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You have five minutes to decorate this cake. Go!

Back in June, my dad turned the big 5-5. On his actual birthday, though, he was out of town. So the night of his return, my mom baked his favorite cake as a surprise.

But it wasn’t just a surprise to my dad; it was a surprise to me as well! I had been out all day, and I arrived home at around 6 PM. (Daddy-Dearest was due to arrive at 7.) My mom greeted me at the door with “Hi Katie I baked your dad a cake will you decorate it for him oh by the way he’s coming home in less than an hour.” Surprise!

Ack! Not yet fully registering what she wanted me to do, I quickly pulled out my cake-decorating supplies and spread them all over the kitchen counter (usually the cleaning process alone takes half an hour). What to make… what to make? It wasn’t exactly an easy cake to decorate, with its bumpy icing and big, fat hole in the middle. With the clock ticking like mad, I had no choice but to put my perfectionist tendencies aside.

With pen and paper, I jotted down a list of things about my dad. Hmmm… he loves soccer. However, I’d *just* made him a soccer cake for Father’s Day. He’s a huge Beatles’ fan. But did I want to make four men, badly in need of haircuts, out of fondant? Nope, not really. He likes the Yankees…. Ooh wait. Daddy really likes turtles. They’re his favorite animals (except for Molly and Henry, of course). So turtles it is!

Close-up, with a spiffy party hat. Hello, Mr. Turtle!

Much more aesthetically-pleasing than this guy:

Who would YOU rather have on your birthday cake?

Below, cake with the candles (the cake wasn’t vegan, but it was my dad’s favorite– maple chiffon)

And I’m happy to say that the kitchen was spotlessly clean by the time my dad got home (5 minutes early!). Well, maybe it wasn’t spotlessly clean… but we successfully diverted Daddy away from the mess by showing him the yummy cake.

One happy Dad.

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Published on September 29, 2008

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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44 Comments

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  1. Animal-Friendly says

    You really did such a great job- I can’t believe that only took an hour! And I know what you mean about being a perfectionist, it really is difficult to turn that part of your brain off!

    Happy Birthday to your dad and I think you made a great decision with the turtles- John Lennon on a cake may be a little odd….. (but now I’m thinking it’d be a fun idea for my brother’s birthday…hm….)

  2. mad about udon says

    Aww! He looks so happy, and who wouldn’t be. I think a homemade cake is the best, best birthday present you can give anyone.

  3. shelby says

    You’ve got skills! An hour? I can’t believe it, it looks amazing!

    And I know what you mean about perfectionists, my mom is that way and she passed that down to me!

  4. Janet says

    The turtles are totally cute. Do I see glitter in their party hats? That’s hilarious!

    Mmm I bet a vegan maple chiffon cake would be delicious. Must add that to my “to do” list…

  5. Green Eyes, Green Heart says

    Hmm….turtles or the Beatles… I think I would personally go with the Fab Four [not five! 😉 ], but your cake is adorable nonetheless!

    And of course we Virgo vegans are perfectionists–it’s just in our DNA!! 🙂

    ~Erin

  6. Alice (in Veganland) says

    I think next time you have to try it with Lennon ;-). But I also love turtles (don’t know, they look so noble), so this cake looks pretty great for me! one happy daddy!

  7. Ricki says

    That is one lucky Dad! The cake looks great, as always. Love the lettering and the blue glittery trim on the turtle hats! Adorable. 🙂

  8. Nikki Douglas says

    Adorable cake, adorable Daddy and I love John Lennon – you can put him on a cake for me any day – ok – with one turtle too!

  9. Vegetation says

    TURTLES! (well you already know I love turtles, given that I have one :P). Your cake is adorable! And Happy Birthday to Chocolate Covered Dad!

  10. talieworld says

    I love the little turtle hat! I know if I was short on time I wound have just made a complete mess!

    And I just finished watching the end of the last season of DH today, so I’m all caught up for tonight! 🙂

  11. Gina says

    hahaha i would much rather have cute turtles on my cake than a beatle, any day 😀
    AMAZING work– i can’t believe you whipped that up so quickly! your talent always amazes me!
    have a great sunday!

  12. Jess - The Domestic Vegan says

    What an adorable cake, Katie! However, I wouldn’t mind having John Lennon on mine… 🙂 Actually, I used to date a guy who looked eerily similar to him, so perhaps the turtles *would* be the better choice? 🙂

  13. Lily Girl says

    I agree – those perfectionist tendencies are excruciatingly hard to ignore!
    And great cake, I too love turtles and your’s are just great. Your dad is one lucky guy!

  14. linds says

    CCV you have no idea how happy I was to see your comment on my blog, it has been far too long since I last “talked” to you too! I love the turtle cake, your speed decorating is another skill to add to the cake decorating set! 🙂

  15. Brooke says

    Katie, you are so talented! I love the turtles!

    And pumpkin mousse!? I’m intrigued! Did you use silken tofu? I would love to try your recipe, it sounds excellent.

    Riley said he would love to have a play date with Molly and Henry! (Riley was almost namd Henry!) They would have so much fun together! I’ll make sure to bring a batch of homemade vegan dog biscuits 🙂

  16. Mihl says

    I would love a John Lennon cake, but if I had to choose between your beetle/beatle cake and John Lennon I would also choose the beetles. Cute decoration!

  17. sportsnutritionliving says

    What an amazing cake and yes your dad looks very happy… I love making treats for people and seeing how much they enjoy it… makes it all worth while!

  18. shellyfish says

    I love it! Your dad is so cute with his sly smile & that knife…he looks like he's thinking 'hurry up & take that picture so I can eat my cake!'

  19. Binx says

    The ‘favorite animal’ never fails! If got got a giraffe cake for my birthday, it would probably, by default no matter what it tasted like (and as long as it was vegan) be the best cake I would ever have in my life!

    I love giraffes. And your fondant turtles!

  20. Astra Libris says

    Ohhh, your cake is so lovely!! I am amazed you were able to create the turtles so fast! Wow! They’re absolutely perfect!!

  21. jessy says

    you did such an awesome job, CCV! one would think you had plenty of time to make those super cute turtles! they’re perfect and ADORABLE! they made me smile, too – thanks! 😀

  22. evestirs says

    very cute icing job!

    nah, thats not strange, i crave chili when its hot too 🙂

    i’m guessing you’re a dallas stars fan?

  23. eatingbender says

    You are so talented! And definitely good under pressure! You know, that kind of skill would get you far with your bakery/decorating business ;o)

    I loved reading about your dad’s birthday because it seems like you two are really close, which reminds me of my good ol’ Pa! Happy belated to yours!!

  24. Ruby Red Vegan says

    I think it is so funny that turtles are your dad’s favorite animal! No one has ever told me turtles were their favorite before. 🙂 They sure look adorable on the cake, though!

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