A Special Birthday Cake For John Carlson’s 21st

Nour poses with John Carlson after she presents him with the cake

Editor’s note: Nour H. is a reader with a talent for sweets. It’s good that she chose to user her powers for good, treating rookie John Carlson to a tasty cake for his 21st birthday. Here is Nour’s story.

There’s something cool about meeting someone you admire. Getting an autograph is nice, but sometimes you have to give back. A while ago I had a silly idea while watching the Caps practice with my friend Lindsey. John Carlson‘s birthday was coming up, his 21st, and I thought to make him a birthday cake. I was half joking. I mean, how could I even get it to him? I thought I would give it a shot anyway and asked an acquaintance if he could make it happen. The worst he could say was “no”.

It made my night when I got the official “OK.” He told me that he couldn’t promise a meeting, but that he could definitely give it to him. Didn’t matter to me. I just thought it would be cool to give him a cake. I had about a week to plan it out, and I didn’t want to waste any time. I wanted this to be one of the best cakes ever.

For the next few days, Lindsey and I tried to come up with ideas. I really wanted it to be something associated with turning 21 and the Caps. I asked my friends for their thoughts. Ian suggested making the cake in the shape of New Jersey with beer cans around it. But we settled on using the back of his Winter Classic jersey. I thought it was genius and had some potential. I had recently purchased that precise jersey anyway and could imagine how it’d make for a good cake.

Here's Nour's original sketch of the cake.

Nour's original sketch of the cake.

We set a date to make the cake on the 9th, so everything could be fresh in time for Monday morning practice. In the meantime, I sketched a doodle of the cake’s layout and collected all the fun supplies like tons of frosting and food coloring.

I started off with making my marshmallow fondant on Saturday, that way it could cool overnight. I needed this for the letters and numbers on the jersey cake. It was my first time ever making it, and it went pretty well. Dying it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and by the end of the night, my hands were stained fuchsia (blue and red fondant). My sister thought I was wearing gloves when we went to get more coloring. After about 3 hours of kneading the fondant and adding gallons of dye, it was finally done. (Don’t worry, it still tasted beast.)

On Sunday, Lindsey came over with a finished tray of cupcakes we made for Coach Boudreau’s birthday. We started with just a few cupcakes for Coach, but ended up with 38 for the entire team. Enthusiasm! Each was carefully decorated by Lindsey, and each had a player’s number written on it.

John’s cake ended up being a two-layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting in the middle coated with chocolate chips. Vanilla frosting covered the outside with marshmallow fondant for the numbers and letters. I even made the Reebok logo! After about 16 man-hours over two days, we were finally finished. I taped the box up tightly, and awaited Monday morning.

Anxiety, nervousness, and excitement. I bet all chefs feel it. When practice finally finished, it was go-time. I was just going to hand the cake over through my friend. But luck was on my side that morning, and I was told that I actually would be able to give it to John personally. They let me in through the media room along with my sidekicks, Lindsey and Suzanne, and I sat next to all the cameras and microphones where they tape interviews. John came off the ice and took some time to sign autographs and take pictures by the media gate, while I sat nearby fidgeting with my phone. Once he walked over to me, we exchanged hello’s and some quick small talk, and then he looked down at the box. I think I even asked him if he was ready to see what was inside. The look on his face when he saw the cake was priceless. “Whoa! How’d you make that?” My anxiety became relief. He loved the cake, and seeing his reaction paid off the whole experience together so perfectly. After taking a couple pictures together, we bid farewell, and John took the cake inside. Channel 9 was floating around as well, taping the whole thing. You might catch me on the news, waving to the camera like my arm is on fire.

I caught word later on that the team devoured the cake and all the cupcakes Lindsey had made. John thought it was delicious, and there were full and happy hockey players on the plane ride down to Florida. For those who reasoned with me, advised me, and helped me during conception and cooking, I thank you a ton. And thanks so much to my friend who let me do this, it meant the world! Happy 21st to Captain America.


Nour rolls the dough

The batter

Cake after it's finished baking

Adding the icing

The secret ingredient: chocolate chips!

Spreading the icing

Adding icing

Cutting out the numbers

Baking a cake is a messy job, but Nour's totally doing it.

Adding the details

Finally, it's done!

A personal touch

Video via WUSA9

Tagged with:
  • Wow, nice job! The cake looked amazing.

  • Aw, what a sweet (no pun intended) story! Caps fans are the greatest!

  • Nour

    Thank you guys!!

  • GreenGuy

    My birthday is in October (hint) 🙂

  • Omar

    Awesome! The cake looks and I’m sure tastes great! Great job! We have the best fans in hockey!

  • What an awesome story. And an awesome cake! You go, Nour!

  • Zane


  • TheHornGuy

    Very cool! Cake looks yummy.

  • Caps Fan

    Yummy!! And the cake looks yummy too 😉

  • Tracey

    Nour! LOVE this! Thanks for posting so I could come over and read it. I’m quite impressed with your baking skills…how come you never brought any goodies into BR? hahaha

  • Avtopilot

    What a sweet girl! Ehm, I mean cake…

    Happy Birthday!

  • That’s the best story ever! 🙂

  • DarkStranger44

    Meanwhile, Hershey prospect Kuger turns 21 next week, I do believe.

    And you should definitely be in the cake making business for the late Feb and early March time frame for a ton of Caps birthdays (Schultz, Semin, Stecks)

  • Greg

    Love when you guys post fan stories. This one is really cool, just like the one where the guy got to be in the Ovechtrick commercial!

  • Mary K

    Mmmm…. cake!

    This is why I love RMNB.

  • BobbyG

    Awesome story and pics! The cake looks fabulous, I wish I had a piece. Correction: I wish I had an entire cake all for myself LOL! 🙂

    Thank you, Nour for sharing with us. Add me to the list of those who love these personal fan stories of encounters with their favorite players.

  • MattTheBeerGuy

    What’s funny is debating the importance of Bud Light lime with Johnnie at the Wick when he was under-age.

  • anavi_xy

    Omg, i´m so jealous! 😀 The cake looked amazing, great job! 😉

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