My Cake Decorating Gallery

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Martha's Birthday Cake and My Mom's Surprise 70th Birthday Party

Ever since we saw the episode featuring the "Martha's Birthday Cake", my mom and I had thought "wow that would be yummy!" We both love meringue. I don't think I remembered that it had apricot as its main fruity flavor but I know my mom loves apricot preserves in her cakes and tortes also. So for my mom's 70th surprise birthday party, I decided I was going to try and pull off this unusual-looking cake.

The cake after having been torched
I followed the recipe to a T because I wanted it to be excellent. To be honest, I'll never make this cake again, especially not the cake recipe. A box cake would have been more enjoyable! I would definitely try a round-cake again and as far as the meringue topping, I would never do that again for a cake I was going to travel with nor in the summer. It got sorta soft and weepy over the course of hours. The meringue needs to be chilled or served right away after browning. The frosting underneath was a good recipe and I'd make that again. I'm sure I did something wrong to make the cake so dense however, Martha, if you'd just put weights for your recipes, this would eliminate any variation in that realm. That's why if I'm making a scratch cake, I like recipes with weights the best.

The smoked BBQ pulled pork and fixin's

I think my mom was generally pleased with the cake or at least all the effort it took to put it together. On top of that, my husband was stuck in the office all days leading up to this including that day, and I had a baby to tend to who refused to nap that day in particular, also. I was coordinating a secret list of invitees and also all the food, including pulled pork that had been smoked for 20 hours in our smoker, and all of the typical BBQ fixin's to go along with it - homemade baked beans, colorful coleslaw, fresh corn and bell pepper salad, and more. I also made some cupcakes and I was able to buy a few dishes at Nino's and a few guests brought some things and everyone showed up so it was a great success.

The dessert table

As for my mom, she was quite upset once I arrived and announced that "sorry I'm late and I should mention that in 45 minutes everyone will be here so you might want to put on some lipstick..." and she threw a little fit. However once people arrived and were there to celebrate, she got into the groove of things and was quite pleased and appreciative afterwards. It was a little hard to listen to all of the complaints and yelling while setting up after hours and hours of hard work to pull it off; but as they say - "in one ear and out the other" and I knew that it will work out in the end. Some people do not like surprises, I guess!

Martha's Birthday Cake
The recipe for Martha's birthday cake and directions can be found here on

Using vanilla beans for the cake batter
The buttercream frosting and meringue
The frosted dome cake

The cake now has meringue piped onto it and is ready to be torched

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