Simple Cakewalk Ideas

It’s that time of year again! It’s cakewalk season at many schools! I will admit it – when I see the cakewalk memo in my daughter’s school bag I let out a big ol’ sigh. It’s not because I am opposed to cake walks, but because I am not a talented cake decorator and I hate the idea of disappointing the hundreds of little faces who walk from cake-to-cake trying to decide where to put their tickets. 

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If you’re not familiar with a cakewalk, it’s a school fundraiser where a bunch of cakes and cupcakes (typically bought or baked by parents) are lined up on tables typically in a gymnasium. The kids walk around looking at all of the cakes and cupcakes, and then pay for tickets to deposit in the bags or boxes belonging to the cakes they hope to win. Once all of the kids have done this, tickets are drawn and kids win cakes! Usually it’s one cake/package of cupcakes per kid.

The pressure is on to get the cake with the most tickets!  

Or is it?  

I have learned over the years that most kids don’t really care what the cakes or cupcakes look like – especially the younger kids. What they do care about is the amount of chocolate, candy and sugar the cake has! The more the merrier! 

Having said this, it doesn’t alleviate the pressure as much as it should for me. I would love to be a talented cake decorator, but I am anything but! Every time I see a cake walk memo my mind spins with ideas of what I should create versus what I CAN create. I would love to be that mom who can create a life size minion cake that looks so realistic that you expect it to talk (this cake actually existed at one of my daughter’s cake walks – that mom is one heck of a cake decorator let me tell you!). 

I know some parents purchase baked goods and I believe that is great if that works for them because for me, it’s all about participating. I, however, like to bake (it’s the decorating part I loathe). So, I try and bake something “attractive” for each cake walk. The first couple of years I would bake a cake similar to what you see below from the blog of Mrs Rachel Brady. A simple chocolate cake with chocolate icing and Smarties as polka dots. Perfect.

Easy chocolate birthday cake via  Mrs Rachel Brady

Easy chocolate birthday cake via Mrs Rachel Brady

Then my daughter mentioned that many parents make cupcakes and break them into four containers with six cupcakes each or six containers with four cupcakes each. Genius! This means there are more “cakes” for the kids to win and covers off any parents who may not have contributed. So, now I make cupcakes. 

My standby, “Oh crap, I forgot the cakewalk is tomorrow!” cupcake is ‘worms and dirt.’ It’s the chocolate cupcakes and chocolate icing or crumbled up cookie topping with gummy worms. Quick and simple to make and a hit with the younger kids (so I hear anyway).

This year I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone. I asked on Twitter if anyone had thoughts and made it clear that cake decorating it not my forté. It was recommended that I check out Pinterest, but the only cakes I ever saw on there were way out of my talent-league. But then someone sent me a link to cakewalk cake ideas on Pinterest and right away I spotted something I could do! It was simple, fun and cute!

The little piggies cupcakes were so easy to make and when I dropped them off the students collecting the cakes thought they were adorable! I can see myself making these again for the next cakewalk. 

Simple Cake Walk Ideas - Little Piggie Cupcakes

Suffice to say, I have learned to accept that I will never be the minion cake-making parent. Instead I am proud of myself for contributing something to every cakewalk my daughter has been a part of and that I made something that hopefully made a kid smile. Albeit, sometimes that kid is my own because she notices there are no tickets for my contribution and chooses to put her tickets in to win it. ;)

Are you a talented cake decorator? What are your favourite cake walk ideas?

Tool Cake - Drill

by Sara My dad bakes all the birthday cakes for our boys.  He started baking cakes for the boys when the firefighter turned 2.  He has made a train, a front loader, a guitar, a milk tanker truck*, a camera (someone turned 30 this year), and a dinosaur.  Our family and friends have come to anticipate a different cake at every party.  He scours the Internet and books for ideas but now also has to appeal to the whims of the firefighter, who is 4, and likes to choose* the shape of his cake. 

Last year on my dad's birthday we made an aquarium cake.  We wanted to do something special for our master cake creator.  Plus, every so often, I like to show off my domesticity to my family.

We recently celebrated my dad's birthday and it was up to the firefighter and I to make him a cake.

I will admit to using a cake mix.  We prepared it according to the instructions but substituted 1/2 cup of applesauce for the 1/2 cup of oil.  After baking the cake I froze it so that it would be easier to carve and ice. 

Once the cake was frozen I cut it into three sections.  You have to work fairly quickly because it becomes more difficult to ice the cake as it thaws (bits of cake pull of with the icing).

We looked online for tool cake templates but couldn't find any.  Instead I found a simple clip art picture of a drill, enlarged it, and then printed it. 

I used each of the three sections of the cake for each section of the drill.  With the picture nearby I used a knife to cut the cake free-hand.  The firefighter stayed close-by to eat the cut-off bits of cake. 

After carving the top and middle we realized we had another section of cake so...

....we added a battery pack!

The firefighter had chosen sprinkles the day before so after icing the cake we did our best to replicate the different components of the drill. 

It took us less than half an hour to assemble and decorate the cake and Grandpa was thrilled with our creation.  And quite impressed at my ability to 'wing' cake creation and decorating.

Have you ever designed and created your own theme cake?

Sara is mom to 4-year-old ” firefighter” and 2-year-old “monkey”.  You can find her at her blog, My Points of View.

My Kids Funky Closet Sunday October 17th 10am- 3pm The Glebe Community Center 175 Third Ave @ Lyon St in The Glebe