All posts tagged cute as a button cake

One year old…

Cate is one year old… talk about a fast year!

With a birthday so soon after Christmas and the family just back from visiting Germany, the birthday was very low key. Though I still felt like I should make a special cake for a special girl.

I got some time off work so I could go to Sacramento. I had been asked to babysit on thursday and friday. I jumped at that… anytime I can spend with my grandkids I’ll take.

Cate is very close to walking; standing and holding on to furniture and walls as she goes. Elizabeth is three now and getting more and more independent. But, lucky for me, still good for a cuddle now and then.

Since I was going to go a few days early, I figured out a cake I could make ahead and take frozen. Then I could have all the decorations made beforehand. I settled on the Cute as a Button theme…because she is!

Colorful gum paste buttons and leaves.

Colorful gum paste buttons and leaves.

So, lots of gum paste buttons, some heart-shaped. Some giant and some tiny. Very colorful and fun. I covered a big number one candle in fondant to coordinate with the cake. I would cover the cake in light yellow fondant and decorate with the buttons.

For the cake itself, I tried something different. I wanted the inside of the cake to be as colorful as the outside. I researched several different ways to make color bursts inside of a cake. I didn’t use the candy jimmies, as I didn’t have time to find the right colors. So I went with the way that I found online…

I mixed up a white cake, then separated the batter into six parts. I colored each part with a different color and baked each in a small shallow  baking pan. I ended up with six colorful small cakes. When cool I cut each cake into 1/2″ cubes. Sorta looked like tiny sponges to me!

Colorful cake cubes.

Lots of colorful cake cubes… orange, pink, blue, purple, yellow and green.

I made a three layer white cake and some extra cupcakes. Since the technique I was using was for cupcakes I thought I’d see how that works too. I’m also more in favor of giving the birthday child a cupcake to eat instead of a whole cake to mess up.

After mixing a white cake, I poured some batter into the 8″ round pans I was using. Then I put in the colored cubes of cake and spooned more batter over the cubes. I did the same for the cupcakes.

As it turned out the cupcakes worked fine. I think because there was nowhere for the cubes to move to. The cake layers had their own problems. Tasted great, but most of the colors floated to the top of the cake and ended up getting trimmed off when I leveled the cakes. So, when I do this again, I will be putting more colored cubes in the pans and using a wet strip around each pan (which I always do, but forgot this time!).

Colorful but not quite right... next time more cubes!

Colorful but not quite right… next time more cubes!

Also, for anyone wondering… the cubes of cake do stay moist even after baking twice. The only dry parts were the ones that poked up through the top that got trimmed off.

I made it to the kids house with frozen cakes and put them in the freezer there. I put the cakes together on friday with the Duncan Hines orange creme  flavored frosting between the layers. Then I crumb frosted the cake with the light yellow vanilla frosting. At that point, I decided to just go with the frosting and not use the fondant this time. Funny, but taking care of a one and three year old is a lot of work, if you’re not used to it! Great fun and special times, but no time to spend on the cake.

Top of the Cute-as-a-Button cake

Top of the Cute-as-a-Button cake

Still wasn’t sure about how the top of the cake would look. Decided I needed a couple of larger buttons, so I got out the gum paste and Elisabeth and I made more buttons. She also helped me frost the cupcakes. Turned out to be a good helper too, as long as it didn’t take too much time.

Saturday morning I started decorating the cake. First the buttons up the side and the big candle. Then I placed the other buttons and wrote “Cute as a Button” on the large button. For the finishing touch, I used extra buttons to surround the bottom of the cake.

I left the cupcakes for last, asked Elisabeth if she wanted to help decorate and we finished them up with the left-over buttons.

It was a very small gathering and the birthday girl was getting very tired. We lit the candle and her sister helped her blow it out. Then she got to have her own cupcake, which she devoured.

Happy Birthday Cate!