Forget The Princess & Truck Birthday Cakes — Your Kid Needs This Octopus Cake Pan

I have made a cake for every birthday in my home for years. I generally do something easy and cute that the kids can help me create, and everyone loves it. My daughter gets a mountain of sprinkles, and my son gets mocha everything. It's worked, but it's getting boring. I want something more creative and fun, and that's what's drawn me to this octopus cake mold from Williams Sonoma that is full of magic and whimsy.

The octopus cake mold is cast aluminum, which will ensure an even bake with crisp edges. It's sprayed with a premium nonstick finish so that your creation will slide out easily, without risking that your baked octopus would lose a tentacle. And it's the perfect cake pan for your little one who is over all that princess or monster truck nonsense, and instead wants a more unique theme.

Also, the cake pan does all the work for you. You could literally pour in a "just add water" cake mix batter, and still come out with a fantastically cool cake. You don't even need to frost it. Dust it with some icing sugar, or top it with some edible gold spray, and you've already won the day.

I have made a lot of bundt cakes in my life. In fact, I'm kind of famous for it. I collect cake and bundt pans, tube pans, and unique baking dishes that fuel my baking creativity. That's why I'm so excited about this octopus cake mold. It's unlike any I've seen before, both in theme and quality. Most cake molds are thin aluminum that have a tendency to warp or get dinged up within a few uses. This is heavy cast aluminum, so it's not going anywhere anytime soon. That doesn't mean you don't need to handle it with care — do not put this in the dishwasher — it just means that you won't drop it and find that the head of the octopus looks like its been beaten in.

I can envisage this pan being used for an "under the sea" party or a pirate birthday. While frosting it is certainly optional, given the detail that the mold will impart on the cake, if you really wanted to do this up, the pattern is already there. It's like paint by number at this point. Pro tip: Williams Sonoma sells the single best reusable pastry/frosting bag on the market right now. I use mine so much I bought multiples.

If you want your octopus cake mold cake to come out perfectly, make sure that you spray or butter the inside of the mold, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies, and then dust the inside with flour or cocoa. When you add the batter, add it in quarters. After each bit of batter is added, tap the mold on the counter a few times to encourage the bubbles in the batter to rise to the surface, and pop them with a toothpick if you can see any.

If you use an extremely dense batter like a pound cake or a hummingbird cake, cook it at a lower temperature (300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit) so that the outside doesn't burn before the inside is cooked. It's done when a long skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let it cool on a baking rack for a full 10 or 15 minutes before turning it out onto the cooling rack to finish cooling it, and do not frost or sugar until it's room temperature, or it will just melt into the cake.

This octopus cake mold is so cute it will have all of your guests swimming in giggles.