I made the mistake of asking what kind of cake we should bake...
...and I was promptly told a 'lava cake'.
"Lava cake?" I asked in confusion.
"Yes! Lava cake! Lava cake!"
"Please tell me what a lava cake actually is?" I enquired.
"You know! A cake that looks like a volcano. With lava. A cake with a hole in the middle with a fountain of hot lava!" they cried in excitement.
Okay, now I'll admit I'm a pretty creative Grandma but it took me a minute to figure this out.
"Like an angel food cake?"
"Yes, Yes!" they cried, "The kind with the hole in the middle!"
"And how do I make it have lava in it?"
"With frosting Grandma! Red, yellow and orange frosting and the cake will look like rocks and it will be a hot lava cake!"
"Okay," I said hesitantly, "Why do we want to make a lava cake for your sister's birthday anyway?"
"Oh Grandma! You know? Because she is 'hot lava girl'!"
But I am an easy going Grandma, so while they were off playing at the neighbors, I made a home-made angelfood cake along with a vat of chocolate icing and three decorator bags full of orange, yellow and red vanilla-almond buttercream.
They came home ready to decorate a lava cake.
We sliced up the sides of the cake to make it more volcano like. We frosted the mountain with chocolate icing. It looked more like a brown lump. I piled on more chocolate icing. Soon the poor little angelfood cake was adrift in an avalanche of glossy brown icing.
Next we started on the colored icing. "More! More!" they cried. They washed plastic trees and gnomes and stuck them in the cake. "More frosting! More frosting!" they shouted.
The middle grand had an idea that we could cut a hole in the table and then she could hide underneath and squirt frosting up through the middle of the cake to make it look like real lava.
She decided we needed a string so one of the gnomes could be mountain climbing up the volcana.
"Okay...that we can do!"
And when were finally done we had a 'masterpiece' of a volcano cake complete with unsuspecting gnomes being engulfed in hot lava.
We had, my friends, a complete and total masterpiece of 4 inches of frosting crushing a delicate little angel food cake.
...and after the birthday girl arrived and ate her fill at brunch on Saturday morning...
...the 'Hot Lava Girl!' cake was revealed.
Oh, her face lit up!
Oh, she loved it!
...and after I cut through all the frosting to serve it, she exclaimed, "There really is a cake in here!"
And I told her, "Yes, of course! I made you a homemade angelfood cake! Be careful not to burn your mouth on the hot lava, though!"
And she said, "Oh Grandma!"
...and that little remark made all the frosting and the mess and the sticky floors, chairs and little kids worth it.
"Oh Grandma!" Yes, I am blessed indeed...
Even if I have a "Hot Lava Girl" for a granddaughter!