She made the cake by her very own self. I just pointed her towards some good recipes and helped her to get the cakes out of the pans.
She had her heart set on a layer cake, even though I cautioned her that layer cakes require some extra skills and patience and that I didn't even attempt a layer cake until I was about 25. I offered to ice the cake to spare her some frustration, but no, she was firm and confident. There's a section in Mennonite Country-Style about icing a layer cake, so I suggested she read that first. If you are not familiar with this cookbook, a Virginia mother wrote it for her daughters when they left home, to pass on all the cooking hints and helps she thought they would want as they started up their own kitchens.
Then Genevieve chose an icing recipe and got up on a stool for the icing syringe my aunt got in South Africa (what a great reason for a trip: I need more tips for the icing syringe!). She tinted the icing, and used two different tips to pipe words and a border. The icing had picked up chocolate crumbs as she iced the cake: she shrugged and called it "cookies-and-cream icing." She scattered candy pearls on top and used the last of the rice paper butterflies. I truly was not in the kitchen while this was going on and she cleaned up everything when she was done.
And when we sliced into it that evening, it was perfectly moist and delicious on top of being pretty. I am so impressed. Amazed. Excited to watch her continue to grow and bloom.