Friday, 7 May 2010


I was 41 just a week ago...but now I am not.

I guess most people would think that it is odd to make your own birthday cake. I felt that way too when I first made my own birthday cake. I got used to it after a few times (see here, and here). Since there is absolutely zero chance that anyone will buy me a cake, so I must as well make use of my own 'talents' and create one for myself ;')

The best thing about making a cake for myself is that I can do whatever I like. I get to decide what goes into the cake without having to worry about someone else's preference and taste. Even if the cake turns out to be a disaster, no one will blame me. So I am free to come up with whatever I fancy...and most importantly, I get to make a very 'girly' cake for myself, and no one will complain!

To accommodate to our busy weekend, I made the sponge cake in the morning...and only got to prepare the fillings late in the night. The mousse filling was a mixture of mascarpone cheese (yes, I am not ashamed to splurge on myself once a year, anyway, this cake is way cheaper then any store bought ones!), freshly blended strawberries puree, and whipping cream. It was just like making the filling for a tiramisu...the only difference is, I added in some gelatin to help the mousse to set better. Just like the previous mango and yogurt pudding cake, I didn't get the ingredients amount right! I had used too much strawberries puree, the mascarpone cheese was a little separated, making the filling appeared grainy. The mousse like filling was still a little wobbly even after staying up whole night in the fridge. I have wanted to decorate the cake with strawberries and some blueberries...but alias I couldn't get any blueberries when I visited the supermarket, twice! Since I had a box of grapes in the fridge, I used them to double up. No, it was not a good choice, I won't use them if the cake was meant for someone else. Since it is a ME cake, so who cares? I won't worry myself too much about it...I have enough things to make my hair grey at every single tick of the second hand.

My younger boy gave me this handmade fridge magnet for 'my birthday'...he made it with jumping clay...I was quite impressed with his fine motor skills as this is no bigger than a 50cent coin. So you think it was very sweet of him to make this for me?...but the true fact is, he had wanted to give it to me as a mother's day gift...he can remember Mother's Day every year, but not his mother's birthday :'(

and my elder child gave me his master piece...I think he got this idea after I taught him how to cut out a paper snow flake for his Science project some time back!

The irony is, after spending time making this cake, I didn't even had the chance to go through the motion of ~ 'sing birthday song, blow the candles (many many), take pictures and cut the cake' on my birthday! On second thoughts, since I have loaded the cake with so many berries there wasn't space left for any candles, unless we stick them on the sides, hahaha!

The most heart warming thing to me was not the 'birthday rituals'. Whatever sense of 'resentment' was redeemed right away when I heard my family oohs and aahs over the delicious cake. The cake tasted just like a strawberry flavoured tiramisu...and we were all instantly picked up on that lovely morning...


  1. Aw, what a sweet boy your son is! nice cake for youself. come to think about it, I have yet to make myself a cake all these years. May be I should do like what you did for your own birthday.... Thanks for the idea! Happy belated birthday!!

  2. Happy Birthday to you !! your kids are so sweet to give you their hand made birthday gifts. Nowadays I also bake cake for myself and my family, I think the outside bakery shop is hard to earn money from me anymore, hehehe..And this is a lovely Birthday cake.

  3. Happy Birthday HHB. I am your silent reader. Hope you continue to bake beautifully in the years to come.

  4. Hi,

    Happy birthday to u! The cake that you had baked look nice and delicous! I love strawberry cake too. :)

  5. Happy belated birthday to you. Very tempting cake you had baked for yourselves. :)

  6. Making your own birthday cake's the best way to go, if you ask me, especially since your cakes all turn out gorgeous and delicious :)

    Happy belated birthday, HHB!

  7. HI HHB

    Happy b-day! Your boys are so sweet!

  8. HHB

    Happy Birthday to You! It's so nice to wake up in the morning with such a lovely cake even though you make it yourself. Keep it up. Am planning to make a cake for myself too next week...

