I am so grateful for this website! I have found some really great inspiration here for my children’s birthday cakes, so I am submitting my cake photos to “give back” and hopefully help inspire someone else.
I made this cake for my daughter’s second birthday. She loves flowers and colors. This was the first birthday cake I ever baked for her, and my husband said it HAD to be as good or better than the two specialized birthday cakes I’d baked for her older brother (a train cake and a dinosaur cake)! So the bar was set pretty high.
Fortunately, I found loads of inspiration on this website and loosely modeled my cake after these two:
(many thanks to the bakers who posted these photos!)
After doing some online research, I decided to go with butter cream flowers rather than fondant, royal icing, etc. because taste is really important to me and I’ve heard some of these other icings don’t taste so great. Also, I didn’t feel comfortable using egg-based icing on a cake for toddlers.
I learned how to make the flowers by watching instructional videos on YouTube. Just over a week before my daughter’s party, I began experimenting with butter cream and practicing how to make flowers. It took me a few batches to figure out the right stiffness for the butter cream; if it’s too soft, the flowers look mushy. I practiced making the flowers with the pastry nail for about one hour per night for three nights in a row, until it finally just clicked and I felt like I knew what I was doing.
When making the flowers, I used the method where you cut out squares of wax paper and stick them to your pastry nail with a dab of icing. That way, whenever you produce a pretty flower, you can easily transfer it to a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and pop it in the fridge or freezer. I made my flowers 2-4 days in advance of the party and just stored them in the freezer on a cookie sheet until I was ready to place them on the cake.
The day before the party, I baked two rectangular Meyer lemon cakes (my aunt’s tree had a bumper crop this year, otherwise the cake probably would have been chocolate), and stacked one on top of the other with homemade Meyer lemon curd in the middle. Yummy! Decorating was relatively easy because I’d done all the hard work in advance. After icing the sky with blue and making “grass” with the grass/fur pastry tip, I just took my saved flowers out of the freezer, picked the prettiest ones, and placed them on the cake!