This week has seen my daughter’s 10th Birthday. So I thought a look back at the cakes she’s had for the last 10 years might be in order. This idea came to me after seeing the hilarious blog about people being unable to effectively realise things they’d seen on Pinterest. I hope our efforts were not quite worthy of inclusion there. Much effort was put in. Well, some years, some effort was put in. Though things didn’t start well. But what the hell, she was 1, she didn’t have a clue what a birthday was: Okay things get a LOT more creative for her second birthday, looking at the cakes also demonstrates her ever-shifting tastes and interests. In 2006 it was clearly Greendale’s finest. I seem to recall it being mostly made of battenburg and us having a lot of trouble with Pat drying up before we got him in place. I was particularly proud of Jess however: So in 2007 we have the epic Cinderella castle. I know, you thought you were looking at a photo of Disneyland, right? No, my friend, that’s a cake. It’s a cake that caused a massive tantrum and a domestic and food colouring to get spilled on the new sofa. I was only responsible for one of those things happening. It’s your standard Swiss Roll and Giant Swiss roll combination, with ice cream cones for the spires. What else? What can’t be seen in this picture is the Pumpkin Coach. Which for reasons best known to ourselves was a Chocolate Orange covered in icing: I think by 2008 we’d hit our creative stride. When I say “we”, Steph did most of this – perhaps this was her making good the incident where one of the spires was thrown at me in a fit of frustration about which 6 years later she still feels shame. Anyway Lady and the Tramp was en vogue for the 4th birthday, I really don’t know why: In 2009 we move from a Disney classic to a Disney current and an obsession with High School Musical. This one was me, albeit with the aid of some printed imagery for the cupcakes, cunningly designed so there was a bun for everyone at the party. Cutting out that West High Wildcats logo to go on the top tier was a right pain the backside, let me tell you. All the while the icing drying out: Home based party meant efforts were not put into cake in 2010. Instead efforts were put into going to ASDA and buying a Muppet cake, even though she really didn’t have the first clue who Animal was, except we all had items of clothing with him on: Another cop out in 2011 – this is not just any birthday cake, this a Marks & Spencer birthday cake, it was delicious. At the price we paid, I should bloody hope so. Why don’t my decorated cakes look so neat? 😦 Now 2012 was a joint effort along with my baking maestro pal Ailsa. She MADE the cake and decorated the Big Top. I sugar crafted the Lion, Ringmaster and Clown. Just don’t mention the fact that it looks a bit like a stripey boob: Vague cop-out again for the 9th birthday, again facilitated by ASDA. Charlotte almost coming to blows with the man in the bakery counter who said the image that I’d created couldn’t be put on the cake because of copyright. “It’s MY name and MY picture” she insisted. I assured the gentleman that it was a widely used public domain motif and thus not subject to copyright. Charlotte continued to voiciferously protest. I wasn’t aware they’d been spending much time on the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 in her primary school. Anyway after the shop assistant spoke to his manager the design was printed and stuck onto the cake within a few minutes. Though, ASDA, if you’re listening – you need to make the boxes re-closeable for these print your own cake things, you have to rip ’em open to get inside and then you come perilously close to the thing sliding out constantly. Trust me. And so to this year’s effort. Disney themed again, as her present is being taken to Florida this summer holiday. I looked back at my previous efforts and with the aforementioned blog in mind decided not to go for the “Full Mickey”. There was no way I was going to get something that looked accurate enough to be Mr Mouse, so I thought, little Mickey Mouse head shapes all over in a random pattern. Mickey Mouse cookie cutters, they’ll be easy to find, right? Not so much. An 80 mile round trip to an eBayer’s house in Barnsley got me the goods however. So it might be one of the more simple self-decorated cakes that we’ve done, but it actually probably took the longest to do. And considering some of the early efforts (Postman Pat, Lady & the Trap and Cinderella’s castle) involved us pulling almost-all-nighters, that’s saying something. So, there you have it. My daughter’s 10 years on the planet told through the medium of cake. Some of which feature in the mock-up Facebook Look Back video that I created for her., THAT took me 12 hours. I hope she bloody appreciates all the effort that goes into these things.