  9. Hi HHB,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!!! :)

  10. Belated Birthday wishes. You must be very proud of your lovely sons.
    The cake looks very yummy with all those strawberries on it.

  11. Awwww...don't say that there is absolutely zero chances you will have someone bought you a cake....your husband will be upset if he sees it. He buys you a cake for you and his wedding anniversary right?

  12. Happy Blessed birthday to you, HHB! Your birthday cake looks so nice and pretty.. Your sons are so sweet..
    Thanks for blessing us with your great recipes and photos..

    Your fan, cupcake:)

  13. Happy Belated Birthday to u HHB!


  14. Happy belated birthday!

    This cake is very pretty, look at the lovely shape of pink, any girl will be attracted instantly. :-)

    Ur sons are so sweet and talented, just like their mum.

  15. happy bday to you dear:)your cake looks great!

  16. Hi HHB,
    Happy birthday & Many Happy Returns to you. You sons are very talented. I hope you will encourage them to keep doing those little craft things. I came from a family that boys are not allow to do girlie things. But now my boys are allow to do tapestry projects or any girlie crafts. Your baked goods look delicious, and thanks for sharing those lovely things you made.

    Kind Regards
    Down Under

  17. Happy belated birthday HHB! Your cake looks compared to my Mother's day cake, mine's a joke~! :) Anyway, very sweet of your boys to give you something made from their own hands and from their hearts. :)

  18. dear everyone, thanks for all your well wishes :):)

    Hi Honey boy, don't bother to make your own if your hubby gets you one each year...once you break the tradition, you may have to bake one for yourself every year!

    Hi Sonia, the birthday cake you made for your kid was excellent...I can only make very simple ones with minimum skills required ;p

    Hi Mum in Miri, I am glad you break your silence! Otherwise I wont be able to discover your lovely blog!

    Boringtazz, my advise is, if you can, don't make your own ;) anyway, happy birthday to you!

    Hi Quinn, I think you may have mistaken, my husband has never bought any cakes on our anniversary, and the last time he bought me a birthday cake was like...hmmm...more than a decade ago?! I have been with him for over a quarter century, and I think he only got me a cake on less than 3 occasions :_( Anyway, it is ok, he doesn't even read my blog, lolz!

    Hi Airenchan, my kids like to do crafts...and I will certainly teach them how to cook and time I will ask them to bake a birthday cake for me ;)

    HBS, don't say that! Whatever that is made from our hearts is pretty! My kids made horrible looking crafts, but to me, they are lovely.

  19. Happy birthday! What a beautiful cake! How lovely your boys are! ;)

  20. happy belated birthday to you !!!!!!!

  21. Hi HHB,
    First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!
    What can I say?! This is a super beautiful! I can feel the love from this cake. It's made from the bottom of your heart. I always want to make my own birthday cake but always a disaster. You deserve to have this beautiful cake as you've the passion and the patient, always!!!

  22. Happy Birthday to you! Nice to celebrate the birthday in the spring-summer time....when lots of different kinds of fresh fruit are available there. The torte looks absolutely gorgeous.

  23. Hi HBB,

    Happy belated birthday to you...
    What a nice cake you have made :')


  24. happy birthday! i read the shengri part of ur title and knew it was something about a birthday! haha

  25. HHB dear, Happy Birthday To You!
    This is a beautiful and perfect cake. 感觉得到,这美美的蛋糕,真的很用心得做。

  26. Hi HHB, Happy Belated Birthday. I just discovered your blog a few months ago and it gives me lot of inspiration. Now, I bake almost everyday with great interest. Now I also feel my housewife's life is less boring. Before reading your blog, I always said I don't like to read blog as I'm don't like to "kaypo" other people' life. Thanks a lot for sharing your recipes, your baking experience and also your close bonding with your two lovely sons. - Sue Chua

  27. happy belated birthday! the cake looks lovely. I would love to have something like this for my birthday too! :)One day after i move back to S'pore,I must make you a birthday cake.

