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.