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:
- Make the structures easier to hit by not setting them all in a straight line.
- 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.