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Make a birthday-cake masterpiece with help from new book

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By Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune
  • Chicago Tribune

Make way for a cake comeback.
The colorful, delightful new “Big Book of Kids' Birthday Cakes” (Sterling, $24.95) is full of so much whimsy, decadence and sheer ingenuity that you may find yourself conjuring up reasons to bake a cake for somebody, anybody.
Compiled by Pamela Clark, a test kitchen director from Sydney, the book is organized by theme, including adventure (a fire engine with Oreo wheels, a helicopter with ice cream wafer propellers); playtime (a tennis court, a merry-go-round, board shorts); and fantasy (three castles, monsters and aliens, a couple of fresh takes on the doll-with-a-cake-skirt classic).
A step-by-step guide at the back of the book offers tips on greasing pans, securing pattern sheets, coloring sugar, shaping paper piping bags and other skills critical to creating the masterpieces.
The cakes are kid-centric, to be sure, but not limited to little kids. The guitar, soccer jersey, chessboard and vegetable garden could easily appeal to tweens and teens.
And the cakes don't have to be limited to birthday soirees. First place at the science fair? Let's celebrate with a solar system made of cake! Family game night? Round out the evening with a domino-chain cake.
Unlike many recipe books, this one does not alert readers to the likely time commitment per cake. It's safe to say each one is a several-hour undertaking. Maybe all-day, depending on skill level.
After all the work, don't forget to shoot a photo before unleashing the masses on your creation, as it is likely to be gobbled up quickly.

Story tags » BooksCooking

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