“Hey, it’s a piñata cake!”

It’s really hard to hide a cake that’s made of over 3 dozen eggs, 10 lb of flour and sugar and bags upon pastry bags of white chocolate butter cream.

So what happens when the birthday boy catches you making his cake?

You start eating frosting and ask him to help document.

This marked the first of Anthony’s birthday’s to have cakes themed to the birthday dinner location so with a thirst for Mexican food and margaritas, I set out to research (in a pre-Pinterest world) the most exciting cake ideas.

Giant sombrero cake? Wanted more of a challenge.

Fish bowl glass margarita cake? No way I’m driving that toppling accident-waiting-to-happen across town.

A little burro? YES! I CAN DO THAT!

I can’t offer you instructions on how to make this little gem (blame it on the sugar rush and lack of sleep) but I can give you my “hindsight is 20/20″ recap:

  1. When you see something on the internet, try to think about scale. As it turned out, the picture I based my entire cake on, I later found on a blog and realized that cake was only about 12″ tall. No wonder I had logistical problems building it at over 24″ tall?!
  2. Planning out how you are going to stabilize and transport your cake is just as important as picking which of your lovely new icing colors you think looks most an authentic piñata. Trust me. When it’s 4 AM and your fat little burro’s legs collapse, you’re going to wish you had a plan.
  3. You don’t need a ton of fancy stuff to make fancy cakes. During the leg mishap, I cut two cardboard salt shakers in half, flipped them like pillars and iced them for replacement-legs. (Side note: if you’re going to dump 2 lb of table salt into an tupperware at 4 AM….remember to LABEL it so you don’t make batches of sweets for the office a few week later with salt instead of sugar. YUCK.)
  4. I love pastry bags and tips, but unless you have a ton and love hand-washing all of them, they are a pain in the ass for a huge, multi-color icing cake. Save yourself the headache and put the icing in ziptop bags, put tape on the corner to make it stiffer and cut a shape that resembles the piping tip you want (Remember those paper snowflakes you used to make where you only cut 1/6th of it and it made a really cool shape when it was a full circle? it’s basically like that.)
  5. Take that lazy Susan in your spice cabinet and put it on top of a waist height end table or night stand to make decorating at 360 degree a breeze.
  6. If you eat enough icing, you don’t need coffee to stay awake. Like for DAYS.
  7. Don’t eat so much icing and cake scrap that you can’t stomach the though of actually eating a pice of cake at the party. It makes people suspicious when you don’t want to eat the cake you made.
  8. Just try not to think about how many sticks of butter you’re using. On the other hand, wait and tell your skinny friends how many sticks of butter and pounds of sugar you used while they’re eating a nice big slice.
  9. People will assume everything is edible. Be prepared to tell the person cutting the cake what to remove, or be the one to slice your masterpiece yourself. (For real…how could I make a clearly plastic wiggly-eye out of icing?!)
  10. I have no idea how professional transport their cakes, but it’s not by asking someone to sit cross legged in the back of an SUV holding the cake in their lap. If you go that route, bring emergency “touch up” icing bags.

Happy baking!

Jessica O'ConnorComment