Assignment: Baby Shower

Yep…Going on a couple years ago for this oldie-but-goodie. I dream of more of my cakes looking this good in the future. One of my next cake posts will describe an utterly humiliating cake. For now, a story with a happy ending!

Thus far, I have made cupcakes for two weddings and one birthday cake. I now get to add another event to my repertoire: the baby shower. Thankfully, this was a little less dramatic than the last time I had a request. See my posts titled “The Misadventures…”.

What I learned this time around: I need to make an order form. This would save me calling Anna The Greek or other customers every 5 minutes the day before with little questions about their cake specifics. Flavor preference? Chocolate, got it.

Hazel Shank and I were good friends again. I love her recipe. However, in the three months since the first wedding, I misplaced the recipe. Shocker. Even though I checked every possible place, alas, my mother, the amazing woman who allowed me in her kitchen and shared her recipes to begin with, saved my hiney.

I think Hazel was a beautiful person, even if I have only seen her cake batter.

This time around, I tried something new in the baking process. “Bake Even Strips” are soaked in water and pinned to the outside of the prepared pan.

They help the cake bake evenly so the edges are not burned to a crisp while the center is a liquid mess. I had quite a struggle to get them securely fastened to a slanted and slick round cake pan. But look at the beauty:

Oh, the rectangle cake. Well, Hazel’s batter is for two 10-inch cakes; I have two 9-inch cake pans. Rather than face certain spillage, which I had a minor incidence of anyway, I poured the extra batter into a loaf pan and decided that I would find some use for the extra cake.

5 minutes later. Cream cheese or butter cream icing? Oh, you want the butter-cream that doesn’t contain actual butter. Well then, do you want trans-fat free butter cream or is generic Crisco okay? By the way, even if you don’t like cream cheese icing, I’m bringing mine so you’ll try it and know that not all cream cheese icings are the same.

While baking the cakes 2 hours later: “Hey, I had a stroke of genius. Would you like a pudding layer between the cake layers?” Something along the lines of “um, yeah!” or “duh” was the answer. And no Jell-o cook or instant or pre-made Snack-Pack here! From scratch, baby.

Look at the chocolate.

Here’s the sugar and other dry ingredients.

See them melt together.

See? I love my friends. I rewarded myself.

Cook’s privilege.

Then it was time to ice and decorate the cake. While the icing was drying, I made up several pairs of booties in order that the two most similar would become the “ooh-aah! How cute!” factor.

I also practiced the lower border. I decided to conquer my fear of the shell.

It is harder than you think, folks! And check out my (not-so) amazing side smoothing job on the cake.

I didn’t want a typical border on top, but I knew it needed something. When discussing particulars over email, Anna The Greek sent me a picture that used a scroll pattern, which I decided to mimic.

The bootie accents were the hardest by far as the icing line kept breaking. Had I been thinking more clearly at that time, I would have remembered to add a little bit of piping gel to the icing and my woes would have been alleviated. I tried to get ankle and toe accents, but I think the bows were the only survivors. I put the finishing text and scroll on the next day at Anna’s house…Wal-lah!

And the proud parents.

The deliciousness exposed!

This Opera Girl should totally use this picture for a Sweeney Todd audition.

Except, I think she’s a mezzo/lyric soprano, not an alto/belter in music theater.

And chillin’ after her busy day as sister-hostess……


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Anna
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 23:35:23

    Hazel skank! Man, that was some good cake, and the booties were adorable. Hard to believe it was almost 2 years ago.



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