Saturday, January 16, 2010

A very belated birthday ...

My daughter turned two, three weeks ago! We got her birthday gifts a couple of days before her birthday, but somehow it never seemed the right time to celebrate (even though it wasn't going to be a huge celebration). 

Finally, convinced that she will grow up and hate me, I had to carve out the time to do it last Thursday. I wanted to finish with her cake before she woke up, which meant waking up before 6 a.m. on a weekend :( 

It's been a loooong while since I picked up a decorating bag, so the shells border was messy and I forgot Hello Kitty's whiskers! (No one noticed, so: shhhhh!)

I used a Dark Chocolate cake mix (didn't at all have the time to bake from scratch). And for the buttercream, I used the Magnolia Bakery recipe.

It's both easy and frustrating to trace out an image on buttercream. I found the Hello Kitty image online (coloring pages) and traced it on wax paper.

Once the buttercream had crusted, I placed the traced image on top of the cake and poked out the outline with a sharp, wooden skewer. It wasn't working very well because sometimes the skewer wouldn't poke through the paper; I was also holding the paper down & so the heat from my hands was making the buttercream stick and I seem to have created dents on the surface.

Took the paper off, cut the image out and placed it back on the top of the cake and then poked out the outline. This worked much better.

I use Wilton decorating tips & colors - so I used tip #5 to make the black outline as well as the eyes. For the rest of Hello Kitty, I used tip #16 stars (and color pink) and again tip #16 for the messy shell borders. The writing was done with tip #3 in violet.

I wanted to add polka dots around the circumference of cake in the same shade of pink as Hello Kitty's dress. But I forgot.

I had printed out a Ben 10 template I was going to use on a sheet cake for my Ben 10 crazy son. But then after all that trouble with the paper sticking etc, I decided : heck, it's not even his birthday! Why go through all that trouble? And having a sheet cake AND the Kitty cake lying around would mean I would be eating my way through them both all week. So: No, thank you!

He gets insanely jealous of any attention she gets, so that was going to be my attempt at smoothing things over.

However, I figured he would be happy with just about anything as long as it reminded him of Ben 10. So at the last minute, I unwrapped some store-bought cupcakes and frosted them with black and green tinted buttercream.

Result: everyone was happy.

Here's the recipe for Magnolia Bakery's buttercream: 

2 sticks of butter,  soft
6-8 cups of confectioners sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream  butter and 4 cups of sugar. 
Add in the vanilla and milk. Beat 3-5 minutes. 
Add 1 cup of remaining confectioners sugar at a time, till you achieve required consistency and sweetness. 
For me -  6 cups works pretty well.


Kim (@ Paper Apron) said...

Very, very cute cake! I think you will officially go down in her history as a very cool mom. And since she's only two, the photo documentation is most important. ;)

Needful Things said...

Lols.. that's why I always take photos ;-)


Unknown said...

I love the Magnolia bakery buttercream recipe - its perfect all the time!

CAHİDE said...

O kadar beğendim ki güzel yapmışsınız:)

Needful Things said...

Cahide - um, thanks?

Deana Sidney said...

love the color of those cakes... and the name of your blog!

Andrea said...

Those cupcakes look amazing! How did you get the two colours together like that?

Needful Things said...

Thanks Andrea! I fill one side of the piping bag with the green icing and the other side with black (You can use as many colors as you want) to get two-toned icing. Here's a video on youtube you might find helpful:

THere's also a post on good life eats using a slightly different technique. I haven't tried it this way but you can have a look here:

good luck!

Andrea said...

Thanks so much for the links! :D

Unknown said...

very clever :).
how did you make the green and black. did you just have them seperate then sort of marble them together? thanks rach

Needful Things said...

Hi Rachel, please refer to my response to Andrea !


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