Snowman Cake

Alfie is so skinny.  When he is in his swimsuit Arabella always says to him, ‘Can you cover up your skeleton?’

But he’s been this way since he was born.  In the hospital there were two babies that were over 10lbs, Alfie and a baby girl.   Apart from their weight they had little else in common.  Alfie was two rulers long and incredibly lean and the other baby was an extremely short but incredibly fat girl with a mop of black hair standing up like iron filings.  She had such a huge head she was born by emergency caesarean.  (Not that Alfie had a small head – I remember it well; it’s just that because he was  longer, the size of his head was less obvious).

A snowman cake

A snowman cake

Moving forward from birth to nine-years of age, he’s taller than two rulers but he’s even more lean.  Last week a teacher at his school came up to him and said, ‘You’re very thin, do they give you enough to eat at home?’

I keep looking out the windows to see if the authorities are coming up the drive.

There is no padlock on my fridge or pantry.  We do feed him.  We even give him three meals a day.  And snacks.

He just doesn’t seem to get hungry.  He never asks for food.  There’s always so many more interesting things to do than sit down and eat.

A very 'squat' snowman

A very ‘squat’ snowman

When I pick him up from school we walk home along a stretch of shops.  As we pass each store, I’ll look in the windows and see something that might tempt him.  ‘Would you like a sausage roll?’

‘No thanks’.

‘What about some sushi?’

‘No thanks’.

‘It’s a hot day; how about an ice cream’.

‘I don’t really feel like it’.

‘Would you like a milkshake?’

‘I’m not hungry.’  See, I try.

Mini Christmas Cakes

Mini Christmas Cakes

At the school the teacher who asked him if we feed him has also noticed that he rarely eats the food I send to school.  She has introduced a system where he is given his lunch box 10-minutes before the lunch bell rings so he can make a good start on tackling his lunchbox.

And on the home-front I’m also making an effort.  His favourite foods are pasta and tacos so every night he’s being given a plate piled high with either of those choices.

Decorated with a Christmas Tree and holly.

Decorated with a Christmas Tree and holly.

When I’m not boiling up pasta or filling tacos, I’m still in the kitchen.  My Christmas cakes have been made so it’s time to decorate them.  Today I iced and decorated a number of cakes.  The first is a snowman cake I made for a friend who has a seven-year old grandson.  I thought he’d find it cute.

I learned how to make the snowman by watching a really helpful tutorial on u-tube.  It’s only about three-minutes long.  Don’t be put off by how quickly the person makes the snowman – like making a Jamie Oliver meal, it took me a lot longer.

My snowman was long and lean like Alfie when he was born but with the heat, he became short, fat and squat like the other 10-pound baby.  I do wish I’d taken a photo of him before he morphed from tall and thin to short and squat but alas.

A very 'squat' snowman

A very ‘squat’ snowman

The other cake I made was one for my own family.  I wouldn’t dare decorate it with anything other than the little decorations Archie and Arabella chose for me many years ago.  They make up a cheap but treasured, odd assortment of Christmas decorations.

Decorated with family treasures.

Decorated with family treasures.

The two smaller cakes are thank you gifts.  One is for my swimming coach and the other is for Drew’s personal assistant.  I have decorated them very simply with a Christmas tree on top of the cake and holly on the sides.  If you can roll out fondant and have a cookie cutter you will find this very easy.

If you’d like more detail on how to decorate Christmas cakes in a similar style, you can view my post on Mini-Christmas Cakes.

Decorated with a Christmas Tree and holly.

Decorated with a Christmas Tree and holly.

And as I have several more cakes to decorate, I’m off to buy more fondant.  And pasta.  And tacos.


  1. He IS skinny, but that’s because he’s going to be a world famous marathon runner one day and they’re ALL skinny! 🙂 You’re the cake decorating queen, Charlie! Do you need more cake boards? 🙂

  2. Hi Charlie… bless your boy… as he gets taller he’ll get even skinnier… that’s life. Love your cakes… so pretty… you are a decorating star, love.

  3. They look lovely Charlie… I think you are fantastic icing all those cakes, I couldn’t be bothered so I just give them un iced and wrapped up! Liz x

  4. Brilliant cakes Charlie. I reckon when alfie hits about 12 you WILL have to lock the fridge to keep him out!:))

  5. Your cakes are so lovely – especially the fat squat snowman. Gosh I wish I had Alfie’s problem haha!

  6. LOL, at my age, I wish I had Alfie’s metabolism (and lack of appetite!). Your cakes are GORGEOUS! Truly your forte! xo

  7. Oh goodness that does sound strange to me because my 5 year old is so into food she could just continually eat and though she is not scrawny, it is amazing how much she can put away. So often I hear her say she is hungry. Though her dad is probably more like Alfie – he was a skinny kid and still doesn’t eat a lot. Glad you have some meals he loves. Is he skinnier than your other kids were?

