Black eyes and bloody birthday cakes


Picture credit: thanks brother K

I haven’t written in ages, mostly because my camera died of old age and humidity (does anyone want to donate a Canon Powershot G10/11/12 to the cause? Thanks). This post has only been possible because someone took pictures on my sister’s camera, and my brother took pics with his larney phone.

In February, suddenly our kid’s one year birthday was upon us. Suckers for a good theme, we decided to have a bit of a gory birthday, and asked everyone to wear red and black (purely for the photos of course… that barely ended up happening in the chaos that is 30 adults and around 15 smaller humans). Although the general advice is not to bother with anything until the kid is at least 2/3, it makes it so much more fun for us. Even for our not-a-baby-shower picnic in the park in Durban we had cupcakes with plastic maggots and flies crawling out of them.

On the actual birthday a few days before, as Z and I were dancing around the lounge to the Cramps, he did a spin-and-run and rebounded off the side of a wooden chair, leaving him with a massive shiner. Worst black eye I have seen on anyone in a while. And of course then there is the shame of it happening on my watch. But it somehow fitted with the gore theme and I almost painted a black eye in solidarity for the party (but forgot at the last minute, armpit deep in icing).

These were the main grossnesses we constructed.


The cake was adapted from this recipe. We doubled the recipe and then added blueberries so the inside would look more like pink mushy brains, with a possible clot or two. We cut the skull out with a homemade stencil and filled the sockets and surrounded the skull with bleeding cooked mixed berries. Licorice for the nose and mouth. The table cloth was from our wedding.


The cupcakes were all simple chocolate cupcakes. Then we turned them into stitched up wounds and blood shot eyeballs with different coloured butter icing and licorice.

fingersThe severed fingers were all the captain’s doing. He fried up some Fry’s veggie sausages and broke them gruesomely, and used pieces of raw onion as finger nails. All Gold tomato sauce for blood.

The token meat was a pile of ‘scabs’ (biltong). There were also some beautiful biscuits brought by a cookie fiend we know. I will try and track down someone who took photos of them because they were beautiful. In keeping with the red and black theme, we also had a bucket of sangria to keep the parents sane amidst the mayhem.

Now to start planning number 2…

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One Response to Black eyes and bloody birthday cakes

  1. Janine says:

    I am still dreaming about the cake, was so delicious and moist.

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