Food Photography – The Story of My Mom's Birthday Cake

Well, I promised an update on how my mom’s birthday cake turned out, and here it is! I made a cranberry-lemon pound cake with lemon curd filling and Italian meringue lemon buttercream frosting.

pound cakelayers

The cake and buttercream are from, my favorite, CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch, and the lemon curd is from Martha Stewart (the CakeLove lemon curd recipe called for more egg yolks and butter than any living thing should ever ingest).


I was very pleased with how everything turned out and how it fit together. With a little help from Wilton’s 10-inch cake circles, my layers sliced and stacked without any difficulty.

layers on cake standfrosting

My mom arrived just as I was putting the finishing touches on the cake decor; I didn’t even have time to change out of my fat squirrel t-shirt… I hope it gives you a good laugh!


I was especially happy with the decorations. Remember I told you that I actually drew specs? My mom loves the ocean, so I wanted to use a few sea shells as tastefully as possible.

topcake top

She also likes hydrangea, which I think happen to look very beautiful even when they’re fake.


I did unfortunately learn that I don’t care for lemon curd at all… not even a little bit. I scraped it off easily enough on my slice and enjoyed the rest.

top of cakecake slice with flowers

It was extremely rich – one slice and you’re set for life! Next time I think I’ll try something a little lighter. You really don’t want to know just how many sticks of butter and individual eggs were sacrificed in the making of this cake… really, it’s better this way.

cake slice


8 Responses to “Food Photography – The Story of My Mom's Birthday Cake”

  1. Stephanie says:

    It’s gorgeous! When are you opening shop?

  2. Thank you so much! We can talk shop if you would like to make a small investment 😛

  3. dslunsford1 says:

    Heather, I love the shells on the cake–very original!

  4. Thanks! I was really happy with how it turned out 🙂

  5. Lindsay says:

    SEASHELLS ON A CAKE, YOU ARE GENIUSSS!!! copying for my mom. will try to remember to give you credit.

  6. Lindsay – better yet, try edible chocolate seashells! You can buy candy molds in Michael’s. I bet they have candy seashell molds… mmmm!

  7. Grace says:

    Your mom said this cake was great! I made an Italian Cream Cake with orange curd this weekend, which involved making “fresh orange curd.” I loved it–I had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon so I’d have enough for the cake! If the flavor of the lemon curd was what you didn’t like, I’d be more than happy to give you the orange recipe. If it was the texture, though…I’ll keep the recipe to myself. 🙂

  8. Grace – It was definitely the taste that I didn’t like. I’m not usually a lemon-loving person, though I wish I was. I do like orange – please email me the recipe 🙂