Birthday (Pan)Cakes

It’s funny how perspectives on having siblings can change so dramatically over the course of one’s life. Having been an only child for a whole three and a half years, I have blurry memories of the years B.C. – in my case, that stands for “Before Chelsea,” my younger sister.

Although I was so young, I can remember asking my mom to have another baby, so I could have someone else in the house to play with. I felt overjoyed when I found out that she was going to have one, and then ecstatic when I learned it would be a girl. I can remember my mom pushing me on the swings while suggesting names for my new sister. I can’t imagine the ones I came up with, but she ended up not choosing any of mine. Once Chelsea was born, I doted on her and cuddled with her until she was old enough to walk and talk and develop a mind of her own.

That’s when things changed. While we had our good moments, I also started seeing her as a nuisance, as someone I had to compete with for attention. Eventually, we got older and started appreciating each other more, and I can’t imagine not having her around.

In my family, we’ve always had pretty traditional birthday cakes. As little kids, we always wanted Carvel ice cream cakes, and then when we were a little older we requested beautifully decorated cakes made by a local baker. Nowadays, I generally make layer cakes from scratch, and this year my sister’s 23rd birthday cake was no exception. However, instead of doing any actual baking, I used PANCAKES for the layers. Yes.

Several months earlier, my sister and I had been drooling over THIS recipe, and I “jokingly” said I would make her next birthday cake out of pancakes. She was so surprised when I actually revealed that I had made one!

Photo taken by Chelsea Ross www.chelseaross.org/

Photo taken by Chelsea Ross http://www.chelseaross.org/

I referenced the idea behind the original recipe, but I took many liberties with my version. I had no buttermilk on hand, so I used some vanilla almond milk that worked really well. In terms of the frosting, I made a standard vanilla buttercream and mixed in a healthy amount of cinnamon to give it more depth and tie into the whole breakfast-for-dessert theme. My sister loved her personal birthday cake – although she did complain that she couldn’t stop eating it.