One way to choose a cake to buy or make for a 29-year-old is to think about his hobbies, career and activities. If he likes archery, make an arrow-shaped cake. If she's in a roller derby, have a roller skate made of fondant put on the cake. Customising the cake using a person's interests gives you a lot to choose from.
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For a friend who really likes his butterfly collection or for your friend who thinks butterflies are her good-luck charm, making a butterfly-shaped birthday cake is a creative option. Bake cakes as normal, then cut them into the right form. You can print out a large photo of a butterfly to use as a guide to get the shape of the wings and body right. Then use coloured icing to create whatever species of brilliantly coloured butterfly you like.
If he's an airline pilot or she's in the Air Force, make an aeroplane cake. Bake and frost a sheet cake, then use candy to make an aeroplane outline on it. Or search online for instructions on how to make aeroplanes using edible ingredients such as candy or fruit. Or shop in toy stores or hobby shops for mini aeroplanes to use as cake toppers. Or use a cookie cutter to cut little aeroplanes out of fondant.
For a guy or gal who's really into werewolf lore or sci-fi comics, try a werewolf cake. Find a werewolf-themed image to have put on a cake at the bakery or your grocery store's bakery. You can use whatever picture you like --- a werewolf movie poster, a page from a werewolf comic, a picture of your friend in full werewolf make-up, one of his werewolf drawings or the cover of his favourite werewolf novel.
One idea that even novice bakers can do is fill a piping bag with icing and cover the cake with terms relevant to the cake's theme. For a butterfly cake, pipe on "caterpillar: the second stage of butterfly metamorphosis" and "lepidoptera: the scientific name for butterflies." For a plane cake, pipe on different types of planes or such aviation terms as "drag," "contrail" and "altitude." For a werewolf cake, pipe on "feral (adj): a werewolf that's forgotten its human identity" and "rogue (noun): a werewolf that uses its wiles to take advantage of humans."
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