  28. My dearest HHB,

    A VERY HAPPY BELATED 41ST BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! A HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, too! Oh, now that I've realized yours isn't too far away from both my Moms!! So, I'd love to dedicate this cheesecake to you:

    Ah! You're SO, SO right! Since it's your cake, who cares ... You got to make the decisions. Actually, I don't think it's weird birthday cakes for yourself ... In fact, I made my first birthday for myself in 2008 ... AND, it was JUST an orange chiffon and nothing else ... No whipped cream and whatnots. I was already a VERY, VERY happy girl! That's the joy of home baking and cooking. That's something we should be proud of ourselves, yes?

    Just 41 years old!!?? Nah ... Not that old, really ... Wanna compare yourself to my mom!? She's just turned 54 on May 06! Ugh!

  29. What a beautiful cake. Happy Birthday!

  30. Happy belated birthday! I agree with you, the best thing about baking a cake for yourself is that you can do whatever you like! Your cake looks amazing!

  31. Happy Birthday!!
    the recepi its wonderful and the foto its so delicious.

  32. Happy Belated Birthday to you HHB, your cake is so sweet and eye catching,I love it. And so sweet of your children to give u handmade presents. BTW, I have some awards for you, please feel free to pick them up @ http://bakericious/ thanks. Jess.

  33. Happy belated birthday to you HHB! Continue to bake your own birthday cake each year. All your fans here look forward to see your great job.


  34. When I baked my first birthday cake, I thought it was weird baking for myself. And the cleaning up after whipping up the eggs/flour and cream! Always wonder why do I have to go through the trouble to bake a cake instead of sitting back and relax (DH's job to buy the cake). But the satisfaction derived from baking your own cake is beyond words, beyond what money can buy.

    You've got both the talent and creativity juice and you should continue baking your own birthday cakes!

    Last but not least, happy belated birthday to you!

  35. Grace, Anncoo, 不好意思, 我其实没有很用心得做 (^^'),  这个真的有点乱乱做,所以连食谱也不敢贴上! pai seh, pai seh!

    Hi Sue, before I started baking, I had the same feeling like you too! Now, at least there is something to look forward to...something to learn each day :)

    Mandy, thanks for your kind offer! I guess I am the luckiest person to have a talented pâtissier to bake a cake for me :):)

    Pei Lin, hahaha, you got tricked! I am one year older than 41! But it is ok for you to think I am still 41 ;)
    I saw your cheesecake, and thanks for dedicating it to me, what an honour! Of course, I can't compare to your mum, she has a lovely daughter who can bake and cook...whereas I only have two little rascals at home! When I am 54, I probably have two grown-up rascals, nothing to be proud of ;)

    Bakericious, congrats on receiving the award, and you are so kind to pass it to me :):)

  36. Happy Birthday you HHB.... This is a very beautiful and heartwarming birthday cake and I am sure it's the one and only 1 design in this world. So proud of you, your baking spirit always gives me the encouragements.....

  37. Happy birthday HHB! The cake is gorgeous and i bet taste awesome! Your bakes always never fail to delight us readers. :)

  38. Nothing beats handmade gifts:)
    Nobody will get a birthday cake too, and that includes my husband.

    About setting with gelatin, just remember every 2 cups of liquid or cream or cream cheese, 1Tbsp of gelatin and you'll be fine.

  39. Hi HHB,Blessed Birthday :)
    i think the essence of celebrating bday is being surrounded with meaningful and loving relationships with loved ones n genuine friends. Next year, you call me n i will celebrate your bday with the best cake in Sgp :)

  40. a little late, but still: Happy birthday!
    Don't you just love those presents that the kids make themselves!! They're the best.
    Your cake is just wonderful and festive!!
    I never thought about it being weird baking your own birthdaycake... I always make my own, who else will do it otherwise?

  41. Happy Birthday happyhomebaker!!
    the cake you made really pretty. your kids are so sweet and are very creative with presents. just want to let you know that we all really appreciate your blog:D

  42. Dear HHB,

    I am so late again. Happy Belated Birthday.
    I really hope I can bake my own birthday cake one day (despite you advised against it), cos I want to have the satisfaction of making one for my own. Has been 2 plus yrs, and I am still delaying. Do you know how envious I am to see that you bake such beautiful cakes for the various different occasions?

    And finally, Happy Mothers' Day.

  43. HHB,
    YOu hit the jackpot! My hb doesn't really buiy me bday cake evry year!!! Anyhow, you are so right, don't 'Spoil market'!! haha...

    I'd like to wish you Happy Mother's day!!

  44. Happy belated Birthday! :)

    And of course, HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY to all mummies out there! :)

  45. Belated Happy Birthday! Happy Mother's Day as well!

  46. Happy belated birthday to you, HHB! May you have many happy returns and many more good wonderful years to come!
    Your strawberry mascarpone mousse cake looks really good! I love mousse cakes too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts too! :)

  47. Happy Belated Birthday!

    Love the strawberries "crowning" the cake :)

  48. Happy Belated Birthday HHB!
    Hope you had a wonderful day with your kids!

  49. Happy Belated Birthday HHB!

    Come to think of it, I don't think I've baked a birthday cake for myself ever, since I started on a baking craze. =p

    While I'm running out of steam in terms of blogging AND baking, reading your blog and posts kinda helps me going. =)

    Definitely not easy baking and baking and taking care of a household! You're really lucky to have such adorable boys! =DD

  50. Hi, A Very Happy Belated Birthday to you. Very nice cake.

  51. Happy Belated Birthday! I hope next year your hubby will bake a cake for you...

  52. What a beautiful cake. I was also inspired recently to make a cake with strawberries... check it out:

  53. I am a silent reader of u r blog. happy belated b'day !I would like to say a thank you for all u r amazing cake recipes , I havent seen such a down to earth person like u , reading thru u r each post is a pleasure ...

  54. Happy Belated Birthday, HHB! May you be blessed with good health, joy and laughters. I am another ardent follower who truly enjoy your blog. Nice birthday cake and your kids are great too, for making you oh-so-sweet birthday presents!

    Best wishes,

  55. happy belated birthday my dear :)
    i always tell myself
    "i bake for everyone every other occasion..
    for my birthday, i wouldnt wanna bake one for myself!"
    now that i read your blogpost..
    i might just bake me a bday cake this year ;)
    sounds like something different!
    and aww. sweet what your children did for you!

  56. Happy Belated Birthday HHB,
    you know, these recent years I've also been baking my own birthday cakes. I actually wouldn't mind at all because like you said, I get to chose what flavour and put whatever I like inside. :) Keep up the good work

  57. wendyyw, thanks for the tip! I used 1 tbs of gelatin powder, but my fillings were more than 2 cups :(

    Hi May, thanks for the offer! I am sure you will bake the best cake on earth for me :):)

    Thanks Lien!

    YouFei, I hope you will rekindle your passion for baking and blogging take a break as and when needed, cheers!

    The Experiment Cake, I don't think he will ever bake a cake for me, I am lucky enough if he buys me one ;)

    Hi Anonymous, thanks for breaking your silence :) I hope to hear from you more often!

    Hi Swee San, thanks! I am sure no one will buy you a birthday cake since none can beat the ones you make! You are such a talented baker :D

  58. Happy belated birthday to u!

    The cake looks perfect, pink and girly :)

    ur boys are very sweet :)

  59. Happy birthday to you... I've just come back from vacation so I missed the day. I had my birthday in Italy this year, so good to enjoy a cake baked for me (custard and strawberries) by my lovely mum. This cake looks delicious, no surprise your family loved it!
    cheers Martina

  60. Phenomenal recipes, i simply love all of them - and ur photographs are so creatively taken - Lara - India