This is a busy week for me and many other mom-unteers, with major fundraising activities at both kids’ schools: a Read-a-Thon starting this Friday at one and a Fun Fair this Saturday at the other. (Add a comment to this post or email me for more information on either!)
Sure, the kids have fun and we earn important funds for the schools, blah blah. But what I’m most excited about is the return of the Fun Fair Cakewalk – the musical chairs-like game where you walk around in a circle (with numbers taped to the floor) while the music plays, and when the music stops you hope and pray that your number gets called. If it does, you get to pick a cake or treat from the cake table! I still remember the heart-pounding thrill of winning five cakes at Sunset Elementary’s Fun Fair (many many years ago); I don’t think I left the Cakewalk room all evening.
Making the cakes for the Cakewalk is almost as fun. I’ll be making mine this Friday (freshness is important!); I’m not sure what the design inspiration will be yet, but I have a big bag of JellyBelly jelly beans to use up so those might be incorporated somehow. I’m not going to go crazy, though; I’ve learned from past Cakewalks and Bake Sales that the most elaborate creations are not necessarily the ones that go first. (Kids tend to choose the treats that look homemade.) In full disclosure, I usually use boxed cake mixes – they’re quick, easy and reliable. (My friend Angela asserts that if you bake it it’s homemade – boxed mix or not.) I usually make my own buttercream frosting, however; the results are worth the minimal effort. You can find frosting recipes on boxes of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, or here: http://www.dominosugar.com/baking-tips-how-tos/advanced-baking-tips/frosting-recipes
For anyone else with a Cakewalk or Bake Sale coming up this spring, here are some ideas based on things I’ve made in the past. Most are original concepts, but some (i.e., slider cupcakes) are blatant knock-offs. For more inspiration and detailed instructions on making Cake Pops and other really cute treats, check out http://www.bakerella.com/.