Children’s Birthday Cakes…. what comes to your mind when you hear these words? Everyone delves deep into memory and finds something to smile over. All the cakes and birthday parties we ate and celebrated became part of the past. But we still enjoy and cherish the memories of blowing off candles, singing “Happy birthday to you”, birthday games and most obviously the birthday cakes. Sometimes the nostalgia is quite yummy, isn’t it? Everywhere in the world we find the tradition of birthdays and cakes but we will keep our focus on Children’s birthday cakes and birthday. When and how we became addicted to this tradition? Let’s discover.
History of children’s birthday cakes and birthdays is interwoven. Birthday had been a prominent feature of almost every civilization. Herodotus tells us the Persians are the first who celebrated the birthdays. Romans also celebrated birthdays but this was popular among elite. Christians, Muslims and Buddhists observe the birth dates of the founding fathers of their religion. Christmas is the most widely practiced and observed birthday in Human history. In India, the practice of tying a thread on the fingers of children and increasing the knots every passing year was observed by the Brahmin caste. That’s why the birthday in Urdu/Hindi is called, “Saal Girah” or the “Yearly Knot.” And when candles came on the cake? A German writer Goethe tells us it was 18th century.
Tons of verities of cakes are made today; but children birthday cakes are especially prepared on order. I remember, once I saw my name with chocolate cream on cake, I asked my mom; Mother how they knew my name? Mother told me, we have especially got this cake prepared. Children used to be simple at that time. Types of cakes are endless. Yeast cakes are the oldest. The difference between the bread and yeast cakes was very slim. Cheesecakes follow suit, Greece is its birthplace. Then there are fruit cakes, layer cakes, whoopee pies, sand cakes, almonds and the list goes on and on. Be it fruit cake cheese or any other cake the children birthday cakes are not eaten for its flavor but for the unforgettable experience it provides.
Children’s birthday cakes are decorated with icing, fruits, toppings, butter, jams and sugar beads etc. Decorating cakes has become an art in itself. Some cakes could definitely be showcased as a masterpiece of their bakers. Frosting is usually made from icing sugar. Commercial bakeries employ special tool for complex decoration. Syringes, piping bags and other tools are widely used. For simple home made children’s birthday cakes lard, butter, jam and icing are used. Next comes in decoration, the candles. Manufacturers make special candles for birthdays. Some are shapes of numbers thus denoting the age. But usually the number of candles tells the age. The number remains constant for women most of the time. No matter how much you invest in the cake, whether it is simple or elaborately decorated the joy it gives is eternal.