Julia turned eight yesterday. All she wanted for her birthday was a telescope and a fondant cake in the shape of the solar system. (She even sketched it out for me.)

It had been a while since I’d made a fondant cake and I needed some materials to get started, so I took myself to the store and this odd conversation happened as I checked out.

Cashier: “Are you a cake maker?”

Me: “Not really. I’m just making a cake for my daughter’s eighth birthday. I’m actually making her a space cake!”

Cashier (stopped scanning and looked at me to pointedly ask): “A space cake?”

Me: “Uh huh. She’s really into it.”

Cashier: “Isn’t she a little young?”

Me: “Uhh…no. I don’t know. I mean, she’s a pretty precocious kid, but…what kid wouldn’t love a space cake?”

I’m not sure anyone has ever looked at me with as much disbelief and disgust as that cashier did and I just didn’t get it. What’s the big deal? My kid likes space and fondant. What of it, lady?

Later, as I worked to hone Julia’s design, I Googled “space cake” for images and inspiration. Top result is from…The Stoner’s Cookbook. Huh. What is on top of that cake? Poison ivy or…marijuana.

And then I got it. And I wondered how many other people out there listened to me go on about how excited I was to make this space cake and wondered about me. “I’ve never made one before! It’s really going to be special.” Good Lord.

Anyway, our space cake – and when I say “space,” I am referring to the area beyond the earth’s atmosphere – didn’t turn out too bad.

Space cake (another view)

Julia helped with the planets.

Space cake

If you ask me, it’s out of this world! Ha! And, I assure you, completely drug-free.