Ty’s birthday and the biggest carrot cake in the world

Next week, I will show you how to frost a layer cake and how to make silky smooth cream cheese icing (with no lumps). But first, the occasion: T’s birthday. Every year, all he wants is a homemade cake, which I find so charming that I bake him hulking cakes that all our friends have to come help him eat.

And, every year, I like to wrap his little presents in a theme, which is dorky, but I think/hope he finds that charming, too. He’s having a tennis moment, so behold the tennis birthday:

The tennis balls were created with fondant and waxed twine and were silly and fun to make. It’s like playing dolls, you know, except with food.

And the cake? Four layers, straight from the Joy of Cooking — minus the pineapple. It required two batches of cream cheese icing to stack and cover this confection. (That is two POUNDS of cream cheese, and a whole pound of butter. Yikes!) But T said it was the best carrot cake he’s ever had. And my family, who helped devour the cake at the hospital where my Granna continues to battle/recover, agreed.

(I think the secret is in knowing that carrot cake is merely a vehicle for the delivery of cream cheese frosting.)