Birthdays are a celebratory event and the centre of any party or birthday celebration is a birthday cake. The tradition of blowing out the birthday candles and making a wish is a special one for many people. This is why time and effort goes into making a birthday cake special. Icing for a birthday cake is usually colourful and cheerful and generally says "Happy Birthday" and the name of the person having the birthday written on the cake. The age of the person may also be written but this is more common for children's birthday cakes or landmark birthdays like a 21st, 30th or 50th birthday party.
Mix one cup of sifted icing sugar into half a cup of soft butter or margarine. Before blending the ingredients, make sure the butter or margarine is beaten until it is soft and creamy, then add the sifted sugar to the mix very slowly.
Add five drops of vanilla essence to the mix followed by 1 teaspoon of milk. Stir these ingredients together until they are soft, fluffy and creamy.
Divide the icing mix into quarters. Put one quarter of the plain icing mix to the side. Choose three colours and add three-to-five drops of food dye to each remaining quarter until you have four different coloured sections of icing mix.
Make sure the cake has cooled down, then draw a balloon in one of the colours using a knife or the back of a spoon. Draw another balloon on either side of the central balloon in the other two colours. You can make the balloons by colouring them in an oval shape and drawing a wavy line that comes out the bottom of the oval.
Fill in the rest of the space around the balloons in white, using the plain icing mix. Take a dark coloured icing pen and write "Happy Birthday" followed by the name of the person who is having the birthday.