Charmed, I’m Sure
How to make a charm cake
A charm cake is a cake that contains little charms such as on a charm bracelet. Each charm has some meaning for who receives it. Traditions for baking charms in a cake go back to medieval Europe and are generally related to celebrations such as Epiphany (King cake), a birthday (surprise cake) or a wedding (Victorian charm pulling). Great lengths used to be taken for baking the charms into the batter but for ease and safety they are no longer baked into the cake but either hidden in the void of a bundt cake or underneath the cake with the ribbons trailing out of either cake. A variation is a friendship or match-makers cake in which there are 2 sets of charms and each guest finds their matching charm “friend”. A charm cake is a delightful way to make any occasion special and memorable.
Events for a charm cake
Birthday- little girl princess, super hero, sweet 16, 21st or over the hill themes.
Shower- wedding, baby, house warming.
Graduation- charms to predict future careers
Christmas- mini ornaments.
4th of July- patriotic charms.
Thanksgiving- charms symbolize what you are thankful for.
Club parties- church, garden club, Scouts etc.
Tea party, book club etc.
Halloween- spooky stuff
Class parties- party favors
Finding charms is not as hard as it might seem. For the charm cake I took to my niece’s party I found 20 charms in my own home. I raided the sewing box, button jar, jewelry box and my beads and jewelry making supplies. You may not have as many as I did but there are probably some lurking about. Party and cake decorating isles as well as craft and toy departments are all places to find charms. Look for shaped buttons, beads, and jewels. Dollar stores are great places to look too. If all else fails you can order charms on the internet. Silver charms made for this purpose are expensive but a nice gift for your guests of a very special occasion. For kids or holiday parties I found assortments of charms on Ebay and Oriental Trading Co.
Now it’s time to decide on fortunes. I have given a list of meanings but feel free to personalize the fortunes to your theme. A star for example could represent a flag’s star for a 4th of July party or the star that led to baby Jesus for Christmas, or a super star for graduation. Use your imagination and have fun. You can read off the fortunes as people pull them from the cake or provide a list for each guest. For a really special occasion, purchase blank note cards for each charm. Write the meaning inside the card for each individual charm and the charm’s name on the envelope, then give each guest the envelope for their charm so they can save the meaning and the charm to remember the occasion.
Possible charm meanings for ordinary objects
4 leaf clover- luck, wish will come true, you are 1 in a million
Balloon- you’re inflated, you’re flexible, dreams will grow
Band aid- health, mend a relationship
Bean- (jelly bean) prosperity, good luck, growth, magic
Bell- true happiness, soon married, you’re a ding-a-ling
Bow- you have things tied up, new bow, you will tie the knot
Button- you will fix a friendship, you bind people together, you are cute as a buttonDime- wealth, you are at a turning point, luck will come in 10 daysFlower- blossoming love, lovely, growth
Gum- you stick to it, tenacity, love will stick
Heart- true love, courage, health
Hershey’s kiss- sweetness, you will get a kiss
Key- a happy home, hold the key to my heart, you will unlock success
Life saver- you’re a life saver, safety
Lock- love is all locked up, you will be safe
Locket- happy family, you hold your loved one close to your heart, a wish will come true
Magnet- you’re attractive, magnetic personality, attraction
Paper clip- you will stay together, loyalty
Penny- luck, you will be poor, you will never be “cent-less”
Puzzle piece- you’re a mystery, hard to find love
Ring- soon married, happy marriage, constancy, your promises are eternal
Rubber band- stretch yourself, you are flexible
Safety pin- safety, new baby, you’re sharp
Small mirror- you are beautiful, you are vain, you are reflective
Thimble- you will be protected, you will mend a relationship, you will be an old maid
Possible meanings for figures
Car/ train/ plane- adventure or travel, far to go, will go far
Doll- new baby, good mother
Angel- protection, blessings, you’re an angel
Bird- happiness, you will leave home, you’re flighty
Book- smart, adventure, fairytale life
Butterfly- beauty, wonder, colorful life
Clown- happiness, joy, you are a clownCompass- you know where you are going, you have direction
Bee- life of service, you will be busy, sweet life
Telephone- good news, you talk too much
Dragon, magic, courage, victory
Elephant- good memories, never forget you
Dolphin- joy, playfulness, smart
Dog- loyalty, friendship,
Eagle- you will soar, you will fly high, courage
Hat- you have style
Shoe- fashionable, you have far to go
House- happy home, you will soon move
Kite- you will fly high, life of leisure, you are windy
Owl- wisdom, wide eyed, magic, a message is coming
Pig- you’re stubborn, you will have money
Rabbit- pregnancy, you will be hoppy
Star- a wish will come true, you’re a star, dream big
Cross- you have faith, God is with you
Cupid- you will find loveDiamond- you radiate light and beauty, wealth, you are preciousFrog- a new opportunity will jump in your life
Grapes- prosperity, blessings
Leaf- you will turn over a new leaf, new growth, you will fall in love
Pearl- you are wise, you are patient, you are precious, worth waiting for
Sunglasses- sunny disposition, bright future
Tear drop- you will cry tears of happiness, sadness will soon end
Teddy bear- you are loveable and huggable, good friend
Wings- you will soar, protection
Traditionally, a sponge cake or yeast type cake is used but you can use any cake, even store bought. Decide whether you want to put the charms under the cake or in the center of a bundt cake. For a bundt, use a circle of wax paper in the center to protect the charms, or use wax paper on top of the charms then the cake on top. Frost the cake well ahead of time so the frosting can set up and the ribbons won’t stick to it. Since the charm part is rather labor intensive I like using a shortcut. This is the recipe I used for the pictured cake. It uses a prepared cake mix and then doctors it up a bit. When I created the recipe I thought the cake looked like tweed so that’s what I named the recipe.
1 yellow cake mix prepared as on the box
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate finely grated
½ C. finely ground walnuts
Stir the chocolate and nuts into the batter and bake as directed.
If you make a charm cake I would love to see the results! Oh and please add charm and fortune ideas for all of us to share. You can find the coment link at the top of this post.