    Love the trees esp that snowman – he is so cute that I just feel like buying some fondant to make him (as I don’t think I will be baking a christmas cake this year after too much swithering)

  8. Always love looking at your cakes!! Brandon was very skinny too. Thinner than any of his classmates all throughout school. He’s 6’1 now and 22 years old and just over the past two years has filled out and looks “manly”. Don’t worry about Alfie, I’m sure he just has a very high metabolism that we all pray for but don’t have.

  9. Charlie,
    we brought our son, Andrew, to the doctor for being TOO SKINNY. The doctor said, “He will eat when he’s hungry.”

    It was true!

    Your cake is FABULOUS. xx

  10. These cakes are absolutely beautiful and I love that you place those ornaments from Archie and Arabella atop your family’s cake each year. Tradition equals love. Or maybe it’s love equals tradition.

    As for Alfie, my son weighed 10 pounds, 12 ounces, at birth. Today he is like 6 feet four or five inches. He is lean, very lean. Always has been except during that first baby year. And he’s 21. He eats, however. But I have not seen him now in six months. Perhaps he’s gained some pounds during that time away at college in Boston.

  11. I have a tall skinny son as well–it seems to just be the way he is built, but he didn’t weigh ten pounds at birth! Ouch! I am sure Alfie will fill out in time. Your Christmas cakes are adorable. I knew when I read the title of this post that there would be something special inside–and you never disappoint. You really are the Queen of Cakes, Charlie. And I particularly love the tradition of using the ornaments your kids chose on top. That is the best of all.

  12. Reading your description of Alfie was like reading about Laith! He too is ridiculously skinny. All the boys in his class are twice his size, in heft but Laith is tall. His pants are all short and huge around the waist. What’s up with these boys? Unlike Alfie though, Laith hates pasta! He groans when I make it! He likes meat and vegetables, but that will make you lean and add no fat on you! Oh well. I try too. Maybe they’ll find their appetite when they reach puberty, and then we’ll be complaining we can’t keep enough food at home!
    Love, love all your cakes! You are a busy lady and a very kind one to bake all these for everyone. I wish I lived closer 🙂


  13. Hi Charlie, it seems that our kids must always give us a little something to worry about, it’s what they do.

    Did not know you were such an accomplished cake maker and decorator, looks fabulous!

  14. I was a skinny kid too. Although I always ate whatever I could get my hands on! I’ll bet at some point Alfie will develop a ferocious appetite, and you won’t be able to keep the refrigerator full enough for him. 😉 Anyway, really lovely cakes — just gorgeous.

  15. They’re beautiful Charlie!

  16. Oh, absolutely beautiful cakes – Charlie – adore the Snowman Cake and love the one decorated with family treasures.

  17. LOL, this was so funny, Charlie! And these cakes are absolutely adorable 🙂

  18. I’ve noticed that Alfie is skinny when I saw him in his suimsuit too, and told myself he’s same as my son! My son eats quite a bit (and people worry he’s not eating, but he does!), but he’s SO skinny (after my dad and my brother – so lucky… I’m after my mom and grandma, ahhh!). Anyway, beautiful snowman cake! Wish I can make a cake like this one day… Never say never. 🙂 Good thing is that my son can eat up all my experiements and he’ll be still skinny. =P

  19. Ha very funny and sad…because he is like a stick. Mine g=has always been skinny too. He eats nothing (I cook anyway) but if you offered him something with sugar or a milkshake he would definately suddenly be hungry. Love the decorations and especially the fat snowman

  20. Some kids are lean. I think it is as simple as that., If your pediatrician is happy, then so am I!

    My, but this cake is absolutely darling, and what immaculate work you do. Nice job!

  21. I don’t know what the answer is to Alfie’s leanness problem. It was never a problem at my house, quite the reverse in fact to try to get us out and about.

    As always, your Christmas cakes are beautiful.

  22. Ahh now if you’re just not interested in food then that must mean that you’re destined to be thin! Hubby is a bit like that. If it isn’t put in front of him he won’t eat. But he was a very fat baby 🙂

  23. My little brother was like Alfie, but he ate like a fiend! My brother could suck his belly in so tight he was a skeleton! Things changed at university where he ate poorly and gained a load of weight so you needn’t worry. In North America we have something called Ensure and although it used to be for the aged and infirm, they now have them for kids, knowing that some don’t get enough vitamins. I’m sure they have something like that in Australia.
    Your cakes are incredible, such beautiful Christmas presents. I still think of you every Christmas because I was your secret Santa, I just love my “taylor” kitchen utensils and the red glitter star is hanging in the living room!

  24. Don’t ever eat cake but certainly love your talent in decorating yours! Elegant and non-fussy! {Allow me my smile] . . . if Alfie’s bloodwork at least once a year is normal stop thinking about what would please him: that’s a lot of ‘power’ to give to a young man!! Give him the same you are eating . . . and no dessert if the plate is not clean. No comments afterwards: don’t worry, his body will save him – he’ll ask when hungry but won’t feel food is somehow a ‘problem’ 🙂 !!

