Open Matthew Mead’s new Cakes for Kids cookbook and you’ll experience a combination of awe and complete intimidation. It’s as if my inner competimommy is saying Yes! We can make this! while my inner Peggy Bundy is like Are you freaking kidding me?

35 gorgeous technicolor photos demonstrate how flour, butter, eggs and sugar, in the right combos (and with the right decorating tools and probably with the right professional food stylist) can become a spectacular rainbow, grasshopper, candy-filled treasure chest or eye-popping beach ball.

These recipes are not for the confectionarily-challeged; while the directions seem fairly clear and there are some handy blueprint-like illustrations to help a mama out, there are definitely some professional tricks involved for the more advanced cakes. Let’s just say the “Swishy Fishy” requires assembling five pieces of cake with wooden skewers then decorating with silk floral greenery and tiny glass balls.

But man, if you want to blow your kids’ minds and you’ve got the offset spatula ready to go, this is your book. Me, I think I’ll stick with the ladybug cupcakes. –Liz