My little boy turned 2 yesterday. How can 2 years go by so quickly? I remember holding him in hospital so clearly and in complete disbelief that I had a perfect baby boy. He had blonde hair and was so gorgeous. He still has blonde hair and is still so gorgeous but he is a fast runner and keeps me on my toes.
I had made a great deal of cake for a big party we had planned for the park. But we were rained out. So we are spreading out the celebrations with a few play dates with Elliott’s buddies and sending everyone home with big wedges of cake.
Children’s birthday cakes are usually laced with lots of artificial food colouring which I try to avoid for the most part. For the girls I can mash up or blitz up some strawberries to mix in the icing for a pink tint and a yummy flavour. Boys are harder. I did attempt blueberries mixed into icing for Elliott’s 1st birthday but not successfully. I ended up just covering the cake with vanilla icing and doting blueberries all over.
Thankfully there are heaps of inspiring ideas out and about these days to decorate cakes and cupcakes using paper. For the cupcakes I made vanilla cupcakes from a Donna Hay Kids magazine. I make these a lot and they are great. To keep with the whale/sea theme from Elliott’s party invites I baked the cupcakes in the blue stripped baking cups, topped them with the Whipped Vanilla Icing and popped in a toothpick with a whale picture attached.
My friend Brooke got me onto Katy Jane Designs over in Western Australia. I bought up big at the beginning of the year for all the kids birthdays plus the lovely brown paper bags for party favours. Essie had The Little Vintage girl design because the little girl in the drawing looks exactly like Essie.
I had looked online to buy some cupcake toppers but couldn’t find any to suit the theme. So I printed off lots of little whale pictures, cut them out and glued 2 together with a toothpick in between. A bit time consuming but I did it whilst half watching a DVD.
As for the big mother of a birthday cake, I used my faithful Boiled Chocolate Cake recipe. I made two 30cm round cakes. Trimmed them and sandwiched them together with whipped chantilly cream and iced them. The sailing boats idea is from the new and wonderful Australian Women’s Weekly ‘More Cakes For Kids’ cookbook. It is full of fantastic ideas! But a little too much of the fondant icing which looks great but no one wants to eat. I stick with the whipped vanilla icing.
Birthday season in our family is spread nicely from April through to September. It is all over now and I have churned out the same chocolate cake and the same vanilla cupcakes for all four children’s parties but they have all looked so different. They are good reliable recipes.
(from Donna Hay Kids magazines)
125g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and milk and mix until just combined. Spoon into 12 paper patty cases in a muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool on wire racks before icing.