Moms The Word

March 16, 2007

$2 Birthday Cake*Frugal Fridays*

Filed under: Frugal Fridays, Good Ideas — mrslady @ 9:21 am

If you’re like me, you worry about how much things cost, but you feel bad when you worry about the price of things when it comes to your kids.  You want to get them the best, but you know there are some things your wallet just can’t take-like a $40 birthday cake for your toddler’s birthday.

The good news is you can make a yummy, nice looking birthday cake for really cheap.   You start with things that you have-eggs, food coloring, vegetable oil-and you can buy what you

need-in my case cake mix and frosting-from the dollar store.  I know, I know-but really, most things at the dollar store (providing they are not expired) taste just as good as anything else you might buy for several dollars more.

Okay, you say, you made the cake-now what?  Frosting.  And frosting is the best part-not to mention the most fun.

Make sure that your cake is all the way cooled off before you start to frost it so that your frosting doesn’t get goopy.  When I’m in a tight crunch I put the cake (still in the pan) in the freezer for about five minutes to cool it down.  Then, I flip the cake out of the pan so that the bottom is on the top and put it back in the freezer for another minute or two.  (You can make a cake easier to flip out of the pan by making a really good coating of butter/margerine in the cake pan and then dusting it with flour or pancake mix-you can use pancake mix for a lot of things!)

The bonus for flipping the cake over is that you can use the bottom of the cake as your frosting canvas and the bottom is flat, while the top may be rounded or have cracks in it.  Anyway, once your cake is cooled you can start to frost.  What I like to do is to put a big glop of frosting right in the middle of the cake and then spread it out to the sides.  If you use your frosting at room temperature instead of from the refridgerator, you can get your cake to look pretty evenly coated by doing it this way-and give it a smooth looking surface by lightly dragging a flat spatula over the top.

If you want to put a decorative scene on your cake, that’s where the food coloring comes in.  You will also need either pastery bags or zip lock bags.  (If you’re using zip lock bags, I recommend the small ones, however big ones are doable as well.)  All you have to do is cut diagnally on the very tip of one of the bottom corners of the zip lock.  I don’t recommend cutting more than just a tiny tiny bit, because the smaller the hole the more control you will have over the frosting.  When you make the cut you should end up with a triangle of plastic left over.

Decide on the design you want and think about the colors you’ll need to mix with your frosting to create the colors you want.  Once you make the colors you want put them into the zip lock or pastery bag then design away!

Here is the cake that I made my son for his 3rd birthday.  It is chocolate with cream cheese frosting.  With the supplies that I already had, I paid a TOTAL of two dollars for this cake:


Not bad for $2, eh?

For more frugal tips visit Biblical Womanhood.


1 Comment »

  1. Another trick is to save some of the cake mix and use that instead of flour (or pancake mix as you suggested – great idea though) to put on the cake pan. This is especially good for chocolate cakes so they don’t have that “white” look to them.

    Comment by Jennifer — March 16, 2007 @ 10:20 am

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