I wax nostalgic about cake walks from church bazaars when I was a small child in Northern New York. Many people who have achieved my advanced age can remember when cake was a rare treat. You'd have cake every time a member of the family had a birthday. Kids from families of six kids or more had a lot of cakes served to them but the slices were smaller and there were no leftovers, so the net amount of cake was about the same as the rare family of four-or-less children. So... as a six-year-old my unmet desire for cake was sparked by the massive display of cakes on offer for the lucky winner of the cake walk back on the side yard of St. James Church way back when. I spent every penny of my meager budget on tickets to do the cake walk. And I never won. My remedy for that came last night. For Family Fun Night at school, I orchestrated a cake walk. I had a blast.
Step one is to bake the cakes the night before the event. I have a very nice collection of vintage cake pans collected over the years from estate sales. This was the perfect occasion to butter and flour them and put them to good use. I was able to bake four cakes at a time, using two cake mixes at a time. I repeated the procedure three times in all - a total of six cake mixes. Then it was time to frost and decorate the cakes. I used *gasp* store-bought frosting. The reality of it is that this stuff is actually a crowd pleaser. I then decorated the twelve cakes with sprinkles, jellybeans, chocolate eggs and Peeps marshmallow chicks. They were pretty cute, I must say. Each cake was put on a sturdy paper plate and then wrapped in cling wrap, ready for transport.
When I arrived at school, I arranged the cakes on a table and set six chairs in a circle. Every ten minutes or so, I would tap a child on the shoulder and ask that child to assemble a group of six children to do a cake walk. I did a countdown and the children sat in numbered chairs. After everyone was seated, a number was pulled from a bag. The child in the corresponding chair won a cake to take home. Participants that did not win were offered a cookie as a consolation prize. Simple as that. Everyone seemed to have a good time. After two hours, only one cake was left:
It's a lot of fun to watch a child of seven pick a cake from a table laden with a dozen pretty little cakes. I was happy how the inaugural event went. Next time I do it, I will up the ante as far as the quality of cake on offer.