Saturday, April 4, 2009

Three Cake Birthday

Who knew one birthday would require THREE cakes for celebrating? My daughter turned 9 on Friday, and it's been one long celebration, filled with cake, cake, and more cake.



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.


This was perfect for my chocoholic daughter. We served it with vanilla ice cream.


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.




At dinner time I proudly presented her with the Flower Pot Pudding Cake, but instead of being excited, she cast a suspicious eye over it, then told me quite plainly "I don't eat dirt." Gulp! It took a lot of convincing for her to taste it, and for weeks afterwards I felt guilty that I'd spoiled her birthday.


Turns out she remembers none of this at all (so I could have spared myself some mom guilt), but when I told her the story recently, she was intrigued and wanted to try it again. I still had the flower pot, silk flowers, and trowel, all of which I purchased new, just for the cake, six years ago.

I added gummy worms and a little candy snail made with a mint and a gumdrop to complete the garden effect.
This dessert is really cute for spring and Easter. I can't remember where I found this recipe, so I'm sorry I can't credit the original source. If you want organic, wholesome ingredients, please read no further!!

Flower Pot Pudding Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 - 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 - 3.5 oz packages instant vanilla pudding
3.5 cups milk
1 - 12 oz container Cool Whip, thawed
16 oz package Oreos (recipe actually calls for 2 packages, but I find one to be enough)

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.