My logical, clever, sweet little boy is unbelievably, incredibly, three years old.
So I made him a birthday cake almost as darling as he is.
It started (as all the best things do) at a rummage sale, in a rainstorm, two years ago. Jack was an antsy eighteen months and cranky with his dawdling mama. Who had seen something magical. Packed in its box, still wrapped in plastic, was a merry-go-round cake topper. To make the sort of cake I'd have dreamed about as a child. (who am I kidding...I still dream about cakes like this.) Best two dollars I ever spent.
Because I have a hard time doing anything average, I decided on a two tier, four layer cake. Jack had requested chocolate, and friend Sarah (and our impeccable hosting etiquette) dictated the necessity of a vegan option. I adapted my trusty chocolate sour cream cake with only very minor difficulties. Sandwiched with my homemade marmalade and infused with Grand Marnier, it was a dense, rich celebration of a cake.
Next, because I've never really been one for chocolate, I decided on a classic white cake for the bottom layer, gussied up with a splash of bitter almond and spread with the apricot preserves we put up this summer.
Because Mamas have something to celebrate too.
While the birthday boy slept, I assembled the layers with dowels and cake plates, spread a base of vegan buttercream, and draped it in vegan fondant.
Jack came to see what was happening just as the merry-go-round was being placed. That face. Makes it all worth it.
(Recipes to follow.)