For our friend’s birthday earlier this week, we decided serendipitously to bake him a cake.  As in, that night over dinner, we were like, “Wanna bake him a cake?” “Sure, let’s!”

For our last-minute plan, we went to WesShop for ingredients.  We did a lot of improvising and deciding as we went, but it turned out really well.



  1. Box of vanilla cake mix
  2. 3 egg whites
  3. Vegetable oil
  4. Water
  5. White frosting
  6. Rainbow sprinkles
  7. Food coloring
  8. Candles (enough for the birthday boy/girl’s new age)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Follow the instructions on the cake mix box to the best of your ability, given the supplies that are available to you.  This should involve combining the egg whites, water, vegetable oil, and cake mix in a large bowl and stirring until homogenous.  Use the amounts found on the back of the box, as different brands have slightly different amounts.
  3. We did not have measuring cups, so we used Solo cups to measure our ingredients.  Thanks to one friend’s encyclopedic Solo cup knowledge, we were able to get the measurements close enough.
  4. Once the cake batter is prepared according to the box’s instructions, add about eight drops of red food coloring to get a nice bright pink color.
  5. Then add sprinkles to the batter to make it a “funfetti” cake.
  6. When the sprinkles are sufficiently mixed in, spread the batter on a rectangular baking pan, which you can also purchase at WesShop.
  7. Put the cake in the oven to bake, checking it at 20 minutes, and eventually cooking it about 25 minutes.
  8. While it is baking, begin work on the frosting.  We bought premade frosting, but as we wanted to make this a very fancy cake, we knew we would need different colors of frosting.  To make this pterodactyl cake, you need green, blue, and purple frosting.  Separate the frosting into two more Solo cups, or other containers if you have them, leaving some in the original container.
  9. Using the food coloring, make the largest portion bright blue, the middle portion green, and the smallest portion purple (or whatever other color you want your pterodactyl to be).  Our birthday friend would be quick to point out that it doesn’t really matter because we can’t know what color pterodactyls really were.
  10. When the cake is done baking, let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  11. Now it’s time for decorating.  Cover a little more than half of the cake horizontally with blue frosting for the sky.
  12. Cover the remaining portion of the cake with green frosting for the grass.  Feel free to make undulating hills instead of just spreading it straight across.  Be sure to cover the entire surface of the cake with the green and blue frostings so that the pink cake is a surprise.
  13. Find a friend who is good at drawing to make the pterodactyl.  You can make an improvised pastry bag with a plastic bag, like the one that your Solo “measuring” cups came in.  Fill the bag with the purple frosting and cut a very small hole in the corner.
  14. Hand the pastry bag to the afore-mentioned artistic friend and ask zir to draw a pterodactyl on the cake.
  15. Once they have finished the outline, fill it in with sprinkles.
  16. Place candles around the edge of the cake so they make a nice, fiery frame.  OPTIONAL: Place two candles on the pterodactyl’s chest to make evolutionarily inaccurate, yet amusing mammary glands.


I hope you enjoy this improvised cake.  I know we did.  Feel free to make any changes you want, like substituting a Ferrari for the pterodactyl if your friend prefers fast cars to extinct animals.

Happy Birthday, Eric!

- Laura ‘16