this man could sweet talk a lamb to fall in love with a lion. (A little Twilight talk for all you fans out there! haha)

11:51am: I have to admit, crumb coat aside, I was very impressed with his side frosting spatula skills.

11:56am: Imagine my surprise when he asked me if I wanted him to write anything on the cake. Now I love my Hubs but he’s not known for his steady hand. Asking him to cut on the dotted line is an extreme undertaking. I really couldn’t torture him by telling he had to write something on my cake could I? Oh what the heck! It’s my birthday! Don’t worry. Hubs got me back. See the quotes. “29th” indeed. I blame a birthday card I got from a friend with “29” that put the idea in his head. (Yeah I’m talking to you A!) But I think he felt a little guilty and put sprinkles all over to make amends. I do love me some sprinkles.

12:06pm: I bet you thought he forgot about the cupcakes huh? I admit that I put together the piping tip and bag for him b/c he just couldn’t grasp the concept of filling it with frosting by himself. I even prepared myself for a big blob of star shape tipped frosting on each cupcake but he did awesome! He does the outside-inside swirl method (I do the inside-outside) but tell me that doesn’t look perfect? Shock doesn’t even begin to describe my reaction. He mentioned that all those years as a barista in high school+college serving up hot coffee drinks with whipped cream paid off to see my face. We just won’t mention the fact that frosting squirted out the top of the piping bag. Don’t wanna spoil his moment. Just our little secret. Shhhhhh… *wink*

12:16pm: Ready to see the final product?

(Click images to enlarge)

JOB WELL DONE HUSBAND! I am so impressed. Best birthday present ever.

Husband rating: A+
“Of course it’s an A+ grading. I made it!”

Wifey rating: A+ for effort/A- for taste
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a cake mix snob at all but I think my scratch red velvet is better than the box. Even Hubs agrees with me and he’s a red velvet connoisseur.

Other rating: A+
We brought the cupcakes to watch fireworks with friends and they raved. I think they were just as surprised as I was that Hubs made them! I’m telling you. His aversion (reputation) to artsy craftsy precedes him. HA HA



  1. Damn that is awesome!! good work Hubbie!! I wish I could find a guy as awsome as he! I bet it tasted as good as it looked too :)

  2. I love that you logged the whole process and took pictures. I’m sure he loved that! He definitely did an awesome job, and it sounds like you both had fun.

  3. Awww he did amazingly well! And he only took 2 hours!! Such a great man! HAPPY BIRTHDAY once again!! Hope you had the most amazing day!

  4. Aww, how sweet. I love your step-by-step commentary.

    Happy Birthday!

  5. Hubby did a fantastic job on your birthday cake and the cupcakes. What a sweetie. Happy (belated) birthday!

  6. I love your cake! He did such a great job with the writing and the swirl is perfect with the nice pointy tip. The sprinkles crumbcoat is too funny. Love that Twilight reference.. I just saw Twilight.. again!

  7. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Second, way to go, Hubs! What a great guy! Seriously, my husband wouldn’t even let me photograph him if he made me something, but even then, I have the hardest time just watching him do things different than I would and yeah, both you and hubs–great job! Great cakeing and hope you had a great birthday!

  8. That is so incredibly sweet! He did a great job on both the cake and cupcakes (and yes, he has some mad piping skills). What a great husband!

    And Happy Birthday!

  9. Aww that was SO cute! Happy belated birthday! Next year you should make him bake you a scratch cake. THAT would be interesting! Lol! ;D <3

  10. Well, what a “Gem” he is! (Old fashioned word, there) he he Strong skills in the kitchen. Maybe he really has been watching. Glad you both had so much fun.
    Happy Day

  11. Hilarious! My DH made a cake for me once, but I would NOT have been allowed to take pictures even if my blog made a million dollars. If he cooks I have to stay away because he absolutely cannot handle the “little peep” moments.

  12. What an incredibly sweet thing for your husband to do! And the cupcakes look awesome!

  13. Wow! My experiences with friends/family members in the kitchen have turned out just as I would expect them. This set of cake and cupcakes looks great!

  14. Wow! Great job! I’d pay to be able to watch & photograph my BF making a cake for me. Granted, we’d have to tape my mouth shut first.

  15. duh, the fireworks are totally for you. it only snows on my birthday, yours is way more special. that’s so sweet of your hubby to bake for you! (p.s. i’m sure your scratch cake is way better!!)

    the cupcakes are decorated so beautifully!

    i named my mixer Shirley. we are tight.

  16. Great post! Hope you had a wonderful birthday!! Your DH did a really great job, especially with the cupcakes. They are perfect.

  17. Awww! What an adorable story. Hope you had a great birthday!

  18. He did a wonderful job! So cute to have your hubby make your cake for your birthday!

  19. What a fantastic job your husband did, his cupcake frosting skills look super pro! I wish I could get my boyfriend into the kitchen!
    Hope you had a wonderful Birthday week! (the rule in our family is we get a whole week to celebrate our Birthdays!)

  20. I loved this! You are so funny, and your little comments made me laugh the whole way through! (“…he argued that corn oil could be considered a vegetable too so he was weighing the options of using either. *smacks head* I have no words.”) LOL – the cake and cupcakes look great, though – so kudos to your hubby! And I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  21. This is the sweetest thing ever! I like how he played it cool with every step… even little botch-ups were all part of his master plan. Absolutely hilarious.. now… the real question.. where can I order me one of him?

    Happy Birthday! I know you had an awesome day!

  22. I love that you documented this down to the minute. Hah! It looks like he did a great job. My husband just posted a BU on my site and I should have attached an appendix with all the questions he asked while baking. LOL.

  23. So cool to have your husband bake you a cake and some cupcakes !!! Now he must try to avoid mixes :o)

  24. That is so freakin adorable. LOVE IT!!!! happy birthday girl :)

  25. way to go, hubs! love the narrative! :) hope your bday was splendid!


    Wow, this post was just too cute. What a sweet hubby to do that for you…and he even did a decent job!!

  27. that is awesome! your husband did a great job. Mine wouldnt even know how to turn on the oven! (mind you I cant complain – I have created the monster who doesnt cook as I love to cook so much i wont let him in my kitchen!!)

  28. Happy belated b-day!!! :) He did such a good job, you’ve really trained him well! hehe. Hope you had a great day & enjoyed the cake!

  29. Very impressive! Can your husband teach my husband to do that?!! Come to think of it, in our almost 9 years of marriage, I don’t think i’ve ever seen him use a handmixer or my KA-ever. I can’t complain though because he brings me breakfast in bed every now and then- and lets me sleep in while he feeds our baby breakfast. I guess he’s a keeper=) Sounds like you had a wonderful day. Happy Belated Birthday Clara!

  30. Awwww, it’s so sweet that he gave it try! I think he did an amazing job! Happy Birthday!

  31. He did an AMAZING JOB! Hats off to the hubs!

  32. Happy belated b-day & 4th! Your honey did a WONDERFUL job! Seriously I think that swirl frosting is better than mine! :(

  33. That’s so sweet! Hope it was a great birthday!

  34. […] great Independence Day with alot of great food and some fantastic fireworks.  I know a couple of you celebrated your birthdays too!  I enjoyed a nice relaxing day with some good friends, good food […]

  35. This is awesome. What a wondeful guy! I’m scared to see what kind of cake my husband would turn out…

  36. Clara, Happy Birthday! Your husband rocks. I loved the play-by-play! It was awesome!!!

  37. OOOOHHHHH what a very nice husband!!! Where can I get one of those? :D I bet you had a super great birthday. Happy (belated) birthday!!

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