Retro Baby Shower

Retro Theme with Baby Bottom Cake

After watching some shows on TV about cake decorating I found myself fascinated by the, new to me, mediums of modeling chocolate, fondant and gum paste. I told myself  “that looks like fun… I’ll have to remember that next time someone needs a cake.”

Then it happened… another grandchild is almost here! My eldest son and his wife were expecting their first child. Time for a baby shower!

retro baby shower invitation

Diapers, Ivory Snow ad on retro TV and polka dots personalized with photo and name on invitation

After helping to put the nursery together (painting the wainscoting white, the walls yellow, sewing green with white polka dotted curtains and building a changing table to match a darling, old dresser), an idea came to me about throwing a retro baby shower. A early 60’s theme with clothesline of baby items, everyone would wear an apron and we’d supply the pearl necklaces. Just like Mrs. Cleaver and Donna Reed wore!

Since we didn’t know if the baby was a boy or girl, I took a cue from the nursery and went with the yellow and green colors.

I had to get invitations out, but wait … another  idea. I really don’t know where they come from, but I love when the lightbulb goes on!

I knew I had a photo of my daughter-in-law that I could incorporate into the invitation. Of course, it had to be made black and white. Thinking of retro I went online to see what the early sixties had. Perfect! I could put an old Ivory Snow ad in the small “new” television set with rabbit ears. No disposable diapers then, so a clothesline of diapers made sense to me. Change the wine glass in her hand to a baby bottle, have a little fun with a font and there ya have it!

Baby Shower Clothesline Decoration

Clothesline, clothespin, baby clothes and retro booties make a great shower decoration.

Following the theme, my sister who has a catering background, thought we should check out old cookbooks and do a spread of foods from that time period. We settled on ham with pineapple rings and cherries on top, a mustard mold, baked potato halves with toppings, watermelon bowl with melon balls along with a couple salads and dinner rolls.

I set up a table in an adjoining room and set out  scrapbooking supplies. That way each guest could put together a page for the baby’s first scrapbook. Then the new parents could fill it up with all those photos they would be taking soon.

Baby Shower Table Setting with Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers for placemats and baby washcloths for napkins! Folded diaper with diaper pin over vase of flowers.

As for the table decor. I made table squares from a cute fabric with baby diaper pins scattered on a yellow background. I purchased a package of the old-fashioned cotton cloth diapers. I think whether you use them as intended, a burp cloth or just a dust rag, they are a must have in the home. For my purposes I thought placemats!  I’ll fold one of the diapers, hold it together with a diaper pin (yes, they still make those!) and put a small vase of flowers inside for a centerpiece. The napkins could be baby washcloths in colors to go with the table squares. What fun this is!

Wondering what I could do for a cake I went online and found this real cute one, called a Baby Bottom Cake. Well, I had never worked with fondant or modeling chocolate before so I had a decision to make. I realized I had a recipe for modeling chocolate from when my kids were in elementary school. That’s what I would use. Looking through my kitchen cupboards I found the perfect size pyrex bowl to use for a baby’s bottom. Since we were having quite a group I decided to also make a larger round cake for the base. Now, onto how I was going to make the little baby’s legs and feet. I hadn’t made cereal treats for quite awhile – although I don’t think you ever forget how to make those or how good they taste. The fact that my kids are grown and gone is not a good thing when those treats are sitting around! But cereal treats it was…easy to make and shape.

baby bottom baby shower cake

My first attempt at a 3D cake… don’t you just love the toes!

After making and molding the cereal treats into legs and feet I felt ready to tackle the modeling chocolate. White chocolate colored flesh, yellow and green with candy coloring and it’s ready to rest overnight. The modeling chocolate was not too bad. I found if I overworked it, it will warm in your hands and won’t want to stay smooth, especially around the legs. Rolling out the green blanket and cutting the yellow dots went well though.

So now, what to do on the base cake and the babies diaper? I thought about it and decided to just go with vanilla frosting. Too much white, so I added green polka dots to the base. I could pipe a ruffle at the top of the legs and just like that… diapers!

Putting all this together and working to get everything set up for the shower was, as always, hectic but fun! In my family it is always a family affair, so the many helping hands got the job done.

It turned out to be a very hot day for October, so I put the finished cake in the refrigerator, to be a surprise for my daughter-in-law. When I took the cake out and it warmed up enough to cut through the chocolate modeling clay, the little chubby legs started looking a little bit like  the baby had … cellulite! Oh well, lesson learned, maybe fondant next time.

All in all the cake was a hit. But then no one wanted to cut into it… it did seem a little weird, it was such a cute little baby’s bottom! After deciding to take the legs off and it was easier to cut and serve the cake for the guests.

A week later a beautiful baby girl was born.

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