Maybe Matilda: Spaghetti and Meatballs Birthday Cake

Monday, August 29, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs Birthday Cake

I promised a post about the cake I made for my little boy's first birthday last week, and here it is! Let me start out by saying that I stink at the whole cutesy dessert thing. I really, really, really do. I've made so many atrocious-looking flops that I've served, red-faced, to guests who very kindly pretended the slop I handed to them didn't look like poo on a plate. And you see all these cutesy little cupcakes and cookies online and think, surely I can do that? Well, my desserts (usually) taste good, they're just hideously unattractive. I could show you pictures to prove it, but really, that would just be cruel.

So I knew that for my baby's first birthday, I had to go with something simple and fun that would be kind of hard to mess up--for me, that meant purposely sloppy-looking (ie, definitely nothing with fondant or even pretty frosting) and more funny than pretty (at least that way, if it was embarrassing, I could pretend I did it that way on purpose). Since Forrest's all-time favorite movie is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (he seriously watched it for 20 hours straight when we drove from Iowa to Utah), I decided to make a spaghetti and meatballs cake, inspired by this cake and a few other similar ones I saw online.

This is my version:
Yessssssssssssssss! Honest to goodness, this might be the first cute dessert I have ever made in my entire life. This was a big moment for me, people! And when I say big moment, I mean I might have taken more pictures of this cake than of Forrest on his birthday!

This one is Forrest's mini-cake (made in a tiny little 4 or 5" cake pan)--a teensy little version of the real deal, just for his munching pleasure.

I used a chocolate cake mix (gasp! the horror! I figured it was going to take more than one attempt to get the cake to look right, so I didn't want to have to make multiple batches of homemade cake that would surely go to waste), and frosted them lightly with vanilla buttercream frosting. I tinted the extra frosting yellow and squeezed it all over the top of the cakes in a loopy pattern. Some of the versions of this cake I found said to make your own cake balls for the meatballs . . . but dude, why would I do that when I can buy a package of Ferrero Rocher's that already look like meatballs without even trying?
 (I told you I was ridiculously proud of it . . . I have a picture of myself holding every successful dessert I've ever made. This one brings the total up to two pictures.)

I spooned some strawberry ice cream topping on to look like spaghetti sauce, and grated a little white chocolate to look like parmesan cheese and, tada! Spaghetti and meatballs cake! Very appropriate for a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs party theme. (By the way, if you've never read the book, you can get it from Walmart for only $4! I bought a few copies for party favors.)

(See the poor frosting job at the bottom of the mini-cake? I'm not joking about stinking at this cute dessert business.)
And now that you've seen it looking all adorable, you of course want to see it being destroyed, right? I'm happy to oblige.

I think Forrest was a little perplexed by his cake--he just poked at it for a few minutes without daring to taste it (which was rather offensive, since the child regularly eats grass clippings and dirt but couldn't bring himself to taste my cake).


But once I cut it in half, he seemed to realize what he was missing out on, and chowed down:

Just making a wild guess here, but I think he likes cake.

But after eating almost an entire mini-cake (minus what he smeared on his chest and hair), I think he started getting a little sugared out:

My cake looked almost as delicious smeared on his cute chubby little face as it did on the plate. Jeff's sister offered him a dollar to lick frosting off of Forrest after he finished his cake, and I couldn't believe he didn't take her up on it . . . I would have done it for free! Look how tasty that boy looks!

26 comments :

  1. Oh my goodness! This is the most adorable cake! You did a fabulous job! It looks so real it's kind of scary.

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  2. I love everything about this! Your cake is just great! So clever---and I for sure would go for your version of the meatballs over making cake balls! I must also say Forest is really making me feel like I am missing out by not having ever watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs...buttt I have read the book many many times....

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  3. Such a cute cake - awesome job!

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  4. This is the sweetest cake I have seen in a LONG time! You are one creative gal! And you birthday boy is as cute as they come. :) Love it all!

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  5. Love the cake, it looks so real!! Forest is just gorgeous, love the slightly puzzled first pic of him!
    Alison
    x
    heavenlyhandmades.blogspot.com

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  6. This post is hilarious and the cake(s) look delighful! I almost always use box cake mix. the stuff is just better. Forrest looks so cute covered in cake!

    btw, I love it when you say "dude". Because, dude, I say dude ALL-THE-TIME. HA!

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  7. Aw! What a cutie with his cake. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  8. I saw that cake in FNMag! your's looks just like it! Thanks for the tip on the store bought cake balls - I would never make my own either.
    I also loved that book when I was little, maybe because I was obsessed with spaghetti and meatballs.

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  9. Well done!!! You have every reason to be proud! It looks so adorable!

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  10. I'm the same way with frosting cakes...really. I have to use the sloppy frosting look because
    A) pretty frosting is gross
    B) I'm WAY too impatient!

    This cake pretty much rocks Rachel. I love it! I think my son needs this cake for his birthday!

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  11. That cake is seriously adorable. Great job!! I particularly like how you used the "fake" meatballs. That would be a definite time-saver, and so tasty, too.

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  12. o woah, that really looks like meatballs!

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  13. Fabulous! So cute. Your little guy looks as thrilled as you do. The meatballs do look perfect. Anything to make a project easier gets two thumbs up in my book. :)

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  14. Nice work!! Cakes like this always confuse me when I eat them though. I mean it looks like spaghetti but tastes like cake...I totally get Forrest's confusion.

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  15. thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - I just featured you on my FB page!

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  16. this cake is totally awesome! and also, your headband is super cute.

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  17. thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - you were featured today!
    -Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  18. The cake is awesome!! So impressed, it looks just like the real deal. This would make a great April Fools cake

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  19. ROTFLMAO! Your son looks so glad and happy and delicious and mischievous and just like a baby should look :-D Wonderful :-)
    The cake looks great too. :-) You're right about the chocolates. They do look like meatballs!

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  20. that looks like the most disgusting awesome cake ever:)

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  21. That cake looks so real that it's making me nauseous looking at it! SO AWESOME!

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  22. I am going to have to make this! I'll credit you with it if I ever get to blogging about it! :)
    You're darling.

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  23. I am the same dang way! My desserts are always butt ugly! I once made a baby shower cake that looked diseased. It was supposed to be polka dotted.

    You did an AMAZING job on this cake. It looks professional. And I love the pics of the baby digging in!

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  24. Just wanted to let you know that I featured this today! Grab a button if you'd like!

    http://southernlovely.blogspot.com/2011/09/show-share-3-features.html

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  25. So sweet! You did an amazing job on your cake! Great idea to use the Ferrero Rocher for the meatballs.

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  26. That is so awesome! And it looks like it was enjoyed :) Thanks for linking with us at Show & Share!

    Marie
    mylilpinkpocket.blogspot.com

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Thanks for commenting!