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Graduation cakes were a great part of the celebrations when my sister and I graduated. Indeed my mother reminded me that she always baked a cake for special occasions rather than buy one. She believed that making the cake herself was very rewarding. The cake provided a special moment when everyone could gather and congratulate the graduate. The speeches could be delivered after the cake was cut. Also everyone could enjoy a piece of cake. When I remembered how exciting it is to have a graduation cake I decided to make one. I was concerned about my ability to make a cake but decided to try my best. The alternative of using a cake mix was quite appealing. However I followed my mother's advice and decided to bake a fresh cake.

The first thing I did was some research on the internet. I wanted to find graduation cakes with decorations that looked good to give me some presentation ideas.

I also wanted to find a recipe that I thought would taste good. There are lots of websites with great cakes. Some of those websites have detailed instructions. After looking through many cake recipes I decided to make a basic chocolate cake which is the graduate's favorite. I decided the cake decorations would reflect both graduation and the graduate.

The cake recipe I used was a fairly standard one that you can find in any decent family baking book. I adjusted the recipe to take account of the number of guests. The chocolate cake was easy to bake. I baked a couple of cakes as a trial on a small scale to ensure the cake had a nice taste. Then I baked the cake ready for the party. I frosted the cake with white frosting which did require two layers to hide the chocolate color.

The hardest part was creating the decorations. I drew a number of designs on paper before I was ready to decorate the cake. I wanted the decorations to reflect the graduation and the graduate's personality. My son Jamie is pretty quiet and very hard working. However he comes alive when he is on the ski slopes. I find it almost unbelievable how passionate he is about skiing. His room, a spare room and the garage are filled with skiing equipment and pictures. I decided to decorate the cake with an image of graduation, like a scroll, and images of skiing. I also added a message of congratulations. The message, written in gold frosting, was "Congratulations Jamie" placed in the middle of the cake. In one corner I placed a small scroll, in another corner I placed a small pair of skis and lastly I placed a small pair of ski poles in a third corner. The scroll, skis and ski poles were made with colored fondant. They were tricky to make and took some practice to perfect. The final touch was candles. When the cake was presented we turned out the lights and cheered the graduate. He made a wish which I hope comes true. I made a short speech to welcome our guests and congratulate Jamie.

I feel strongly that graduation cakes can add a special touch to any graduation party.


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