Daunting task, being one of the most significant birthdays in a human's life and I was terrified of a repeat of Erik's birthday. But I went with a tried and trusted recipe that I love and trusted for this cake and it was a perfect choice.
The Magnolia Bakery is located in NYC, but published their Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe in a cookbook. I love it because it's a super simple recipe, super easy to put make, and tastes like a sugar cookie. Since the party was outside in November, there was a chance of it being pretty warm. I realize that may sound absurd to most people, but this is Phoenix and we've recently been having temperatures over 100, so it's always possible. Traditional buttercream must have been invented in a temperate climate because it melts in the heat. I turned to a Crisco-based frosting that is really tasty and can withstand any Phoenix day.So how does 4 pounds of butter, 3 pounds of Crisco, and 10 pounds of powdered sugar turn into a cake for one tiny little dude? Pure bakery magic! And of course a GIANT mess in the kitchen. Every chef needs awesome attire for baking, so check out the footwear (props to Corynn, the birthday boy's mom): These look way more sinister when they're on my feet than when they're not.
Everything needs to come to room temperature before the baking begins. And since I was making 5 batches of the recipe (yes, that was FIVE, it was a big party), it took up most of my counter space. But of course, it's when the real baking starts that things get interesting and my kitchen smelled awesome! The cake looked great coming out of the oven. So did the cupcakes. Then came the best part, all the frosting! I didn't get pictures in the process, too busy. But I got pictures of the results. The cake:
How freakin' cute is the Little People Farm set? This may be the most adorable cow ever.
You may also notice that I finally found an excuse to buy myself a grass tip. :)
I pitched the idea of a cake just for the birthday boy after seeing quite a few "smash" cakes online. These are so you can get pictures of the birthday kid playing in the cake, but everyone else gets one without the handprints. Jake's cake: And the whole spread, complete with the cupcakes plus the birthday boy and Mom: So what was the verdict? I think he liked it:
Big thanks to Corynn and Cameron for letting me make the cake and inviting me and the hubbin' to the party. These two are awesome parents and super cool people and have one of the cutest kids on Earth. Thanks for putting the hubbin' to work for them setting up, keeps him out of trouble.
And to a big thanks to Melinda who took pictures for me when I had other commitments and was super late to the party. Since this was my favorite picture of Jake that I found on my camera, I'll leave you with it.