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A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of making the birthday cake for my nephew, Isaac’s, first birthday party! ?My brother (always ready to give me a challenge) requested a robot themed cake. ?The idea was to take a few 9 x 13 cakes and cut them up, piecing them back together in the shape of a robot! ?THEN, the head would detach and serve as Isaac’s smash cake! ?Super cute, right?

I started by making a template and drawing out some ideas of what I’d like the robot to look like. ?This is what I came up with…

After working that up, I started to get REALLY excited. ?I was pretty proud of the “0 to 1yr” meter there. ?Sometimes I like subtle details versus something that screams, “HEY, I’M ONE YEAR OLD!” ?Next, I laid that template over two 9×13 chocolate cakes and cut out the pieces.

TIP: ?We also had a cake pop order coming up at the same time, so we used the left over cake scraps for that cake pop order. ?Efficiency at it’s finest!

After cutting out all the pieces, now it was time to ice it up. ?This is where I failed. ?First, I tried to make a minimal amount of icing, not taking into consideration the increased surface area that occurs when you know have more sides to cover. ?I ended up making icing four times by the end of this project because I just kept trying to cut corners.

TIP: don’t cut corners… it only adds more time in the end!

The second part about icing the cake that I didn’t consider, is that instead of icing one cake (which is never my favorite part to begin with), I was now icing 6 cakes. ?Blech. ?Unfortunately, the only way to avoid this annoyance is to get more confident at icing cakes so that I breeze right through it. ?I guess having to do it 6 times was a good way to practice!

After cutting and icing, this is where Mr. Robot was at…

Lookin’ good! ?Following the template I had worked up, I decorated him up, added powdered donuts for the arms and legs, and ended with this…

Honestly, I was not a happy cake maker. ?In fact, I went to bed thinking, “This is not what I envisioned. ?What went wrong? ?What needs fixed?” ?What I came up with was that instead of looking like a robot, he looked more like a creepy zombie in a blue t-shirt. ?Do you see it? ?Lol. ?NOT what I was going for. ?Appropriate for Halloween around the corner, but not what I wanted for little Isaac’s important day. ?Plus, the head when taken solo was kinda lame and boring. ?Again, not good enough. ?A smash cake needs to be set apart!

Upon waking up in the morning, I decided to make that fourth batch of icing and completely re-do the head. ?I thought I could eliminate the zombie effect by changing up the colors while still keeping the general design the same. ?I also thought to use two more donuts and add them on for ears, making the head look most awesome when it came time for smashing.

I can definitely say, this change was a HUGE success! ?The zombie t-shirt man had been replaced with an awesome robot! ?Wouldn’t you agree?

Sometimes getting the perfect end product can have some bumps and stress along the way, but I am always MUCH happier to put in the extra effort to change it up rather than deliver something I just don’t feel excited about. ?In the end, I was so proud of this cake and my brother and his family were SO happy with it. ?Not gonna lie… it was pretty awesome. ?=)

Here’s a close up of the head that we detached and used as the smash cake…

And the happiest of our customers that day. ?Little Isaac waiting patiently as we sing him Happy Birthday before he got to dig in!