When I had my son, I knew from my doulas that the recovery meal – the same one for every couple who has just had a baby, the only time the hospital will feed the non-birthing parent as well – would be a turkey sandwich on plain white bread. The angels in the cafeteria sent it up with marvelous accompaniments: Jell-O, juice, the best Sprite I have ever had in my life (and I had previously hated Sprite). And the showstopper, a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
Now, this may be the 44 hours of labor talking, but that hunk of hospital cafeteria cake was the best damn chocolate cake I have ever tasted. The sponge itself was dark and rich, tender and fudgy. The frosting was glossy, thick, oh so chocolatey. Think the chocolate cake from Matilda. Like that. In the middle of the night, after I had nursed and while my wife shushed and rocked the baby, I popped that plastic container open and devoured that cake. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
So perhaps that’s why I’ve already started brainstorming my son’s first birthday cake, an event that is still several months away. I envision a slice of rich chocolate cake, naturally, but I also can’t help but daydream about bookish birthday cakes. These beauties are far too ambitious for the likes of me, but as I search for the magical unicorn chocolate cake recipe that will satisfy my sense memory, a girl can dream of gorgeous bookish cakes.
Where the Wild Things Are
“I’ll eat you up, I love you so.” (The baby. Or the cake. Either way.)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Once we eat our way through this cake, will we still be hungry?
There’s a point where you level up as a parent, and that’s the point where you can recite Goodnight Moon to your baby, anywhere you are.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
“A told B, and B told C,” I’ll meet you at this the top of this cake. Completely adorable and simple.
Alice in Wonderland
You could put a tag on this cake instructing us to eat it, but we wouldn’t. How could we? Look how gorgeous!
Dr. Seuss Cake
And the winner for fun with fondant is this Dr. Seuss cake, a tribute to these best-loved stories.