My Ugly Unicorn Cake and the Reason I’m Sharing It


My baby just turned five.

I know, right?

How does the baby turn five?! Well, it happens after five years. Who knew?

So, I asked baby what kind of cake she wanted and she wanted a castle cake. She likes Frozen (because my kids like to be original) and I made her a castle cake last year. I looked on Pinterest and did one pretty simply. I made two rounds and then slathered frosting on some ice cream cones for towers. We sprinkled colored balls (those have a better name…) on them for an extra nice touch.

She was pretty thrilled.

So baby wanted another cake like that this year.

Who says no to the baby?

I had good intentions but the rounds were crooked (and I neglected to cut them flat) and I neglected to read my frosting recipe (I’ve made it a million times- who needs a recipe!) so it turned out runny, and I didn’t have the right kind of ice cream cones.

I let the kids help and my baby took over sprinkling and dumped the whole jar on one half of the cake.

It didn’t turn out quite how she envisioned it…

Midway through decorating one of the girls shouted, “It’s a unicorn!”

Baby agreed- “Unicorn cake!!!”

And so it was. A unicorn.

It is really lucky for me that my five-year-old hasn’t discovered Pinterest. If she had she would have been quite disappointed in my artistic endeavors. Yay for kids who don’t know any better.

I put the cake in the fridge for later and got ready for our little family birthday party. I couldn’t help but post a picture on Facebook because seriously, what is more hilarious than a total birthday cake fail at someone else’s expense? Not much.

Every time I looked at the thing I laughed my head off.

The Ugly Unicorn Cake and Other Notorious Mom Fails

All this to say two things:

1) I think it is awesome to try to do nice things for our kids, even if we don’t exactly have mad skills in that area. Pinterest be darned, I wish I had never met you. Is there a place on your site for laundry piles and overflowing drawers? Minimalism fails? Bad or just plain neglectful decorating? Grimy tubs? Dinners that suck? I didn’t think so.

You aren’t my friend, Pinterest! You just make people feel kinda lame while they horde homemaking “ideas” virtually.

My kids just felt the love built by ugly cakes.

2) It’s good to share our failures AND laugh about them. Social media encourages us to share our good hair days, that picture where we don’t look like we have three chins, and a life with great lighting and pretty parties and well behaved children.

We all have those good days, but it feels lonely when you have a bad one and all you see from your friends are the triumphs.
The Ugly Unicorn Cake and Other Notorious Mom Fails

Laugh at yourself and let others laugh with you. We all need to know that we are not the only crappy cake decorators on the planet.

Believe me, it beats the heck out of crying.

I suck at cake decorating and honestly, I don’t have the emotional energy or the desire to get better at it. There are a million things I would rather do, like read a Jack Reacher novel or take a nap.

I also feel a lot less bad about my failures when I share them with friends.

Imperfect people unite!

Photo credit: Eldriva via Source / CC BY-ND

5 thoughts on “My Ugly Unicorn Cake and the Reason I’m Sharing It”

  1. ooooooo, I just love this- the cake, the kids, the whole darn experience! Thanks for sharing, and the next time I suck out at something really well, I’ll be sure to sure! Go Unicorns!!

  2. Just wait until “baby” is 11 years old. Cos if she’s anything like mine she’ll be baking her own cake.

  3. I loved your post! I have four children, ages 6-14. When I had just the two, I had the energy and creative juices to do things like make cute, fairly well-decorated cakes. Fast forward to babies 3 and 4, and everyone having high expectations for our birthday parties with fun and unique themes…and creatively made cakes!! And me, deflated and tired and empty of those creative juices that once flowed freely. So my son, and avid animal lover, decides he wants a lemur birthday to celebrate turning five (or was he six??). Lemurs? How will I ever pull this off I think? I proceed to look at photographs of lemurs in the wild and create one in my minds eye. Simple I think! A round head, pointy snout, striped tail- this can’t be too hard! Well, I wish I had photographs of that lemur cake saved on my phone that I could post for you. You would laugh and cry with me! It was the most awful creature cake ever! But you know what? My son absolutely adored it! Guests admired it for its creativity and effort! It goes down in our family history as an amusing celebration!

  4. You made me laugh out loud! I LOVE your cake decorating and I love even more your philosophy. Wish there was more of it.

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