First birthday celebrations!
The birthday party had to be perfect and the cake worth remembering. When I was planning my daughters first birthday, I decided to make the cake myself. And it was a big step. I had only baked small cakes to share with friends at the parties but baking a cake for more than 40 people is a different thing all together. Plus it is a birthday cake for a one year old princess . It cannot be just a round cake covered in frosting with one candle on it. It should be personalized with something that is very close to her heart.
‘5 little ducks went swimming one day….. ‘ was her all time favorite and so it became a theme for her birthday cake.
I chose a very basic cake flavor because I wanted to keep it simple. I am not a big chocolate fan but my rich chocolate cake using Hershey’s special dark cocoa is divine (Recipe is here). The filling and the frosting were going to be simple too. Plain old Vanilla! I like the subtle bitterness of the chocolate to complement the sweetness of the buttercream. I find plain vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream to be too sweet for my liking. (And I assumed it would be same for the birthday girl.. Lol!)
With the theme in mind I started designing the cake. So how much cake do i need for a party of 40 people? I found various charts online for reference but I was still confused and so i decided to go for 12″ and 8″ round cake (It is okay to have more cake than to fall short of cake. Right?) .
With the chocolate cake baked, filled, crumb coated and frosted, the 2 individual tiers were ready to be stacked. I found this tutorial online at Gretchen’s Bakery on how to stack a cake. Gretchen is amazing. I have learned so much from her. With the help of this tutorial, stacking the cake was lot easy. I didn’t place the top tier in the center but more towards one side to be able to have ample space to create a pond and the duckies.
Now its time for decoration. The fun part! Back then i disliked the taste and chewiness of store bought fondant (I still do). Chocolate wins over fondant for taste. So I decided to go for modelling chocolate. I found a recipe online to make this white modelling chocolate. I was not completely happy with the outcome but it was good enough (and super yummy) to make those ducks. I made little stones and flowers out of fondant (Working with chocolate when you have warm hands is too messy for smaller decorations)
I dyed some vanilla buttercream blue and created a small pond with ripple effect, placed those cute little ducks in it and piped some grass using grass tip and voila! The cake is ready.
This cake was a big success! The birthday girl was happy and so was I 🙂
This cake is very special to me for many reasons. A. Because it was my first big cake. B. I designed it myself (Not adapted from internet). C. Everyone liked it.
P.S: You can find my chocolate cake recipe here.