SMASH CAKE - Rainbow Cake with Roses - First Birthday Party

First Birthday, and the new Mama's first Birthday cake. It's can't be that hard, right? 

First things first. What I originally thought would be her smash cake turned out not to be suitable.  But at least it looked cute!

I bought Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix on BOGO at Publix.  On a whim, I added a few drops of neon food coloring to each little batch before I poured it in the pans.With the party on Saturday, I baked my cakes Wednesday night. I doctored my cakes by adding 2 Tbsp. of plain all-purpose flour along with an extra egg, 3 Tbsp. butter,  and 1 Tbsp. of sugar. The cake is a little heavier and more dense than it would have been.

I baked two 6 inch and two four inch for Arleigh's smash cake. When the cakes cooled completely, I wrapped them in wax paper, then aluminum foil to keep them nice and moist before the weekend party. (The cake was SUPER moist, so baking early caused no problems at all.)

Since I had originally thought this would be the smash cake, I bought cool whip cream cheese frosting for the inside layers and used the neon blue food coloring (with one dot of green) to make turquoise. 

 FYI  - Cool Whip frosting (in the freezer section) is THE BOMB.

Friday,  I made the hour long trip to Columbus to decorate cakes at my Mom's, since the party was held at the camphouse in their neck of the woods.

I followed the easy rose decorating directions on you tube and from I Am Baker.

I'll be your guinnea pig. Here's what I learned.
  • I should have planned this better in general. I'm the QUEEN bee of procrastination. I tend to plan and make to-do list like crazy, but I have the ridiculous ability to change it all at the drop of a hat and go a different direction. (Like the colored cakes that were just going to be white with confetti and the teal icing that was going to be pale yellow.)  It's a blessing and a curse. Then again...I baked at my house, transported the just baked cakes to my mom, and then moved the iced and assembled cake to the camphouse. These poor cakes were gonna be a hot mess anyway you look at it. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
  • I should have baked 4 - 6 inch or 4 - 4 inch cakes and not worried about tiers.  I think it would have looked better. I had two of each pan, which is why I baked 2 of each layer originally. My Mama, being the sweet Mama she is, told me it looked like a hat...Fits in perfectly with our Arleigh in Onederland theme. :-) 
  • I should have been more careful adding color into my layers and with leveling out the batter in the cake pans. Because I was adding color, they were beaten too much, which made more peaks in my cake pans. I had to pull out my handy-dandy cake saw leveler.
  • Don't forget to use dowels to sturdy the cake.
  • I should not have tinted my inside layer icing. When I started icing my original crumb coat, you could see the turquoise through the original roses, which meant I had to color my outside icing. or I would have used it for the inside and done a plain white crumb coat on the outside. I'm just not quite talented enough to hide all the bad stuff.
  • The roses required 3 batches of old fashioned decorator icing for one itty bitty cake.They are super SUPER easy to do and make quite the adorable statement.
  • NEVER - (AND I REPEAT NEVER) use something so intensely colored for an almost one-year old's smash cake. I looked like a blue smurf after decorating, and we made a last minute decision to give Arleigh the top tier of the white birthday cake for her smash cake. I haven't played in icing colors in a long time, so I had no idea how bad it would stain.

  • The cake stand we used for Arleigh's cake was the Mikasa ribbon stand that held our keepsake tier at our wedding. Sentimentality is my forte. The cake held the bride and groom from my grandparents wedding, also used at my parents wedding. The cake photos on the table are from our parent's weddings.  (See the stand in the back right corner of our table?)
  • And the dowels used in Arleigh's first birthday cakes? Those were from our wedding cake, too.  (Yes, my mother and I both save everything.)
  • Her cake knife was an engraved gift from a family friend. We'll use it every birthday, and eventually she can use it at her wedding. (I used my mom and dad's at my wedding.) 

Yes, I am a sentimental NUT CASE. :-) I had no business making Arleigh's cake either, yet, I did it! And it looked pretty ok, but it tasted fabulous! :-)  Mommy made it trumps pretty much everything. Made with love. Lots and lots of love.

I guess I should mention I was a 4-H Breads Sweepstakes winner back in the 90's, and I took a Wilton Cake decorating class in that era as well. Does that even count?  I'm thinking I would love to take more classes. I do love baking! It was lots of fun, and I may even try it again! :-)  I was proud. 

I'm already planning on baking her a #1 cake for her "real" birthday in February. 

What do you like to "control" with your own parties? What is your party forte?


  1. I admire all your hard work in making Arleigh's birthday a huge success! I loved every detail. The cakes looked great! She is so blessed to have a talented mother and grandmother. She is destined to be creative!

  2. Anonymous3/15/2013

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.