Monday, August 23, 2010

Five Birthday Parties in a Row

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite picture books was Raggedy Ann and Andy: Five Birthday Parties in a Row.  My mom saved the book and when I had children of my own, she gave it to me to read to them.  It is currently one of Owen's favorites, perhaps because it rings a chord of truth this summer! 

In this vintage Little Golden Book, the dolls throw a party for Boy Doll.  When he blows out his candles, he makes a wish for five birthday parties in a row.  All of nursery dolls make the effort to bring his wish to life, but soon discover that one birthday a year is quite enough for anyone. 

Our extended family has many, many birthday to celebrate in the summer months, and with my sister, the official birthday cake baker away for the summer, the job fell to me.  And though I love to bake, too, and was more than delighted to get the job, perhaps you can have too many birthdays. 

My first cake came at the end of July when Maddie turned six.  She requested "a quiet party" with only a few guests and absolutely no games "because games can get out of hand."  She also requested a banana layer cake with whipped cream from the Kit cookbook

Raggedy Ann baked another birthday cake, a yellow one this time.

Then it was my dad's turn for a cake.  I made a basic vanilla layer cake but jazzed it up with  peanut butter buttercream frosting since he is a big peanut butter fan.  At the last minute I decided to experiment and added a generous sprinkle of cocoa powder on top to form a star. 

"It's strange,"  [Boy Doll] said.  "I still like birthday cake, but I don't seem to like it as much as I used to."

The birthdays continued.  Owen's fourth birthday came next.  He had no desire for the quiet of Maddie's special day.  He wanted balloons and games and loud little boys and a very rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting!  Since Owen has always been too intimidated to have much of a birthday celebration at all, we obliged.   

Raggedy Ann was frosting the fourth-in-a-row birthday cake. 

The last celebration of the summer was a joint party for my 30th birthday, my mom's 50th, and my grandmother's birthday which is sandwiched between the other two.  Being 36 weeks pregnant and not being able to stay on my feet for long periods of time, I questioned my own sanity, but I really wanted to make this last cake an extra special birthday cake grand finale!  Throughout the summer, I had tossed over ideas in my head and searched online for recipes.  I finally settled on a three layer cake with raspberry buttercream frosting

And with that, the parties were over.  The cake is not quite over since I have about a quarter of the last cake still sitting on my counter and bit of leftover frosting being stored in my refrigerator, but I'll be content to let the fifth birthday party be for the new little one whose arrival is due in a handful of weeks because...

Maybe five birthday parties in a row are too many. 


  1. I loved this book! And I loved your summer birthday cakes! And I loved this post! What fun!

  2. :)

    I cannot wait for the Fifth Party!

  3. This was such a cute post. October and February are our "crowded" months! And now I'm contributing to the chaos by adding another February baby! Yay for birthdays!

  4. Ahhh... such sweet days. It was fun to see the differences in your little ones. :)

    Hope your birthday was wonderful!

  5. How sweet.. and special. Love your blog posts.

  6. I Kristen, my name is Sue, I came by via Cherly's blog, so nice to meet you. Wow! you have been busy baking b-day cakes. And so far along. Great job and lots of love goes into the cakes we bake for our loved ones. Best wishes on your new baby to come.

  7. Wow, that's a lot of birthdays (and cake)! I like the way you used the text of the book in this post; very cute.

  8. Thank you I had been wracking my lil brain for this story from my child hood- tried googling "lots of birthday cakes children's story"- could never find it! finally remembered.. Raggedy Ann.. and today remembered... too many birthdays... thank you so much for sharing and thank you for lovely new thoughts xxx tomorrow's my bday, just in time :)


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