As a youngster our family birthday tradition was we got to pick the menu for that day and Mom would make a scratch two-layer cake and decorate it with the frosting color of our choice. My dinner was baked ham with pineapple and clove, mashed potatoes and peas. My cake was a Chocolate Town Special (recipe used to be on the Hershey’s bitter cocoa can)  with white frosting and piped sky blue pink designs. Before frosting the cake Mom would wash a dime and push it, standing up, into the bottom layer. The four of us girls, Mom, her friend Doris and maybe a couple of extras would be on hand when the cake was cut. Who ever got the dime was supposed to have good luck all year. I don’t remember opening presents, but I have fond memories of those cakes.

Mom could make roses with the icing. At that time she used a pipe that looked like a huge syringe to form the petals and then she would change the tip and make all sorts of pretty decorations on the cake itself. My sister Joanne mastered the roses, but none of the rest of us did. To get the sky blue pink frosting she would fill the pipe with both colors side by side. Just this week I had mentioned to my husband I thought I might do that for our granddaughters birthday. It’s been a while, it would take me the whole evening, but it would be a pleasure.

Cake decorating is another one of those food things people have turned over to professionals. We eat out and we buy our desserts out. I know every one is busier than they used to be, but I find it sad. I rarely eat a store-bought cake. Yuck. My cakes have all natural ingredients that don’t have scientific names. I think they are much better for the human to consume.

The gal in the picture above is using a piping bag, which is what I now use. Unfortunately I use it more to make pretty deviled eggs than I do to pipe frosting. If you want to learn how to decorate your own cakes, Joanne Fabric Stores often have classes. It’s a fun hobby and I can guarantee your child or grandchild will proudly tell people he had a homemade cake. Go for it.