Apparently the tradition of blowing out the candles on your birthday cake and unwrapping presents is disappearing. A new poll by Betty Crocker has found that a whopping 27% of Brits admit to no longer celebrating their birthday. This seems crazy to me, probably because I have friends who celebrate their birthdays for a whole month, not just the one day. And let’s not forget about our half birthdays people, they are almost as important as the real thing!

That being said, the same poll found that 37% of people would be sad if they didn’t receive a birthday cake of some sort on their birthday. And if I had been polled, I would absolutely have fallen into that 37%. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always loved a birthday – chocolate, if you please. A birthday would just not be a birthday without a cake.

I Cake You

So I set myself a challenge this past summer. At my former job, it turned out that in a team of 6, 4 had birthdays throughout the summer. I wanted to make a birthday cake for each of them. As I’m not much of a baker (my infamous collapsing flourless chocolate cake being the perfect example of this), this turned out to be quite a challenge.

The first three cakes I made myself – with varying degrees of success. But by the time the fourth birthday came around, I seemed to have no time to bake. Step up Betty Crocker. In a matter of minutes, I had whipped up the batter without the customary spillages of flour and sugar all over my kitchen (I’m not a tidy baker). Once baked, Betty Crocker’s chocolate icing was lavished on the cake and I was quite proud of my attempts.

I presented this cake to my colleagues the next day and they were impressed. I kept quiet about the true origins of the cake as they praised my baking skills; ooohing and aaahing at how moist and scrumptious the cake was; and seriously contemplating putting me forward for the next Bake Off. One colleague then asked what I had put in the cake to make it so delicious, and I cracked. Unable to keep a straight face, I revealed that my cake was in fact a Betty Crocker cake. Despite the peels of laughter that followed, there’s no denying the cake was a success. So much easier than slaving to create a delicious cake myself when I’m not a baker.

I’m glad I took on the challenge to provide birthday cakes for all my colleagues throughout the summer. It is nice to have a birthday cake; to have something a little bit special; and to feel like people are making a fuss over you as you blow out the candles. It shows that you’ve taken the time and effort to make something meaningful for a birthday. And if Betty Crocker can help bring back birthday cakes by making homemade baking a cinch, then ‘I cake’ that idea.

Bite-Sized Review of Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Cake and Icing:

If you can get past the concept that you aren’t making this cake entirely from scratch, then you’re on to a winner. Betty Crocker’s cakes make baking a walk in the park. There’s the cake mix itself; simply add in oil, water and eggs, and then bake in the oven. I was initially quite sceptical over what kind of cake I had produced because it was just so easy and surely that meant a dry, flavourless cake. But when there was barely a crumb left, it was clear that wasn’t the case. A moist cake that captures everything a chocolate cake should be. The Betty Crocker tub of icing, more than enough to ice a 20 inch cake, is rich and buttery. If you think you can’t bake, think again. My only request for Betty Crocker is this: can you make a gluten free cake mix next??

*This review of Betty Crocker contains only my own opinions and views.