A birthday cake for my son

My older son turned 18 during Passover. Some of his friends are coming by tomorrow afternoon to help him celebrate his birthday. When we discussed what sort of a cake to bake, I don't know how, but the idea of a drowned Barbie in a pool cake emerged.

I think that part of it is a cynical riff on those doll cakes that little girly girls just love, where a cake baked in a bowl becomes the skirt. As a fairly manly sort of a guy, clearly a traditional doll cake was not appropriate. But there is something just so satisfying about a mutilated Barbie.

I baked a cake out of my just post WWII Jewish cook book. ( The Jewish Cook Book by Mildred Grosberg Bellin) A good and simple recipe for a layer cake. The frosting recipe comes from a fabulous cake decorating book written in the 1960's, Decorating Cakes and Party Foods Baking Too!, by Louise Spencer. The lack of punctuation in that title is not mine. The frosting is a butter cram made with milk thickened with flour. It's stable and fluffy and nice to work.

My son had visited the cake decorating store and came home with the blue gel icing , the silver and green glitter .

We are lucky to live upstairs from a .99 Store. My son bought a knock off Barbie, named Betty. My younger son easily popped her arms out of the sockets. Cutting her legs was easily done with kitchen shears. We loved the sunglasses floating on the pool's surface.


  1. Oh Sarah, that's too much! I love your sense of humor. Hope your son has a lovely birthday celebration.

    Interesting concept of a frosting made with a flour thickened milk base.

  2. The birthday was lovely. My son has nice friends.How often does a group of adolescents clean up after themselves?

    Here is the butter cream recpie

    1C milk
    1/4 C all purpose flour

    1 C Sugar
    1 C butter at room temperature2 tspvanilla extract

    Put milk and flour in a small pan over medium heat. stir constantly until boiling and thickened.

    Remove from heat.

    as flour milk mixture is cooling , cream butter and sugar until very fluffy and sugar is completely dissolved. By this time the milk/flour should be cooled.

    Rub cooled flour/ milk through a wire strainer to remove lunps and beat until completely mixed and very fluffy.

    this is the best frosting I have ever used. Much better than the confectioner sugar frostings, it spreads easily, does not dissaprae like merangue frosting and tastes wonderful.


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