Going Balls-Out On His Birthday

When the boys were little, I made them rainbow cakes just as I do these days. The difference back then was that I knew what the cake theme would be for weeks. In some cases, months. (’cause that’s how I roll) Their birthday parties were planned according to a theme down to the very last detail, and I enjoyed every minute of doing it. We had parties in the following themes: rocketships, cars, Blue’s Clues, Magic School Bus, trains, and many more than my aged mind cannot remember at this moment. They were all glorious.

As they got older, birthdays didn’t become any less important but, post-Bar Mitzvah, we just didn’t do the parties anymore. The cake became the main “thing”. And truthfully? My kids don’t really care (I don’t think, anyway) what the cake looks like. I, however, enjoy the opportunity to flex my creative muscles. I have a huge Rubbermaid container full of Wilton cake pans in various shapes and sizes; I can create just about anything.

For the older boy’s 17th birthday yesterday, I was having a hard time deciding what to do about the cake. I used a rectangle pan when I baked it on Saturday night, figuring the inspiration would hit me eventually as far as the decorating was concerned.

As late as noon yesterday, I still had no clue. Jim and I sat in the living room, trying to figure it out. I could put a car on it…nah, too cliche’. I could put an iPod on it…nah again. Jim said, “How about you just write ‘Happy Birthday *insert name here*’?”

Um, NO.

I sat for a moment, trying to think of things that the older boy likes. A lacrosse-themed cake? Too tough. A cake with a replica of his Boy Scout Eagle project on it? Stupid idea for a birthday.

And then it came to me. Balls.

All four of us are die-hard fans of the show “Wipeout”. We have been fans since Day 1, when it started airing last summer. It is a competition that starts with 24 people (all competing for a spot in the next round, until finally there is one winner) who run through crazy obstacle courses and, more likely than not, falling on their face/a$$/stomach/whatever along the way. The action is made more colorful with commentary by John Anderson and John Henson (one of our favorites from “Talk Soup”, back in the day) It is mindless, hilarious, and painful to watch. We love it. The most well-known element of the show is the Big Balls obstacle, which involves four, uh, huge balls that each contestant has to cross without falling off. Like this:

At the end of every show, John Henson says, “Goodnight…and Big Balls.”

And there you have it, the theme I decided on for the cake.

P5140808 I added a little obstacle of his very own (trick candles)…

One last funny: when I asked everyone which piece they wanted (corner, etc.), Julesie picked this one:

In case you were wondering, the cake was, of course, delicious.



  • Kat

    ROFL. You crack me up. Only a cool mom like you would get away with signing off a cake with and big balls. Happy belated birthday to the "older boy". LOL

  • Tara R.

    My men folk love that show too. Great cake. Gives me an idea… my son's birthday is Tuesday.

  • surprised mom

    Great cake and I know it was delicious "because that's the way you roll." Can you bake my birthday cake? Can it be a rainbow cake?
    That video was very painful to watch, but thanks for introducing me to a new show. I think the family will get a kick out of watching it.
    I hope your son enjoyed his birthday and his birthday cake!

  • melissa

    LOVE the cake. so…how was the frosting? frosting is my thing.
    happy birthday to the kid.
    my birthday is march 29th. i like butter cream frosting. and vanilla cake. unicorns and rainbows are nice.
    just sayin

  • Michelle










    I love you, Melisa! That is so incredibly cool! Great cake.

    And Julesie's got a nice piece there. 🙂

    Ooo and my word today is coldword. It just keeps getting better.

  • Chilibean

    Ballsiant idea , Happy Birthday to your son , ohhhhhhh just to let you all know , i am an actual contestant on Wipeout , and i will be on the July 1st episode , so root me on , my name is ChiliBean

  • Momo Fali

    I love it! Now I have to do this for my son because he can't wait for Wipeout each week (and to be honest, neither can I…I love to watch people fall).