An Angry Bir(d)thday

May 2, 2011 · 8 comments

He Who, She Who, and Cake

Left to his own devices, Who Will Not Be Ignored would play Angry Birds obsessively until he dropped from exhaustion. That doesn’t prevent him from thinking about the game when he’s not playing it, or calling our attention to this YouTube video. The less than subtle hint was that he hoped we could produce a similar cake for his birthday party. His friends have hosted skating parties, scavenger hunts, and laser  tag parties, so he figured playing a game with his cake would elevate his status among his peers. Or, more succinctly: “Mom, it would be so cool to have an Angry Birds cake for my party!”

After watching the video, She Who Must Be Obeyed determined that it wouldn’t be too difficult to assemble something similar. I made two suggestions:

  1. Make the structures easier to hit by not setting them all in a straight line.
  2. Get a cheap slingshot, and don’t attach it to the cake. This will cut down on the velocity of any cake projectiles.

She Who solved the bird construction problem quickly: dip plain Dunkin’ Munchkins in colored candy. (Dunkin’ Donut employees get confused when you request nothing but plain Munchkins, those are usually meant to be filler. They are, however, the densest and easiest to coat.) The first test was a success:

The details were constructed from Airheads taffy in various colors and flavors, pre-made sugar eyes, and food safe markers. Here’s a pig under construction:

There are many different birds available in the game, but we settled for the basic set of red, blue, and yellow. I figured out how to cut off the sides of the Munchkins to make them vaguely triangular for the yellow birds. Beaks were formed out of taffy, as were the white fronts for the red birds.

Instead of using green icing to imitate grass, I found a box of plastic “sushi grass” (called baran in Japanese) that She Who folded and cemented in place with green cupcake icing. The base is a woodgrain laminated bookshelf.

Two square layer cakes, one chocolate and one lemon, formed the foundation for the wooden arches, which were made from chocolate-covered wafers.

Candles and birds were added, and the cake was ready to meet its horrible end. The white backdrop was a last-minute addition once we realized that we would be handing cake and slingshots to a bunch of twelve-year-olds.

He Who’s guests were suitably impressed.

Much to my surprise, it took four complete sets of turns for the boys to destroy the cake. I guess slingshots are no longer included in the standard issue “Li’l Bastard” mischief kits.

They set on the birds like ravenous weasels before also requesting slices of cake. We didn’t have much left by the party’s end, which serves as a rousing endorsement of She Who’s baking skills. She won’t be entering any challenges for the Food Network (“all cake, all the time!”), but we’re staring to look into quantum teleportation for next year’s Portal 2 cake.

Afterword by She Who Must Be Obeyed:

It all started with the simple question I ask our son every year: What kind of cake should I make for your birthday? From that point on, the project took on a life of its own. The details above that David so kindly wrote up for me pale with the conclusion of this project: watching a group of twelve-year-olds use slingshots to launch the Angry Birds to take out the evil green pigs! (You know it’s a fantasy – how can a pig be evil?)

It was great fun working out the elements of the cake. Remember, if the bird is not balanced it will not fly properly. I will spare readers by not reproducing the sketch that He Who Will Not Be Ignored made for me, but will only mention that I nixed any water option. David deserves credit for the idea of using sushi grass, cutting up the Dunkin’ Munchkins® for the triangular yellow birds, and, most importantly, stopping me from using the good chocolate. He Who Will Not Be Ignored told me that it will take him some time to decide what cake he wants next year. I can’t wait.

8 comments

Peter May 3, 2011 at 7:24 am

I’m torn between a desire to show my AB-addicted son these pictures and an equally strong desire not to have to make that cake come September. Amazing work.

David May 3, 2011 at 11:17 am

You know that cake is in your future. You have until September to work out the details, which I expect will be much more refined than our effort.

I’ll pass on your compliment to She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Diane, She Who Must Be Obeyed May 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Peter- Do it! This cake was fairly last minute and I was making things up on the fly. I’ve thought of several new ways to coat the Munchkins. If you do decide to do it don’t make the birds/pigs out of fondant. I’m not an expert on this but past experience makes me question how it would stand up to the stress of using it in a slingshot. The kids were able to play with the birds and pigs multiple times and I think that added to the fun.
I really needed more time because I wanted to make some sugar glass for the sides of the houses! – Diane

funder May 3, 2011 at 8:43 am

That is totally awesome!

Colin Summers May 3, 2011 at 11:29 am

That is one awesome cake. Just awesome.

Has He Who drawn any of his own AB levels? I might know someone with some HTML5 code to play it in a browser, which suggests creating a level for it wouldn’t be THAT hard.

David May 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I don’t know if he’s drawn a level, but he had a design for the cake that might be playable as a level. I’ll check.

Andrea May 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I knew when I made the cake mix cake for Noah’s 8th birthday it would come back to haunt me. Evidentially that’s why he is majoring in American history instead of a lucrative field like computer science–or molecular gastronomy.
Way to go parents of He Who Will Not Be Ignored!

David May 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Someday Noah will be talking about that 8th birthday cake to a court-appointed psychologist.

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