Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter Wonderland Penguin Birthday Cake

I know, I know, everything I've shared lately has to do with my sweet little baby, but let's face it, he takes up a lot of my time and I am pretty much in love with him and I don't want to forget all of these sweet little memories we are making. 

And yes, you read that title right, this post is all about the birthday cake. 

Because I was so excited about how E's cake turned out I wanted to devote an entire post to it. So I am. I have seen parties for babies first birthdays where the parents go all out, tons of friends and family are invited and a big celebration of the birthday boy or girl is had. I think these are wonderful and there is nothing wrong with them. But, like I mentioned before, we chose to keep things simple. Even if we still lived in Louisville and had friends and family to invite over, we would have kept things just as simple. I know he is a loved little boy without having to fuss over a big party. Though I must say, I do love looking at pictures from sweet little first birthday parties and how everything was done up big and pretty. 

Even though we didn't go all out I wanted to have a fun little celebration and a theme of some sort. Because E's has a birthday in January and it has been bitterly cold and snowy this year, I thought it would be fun to do a little winter wonderland theme. 

I asked him what he thought about it and he told me it was a great idea. So, Winter Wonderland it was. 

I looked around on Pinterest and saw some pretty cute ideas. I had always wanted to try my hand at making a cake and decorating it with fondant so I found an amazing tutorial and started baking/decorating/cake making.

Because my days are full with three little ones I knew I would need to start well ahead of when I wanted to finish the cake, which was Friday. I started almost a week before I planned to have his little party. On Saturday during nap time I made the fondant and then slowly throughout the week I worked on the decorations.

Landon even got sucked into procrastinated working on his school work and helped with the decorating because he thought it looked like fun. He made a few little presents and decorated the little cake. Impressive, no?

One of my favorite types of cake is funfetti so I decided to make that for my little Gooseberry. I found a recipe for funfetti cake and decided to try it out. I followed the directions almost completely, but there were a few changes I made and things I would do differently in the future, should I decide to make this cake again. Which, I probably will.

One of the changes I made was using whole wheat flour instead of regular flour. I used whole wheat flour instead just because it's what I had at home. I didn't realized I only had about a half a cup of regular flour until I went to bake the cake one night and didn't feel like going out to get flour, so I used the whole wheat I had at home. I thought the cake still tasted really good and it was even a little healthier for us too I suppose :)

One thing I would do differently in the future is not cover the cake in the middle of the baking time like the recipe says to. I did this, but it took my cake a lot longer to bake, and even though I covered the cake really loosely, the cake still stuck to the tin foil. I don't think it's a necessary step at all and almost didn't do it. But, I thought I should follow it through just to be safe (even though for the other cake I just made I changed a bunch of stuff). I'm just thankful for icing :)

Speaking of icing, the buttercream icing recipe it pretty tasty. I followed it exactly and it was yummy! I didn't double it, even though I doubled the cake recipe, because I don't love a ton of icing on my cake. Though, I think if I could have made one and a quarter of the recipe it would have been the perfect amount for the two cakes. One worked, but it was pretty thin in some spots, even for me.

I had so much fun making the little penguins and snowmen for E's cake. I'm just so glad I had an excuse to try this! I'm already thinking about what I will do for his cake next year...

And even though the cake was for E, and we didn't eat the penguins or anything (although they are completely edible), I am glad I made them. It was fun and added a little happy and cheer to his special day. I am glad my in-laws came for a little visit, even if they only saw the cake for a little while, it was just nice for someone else to appreciate the cake. Landon thought it was great, and E could have cared less, so it was nice to have other people see it :)

The chubby little guy is L's favorite (maybe mine too). L wanted me to make a fish for him, like he saw in the inspiration cake, I told him I wasn't so sure I could do that. But I tried anyway and he seemed pretty excited when he saw the little fish, and he loved that the chubby penguin was the one with the fish. I told him that I made that little guy just for him.

A little snowball fight...

I tried to make a little hat like E has for one of the little penguins. I love how E's hat has little ears and thought it would be fun to try and make a little Emerson penguin.

The sad thing about this cake is that, well, I spent about a week or so working on it, and now his day has come and gone. And the penguins are no longer needed. I just don't know what to do with them. They are sitting in a tupperware right now, and I know I'll have to throw them away, but it just makes me sad because they were a labor of love and I really like them. I might even consider them my buddies.

The earmuffs!

So, there it is. Emerson's (second) first birthday cake. It was so fun to make and so much easier than I thought it would be. I know there are little imperfections here and there, but I love it and am proud of my work. Hopefully one day E will be able to appreciate it, even if it is just in pictures.

I'd love to make you a cake! If you live nearby (or in Louisville.... maybe?) and want a cake I'd love to make one for you!


The Purple Front Door said...

The penguins are adorable!! So cute. I've not worked with fondant, but after reading this I don't think I should be so intimidated by it!

Lauren said...

I had no idea YOU MADE his cake!! So impressed- looks great & also very special!

Susannah said...

Oh my word - that cake is adorable!!! I'm so impressed that you made it! :-)

Callie Nicole said...

Oh my goodness, the cake is adorable! You did an amazing job!

Lauren said...

this is so amazing! way to go!

Amy said...