Saturday, June 22, 2013

First Birthday Cake Shortcuts

 When I make wedding cakes, perfectly even layers and perfectly smooth icing are worth spending hours to achieve. For my grandson's first birthday cake, however, I cut some corners, and when the cake was all done, it showed. My perfectionist self wasn't thrilled with the lopsided, leaning tower result. How could I remedy the situation without essentially starting over? Curling ribbon! You can barely tell that the layers are leaning to one side because the ribbon is a distraction.

I curled the ribbon in long lengths and taped the ends to a skewer, which I inserted behind the candle (which is also leaning, but that's another problem). I think it added some fun to the cake, too, so I might do this again, even with a  non-leaning cake.

I also saved some time shopping for a "1" candle. I didn't want to drive around to different stores, so I bought the only one in the store, which had a yellow outline and looked kind of weak against the bright blue and orange on the cake. I saved it by piping blue icing around the edge.

I had planned on piping dots all over the cake, but while I was standing in line, I saw these candy buttons and candy spots at the checkout line, and immediately recognized their time-saving value. I was a little worried the color might bleed, so I stuck a few in some icing and left it for a couple of hours to be safe. I was so happy when there was no bleeding. Sticking these babies on the sides of the cake was so much easier and neater than mixing icing colors and piping the dots.

Of course the end result didn't matter to Ryan. He decided it was better to smear it on himself and the balloons instead of eating it. He is mad in this picture because people were trying to get him to eat it instead of play with it. I didn't mind one bit. On your birthday, you get to do what you want! Happy Birthday, baby!

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