Cake requirement number 1: cupcakes for classmates. We used a box mix and canned frosting, and sprinkles, of course! Those went to school on Friday.
Cake requirement number 2: a cake to have at home after dinner on the birthday. Rather than make a big sheet cake, I searched for a recipe for a small cake, and found this one. I used the glaze recipe she recommends, but I think I might prefer frosting if I make this cake again.
Cake requirement number 3: a cake for the family party on Saturday. My parents and my sister came to celebrate, as well as my sister-in-law and her three children, so we needed something that would feed a crowd. My daughter's tradition for her birthday is to have a different cake every year. This year she wanted a Flower Pot Pudding Cake:
I had actually made one of these for her 3rd birthday. I figured a three-year-old wouldn't have any expectations for what a birthday dessert was "supposed" to be like, and I thought a flower pot cake would be so cute for a little girl's spring birthday. Much to my chagrin, on her 3rd birthday my daughter kept saying to me "I get cake today. I get cake today!" Oh, dear! I didn't have a cake for her! I told her yes, she would be getting a special dessert, not cake, exactly, but something yummy.
Flower Pot Pudding Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
Crush the cookies very finely in a food processor. The white cream will disappear.
Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large bowl.
In a separate large bowl, stir together milk, pudding, and Cool Whip.
Combine the pudding mixture and the cream cheese mixture and stir until well blended.
Cover the bottom of the flower pot with a layer of cookie crumbs. Pour in one-half of the cream mixture. Layer more cookie crumbs on top of the cream, pour in the rest of the cream mixture, then cover the top of the cream with the remaining cookie crumbs. Be sure you have enough cookie crumbs so the top can be covered thoroughly to give the appearance of dirt. Refrigerate for 4 hours (or longer). Before serving, add silk flowers, gummy worms, candy snails, etc. Serve with a toy trowel.
I always line the flower pot with wax paper, because I worry about the non-food-grade plastic leaching chemicals. I also wrap the flower stem in plastic wrap before I stick it into the pudding. The wax paper and plastic wrap really stand out in the photos here, but in person they are less obvious and don't detract from the effect.
Oh, and the flower pot I used is 7 inches tall and 8 inches wide across at the top, which is just the right size for this recipe.