Happy Wednesday! Well, our littlest cakelet, Neve (aka Lovie) turned 2 last week, and it seems like there’s been cake for days (or months, I suppose). Sure, two years really isn’t that long ago, but I do remember every minute of that day so vividly, as I do with the day our little 4-year-old, Reese, was born. I will say that the day Neve was born, September 7th, 2009, was a breeze compared to my first experience giving birth. But, I’ll most definitely spare you those details! When I realized her second birthday was soon coming, I really wasn’t sure how to approach the cake, or, well, cakes.
See, last year, before I had a blog or made wedding cakes for a living, I spent weeks planning my first dessert table for the big party we threw for her at our house (that was one of my very first blog posts!). Yes, it looks a bit more like a fancy-ish dessert table than a little 1-year-old birthday party, but it just sort of happened that way! I suppose I had a lot of time and boundless creative energy to expend, and it was lovely and worth it, but this year, after a year filled with layer cakes and pink icing, I simply wasn’t sure what to do for her. It turns out when you make cakes every week for a year, it kind of changes your perspective a bit. I knew I wanted to keep it a little more simple and not crazy fancy and fondant-full, so, rather than going grand, I went teeny tiny. Yep, teeny tiny, simple, and sweet. Little wee, in fact.
But, before making the Little Wee Birthday Cake here at home, we ended up traveling around on the weekends surrounding her birthday, rather than hosting a big party at our house. We spent Labour Day weekend at the cottage (remember the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Espresso Whipped Cream?), so I brought some layer cakes for our group (Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Strawberry Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache, kind of like this one, as well as a larger Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Pink Whipped Vanilla Frosting), and then brought a smaller version for the 3 kids (our two, plus cousin Lucas). It was a very relaxed and perfectly cottage-lovely time.
Then last weekend we spent Sunday having a cozy lunch on the farm (as we did for Reese’s last birthday where we did the Rainbow Doodle Cake) in Prince Edward County, as it was Neve and her Grandpa’s birthday, so I made her a classic chocolate layer cake with pink frosting and sprinkles as well as a Gingersnap Cheesecake for Grandpa (recipe to follow — oh yum!). I have to say I really loved being the traveling birthday party this year; what a refreshing change. I do kind of miss the party planning aspect of it all, so next year I think we’ll go for it again.
And, finally, she had the little wee pink vanilla cake at home. 4-inch, 2 layer Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Pink Whipped Vanilla Frosting. I also made a 5-inch round cake-for-two and dyed it turquoise. I’m loving the small scale cakes, and I think it would be really fun to make the Little Wee Cakes for each kid at a birthday party and then maybe pop an even more wee second tier onto the birthday girl’s cake, for a Two-Tier Little Wee Cake.
Because I’m a mom, because I’ve been reflecting on the past two years with Neve, and because I love photos, excuse me while I indulge in some serious mommy-bragging. I just really wanted to share a (large) handful of some of my favourite photos of our little birthday girl over the past two years:
Happy Birthday to our little Lovie!
I’ll be back very soon with a Fluffy Vanilla Cake Part II post, for those of you who have had questions about making that cake. I will go into more detail and hopefully even include a few process shots to help troubleshoot any issues you may have encountered. It’s really the lightest, fluffiest, and most delicious vanilla cake I’ve ever made or eaten, and I make it often. Oh, I love it so!
If you’d like to make your own Litte Wee Birthday Cakes, here’s what I did to achieve the classic design I’ve used:
Litte Wee Swag Birthday Cakes
Fluffy Vanilla Cake recipe x 1. For me the yield was two 4-inch round layers and three 5-inch layers, but you can play around with any small cake pans you may have (I have altered this recipe slightly to avoid the chance of too much liquid being added to the batter.). I’ll be blogging more about this after this post, but in the meanwhile, you can see those changes on the original Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting post.
I used the same frosting, but omitted the vanilla bean and added an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract, along with some AmeriColor Deep Pink for the litttle cake and Turquoise for the 5″ cake.
*Tip: For an even icing swag, trace a circle onto parchment paper, using the cake pan you used for the cake. Cut out the circle, and fold in half, then again, and then once more. You should have a 8 even pie-shaped wedges in your circle. Place the parchment circle gently on top of your frosted cake. Use a toothpick or pin to create a small holes in your cake where the edge of the folds are. These holes will mark where your swags will meet.
Using a piping bag fitted with a plain round piping tip (I used #3) and filled with buttercream, pipe your icing swags using your guides.
Pipe a few dots below each join, if desired.
Using an open star tip (I used Wilton #22), finish each join with a small rosette, by piping in one full circular motion, starting in the middle, working outward.
If you’d like to see what cake-baking tools I use on a daily basis, I’ve recently created a list of my favourite baking supplies that I love. You can check that out here.
Good luck & enjoy!