Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Baby Turns Six

Last week, my baby turned 6. I know it's a total cliche that time flies, but it is so true. It doesn't seem that long ago that Kate was itty-bitty, screaming her head off at me over absolutely everything. Yep, she was a crier.

All. The. Time.

I am glad the days of crying are over and I really love the age she is at now. Apparently, Kate got all of her anger out during that first year because she has been pretty much happy with everything ever since then. She is a breathe of fresh air and a joy. And I'm not just saying that because I'm her Mom! :)

This year was the first year Kate had a friend party. (I know, she is so deprived!) She invited all of her best friends, mostly from her school class, to a Princess & Superhero party here at home. What a lot of work that was! But it was also so much fun. The theme fits Kate to a "T". She loves superheroes and princesses equally and can hang with both the boys, all rough and tumble, and with the girls, with dolls and sweetness.

I had elaborate plans for her cake, too. It was going to be a castle, with many turrets and different sized tiers of cake, stacked up and decorated like a real castle. On it would be standing a sweet princess. A dragon was going to be climbing the side of one turret, breathing fire, and Superman himself was going to be saving the day.

Did I mention that I have never done any figure modelling before? That proves important later in the story!

I made the princess and was pretty pleased with her. I think I could do better next time, but I thought she was very nice for a first effort.

Here she is...

A few nights later, I began the dragon. He was coming along fine, but wouldn't dry. So, I propped him on some tissues to keep his shape and started molding Superman. Let me tell you, that was NOT easy! Two hours later, I had a figure that was just okay. It was nearly one o'clock in the morning and I could barely see straight anymore. I set my headless superhero down and realized he was bigger than the dragon. And about four times bigger than the princess. Ugh! I think I will blame extreme focus on the task at hand for my not noticing the size discrepancy earlier! The bottom line is he was unusable on this cake. The proportions were just all wrong.

It was two days before the party. The cake was baked, but not trimmed or assembled at all. None of the turrets, which were to be styrofoam, were covered with fondant or started at all. The buttercream for the filling and the ganache for covering the cake (under the fondant) were still unmade. And I had a day's worth of party prep to finish. I'm not ashamed to say I cried a little!

The next day, Kate and I had a heart to heart. It turns out the only person really invested in having an elaborate castle cake was me. So, we came up with an alternative, thanks to some inspiration from Sweetapolita. The dragon, which was still not dry a full 24 hours later, and headless Superman were scrapped and instead, I did a sweet and simple stacked and buttercream covered cake in pink, blue, and white. The princess stood alone on the top and simple fondant flowers were placed beside her and scattered around the base of each tier. I also sprinkled some pink sugar stars around the edges and on the top.

All the kids, including my own, greeted the cake with many ooh's and ah's, proving that really all one needs is cake. And sometimes simple is better than crazy. Crazy as in me turning into a wild crazy yelling person with no sleep and too much stress. No good for kids or birthdays!

Ahhhh...such a long story this time, huh? I bet you're ready to see the picture of the entire cake! Without further ado, here it is in all it's simple glory. I hope you like it!

It's definitely not fancy and not perfect, but that is part of it's charm. For me now, simple is in and over-complicated time-consuming designs are out!

Do you want to know what's on the inside? Even if you don't, I'm going to tell you! So just skip this paragraph if you don't want to know! :) The bottom tier was made with two chocolate layers and one strawberry layer with vanilla American buttercream (the powdered sugar buttercream that most of us know and love) filling and covering. The top tier is strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream. The strawberry cake was a sort of experiment that turned out pretty well. I used fresh strawberry puree that I reduced to about half as the liquid in the recipe and threw in chopped fresh strawberries just before baking. It tasted really good, but I had some problems with the baking, so I'm going to tweak the recipe before I share it. That's a little recipe teaser for you!

Want a peek at the insides? Here you go!

The chocolate layers tasted a little like brownies. Mmmmm....

Most importantly of all, my little now-six-year-old princess loved it!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Kristen, you are simply amazing. I love this cake almost as much as I love your little princess!