Perfect Birthday, Perfect Birthday Cake {ModBak}

I remember when M. was a baby. Everything was so new and exciting. I loved being a father so much that I didn’t even mind the crying, midnight feedings, and smelly diapers. I loved the baby stage. Everything was perfect. And it just kept getting better.

Soon, she was smiling and babbling, learning to sit up, then crawl, and eventually walk. She was speaking in complete sentences by 18 months. And I fell head over heals in love with the toddler stage.

And before I knew it, she was a preschooler, exercising her budding motor skills and imagination. I watched her play and learn and explore her world. And I knew this was my favorite age.

Soon M. was starting school, and I watched with great delight as she made new friends and soaked up everything she was taught. And while I was enjoying this new favorite stage, along came A., and I realized how much I loved the baby stage all over again.

I can honestly say that my favorite stage has always been the one my girls are in at any given time. So right now, my absolute favorite ages are 13 and six. A. is at such a fun age — learning to read, exploring her world with curiosity and imagination. She can create anything with paper, scissors, and tape. I came home the other day to find an elephant swimming in a pond at the base of a mountain in the living room. Six is an awesome age!

And I love seeing the young lady M. is becoming and watching her grow in beauty and confidence. She is a great student and a good friend. And to my great delight, she is starting to really enjoy cooking and baking. So when she said she wanted to make my birthday cake this year, I suggested a recipe from The Modern Baker then got out of the way. It was called “Perfect Birthday Cake”, and the name turned out to be quite fitting.

So here are my girls, baking my cake and making me proud.

M. knows the importance of mise en place

Reading the recipe

Checking the recipe one more time

OK, so I am an unabashedly proud daddy, but I’m also a serious baker. And as such, I can honestly say this was the best birthday cake I’ve ever had.

So, I guess my three favorite ages are six, 13, and 42. Until next year, that is.


  1. September 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    […] since M was born. I love peach pie, I just never bake them. But I’m always one to encourage my girls’ baking endeavors, so we bought the peaches, along with some Honeycrisp apples, cider, caramel apples, and […]

  2. gaaarp said,

    August 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    My virtual friend Lisa made this cake to give to a stranger in need. Read about it, and see her amazingly beautiful cake, here:

  3. Judy Heckaman said,

    August 3, 2010 at 9:03 am

    How beautifully you expressed the joy of watching children grow. While I am a recreational baker only, some of my favorite moments with my boys are baking together. I love how it brings out their creativity and wanting to try new things. Best of all, it forges another shared link between us.

  4. Heather said,

    August 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Well, tell your daughter that her cake looks fantastic. What a great skill for her to acquire at such a young age. No wonder you’re proud. Happy Birthday!

    • gaaarp said,

      August 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks, Heather. I’ll tell her. She has expressed an interest in helping me with some of the Modern Baker recipes in later sections.

  5. ap269 said,

    August 1, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Oops, I didn’t mean to say this twice. But it doesn’t hurt, does it? So, happy birthday. This was a wonderfully written post, and reminded me of being a little more grateful (my kids are REALLY cranky today).

    • gaaarp said,

      August 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks, thanks, and thanks! I, too, often need reminded of how great this whole fatherhood thing is, which is why I wrote this post. My daughters and wife read it yesterday and were really touched by it.

  6. ap269 said,

    August 1, 2010 at 11:24 am


  7. ap269 said,

    August 1, 2010 at 11:23 am


  8. Kayte said,

    July 31, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Great cake (0kay, it has chocolate in it, so it’s not perfect…LOL). Better the story behind the cake…what a beautiful young woman M is…so pretty, and A is cute, too, from the zoo photos. I remember waking up when the boys were 9 and thinking, “My life with them in the house is half over” and going into a bit of a panic, because, I too, loved every stage when they were in it. Today Matt turned 18 and we are sitting in wonder at the young man before us, wondering where the time went in those few years. Enjoy enjoy enjoy, it passes all too quickly. Happy Birthday again…I am sure they are enjoying this age with you, too! 😉

    • gaaarp said,

      July 31, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks. And happy birthday to Matt. I hope you made him a great cake!

  9. astheroshe said,

    July 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    that is awesome..I beg my kids to learn to bake ..still no interest but they are much younger…hopefully someday. Congrats!

  10. Margaret said,

    July 31, 2010 at 10:42 am

    And in a few years when they are grown, married, and mothers, you get to do it all over again.

    Happy Birthday!! Many, many more.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 31, 2010 at 10:47 am

      Thanks, Margaret. It’s a little early for me to think about being a grandparent, but I know the time will come soon enough. For now, I can enjoy my younger nieces and nephews.

  11. Abby said,

    July 31, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Great post, great girls, and great birthday cake! Reading your posts makes me even more excited about baking with my little ones! =) Happy birthday!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 31, 2010 at 10:46 am

      I’ve had my girls in the kitchen from a very young age. At first, they are more mess than help, of course, but I still think it’s great to introduce them to cooking as early as you can. And it’s a lot of fun, for them and you!

  12. Karen Miller said,

    July 31, 2010 at 8:40 am

    How wonderful! I know you are a very proud daddy and rightly so.

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