Even though we were traveling for Dad, I kept thinking about the fact that my niece would be making the trek on her actual birthday - planes, rental cars, carry on issues, all of that - and wanted to be sure we had a cake for her when she arrived.
I baked three layers of cake with a zebra stripe pattern in them (I really baked four layers but decided one was over baked and threw it away). I like making the zebra stripes because they are SO easy but people are generally ridiculously impressed with them. All you need to do is have two colors of batter to drop into the middle of the pan over and over until the batter is gone like I did for these cupcakes. Just keep adding right in the center alternating the batter and when you run out, bake as usual.
I used a 1M tip to frost the cake in a ton of rosettes but ran out of frosting just before finishing. I had baked the cakes before traveling but decorated them on site and I had to just make it work with what was available...and what was available were mini chocolate bars. So I added those around the bottom for a border.
Happy birthday, Grace and Dad!