The Flaming Fort

**Most toys not harmed in the making of this cake**

My little brother has hit the double digits.  He is now a proud ten-year-old!  And of course, what better to celebrate and comemerate such an occation than a cake with toy soliders on it?

Now I realize that when you look at this cake, it may not look like my best effort:  it kind of leans to the side, there are definite crumbs in the icing, and speaking of icing, I did a poor job of smoothing it down.  But fear not!  The appearant lack of perfection in this cake is exactly what I was going for.  And when I say "I," I mean to include my little brother too.  Because James definitely helped.

He picked out the cake mix (silly lemon cake lover!) and we baked cupcakes together.  Why cupcakes?  It was his idea.  Then together we took the cupcakes and some yummy cream cheese icing and created a fort.  Not a castle.  Oh, no, no, no, no, no!  Most certainly not a castle!  It's a fort.  After we stacked up all the cupcakes, I iced the outside walls and the roof.  Unfortunately, 34 cupcakes stacked up on top of each other isn't very stable.  One misstep with that icing spatula and I could've knocked down an entire wall!  So I had to be very careful.

For the finally touches (after I piped on some doors and windows.  Windows which apparently weren't appropriate for a fort, I might add), James and Mom cleaned off some of his new army men and placed this strategically on the cake.

That wasn't the end of it, though!  Dad, of course, had to pull out the sparklers.  Candles just weren't good enough for this cake.  And so, as we all joined in a chorus of "Happy Birthday," the sparklers  sparked happily on the top of the cake.  Until...

Yes, that's right.  One unfortunate solider got caught in the crossfire and, well, caught on fire.  Thankfully, he survived, even if his arm didn't.  And James had a fun story to tell at school the next day!