Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Girly Cake for a Baby Girl

Sugar and spice and everything nice. That is what little girls are made of.

Cake too. Especially when the top tier is spice cake, and the other two are white with raspberry and chocolate with more raspberry. And dark chocolate ganache. Smothered in cream cheese frosting and almond buttercream respectively.

This is one of my favorite cakes I have made. Ever. Like ever ever.

Why? Because of my emotional connection to it, and because of this:

And this:

And how the whole thing came together as a whole.

My best friend just became a Mommy for the first time this summer. We threw her a girly pink shower this spring, and I made this cake (duh). We wanted it to be cutesy but not kitschy, pink, but subtle, and mouthwateringly scrumptious. This was one of those designs that kind of percolated in the back of my mind for a couple weeks before all of a sudden becoming glaringly obvious as the perfect idea, and for once, execution almost identically matched my expectations.

The new Daddy-to-be's favorite cake is spice, so we made the little top tier spice cake (with cream cheese frosting) for him - it was set aside at the shower, and was taken home to be eaten later (since this was a traditional no-boys-allowed kind of shower). The other two tiers were those always crowd-pleasing white with raspberry filling and almond buttercream, and chocolate with raspberry and bittersweet ganache filling (also with almond buttercream).

Here they are all ready to be stacked and decorated. Spice cake front and center, and white and chocolate right behind.

The ombré look was pulled off with a combination of roses and fondant. The top and bottom layers were smothered in simple piped frosting roses (the "cheating" kind that I posted about a while back). The roses faded from a pretty pink at the bottom to white at the top (OK, almost white, but I was plumb out of clear vanilla extract).

The striped fondant tier in the middle was made to match the middle pink tone of the ombré for a continuous look top to bottom (or bottom to half full? The chicken or the egg?). The fondant tier was simple too. I made my homemade marshmallow fondant, first in white to cover the tier (which was, of course, frosted lightly to give the fondant something to cling to).

Then I mixed in some pink food coloring until it matched the pink I was going for, rolled it out, used a ruler and a pizza cutter to make the stripes, and "glued" them to the cake with a tiny bit of water.

When I was laying the stripes on the cake, I started on the top of the tier (not all the way to the center, since another tier was going to sit on top of it), and glued them down the sides before cutting off the excess even with the bottom of the tier. To space them evenly, do one, then another on the opposite side of the cake, and then do the ones halfway between those, etc. If you do one, and then another right next to it, and so on around the cake, you are likely to end up with too much or too little space when you get back to where you started.

For some cakes, I would decorate the tiers separately to avoid damaging finished tiers in the process. However, since this cake would be finished on the morning of the shower and the roses are pretty easy to smoosh (totally a word, even if spellcheck doesn't think so), I stacked it before I piped on the roses. The fondant tier was the only one completely finished before stacking. The others were only crumb-coated.

I loved the finished product. Still do. It was so so pretty and so so yummy. It will be hard to beat in the future.

This fun cake was a fun way to celebrate the imminent arrival of a sweet baby girl. Now that she is here, I am madly in love with her, and I am thrilled to be her "Auntie Katira."
Here we are on the fourth of July (2 weeks after she joined us in the world). Her outfit even matches her cake (that I'm sure she enjoyed in-utero)!