Sweet had her 9th birthday and I made this 'My Sweet Candy Girl' birthday cake with gold leaf decorated macarons, hand piped butter cream flowers and musk stick lollies.
In the past we have had quite fancy parties for her and some pretty spectacular cakes, and when I say for her, I really mean for me.
Because it seems to make Sweet happy what she really wants is lots of lollies and candy on a cake.
I know this because a few years back I made quite an elaborate cake that I managed to make look like it was set in a mirror on the wall. It was a carved unicorn head and it took quite a bit of work (CLICK HERE for a free video tutorial on making that unicorn cake). I was quite pleased with myself of course and Sweet did love her party and still talks about it now.
However a few months after that party a girl at school brought in a cake covered with lollies (that's Australian for candy), Sweet told the family at the dinner table in detail how amazing it was.
Pretty much because.......lollies. That's right she is a kid, all it takes to impress her is quite a bit of candy. So this year I decided to stick lots of lollies on the cake, we did compromise with some pretty piped flowers but as they were buttercream and therefore creamy sugar Sweet was totally ok with it.
Musk Stix - an Australian icon
Maybe the best part of all was that Sweet and my son The Destroyer got to join in decorating the cake and put the musk sticks around the edge of the cake.
I think if at this stage I had given Sweet a stack of extra lollies/candy and told her to pour it into the top all the kids would have been happy, but I decided to pipe on some flowers and swirls, pop on a few macarons and then add sixlets and soft sugar pearls.
It ended up being a perfect mix of sweet and pretty, although I did only eat one musk stick despite having quite a few on my slice.
If you can't locate musk sticks you might like to substitute pink chocolate covered pretzels or strawberry pocky sticks.
Later in the week I will be popping up the recipe for the strawberry layer cake which has been a favourite in our household for many years.
Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the Children's cookbook Sweets on a Stick: More Than 150 Kid-Friendly Recipes for Cakes, Candies, Cookies, and Pies on the Go! Published in the USA in 2011 the book is still available at Amazon and many online bookstores.
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Original ideas, photography and recipes Linda Vandermeer please do not reuse without permission.