This weekend was my son's 7th birthday. I am so proud of the young man he is becoming. He is kind, smart, and a hard worker. He started 1st grade earlier this month, and he is loving every moment of it. He proudly told me that he does not miss me at all while he is at school for the whole day, and that makes me so happy. He should be enjoying school. He is in the second year of a wonderful Spanish immersion program. He is learning so many amazing things. He has a wonderful teacher who loves using music as a teaching tool. And he is making some lasting friendships. And he knows that I will be there to pick him up when the day is done.
This year I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, and he said that he wanted to celebrate with his friends from school. So, we picked a local park, and we invited all of his classmates and a few other friends from our community. I really wanted to keep the party simple, because my son says that it is not a birthday without celebrating with your friends. We had snacks of fruit, veggies, cheese, crackers, and lunch meat. We also had cupcakes! I made 58 regular cupcakes, and I ordered a dozen gluten free chocolate salted caramel cupcakes from Ruby Cakes Bakery. (I am fortunate that I am just gluten intolerant. I can use flour in my kitchen, and I will be fine as long as I do not ingest it.) I loved spending the morning while my kids were in school making cupcakes, frosting them, and dipping them in sprinkles. My kitchen felt so alive, and I knew that I was just getting started.
As I has previously talked about, I like to make themed cakes for my kids. This summer, my son decided that he wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Since he is so young, we decided to talk to some of our friends who play instruments. We were told that he is young, but if he has interest, it would be worth looking into lessons for him. So, we went to a local guitar store to get more information, and left with an electric guitar, amp, and signed up for guitar lessons once a week. We were so impressed with how the owners of the guitar store listened to my son, and set him up with a program that is doable and fun for a 7 year old. Since, my son is now enamored by the guitar, he asked for a guitar cake. I found this template on the Parenting magazine website. This is how I made the cake.
Gluten Free Guitar Cake
1- 9-inch round cake
1- 8-inch round cake
16 oz can chocolate frosting
16 oz can vanilla frosting
Yellow food coloring
1 box gluten free chocolate-coated wafer cookies (I used the brand Glutino)
2 large marshmallows
4 gluten free pretzel sticks (I used Snyder's gluten free pretzels)
8 yellow m&m's
I made the same chocolate cake batter I made for my daughter's unicorn cake. Make sure to use different pans, because this recipe needs 2 different sizes of cake pans. Once the cakes are cooled, remove them from their pans, and cut a 2 and 3/4 inch curved cut from an edge of the 9-inch cake. Place the cakes next to each other on a large serving platter or a piece of sturdy cardboard covered with aluminum foil. Secure the cakes with a little chocolate frosting. Place the cakes in the freezer for an hour, so the cakes will be easier to frost.
When you are ready to frost, spoon 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting into a bowl. Spoon 1/2 cup of the chocolate frosting into another small bowl. Reserve these for later* Add 2 teaspoons of chocolate frosting and a few drops of yellow food coloring to the remaining vanilla frosting. Blend it well, until it looks beige. Then take the cake out of the freezer. Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining chocolate frosting. Then spread the top of the cake with the beige frosting. Place a canning jar rim on the smaller round cake to make an outline for the guitar's sound hole. Pipe the chocolate frosting inside the canning rim to form a circle.
For the neck, arrange a row of 8 chocolate-coated wafer cookies above the top of the cake for the guitar neck. Spread some chocolate frosting on top of this row. Add another layer of chocolate wafers, and then spread chocolate frosting on top. Place one of the chocolate-coated wafer cookies onto the lower third of the cake (underneath the sound hole). Pipe 4 lines of un-tinted vanilla frosting from the top of the neck to the chocolate wafer near the bottom of the cake. These will be the guitar strings. Add the yellow M&M's to the end of each guitar string. Cut 2 marshmallows in half and stick a pretzel in each one. Stick the 2 pretzels with marshmallows into either side of the guitar neck.
Then serve this to the special birthday boy or girl!
*Cook's Notes: I use a Dessert Decorator by Wilton, so I put the reserved frosting in a bowl until I can put it in my decoration tool. If you do not have one of them, you can use sandwich-sized plastic bags. When you are ready to use the frosting, snip off the the corner of the bag and pipe the frosting where you want it to go.