Thursday, January 9, 2014

Save Cash-ola on Birthdays: Make the Cake Yourself!

I had plans to have a leisurely evening. I had made enough chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, green beans and homemade biscuits last night that I didn't think I would have to visit the kitchen this evening other than to warm up some grub in the microwave. Wrong! Okay.......I DID make some sugar cookies when I got home from work (will share the yummy recipe in another post). Anyhow, the cookies were well underway and my son had already eaten the complete first dozen when my husband arrived home from work armed with a Kroger bag and a special request. He asked me to make a Tasmanian Devil cake for a friend. Hmmmm.....a challenge.

I must admit that it is past my bedtime, so I will be brief tonight! I just finished the Taz cake, and I am satisfied with the results. Of course, it is not TLC Cake Boss quality, but it will work. While I'm at it, I might as well go ahead and show you some of my other cakes too! I don't always take a picture of them, but I think I'm gonna start so that I have something to look at if I ever want to make the same cake twice.


"Dukes of Hazzard" Cake made for a friend. It was so hard to get the red that deep, but I finally achieved it by adding a 10 cent package of Kroger brand drink mix to the white icing. It colored it AND flavored it cherry, which complemented the chocolate cake.

Litterbox Cake made for the Halloween Yuck Fest at my son's school a couple of years ago. This pic is a little old, but I thought I'd included it anyway. It is just a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, covered in crushed cookies (the kind you get like 50 in a pack for a dollar, LOL) garnished with broken up large Tootsie Rolls and finished off with a brand new washed cat litter scoop. YUCK!

And HERE is the Taz Cake. He isn't perfect, but I think he turned out pretty cute. I free-handed the whole thing, first with a tube of black icing. Then, I filled in the rest, using a toothpick for a bunch of it to fill in the spaces. It was fun because, in a way, I felt like I was in first grade again finishing a coloring sheet and trying to stay in the lines. I finished it off by piping brown stars around the edges.

A UK Wildcat cake made for a friend. From this angle, it kinda looks crooked, but it didn't look that way in person...hmmm.  Basically just one store brand cake mix and a can of icing here. And, of course, a little bit of homemade white and blue icing I made with confectioner's sugar, margarine and a few drops of blue food coloring in some of the white icing.

All these cakes certain things in common: store brand cake mix that cost about $1.00 - $1.25 and store brand icing for around $1.00 - $1.50 a can (don't forget to save the can!!). I used a very simple plastic decorating bag with tips that I purchased at my local Mighty Dollar for $1.00, and the round containers you see were salvaged from certain death by trash can by my sister, Tammy at a workplace function she attended. I noticed the other day that Dollar Tree now sells food coloring. I was thrilled by that discovery!! 

So, why continue to give your hard earned cash to the deli for a cake that has been frozen, thawed, decorated from a five gallon bucket of icing, and set in a display case for days all for about $15 - $20 for a cake this size (which is considered to be a 1/4 sheet cake). You can save some green and make your own for about $5.00, more or less, AND get the chance to create edible art yourself!

Have a fun, frugal and fabulous evening, from our house to yours!