Let them eat cake, but not the baby...
March 13, 2010 12:27 PM   Subscribe

My friends are going to learn the gender of their baby via cake. Help me come up with ideas for decorating this high-stakes confection!

My friends are having their first child and thought it would be fun to learn the gender of their new baby along with all their friends and family. I will have an envelope from the doctor with the baby's sex inside, and will be ordering a cake from a bakery.

The inside of the cake will be pink or blue, as appropriate. The frosting will be some other neutral color, like yellow. It will be a small, probably round cake, for about 15 people.

For the outside of the cake, I'd like to have a fun decoration or theme. I don't want to spend a ton of money on an elaborately-decorated cake. I was thinking more of something I could add to a simply frosted cake, or something to go on top.

The couple are both academics, so I was thinking of a little owl, or something like that, maybe? Any creative ideas very welcome!
posted by supramarginal to Grab Bag (26 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For a minute there, I thought you were proposing that the decorations on the cake would determine the sex of the baby.

Anyhow, I'm thinking a decoration like this:

posted by adamrice at 12:33 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have to say, that is one of the coolest things I've ever heard of!

I think an owl is just perfect for academics. Really just an exceptional idea!
posted by littleflowers at 12:36 PM on March 13, 2010

Why not also make it a King Cake, and stick a baby inside? It's already a tradition that exists, so you might as well co-opt it.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:39 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

(um, a plastic toy baby.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:40 PM on March 13, 2010 [18 favorites]

Could you draw the owl holding a card? And of course with the requisite academic hat? And have it look like the owl is reading the card, as if he's about to make the announcement? Like make his little pupils on the bottom edge of his eyes.
posted by amethysts at 1:02 PM on March 13, 2010

Definitely a riff on a King Cake - you could stud the entire cake with a bunch of (plastic) babies. You could do this in addition to coloured icing. Also - Etsy has tons of adorable cake toppers. Most are for weddings but I bet you could find some insanely cute ones for this purpose too. Like these!
posted by barnone at 1:05 PM on March 13, 2010

Maybe the Owl could say "Who will it be?"

I like the XX XY idea too.
posted by NoraCharles at 1:05 PM on March 13, 2010

You could even get a whole set of them, and use them for decorating other food treats, plants, or a diaper cake.
posted by barnone at 1:06 PM on March 13, 2010

Actually this would be adorable. You could get this whole little tree set (with one boy and one girl). The tree could say "2010" instead of the initials. Then the parents could re-use the cake toppers for the child's birthday cake every year!! Voila - a meaningful tradition.
posted by barnone at 1:11 PM on March 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

A frosting/chocolate/cake ball egg in the middle (with an X on it?) and little frosting sperm (with capes/tags reading 'X' and 'Y'?) closing in from all sides could be fun. The plastic baby could go inside the egg.
posted by contraption at 1:12 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I say you mark two plastic babies, one with an X and one with either an X or Y, depending on the gender, and the guests have to find both in order to solve the gender puzzle.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:25 PM on March 13, 2010 [5 favorites]

I love the tree set with the two owls. I think that that would be awesome. :)
posted by purlgurly at 1:39 PM on March 13, 2010

Thanks for so many cool ideas.

I think that the idea of having color of the cake itself reveal the secret is a premise I have to stick with. Otherwise, I love the x and x/y babies inside idea!
posted by supramarginal at 1:40 PM on March 13, 2010

The color of the cake doesn't preclude a baby or two in there. Just adds to the fun :-)
posted by barnone at 1:42 PM on March 13, 2010

There are some sugar cupcake ornaments that would be cute, from Cupcake Swirl. Also plenty more at Bakers Nook - about 6 pages worth of baby-themed little charms for cakes. Also check out Confectionery House and Bake It Pretty .
posted by Kangaroo at 1:47 PM on March 13, 2010

I think it might be an idea, say in addition to one of the others here, to have unisex baby names like 'Ryan,' 'Adrian' and 'Dustin' all along the border. Maybe with question marks after each one. Keep 'em guessing as the rest of the cake is revealed.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 1:57 PM on March 13, 2010

Do this, exactly, please. Pink or Blue blanket, depending - of course. And I'd pay good money to see a video of their response.
posted by peagood at 3:50 PM on March 13, 2010

But on the "taste"- ful side, how about a plain and delicious cake with a gorgeous appropriately-coloured cake topper like this stork?
posted by peagood at 4:03 PM on March 13, 2010

Oh, sorry - on closer read, neutral blanket for the former suggestion, and white for the latter. Sheesh. Read, pea!
posted by peagood at 4:05 PM on March 13, 2010

I would do a neutral frosting and just decorate it with question marks. Maybe little gender symbols scattered randomly across the surface.
posted by bink at 5:16 PM on March 13, 2010

You could put edible flowers on it; I've seen this done on wedding cakes, and flowers seem appropriate for baby things, too. It's also very simple and could be very pretty.
posted by amtho at 6:11 PM on March 13, 2010

This doesn't really answer your question, but in the way of suggestions, what really made this cake was the combination of a very plain outside with a very exciting inside.

I think you should keep the outside very, very plain. Like white fondant or frosting or somesuch.
posted by R a c h e l at 6:23 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I like the idea of plain outside, exciting inside: What about a lovely cake, and when you slice it open finally, the inside is either a soft pink or a delicate [read: Appetizing] blue?
posted by Ys at 10:05 PM on March 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ys' comment gives me this idea: having a huge slice of either pink or blue cake might not be quite as enticing as a three-layer cake, with the middle (maybe smaller) layer being the signal color.

Also, though, I think I disagree about making the outside very simple. This is a huge event! The cake should be awesome-looking, or at least a little important.

So... I had another idea. You can get cute marzipan decorations in a wide variety of shapes, and just stick them on the cake. The linked site, Marzipan World, is in the UK and would take 5-10 days to ship to the US; you might be able to find another supplier nearby and get ideas from them. They may have a favorite/special item that will just look nice and springlike (Easter is coming after all, and is thematically similar), and that may just be awesome enough.
posted by amtho at 7:22 AM on March 14, 2010

I really like the idea of having the cake be white or simple or with question marks, and the inside of the cake being blue or pink. That would be a real surprise, your friend can cut the first piece and imagine all the suspense as she first puts the knife in and her and everyone else is trying to see what color is the inside... !
posted by Locochona at 9:13 AM on March 14, 2010

Since pie is infinitely better than cake, can you convert to a pie based determination? Blueberry pie for a boy and strawberry for a girl? No? Okay.

Whatever you do, I'd put it on a pedestal made of those larger lego blocks. Because boy or girl, everyone digs legos.
posted by 26.2 at 1:32 PM on March 18, 2010

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