As I was planning my daughter's 2-year birthday party recently, I struggled briefly with whether to have a big birthday cake or just cupcakes for everyone. Cupcakes would be easy to serve, and we would know exactly how many to buy, instead of the small dance of estimating cake servings.
But my hesitation disappeared quickly when it dawned on me that the decision was actually quite easy: tall, layered, frosted birthday cake all the way. Cupcakes, while delicious, will never be my substitute for birthday cake, and here's why!
I've always found birthdays to be really sacred, and it's probably due to the fact that my sister and I have birthdays that are only a week apart. My ever-practical parents usually just had us celebrate together, so we have lots of photos of us blowing out birthday candles together on one cake.
Not surprisingly, once we were old enough help plan our own birthday celebrations, I was super-excited to get to do my own thing. Birthdays are more fun to me than even Christmas, since it's the one day of year I don't have to share with anyone else.
And I've realized that cake ties into that. One big, towering cake covered with frosting, sprinkles, and candles just elicits a way more special feeling than an array of cupcakes. l love knowing that someone went to a lot of effort to bake layers of cake, carefully fill them, and decorate the outside just for me.
The look on my daughter's face when she saw her cake decorated with a monkey holding balloons was absolutely priceless and worth the extra effort of cutting and serving the cake. (And to be honest, toddlers are going to make a mess of cupcakes too!)
So I'm now firmly in the birthday cake camp. You can have cupcakes any other day of the year, but I want a mile-high cake on my birthday. What about you?