When I take my six-year-old son, Cole, to birthday parties, the cake is the part I like best. I know it's not meant for me, really, but they are always so big and there's plenty left why not? I prefer the corner piece of a square cake, though I only ask for it once the kids have gotten their cake (I do have some self restraint). At least I don't ask for the coveted piece with the pretty pink flowers or the dinosaur's face on it.

When I threw Cole a birthday party this past weekend I thought long and hard about the cake. I scanned my memory to recall the best cake I'd tried all year. I find most cakes are too dense and covered in a too-rich buttercream that leaves an icky slick on my tongue. (I still eat these cakes, but I can skip the corner piece.) Then I remembered the cake I liked best, from a March birthday party. It was moist and chocolatey without being leaden, and it was covered in a light, perfectly sugary buttercream that I liked so much I licked it off my fingers. I was told it was from So Cole and I went online. He saw right away what he wanted: a candy cake—a regular cake, decorated (quite magnificently) with candy. The candy you get depends on the theme of your cake. Cole chose an under-the-sea cake, which had little gummy clams and fish all over it, along with lollipops and suckers and other stuff. The kids were gaga over it and I was pretty pleased too.

Thankfully I got a pretty good birthday-cake fix, since now that it's summer there aren't many birthday parties.