Back to School Cake Ideas and Traditions
I want to begin a tradition with my son who is starting kindergarten this week and I saw on a blog that someone made a cake the eve before the first day of school to celebrate the exciting new grade the kids were to embark upon. Since my son is young, I was thinking a crayon cake would be fun but I am cake frosting challenged! I "think" I can make the cake in shape of a crayon but how to frost it?
Any other ideas for school-time traditions?
that is really adorable. i think your soon will really appreciate your efforts.
to frost your cake you have a few options -- if you want to make it really beautiful you could try fondant, but that can actually be harder if you're not used to using it -- but it just comes out as sheets when you roll it out and it makes for a really even coating of icing - plus you can roll dye into the frosting for any color you want.
alternatively -- simpler and a little less perfect, but after all, it's for a 6 year old, right? -- you could just buy a colorful icing like red or green and ice the whole thing.
either way, you can take one of those tubes of "writing" icing in black, and pipe on the stripes towards the tip and butt, etc. you probably should get out an actual crayon to use it for inspiration.
i hope this helps.
This is in a rather different vein, but there's a Jewish tradition of associating honey with the start of studying jewish scripture. Sometimes it's in the form of a little plastic book, or letters, which are dipped in honey so they are sweet to lick-- or sometimes it's just presenting the child with honey cookies or cake at the same time as the first book. I think the idea is to have a positive association and experience with the letters and writing before you can actually read and understand them.
It's just when entering the first class, though, so I'm not sure what form a yearly tradition inspired by it would take... Maybe you could avoid the frosting issue by covering the cake in a fun jumble of tasty candy letters, and every year making it more sophisticated by having him help to design and decorate it with words, then a (very short) story, that he can compose by then? (That might hold some attention for a few years, at least...)
Many years ago, when I turned six, my mother made a 3D cake in the shape of a school house. At the time, the Bakers Coconut company had a book featuring a different cake for each month, with September featuring the school house (Feb., a heart, Oct, a witch, etc). Each month's cake involved covering the iced cake with dyed coconut -- which hid a multitude of sins in the icing. You might try that (assuming your son likes coconut).
over on www.about.com they have training lessons how to do alot of things and
I think cake decorating is one of them, look over there and maybe you can get some
Ideas, I know if you are going to be doing this every year that you would like to be
able to do a great job. I think what you are trying to do is a great I dea and your kid
will look forward to this every year.
For back to school morning I make pancakes in the shape of the grade, made a K for Kindergarten. We take a picture of child holding the plate every year. Its so fun to look at all the pictures from each year. Now to decide if I do an 11 or JR for my daughter this year. (Some years they ask me to do this on their birthday too.)
What a lovely idea! I think that starting annual traditions like this is one of the sweetest things you can do with your children :-)
If nothing else, I would say go out and buy a pastry bag (a giant ziploc bag will do) and some large tips and just play! I taught myself how to frost borders by practicing on a silpat or cutting board (didn't want to mess up any perfectly tasty cakes with my fledgling attempts). This could be something fun that you and your son could try together; working with a pastry bag and tips can be easier than a lot of people think!
My back to school tradition happened at the end of my first day of school. My mom would pick me up and we would go to a little tea shop and have afternoon tea with scones, lemon curd, little sandwiches - the works! - and talk about my day. We did this every year until I went to college. Maybe not so much for mothers and sons, but as a daughter, I couldn't have asked for more. It actually gave me something to look forward to on that dreaded "last night of freedom" before school started!