When it comes to cakes, I like to make mine simple. It’s rare when you’ll find me frosting a cake with more than just an offset spatula to spread on a thin and unadorned layer of buttercream, although I do like to top them off with a bit of chocolate sometimes. But even though I’m not usually tempted to recreate cake designs that catch my eye (I prefer to admire, then eat or move on), I want to make all of the cakes in Cakes for Kids – in spite of the fact that I have little intention of serving any to children.
The best way to sum up the designs in this book is just by saying that they’re way, way, way too cute. For decorations, the cakes use colorful sanding sugars, hard candies, licorice, sparkling dragees and even things like pretzels, cookie crumbs and popcorn! Unlike some “decorating” books that rely on inedible extras to bring the designs together, these cakes really strive to use all edible toppers. The really key thing in this book is frosting, of course. Whether the cakes use a thin glaze or a stiff royal icing, the applications are bright and extremely creative. I’d say more about the designs, but the images speak for themselves and visuals are hard to beat: extra sweet, deep dish pizza, movie popcorn cake and “word play“(an ultra-clever crossword-themed cake).
The book does include basic recipes before it dives into the designs, but the designs are by far the focal point of the book. The good news is that none of the designs are “married” to any particular cake flavor or recipe, so you can definitely take the designs and apply them to existing favorite recipes.
It may be called Cakes for Kids, but I can’t imagine anyone not loving these designs. They’re fun, light hearted and so much more interesting than the usual icing-trimmed birthday cake.