Or, Lessons in the Unsustainable Birthday Cake.

by Lisa.  and the husband.

As it happens, we canceled our trip to Kauai this year, and we’re taking a local, recession-friendly vacation instead. But we are all dreaming of Hawaii, including Ella, who decided to have a Luau for her 7th birthday party.

Of course, this got her dad thinking about cake. We said to each other, late one night, wouldn’t it be great to have a volcano cake? Sure, it would be great to have a volcano cake! You should make a volcano cake! And since Kory has now not met a cake challenge he can refuse he began to plan.  I planned the party, which included a simple menu:

Mauai onion chips

Hurricane popcorn

Shave ice

to accompany the sand art…and a simple dinner following the hula lesson by Auntie Iris:

Huli-huli chicken (we found the sauce in SF!)

Baby sausages

Hawaiian sweet bread

Fresh pineapple

Apple & red bananas



Way too much POG

Much to my surprise, we had very little food left over, which is unusual at parties, though the sausages were a bigger hit with most kids than the chicken.

My deal with Kory was that I would bake a prep the cake, and he would decorate.  I made one large red velvet sheet cake, to simulate the red dirt.  Instead of cream cheese frosting, though, which I feared the kids might be picky about, I filled the cake with chocolate ganache which was supposed to accompany the double chocolate cake which made the foundation for the volcano.  The chocolate volcano was filled with raspberry filling–lava, of course.  The cakes were easily two of the best I’ve ever made, and were topped only by my husband’s incredible art.  Kory used white fondant, which he colored and painted himself, cookie cutters for the stylized palms, and a kind of sprinkle that looked like sand. The flames are construction paper.

The kids ordered their pieces by “sea” or “volcano” paying little attention to the color or flavor (more or less intensely chocolately…).  It was gorgeous, & the only problem is that now he might actually be expected to make one for every birthday.

Below, the results: