I suck at baking. Most of the time, I burn the bottom of my cookies, forget to include an ingredient in the batter or fail to get something to rise. Let's just say that I am THAT mom who brings in store-bought cupcakes for school parties for the sake of everyone's health. Besides, no one wants to bite into a beautiful treat only to be greeted with texture of an eggshell. Yeah. No!
There are a few times that I make an exception and put on my baker's hat for special occasions. Those few times, more like two times, are for both of my boys at their birthday. It's a way for me to release some of my creativity and show my love for them. It is also the one time that the contents on the outside are greater than the ones on the inside...in my case, of course.
Yesterday, Liam turned two. Poor second children...and third, fourth, fifth and so on. It seems like I am a bit more relaxed and easy-going with this kid. We kept it simple and skipped a birthday party this year. Not our Kaden, though. He had themed birthday parties for a few years in a row. This time around, I just don't have the energy to plan, wrangle in RSVPs, offer gift suggestions, the financial means and desire to entertain people.
Party. Pooper. But, I'm just being honest.
I did have time to make my toddler a cake. And I wanted to do this with all my heart. I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Liam loves basketball. Every round object that comes into contact with him is usually dunked, thrown, bounced or shot. He is constantly saying, "Ball. Ball. Ball." He makes sure that he has a front row seat to all the action when his big brother is playing basketball on a gaming system. Liam also mimics the players at his brother's basketball game whenever they take a shot. Lately, he has been attempting to draw circles and calling each picture a ball. He may be a bit obsessed.
I have recognized his obsession. It is in his blood. He has relatives – particularly his grandfather, my father – who have all contributed to a lot of wins at both the high school and collegiate levels. Liam also frequents his brother's basketball games and has been going since he was just an infant. He is familiar with the culture and has no problem expressing his enthusiasm for the sport.
That is why I chose to make him a basketball cake covered in Reese's Pieces.
It was so simple. Here is how I did it:
2 round cake pans
All the utensils you need to prepare a cake
2 bags of Reese's Pieces
1. Prepare a cake as you normally would. Obviously, it works best with a round cake to get the effect of a basketball shape. I used two eight inch round cake pans. To make sure that I would have a cake with a little height, I poured one bowl of batter in one pan, and 3/4 batter into the other pan.
2. Let the cake cool first. Remove both from the pan. Cut the shortest cake horizontally to level it off. Cover with chocolate icing. Just enough to serve as a "glue" for the top layer.
**I prepared my cake at 3 in the morning, sooooo I forgot to take my own advice. I even skipped a layer of icing. Doh!
3. Place the highest cake on top of the piece you just covered in icing. Make sure that it is level. Then, generously ice this piece of cake, covering the top and the sides. Make sure there is enough icing to hold the Reese's Pieces.
4. Dump out one bag of Reese's Pieces into a bowl. You only need the orange and brown candies. I only said one bag because you can get a feel if you will need more candy as you start to place them on the cake. Also, I chose not to cover the sides of my cake because it was for my toddler and I knew we'd eventually pluck them off.
**Yours will be more neat than the picture above. It's best to place them directly beside each other in an organized fashion.
5. Starting with the brown candies, find a center point of your cake. Place a brown candy there. Then, create a line of candy going horizontally on the cake and one going vertically, using the center of the cake as guide.
6. Count a few pieces over from the center line to decide where you want to start with the curved line. Make sure you lay these Reese's Pieces out with a slight curve.
7. Fill in the spaces with the orange Reese's Pieces. You will have to manipulate a few of the pieces to get them to fit. Just gently squeeze them in, but maintain the shape of the brown lines as well.
It may look like it takes awhile, but it wasn't so bad. I just chose to create this at 3AM in the morning, thus causing unnecessary frustration. In the end, it was all worth it.
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