The best birthday cake I ever made was for my son, who was seven years old at the time. I'm not one of the best bakers around, but I wanted to create something special for his birthday.
I went to the grocery store hoping I'd find something inspiring, maybe a special kind of frosting or figurines of some of his favorite cartoon characters. Idly going through the store, I happened into the bulk candy section, and I remember noticing just how colorful it all was. So I began picking out various candies and a plan started formulating in my mind.
I started by baking a chocolate cake in a plain square pan, and then topped it with his favorite frosting, a cream cheese flavored blend. But the topping was saved for last!
I put two round blueberries in the center, to stand as his blue eyes. For a nose, one of those orange candies that are filled with orange jelly and have a shape vaguely like a nose. For the mouth, I used red licorice, which I had scored so that it curved nicely and even had the impression of teeth. I put red cherry dots for his cheeks, and little brown sprinkles over the eyes in the shape of brows.
It wasn't gourmet, but my son really appreciated it, and this year he's asked me to do it again!