Every one of life’s milestones calls for a gathering of friends and family, games and good food and, above all, a grand cake. Few milestones are more noteworthy than retirement. It has the elements of moving forward, like a graduation or birthday. It is the beginning of a new life phase, like marriage or a new house. It calls for a party like New Year’s Eve or a wedding anniversary. And not just any party.
Certainly not like the stuffy cocktail parties thrown for art patrons or business networking. A retirement party is one of those great, colorful, loud parties filed with funny stories, banners and gag gifts; the kind of party where every dieter has a good justification for having dessert. When such an occasion arises, don’t settle for just any old retirement cake.
The point of a retirement cake is to show the honoree that everyone present knows and approves of the activities that were once time-killers and are now a reason for getting out of bed in the morning. A retirement cake can be made to look like that book that the retiree has always wanted to write or a garden of flowers that will be tended by the budding (pun intended) horticulturist.
Many retirement cakes are frosted blue and feature fishermen, sunbathers or water skiers. Crafts make for great looking retirement cakes. Edible balls of yarn are bright and colorful, a set of carpenter’s tools is fun to eat and a cake showing a half-finished painting is a real attention-getter.
Choosing a funny retirement cake makes for an entertaining dessert. A retirement party is one event where a cake with a tombstone can get giggles. Toys like alphabet blocks illustrate the beginning of a second childhood. Even a cake plainly frosted with a miniature rocking chair in the center can bring smiles.
Caterers and bakeries are always happy to supply a standard retirement cake, but a homemade cake is not so hard to do. Be sure to plan the cake first and make a drawing of what you want. Consult a cook book or website to make sure that the size of the cake is right for the number of expected guests.
Check out a baking supply catalog online or in hard copy to find out what types of pans and decorations are available. You may be surprised at the variety that’s out there. Most of all have fun while honoring the individuality of the retiree. A great retirement cake is one way to assure someone you love and admire that this big life change is not something he or she is going through alone.