Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I baked!

Hi, my name is Meredith and I am a type A personality.  For reals. 
As you probably know, my little baby will be turning 1 in 2 months.  (Woah!)  And I will be going back to work full-time in a couple of weeks.  What do these things have to do with one another?  Well, I have been trying to plan the baby's 1st birthday party as much as possible before I am back to work and in over my head! 
I decided to do a test run on the birthday cake.  This was not, I repeat, was not an attempt to make a cake and eat it.  :)  (Okay, that wasn't the ONLY reason).  I perused my favorite site, Pinterest, and found something that seemed genius!
Image origin unknown.  I attempted to track it down, but could not.  The original pin brought me to a broken link.  If anyone knows, please let me know.  I like to give credit where credit is due.

Then, OhHappyDay, a great blog I follow, tackled the same thing here.  Her's turned out so stinkin' cute!  Don't you think?
Image from Ohhappyday.com

My thinking was this; I wanted James to have his own cake to demolish on his big day.  But, I didn't want to get a huge one, because it would physically pain me to waste that much cake (I envision it on the floor, on his chair, and not in someone's tummy - and that makes me sad).  I also didn't want to buy one.  It would be easier, for sure.  But, I want him to know that I slaved over the stove to make him his first birthday cake.  I feel like guilting him into loving me is such a good idea.  Right?  Right?
Anyway, I could do a cupcake as well.  And that was what I was intending to do until I remembered that I had pinned the tin can cakes.  Enough cake, but not too much that there is a lot of poor cake sprinkled all over the floor.  So, I set off to do a test run using the cans. 
First up though, I needed to find a can that I could cut both top and bottom off.  You see, many cans now have a smooth bottom.  I would not have been able to use the can opener to cut it.  I would have had to come up with another method.  That seemed like a lot of work and I only had the boy's nap time to do this project.  I found some large (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes that had the bottom I needed.

I cut off the top and bottom and put all the contents into a container to be used later (side note : we already used them all.  We like tomatoes!)  I removed the label and had to scrape the glue off. 

I got some cheap cake mix on sale.  Can you tell why?? 

I found some more inspiration on Pinterest that really caught my attention.

Image from gloriouscakes.com

Image from meganscookin.com

I love an ombre cake!  And rainbow, I die!  I liked the idea of the only putting icing between the layers and not on the sides; mostly because I am not good at icing the sides but also, because I think it will attract the baby more than plain icing sides.  So here is what I came up with.
First, I separated the batter into 4 different bowls.  I tried to get it as evenly divided as possible, but I really just eye-balled it.  Then I added blue gel icing.  I thought I would give the ombre cake a try.  So, I added the blue to the mixes gradually making one bowl darker blue than the next.

I followed the directions and wrapped tin foil around one side of the tin can.  Then sprayed it with PAM.  (Well, honestly, I didn't spray it.  I poured the batter in, then realized I forgot to spray.  I actually did that more often than I would like to admit.  Mommy brain, that's what I am blaming it on).  I poured all of the lightest into one and the second lightest into the other.  So, that is 1/4 of the cake mix really light blue, and 1/4 of the cake pretty light blue.  I put those in the oven at 350° for 25 minutes.  Here is what they looked like.

Sort of tall.  And the top was rounded.  That wasn't going to work if I was going to stack them.  I then cut the tops off using a serrated knife.

I repeated this for the two darker batters.  I literally repeated it all.  As in, I forgot to spray the tin with PAM and had to take it out and redo that step.  Go me. 

I stacked them.  It was a really tall cake.  Way too tall.  I don't think my kid could handle an 8 inch tall cake.  That would be a little crazy.

So, I thought I would cut them in half and make 2 cakes.  Boo yah!  One I wanted to keep open, no icing on the sides, only between the layers. 

Can you see the ombre?  It is kind of subtle. 
The other I decided to ice the sides.  Which I suck at.

Then I got a little crafty!  I had a tube of red icing stuff.  I am terrible with it.  I thought it would be cute to do a little baseball on the top.  Do you think cute?

And the best part of it all... it tasted MAGNIFICENT!!  I only had a teeny tiny piece / one whole cake by myself.  (I am so gross.  To the gym!!!) 

Are you wondering what I did with the tops of the cakes? 

I certainly did not eat them.  Well, I didn't eat them right away.  I waited until they cooled down.  Then, I did the grown-up thing and let the husband have half.  Being married is hard.  You really do have to share everything.  Ugh. 
What do you guys think?  Are you considering doing a "test cake" for your upcoming event?  I highly suggest it.  I may do another 2-3 runs to perfect it all.  Wouldn't want to give my kid a crappy cake that had not been perfected!  I am trying to regain my mom-of-the-year title. 

No comments:

Post a Comment