How Many Birthdays Fit on a Cake?

Go ahead.  Question my sanity.  It was my idea to have a family get together where we celebrate 8 out of the 12 birthdays.  Given how this year has gone from on emergency to another in the family and my sister in the middle of her recovery, there hasn’t been time to get together as a family!

I am sure I wasn’t the only one wondering what we were getting ourselves into.  It’s one thing to all get together for a meal but another to get through all the presents and cake in a short amount of time. But it was a lovely day.  The weather was gorgeous and the kids had a great time running about.  I think the cutest thing was my three year old nephew getting a hold of the hose.  This little peanut hosing down his wagon.  And of course when he turned so did the water.  We stayed out of range.  🙂

The tricky bit I had to sort out was the cake.  Five of the birthdays were for the kids.  Originally I planned on doing cupcakes but I just didn’t have the time to decorate individual cupcakes, it would be faster to do a cake.  But how to do a cake for kids ranging from 3-14 without making it crowded or corny?

I really wanted each of them to be represented so it took me a couple of days to figure it out.  The littlest one is majorly into Thomas the Train.  He is just enthralled with the whole thing.  My niece loves My Little Pony, my other nephew is into Pokemon, and my son thinks Olaf is the best thing since sliced bread.  And of course my daughter who is becoming a young lady so she’s not into those types of things but she had to be represented somehow.

Olaf birthday cake 2 2015

Thank goodness for the internet.  A quick search leads to ideas on how to make a character so it actually looks like it.  It’s one thing to freehand volcanoes and castles but I can’t screw up Olaf!

I also did the pokemon circle in gum paste but due to time constraints I went store bought for the rest.  I don’t think I have the skills yet to do Thomas or My Little Pony.

Olaf birthday cake 3 2015

Olaf birthday cake 4 2015Added a bit of flowers for my daughter and a bit of whimsy with yellow.

Olaf birthday cake 1 2015

We had a wonderful day of family, good food, and laughter.  The best bit was my little nephew’s face when he realised it was Thomas on the cake.  🙂

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Birthday cake!

Our daughter just turned 12 and one of the things she asked for was to have family for lunch. How lucky are we?  Oh and cake of course.  🙂

As her favourite colour is purple I knew I had to use that colour.  A month or so ago I found some purple sugar and white sugar pearls.  I wanted to do a kid cake that was elegant given her age.  That was as far as I got until the morning of the day everyone was coming.  Talk about a decorating block!  I just couldn’t think of anything.  Fortunately on the walk with the dogs I got an idea.  And it had to be done quickly as I had an hour to do this.  Yikes!

Not only does she like purple, she likes butterflies so I decided to go with that.  I whipped up some buttercream icing like I did for these cupcakes.  Before I added the purple I scooped some white into a decorating bag.

Chocolate Birthday cake 1 2013

I put a ring of frosting to hold in the filling around the first layer of the cake.  My blueberry jam was requested but turns out we had nothing left!  Time to make more.  So I used my apple jam.  Which my son loved so I’ll have to do that for his cake.  🙂

Chocolate Birthday cake 2 2013

Carefully place the top layer on and brush any loose crumbs off.

Chocolate Birthday cake 3 2013

Ice the whole cake smoothing as best you can.  Isn’t this a great purple?

Chocolate Birthday cake 4 2013

Next I used the white frosting to outline the flowers and butterfly.  Finally I got the consistency right and it flowed like it should.  In the past I was squeezing with all my might.  Too much work.   I used the white pearls for the centers and the purple sugar for the petals and wings.  I really need to problem solve getting the sugar where I want it to go.  There was a bit of colouring outside the lines with this bit.

Chocolate Birthday cake 6 2013

To finish it off I added some icing dots on the sides.

Chocolate Birthday cake 5 2013

She really enjoyed so I was pleased.  🙂

Halloween decorated cupcakes

Yesterday I posted about the chocolate cupcakes I baked for my son’s sleepover.  Today I’m posting about decorating them.  I would still classify myself as a beginner as I’m not consistent and I very often have to be creative to get what I want done because I’m still practicing technique.  But the bottom line is my son loved him and that is what counts!  🙂

I used buttercream icing to decorate the cupcakes.  The recipe comes from the Wilton class book I have from a course I took.  I haven’t really experimented with other recipes as this usually works for me.

To start add 1 cup white shortening, 1 pound of confectioner’s sugar, pinch of salt, and 1 T meringue powder to a mixing bowl.  If anyone is allergic to eggs skip the powder.

Start mixing.  The thing I don’t like about this is the cloud of sugar that puffs up!

To start smoothing out the icing add 1 tsp of flavour.  This is the one time I use imitation vanilla flavour because it is clear.  The gradually add milk.  The recipe calls for up to 8 tsp of milk.  This is where I screw up every time.  I never put enough in so when I start decorating the icing is too thick.  And then my hands cramp up!.

Once you have the consistency you want it is time to colour the icing.  I picked orange for the Halloween theme.  I use gel food colour rather than the liquid.  It works better for me.

I spread the orange onto the cupcakes then used white frosting to do the ghosts, grave stones, and jack o’lanterns.

When you are cleaning up the icing don’t wash it down the drain.  Throw as much of it away first as the fat can clog the drains if you use a lot of icing.