Caroline’s First Birthday Soiree

 

A very special little someone in our family just celebrated a big birthday. Okay, maybe not a big number as it relates to age, but a huge celebration for the parents and family just the same. My sweet little niece is a precious child and we were so happy to share in her first birthday celebration. Everyone survived the many changes and milestones of year one and that is reason to celebrate! We are rapidly approaching our little guy’s first birthday too, so more fun parties lie ahead…

Along with my husband and son, we flew the luggage, a car seat, a baby carrier and a whole suitcase of cake pans and tools. We joke there is no more traveling “lite” these days and this trip really illustrated that point!  I was enlisted to make the birthday cake and smash cake for this pink & gold themed party. A two tiered vanilla cake filled with pastry cream and raspberries, decorated with piped ombre rosettes was the plan. A matching mini smash cake for Miss Caroline and a single tier chocolate cake for her Papa, who shares the birthday weekend with his first grandchild. 

There was lots to do and about 36 hours to do it. I started with the baking of the cakes to allow for cooling time and in case anything had to be redone.  Next, the pastry cream for the filling of the rosette cake and then a chocolate fudge frosting for the single tier “Papa” cake. Lastly, I made an Italian buttercream for the rosette piping.

If there is one thing I can suggest for those of you who are interested in baking and decorating cakes, take the time to make your own buttercream. The store bought frosting is not comparable to the results you achieve from making your own. The ingredients are simple and it is not a difficult process, just one that requires patience. The sugar and water must be cooked to a particular temperature before it can be poured into the stand mixer with the frothed egg whites. The meringue mixture then whips for ten or more minutes until the bowl is no longer warm and you have a shiny white meringue. The last step is to add lots of room temperature butter, a little at a time, as the mixture will break and then come back together.  If you are interested in baking cakes, check into this book as most of the recipes I used for this party are from there. 

After seeing the ingredient list, my brother remarked he would never eat cake again. He did though and he loved it! There are always special occasions to splurge and celebrate, so when they come along enjoy them!

The cakes were built, stacked and decorated the morning of the party. Things were a little chaotic at moments but it all came together in the end. When baking in an environment you are unfamiliar with try to be extra prepared and organized to stay on task and avoid problems. I had all the recipes organized and a timeline written of the order things needed to be accomplished. 

The party was  absolutely beautiful! Lots of family and friends celebrated with the birthday girl. Ice cream was served in patisserie style “C” cups with a toppings bar. There was also a pink themed candy bar with jelly beans, sixlets and m&m’s for guests’ favors. The cakes were delicious and the birthday girl definitely approved! The weekend was great fun with family and great memories for all! 

 

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