Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Special Cake for Dina's First Birthday

I'm going to attempt to post about cake at least once a week so that my blog name remains relevant. When Dina was turning one, I considered her favorite toys and decided her tea-pot and tea-cups would be the perfect theme for her birthday party. Additionally, they had the added bonus of being a perfect cake topper, in case I couldn't get it together enough to create edible ones. First, I made a test-cake, to see what proportions I needed for the tea set. The actual tea set fit on the test cake pretty well- maybe a bit too big. I also tried some fun borders to see what I liked best. 
The test cake- making borders. Everyone loves test cakes.

Next, I thought I'd try to create the tea cups from gum paste I got at the Dutch Cake Event earlier that year. A word to the wise: Don't use a finite supply of anything if you are worried about the colors matching. Always make more than you think you will need for your project. Along with the tea cups I made the flowers and butterflies ahead of time. The Wilton Royal Icing recipe is awesome for making flowers. You don't even need to do them as perfect as the ones you see online. Here, you can observe I've made what amounts to five 'petals' but might also be referred to as 'lumps' with yellow dots in the center. Once they are on the cake, no one will notice if they are perfect, trust me.
For the butterflies, I folded wax paper over a box (just needed a 90 degree angle) and piped the wings on each of the sides of the box, and the body of the butterfly down the seam. Give it about 48 hours to dry completely and you have three dimensional butterflies!
Next, I looked online at one of the many font shops to see which font I liked. I can't remember which one I choose, but then I my husband printed it to the right size and then I held it above where I wanted the writing to be, checking it for size and shape as I piped onto the cake:
I placed the tea cups, flowers, butterflies at the last moment because I used a whipped cream frosting which, over time (like an hour or two) will begin to melt a bit, even if stabilized. A side note: Dutch whipped cream is the bomb, people.
The tea pot was made painting Royal Icing over top of a balloon and allowing it to harden. I used one of Dina's balls from her ball-pit for supporting the shape of the lid of the tea-pot (a circle made from gum paste) and the gum paste ball on the top of the lid was attached with Royal Icing as well. The purple wiggle boarder on the cake was made with buttercream icing and the filling was strawberries and cream.
Most people use fondant for covering cakes but I'll save my opinion of fondant for another post. While I agree that cakes should look beautiful, I also believe they should taste amazing, no matter what they look like!
Using the Culinary Institute of America's white cake recipe, I then torted each cake to make four layers, layering strawberries and homemade strawberry sauce inbetween. 

The most important part of this project was my baby girl's reaction. At her first opportunity, she grabbed a tea cup! Success!
 Dina's first birthday party- I will never forget it. I love you, my sweet Dina!

1 comment:

  1. That is truly an incredible cake! You really are an artist. Thanks for sharing.
    Jessica Custer