San Dieguito Academy Newspaper

DI-Why not?

Do it yourself and better yourself

March 10, 2023

I have never bought a birthday cake from a store. From my experiences working in a bakery, I know that professionally made cakes are not worth the expense. When we imagine how a cake is made in a bakery, we imagine cakes and icing made from scratch, lovingly baked and decorated.

However, this is not usually the case. Cakes are usually not even made in-house. They are bought from factories and stored frozen until they need to be used. The slabs of frozen cake are just thawed and decorated with likely premade icing. If the cakes are made in-house, they are likely from a mix. 

It is understandable that bakeries and grocery stores would want to increase their profit margin by using cheap, mass-produced cakes and mixes and selling them for high prices. 

My solution is to bake and decorate cakes myself. While this is an extremely daunting task, it is actually easy to learn. 

You only need cake ingredients (you can even use boxed mixes), icing (homemade or store-bought), cake pans, and piping or press-seal bags. If you want, you can add sprinkles, cake toppers, or other accessories and still have a cake that is cheaper than store-bought.

Writing on cakes, contrary to popular belief, is very easy, as long as you know cursive. My cake writing isn’t perfect, but it is quite legible. 

My favorite thing about creating a birthday cake is that you can completely customize it. While stores and bakeries usually have options to customize a cake’s theme, the themes available are often limited.

I love creating a cake that is inspired by a niche theme that is beloved by the birthday person. For my mom’s 55th birthday, I covered her cake in butterscotch nickels since she liked to refer to that birthday as “double nickels.”

While a homemade birthday cake may not look as perfect as those that are bought from stores, I think that they show that you care. It’s the thought that counts!

There are so many things that you can do yourself, and I would recommend trying to do so whenever you can. Not only does it usually cost less, but you also learn a new skill. You could even fall in love with it, and it could become your hobby! Crochet and cardmaking are both hobbies that I have recently picked up from DIY!

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