My brother’s family moved back to NJ from Chicago this year and one of the many benefits is being able to celebrate all special occasions together again. My niece’s 2nd birthday was one of those moments and hey…..Aunt J used to make really cool cakes. By “used” to, it has been approximately 2 years since my last go at it due to very limited amounts of spare time. But, how could you possibly deny a cute little 2 year old’s request for a Calliou cake?

I got the mixer and all my cake making supplies down from the attic, hit the food store and got myself into cake-making mode. I made 5 cups of icing on a Thursday evening after work, and baked the yellow cake, (3) 10 inch layers, the next evening after dinner. I colored my icing while the cakes cooled and found a suitable Calliou image on the computer, inverted it, resized it and printed it out, covered it with wax paper and began my butter cream transfer.

For the black outline, I have learned from experience it is just easier to buy pre-made. I happened to have a black writing tube from William Sonoma in my cache of supplies, so I went with that. Bright primary colors are always a challenge, so after much mixing and addition of more gel color, I got to the colors I wanted. Due to the limited amount of time (the part was the following day), I rushed the end of my transfer, and upon it revelation, I found that the last colors had bled outside the outline.

At first I was a bit deflated, but almost instantly it reminded me of a child’s coloring outside the lines. I ran to the drawer and got some crayons to incorporate into my design. What was hailed as a shining example of my creativity was born of a mistake…aren’t the best masterpieces.

My niece and the rest of my family were thrilled!