Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The birthday trial run

Haley's birthday is coming up in 3 weeks. Not just any birthday though, her FIRST birthday. I may be new at the whole "first birthday" thing, but I know it's a big deal. First birthdays (in my opinion) are not really for the little people celebrating them. They're for the parents; and if we're really being honest, they're for the mom's. Don't get me wrong, my husband is thrilled about celebrating our little girl's 1st birthday, but he would like just as much to do with the planning process as he would like having a tooth pulled.
 Since my husband was no help at all, I enlisted the help of my (much more enthusiastic) sister-in-law, Shannon. After throwing ideas around, we decided to make her party a "fairy/garden" theme complete with fairy outfit and flower cupcakes inspired by Martha Stewart. As you may already know, on first birthdays many American parents give their newly-minted 1-year old their own cake and let them dive face first into a sugar overdose. I fully support this tradition, but if my daughter is going to be covered in frosting that I'll be peeling off of her scalp for 2 weeks after, the cake has to be good.

I saw a commercial on TV for a giant cupcake mold. I didn't want to be fool because my cake wasn't cool, so I decided to buy the giant mold and make Haley her very own huge toadstool cupcake - you know, the cute little mushrooms with the red top and white spots? Before the official debut though, I knew I should probably do a trial run to make sure everything came out looking like the picture...and man, I'm glad I did.
 After making the cupcake, the cupcake did NOT come out of the mold easily like the commercial claims. The top of the cupcake was pretty much small bits of cake held together with frosting. Since it was a trial run, I decided not to put the white spots on the cupcake since I was going to quality over looks. After frosting the cupcake though, I realized the amount of red dye that goes into giving the toadstool its signature red color. And then I thought about how much of that red-dyed frosting would be all over my daughter as she did a faceplant into her birthday cupcake. With that thought in mind, I think I'm going to go for white frosting and red dots instead, more like Martha Stewart's toadstool cupcake, but giant. And without a worm. And hopefully better looking on my next trial run :)

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness, Jen, you are still way more brave than me. anything I bake comes out flat, dry, crumbly, etc. I once made banana bread for my in-laws and it was REALLY 1 inch thin. It was somehow thinner than when I put the batter in the oven...

    Andrew has these photos from his early birthdays with these amazing count von count and cookie monster and ninja turtle cakes. I always ask, "Where did you GET these cakes?" and he always responds casually, "Oh, my mom made them."

    Seriously, I think if I'm ever a parent, I doubt I inherited the cake-decorating abilities that I once thought every parent could pull off. Glad to know it takes practice.

    I'm all about trial runs if you have the time. I just want to know who's eating the practice cake?



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