  25. G’day! Great snowman cake Charlie and always enjoy the cakes you make as they genuinely brighten my day too!
    Perhaps when Alfie is older he will fill out a bit more …until then…let him eat away when he wants to!
    Cheers! Joanne

  26. What beautiful cakes! I know that if a friend made one for me I’d be thrilled! You are a real artist with your cakes, Charlie! And poor Alfie…you’ll have to pad his clothing so the school stops inserting their concerns into your lives. LOL! He needs a fat suit for school!

  27. Your cakes are absolutely gorgeous. I think the squat snowman looks just like a snowman should, and all of them are works of art – almost too good to eat! As for Alfie, if it helps, my younger brother was the same and to some extent still is at age 27. He eats huge volumes now but I don’t know where it goes. He seems healthy enough in spite of the thinness though, and yes, pasta is still a favourite for him!

  28. Your cakes are lovely Charlie, and some traditions just shouldn’t be messed with 🙂
    Maybe Alfie is saving up all his appetite for when he’s a teenager and can’t stop eating? I was harassed by the baby care nurses when littlej was an infant as she was so underweight, but she has a lovely, curvy figure now. Sadly no one ever suspects me of going hungry… Sigh… Xox

  29. You are a charming storyteller, Charlie! Bless those publishers…Yikes! It is “interesting” that the art of writing is a strictly bottom line sort of business. I’ve written a couple of children’s picture book texts and middle graders with kudos to the writing but various reasons for not publishing. Anyway, I digress. Your mini Christmas cakes are charming, too. And your snowman is the perfect size. Of course, I’m pinning like crazy =)

  30. Oh Alfie. I get the big baby with giant head thing! I think Ollie might end up the same. He’s such an active little thing and if we ever go to anyone’s house I can barely get food into him he’s having so much fun exploring. I love the short stout snow man!

  31. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    All the cakes are beautiful and fun.

  32. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Also, my skinny boy grew up into a young man who is 6’3″ with broad shoulders, long legs, and still a very narrow waist. It’s hard to buy clothes for him, but he’s healthy. If only I could be as thin!

  33. I have a son who is very very skinny,I was a skinny child too- but that is something from the past now :). But my son eats a lot to the extent that I was worried that he might have a medical issue!!!!. Do not worry he might end up like me skinny as a child, fat as a grown up hahahaha. The important thing for him is to be healthy. Love your cake so much, it will be fun to make and have the kids help decorating too.

  34. Georgous decorated cakes! Beautiful too! Xxx

  35. those cakes look gorgeous!

  36. Ahh the too-skinny problem. The.Boy’s brother has exactly that it’s super frustrating to all parties involved, but what can you do! Other than forcefeed obviously. I have a few extra pounds if Alfie would like to borrow them.

  37. So cool! You’re so skilled!

    I’ve had friends with kids who had similar appetites to Alfie when they were younger. It would drive the parents crazy that their little ones just didn’t want to eat. I’m sure he’ll grow an appetite soon!

  38. Some day he won’t be thin. He’ll be a big man like his dad and he’ll look back and wish for skinny days again. John was stick thin until he was 17. Now look at him. 🙂 He says it’s my fault for cooking food.

    Your cakes are fantastic. I need to work with fondant more. I’ve only done it once ever.

  39. My twin brothers were also very skinny right up to their mid teens and then they filled out – although they are, like me, eaters. Alfie will get there too, when he is ready.
    Your cakes are absolutely exquisite Charlie, even your short fat snowman.
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  40. Charlie – my sister used to be just like Alfie – till she entered her teen years – she had absolutely no appetite – my parents even had the doc prescribe her an appetite stimulant – but it didn’t work!! But she grew out of it – maybe Alfie will too – though if I were Alfie, I would be gorging on these cakes!

  41. Gorgeous cakes, Charlie … I wish I had your talent! Merry Christmas!

  42. Much like Alfie, my brother was this as a rail throughout his life, only gaining a few pounds over the last couple years. Now he’s just skinny, Charlie. Like you, Mom tried to fatten him up but h never gained an ounce, no matter how much he ate. I still hate him. 🙂 Alfie will be fine.
    I know I’m sounding like a broken record but your cake decorating skill are exceptional. I’ve seen cakes prepared by professionals that aren’t nearly as cleanly made as yours. How lucky to be on the receiving end of one of these gifts.

  43. Interesting about Alfie. I’ve never had kids of my own, but I certainly have never heard of a growing boy that “isn’t hungry”. My husband grew up with 3 brothers who were all tall and lean (and still are), but those boys never stopped eating! Bobby is now 60+, still lean and still eats. 🙂 Now on to your cakes, like I think I’ve mentioned before, I am so envious of your cake making and decorating skills. You’re amazing Charlie!


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