A Birthday Cake for a Fisherman

My dad turned 60 this year (!). In honor of the occasion, Will and I thought it would be nice to have him, his fiancee, and my brother’s family over for dinner to celebrate. When I asked my dad what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he replied, “I’ll bring pizza.” Not exactly what I’d had in mind, but I rolled with it.

Since he was providing his own dinner (for a crowd, no less), I insisted on doing the birthday cake. When I asked the kids for ideas, they seemed to forget that it was Grandpa’s birthday, not their own, so their ideas weren’t all that helpful. (I don’t think a 60-year-old man would be all that interested in a Buzz Lightyear cake. That’s beyond my skill set, anyway.) So I got to thinking about Dad’s interests, and one jumped out at me: fishing. When he retires in the next few years, he’s planning to move to the coast and spend his days on a boat catching fish. With a theme in mind, I hit Google. (I know a lot of you probably would have hit Pinterest instead, but that site isn’t really my style. I find it very frustrating to navigate, and it seems that most of the images that catch my eye are dead links.)

Fish birthday cake

For the cake, I made a double-layered round cake (from a box mix) using cream cheese frosting (also pre-made). I coated the cake with a thin layer of the frosting, then tinted the rest of the frosting blue to represent both sky and water. With this blue frosting, I iced the top only of the cake. This used about half of the remaining frosting; I added yellow to the other half to make green. The green was used for the sides of the cake, representing grass. I also drew a line (not straight, purposely) across the middle to separate the sky and water since they were the same color.

The “dirt” at the bottom of the water is chocolate creme Oreos that I ground up in my blender (creme filling and all). The fish are Swedish Fish candies. The fishing pole is black licorice (which you could change out for just about any other long candy; my dad happens to like black licorice so I used that). I cut it in half and laid one half down for the main part of the pole. With the other half, I cut a thin piece off to use as the line, and another (much shorter) thin piece was shaped into the hook.

It was a simple project, but very well received. I got loads of compliments from everyone about the cake, both the flavor (thanks, Pillsbury!) and the decorating.


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