My mom's birthday falls 2 weeks before Christmas, so I'm never able to make it home to celebrate with her. This year I sent a little birthday cake kit for her to decorate and enjoy with the rest of the family. Her favorite color is white, and since Chicago is currently blanketed with snow, I thought a snow-white cake would be most appropriate.
My mom's favorite dessert is coconut cream pie, but I wouldn't dare attempt to ship that, so instead she gets coconut cupcakes with coconut buttercream.
- I baked the cupcakes in tall, sturdy paper baking cups. I would have loved to find white ones, but they are almost always brown. These were from Daiso (the Japanese dollar store on Market), and I've seen other styles at Sur La Table in the Ferry Building. Once cool, I wrapped them in plastic and froze them overnight.
- In the morning I wrapped each in cream tissue paper, stuck each in a cellophane bag, and tied them tightly with white raffia.
- I spooned coconut buttercream into a plain little jar, covered the cap with tissue paper, tied it with raffia, and refrigerated it until time for shipping. Both the cake and the frosting are vegan — the recipe is from Vegan With A Vengeance — so I wasn't worried about them being safe-to-eat upon arrival. Use your own judgement!
- The decorating accoutrements for my mom were kept very simple: tiny shredded coconut, big flakes of coconut, snow-like large sprinkles, and sparkly silver-grey sprinkles. I considered sending a bunch of various white candies, but she wouldn't have liked most of them, and they might have clashed with the coconut flavor. Plain and lovely seemed like the better fit for her.
- I lined a mailing box with layers of cream and pale-grey tissue paper.
- Miraculously, everything fit perfectly, with plenty of room for extra cushioning. Then it was off to the post office: 2-day shipping to Chicago for this rather-heavy package was only $9.95! A bargain for getting to be with my mom in spirit on her birthday!