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Parents stay up HOW late to make a birthday cake? Survey says...

Because when your child requests a Princess Hulk cake for her birthday, how can you say no?
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

Your child’s birthday party is tomorrow. So we know what you will be doing until the wee hours... and we bet it will involve batter, frosting and sprinkles.

That’s what a recent survey on birthday cake baking by Country Crock revealed. Of 1,000 parents polled, 82 percent said the cake is the most important part of their child’s birthday party.

This Tom and Jerry cake took 12 hours to make.
This Tom and Jerry cake took 12 hours to make.Tammie Parker

However, prioritizing a homemade cake comes at a price, as 55 percent of parents surveyed admitted to finishing their child’s cake between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight the evening before the event. And 21 percent confessed to staying up even later — between midnight and 2 a.m. — to get the job done.

We asked moms and dads to share their own late-night baking tales and were impressed by both the dedication (what, no boxed cake mix?!) and masterpiece-worthy end results.

Tammie Parker of Bowie, Maryland, says it took her twelve hours to create a Tom and Jerry themed cake for her son, Joshua. In a heart-breaking moment, she accidentally dropped the cake when taking it out of the oven, causing her to have to start all over. Still, Parker says she has no regrets, adding that creating a special memory for her child was worth all the time laboring over fondant.

“My kid has always been into things that do not have cakes — and when he looks back at photos, I just want him to remember what he was into each year at that time,” said Parker.

Rebecca Nolan of Knoxville, Tennessee, creates special cakes for her son, Alex, every year, but a specific cake-baking memory stands out.

There are 12 layers of cake in this enourmous Mario Brothers-themed confection.
There are 12 layers of cake in this enourmous Mario Brothers-themed confection.Rebecca Nolan

“One year we tried to make a Super Mario question block cake for Alex, but we only had four layers and it turned out to be the wrong shape. We had to buy more cake mix, and the whole thing ended up being an eight-layer cake — one piece was enormous,” she said.

You can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs, and sometimes you can't make a cake without breaking some legs, as Kristen Eaton, a mom from Pasadena, Maryland, discovered when she made her daughter, Sarah, a Cinderella cake.

Cinderella sacrificed her legs so that this birthday cake could be made.
Cinderella sacrificed her legs so that this birthday cake could be made.Kristen Eaton

“I had to break the legs off the Cinderella doll so it would fit in the cake,” said Eaton. “And then I had to buy her a new doll! The cake turned out great, though.”

Despite all the baking and decorating disasters parents encounter, the Country Crock survey found that 61 percent of parents said they prefer to make their own cake over buying one.

Parker agrees.

“On my son’s last birthday, he wanted a Pokémon cake — a sceptile fighting Pikachu. I had to be sick for work on the day of his party,” she said. “But the excitement from him (when he sees the cake) is so fantastic. He just loves it.”