Friday, January 30, 2015

barn yard friends birthday cupcakes

For Emerson's birthday celebration with family I wanted to do something special. Last year I made a little winter wonderland for his first birthday cake and had so much fun doing it that I wanted to do something fun for him this year too.

Now that he is a little bit older and has shown interests in some things I thought it would be fun to take one of his favorites and use that as his cake inspiration. He really loves animals, and has for a while now. He loves elephants, tigers, all of the farm animals, and really any animal. But he loves reading farm books and looking through the pictures of cows, sheep, pigs, and such. So I decided to do a farm animal theme. Then I picked my brain and looked for pictures to use as inspiration. I came up with a pretty neat little plan for his birthday cake.

I thought I'd make a strawberry cake because he loves strawberries, and who doesn't love a good strawberry cake? So I found a recipe and saved it to use for his cake. The recipe said that the batter was enough for two round cake pans and one dozen cupcakes. I gathered and bought everything I needed and got to work. However, the batter did not make nearly as much as the recipe said it did [which is fine because we really didn't need to eat that much cake anyhow]. The only problem I had with that was it spoiled my cake making/decorating idea: one big pig cake, and little farm animal friends to hang around beside it.

While I had my cake pans and muffin tins ready and not enough batter I went back and forth about what to do: cake? cupcakes? little cake and cupcakes? cupcakes? It had to be one or the other. In the end I decided to make cupcakes, mostly because I had spent days before working on little farm animal faces as cupcake toppers. I was pretty pleased with how they had turned out so cupcakes it was.

The recipe said the cake would be light and fluffy and perfectly strawberry. So to accompany that I made a whipped topping as a frosting. It sounded fresh and scrumptious, especially in the middle of winter. After letting the cakes cool I spent a little bit of time icing them and then adding the little toppers. They looked perfect and I couldn't wait to share them with Emerson.

He was also really excited about the cupcakes because he had seen the toppers and that was all he wanted. The second I showed him the animals I was working on, he reached his dimply little fingers towards the tray to snatch one up. I wanted to let him have one right then, but I also knew I needed them for the cakes. So the poor boy had to wait in eager anticipation. And wait he did.

But the second I laid the cakes out for us to eat, he just stood on the chair, looking them all over with the biggest grin on his face, trying to pick one cake. One animal. It was adorable, and I love that he took his time choosing the perfect cupcake for his birthday. He end up with a little sheep on his plate and enjoyed every bite of that sheep and icing. Not so much the cake.

Though, I can't say that I blame him. The cake turned out really terrible. It wasn't fluffy. It wasn't light. It wasn't very strawberry-y. It was as dense as a brick. Oh, it was awful. But it was his birthday cake, and I had made it, so we ate them [though I'm pretty sure even if the cake was good, he still would have only eaten the animals. aka: sugar].

I thought it's be fine to make a new recipe for his cake and that they would turn out fine, especially after reading the recipe through and the many comments below the recipe. I'm sorry I didn't taste one before serving them to family. I had time enough I could have whipped up a batch of fluffy white cupcakes that I know would have been good and cake like. But for whatever reason, I didn't taste the cake. And I didn't do a trial run days or weeks before.

So even though the cakes may have looked sweet to eat, they weren't so much. And that's saying something because I love cupcakes and cakes of all kinds. Oh, well. Lesson learned. Always do a trial run of a new recipe or at least taste it before you serve it to people you love [or don't love for that matter].

It was still a lot of fun celebrating Emerson's birthday with happy little farm faces. I know he loved it and enjoyed eating all of the animals he could over the days that followed [and that he won't remember the terrible tasting cupcakes]. I have a few animals leftover so I think I'm going to make a little batch of [good] cupcakes and top them off with these guys. That way we can enjoy the best of both worlds. Good cake. Cute topper.

On the bright side [?] he was able to enjoy some really good, light, fluffy, funfetti, and perfectly cup cake of a cupcake on his actual birthday. That has to count for something, right?

Anyhow, that's how we celebrated his little birthday. It's also the extent of his decorations and party. I would love to have had farm animals and cute little decorations everywhere and made it a fun little thing for everyone ... but it's just not me. And it's also just not in the budget. But we had fun; I loved making the faces for the cupcakes and he loved gobbling them up. What more could a mama ask for?

I hope you all have a happy weekend!


Jessica said...

Those are THE cutest cupcakes! Way to go, Mama! Love them! So sorry the cake didn't taste good though. Bummer:( If you'll remind me, I'll send you my mama's strawberry cake recipe. It's the very best. So delish - Emerson would love it. One of my husband's friends tried to propose to my mom after trying it, lol! Just help me remember, and I'll send you that recipe and the one for the raspberry coffee cake that you mentioned wanting to try! :)

Meghan said...

Those are amazing! You are very talented! Too bad the cake itself wasn't good!

Callie Nicole said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE those! You make the most amazing cakes.

Lauren said...

Those cupcakes are adorable! And we have a crazy delicious strawberry cake recipe that is soooo delicious! I'm willing to share it if you want it!

Amy said...

Hannah! These are adorable! they are too pretty to eat! Lol! Great work, Mama!

Alisha said...

Seriously, these win the award for cutest cupcakes ever. How in the world did you make the animal toppers?

tina bumblebee said...

These are sooooooo cute!!!!!!!

MaryNeedsSleep said...

Jessica, would you share that strawberry cake recipe with the rest of us? Sounds amazing!

Hannah, gorgeous cupcakes!