My mistake was in asking Linus not "What flavor cake do you want for your birthday?" and instead asking, "What kind of cake do you want ?" It's a subtle difference but one that allows enough wiggle room for the request to go from the simple "Chocolate," to the so much more complicated, "Abby Cadabby".
During a recent visit to our neighborhood mall, Linus had spied a Cookie Monster giant cookie cake at one of cookie stores encircling the food court. As he began pleading for the freakishly blue glob of Crisco, I responded simply, "Mommy can make you one for your birthday." Never one to miss an opportunity for dessert, he jumped all over the idea moving in a mere minute's time from a Cookie Monster cake to an Elmo cake to the significantly more complicated oblong, alien-shaped head of Abby Cadabby. Once the name was out of his mouth, there was no going back. He had settled firmly upon his favorite Sesame Street character, and he was not to be swayed.
So began my humiliation. You see, as any internet-addicted, tech nerd, I early on turned to my friend Google to guide me in creating an Abby Cadabby cake. Of course, the image search turned up mainly screen-printed or dolls stuck atop cake creations. This should have been a clue. Abby Cadabby is NOT easy.
I scoffed at the cake disasters other people proudly displayed on their Flickr pages. Those cakes looked TERRIBLE. I could so do better. I sketched. I planned. I gathered supplies. All the time feeling absolutely confident in my abilities.
I am here today to state for the record that I was wrong... so very wrong. I couldn't do better. Despite my planning, sketching, mixed-media decorating solutions, the cake is a wreck. It only vaguely resembles Abby in a fluffy pink and purple way. It's so bad, I am absolutely NOT sharing a full photo of it. This is the closest you will come.
My only consolation is that it's gonna be the most delicious Abby Cadabby cake ever thanks to my from-scratch Devil's Food Cake and sinfully rich, yet airy buttercream frosting. It will be a pleasure to destroy the evidence of my baking failure.
Next year, remind me to ask not "What kind?" but "What flavor?" because I make quite a tasty zesty lemon glazed cake.