Behind every cake, there’s a story…well, for me at least. Behind this cake, there are several stories. In fact, I’m still trying to recover from lost sleep over the weekend. But overall, I was very happy with the end result of how all the goodies turned out.
The goodies for this themed birthday party were for my cousin’s daughter’s first birthday party, which was an Alice In Wonderland theme. When she called me about making some goodies, originally I was just going to make some cookies. After that, I asked her if she wanted me to make the cake, and she jumped on the opportunity. I was worried about traveling with the cake already decorated, since my cousin lives almost two hours away. I didn’t want something to happen to the cake since I’d be traveling farther than normal with a tiered cake, so I decided to come up the night before the party and decorate the cake after I got there. The original plan seemed genius, just stack and ice the cake, worry about the actual decorations when I got there… But, there was a problem…
The cake fell over en route. It was a three tiered cake that was tall, and slightly top heavy, so I was a nervous wreck. As I’m driving down the road, my husband calls me to see where I was. I told him about having the cake already stacked, and he started laughing, “Why didn’t you wait until you got there to stack the cake?” I sighed, and said, “I don’t know. I really should’ve kept them separate until I got there.” Shortly after that conversation, I heard something in the back…but assured myself that it was fine. Halfway there, I stopped at a rest area to use the restroom and check on the cake. I peeked in the back through the dark tinted windows, and saw it. I stood there for a second and muttered a couple of not-so-nice words, then opened the back of the SUV. I stared at it. Shook my head. Laughed. Then, pulled out my phone to take a picture of it and text it to my cousin. I started going over a Plan B, then called her. She picked up the phone and said, “It’s okay, Erin. It’ll be fine, I promise. We’ll figure it out.” I laughed and said, “Oh, I’m not worried about it…just have to make another one. Are you still at the store? Oh, good…here’s what I need…” and gave her a list.
Cake…Take Two. After I got to her place, the process began. We still had to run some errands, so I was baking two tiers at a time, only doing 1 layer per tier for this cake. I decided to go with shorter tiers to the cake would be more stable when I stacked it together. But, the good thing was that we only had to travel 15 minutes to the party location. As I was working on the cake, I periodically would look at my watch. Midnight. I continued to go about putting everything together, determined to get this thing done. 1am hits, and my cousin is very sleepy, and I fuss at her to go to bed (since she had to get up with the kids early in the morning). She passed out, and I continued to chug away on the cake. I told myself that no matter where the cake was at 2am, I needed to go to bed. 2am hit, and I told myself to go until 2:30 and see where we were with it. 2:30 hits, and I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and continued. The leaves were fondant that had to be rolled out and individually cut, then stuck on the cake. That was the process that was taking so long… 3:15am. Done with the leaves. I’ll finish it in the morning before the party, the rest won’t take long. I thought to myself. I looked at the mess, and agreed with myself that it could also be cleaned up in the morning. The next morning, I piped more leaves on the cake, then stuck the roses on it and the crown on top. I made the crown earlier in the week out of fondant and gumpaste, so that it would have time to set before the party.
When I was talking to my other cousin (the birthday mom’s sister) about the cake on the phone prior to the weekend, she said something about how the Queen of Hearts had her minions paint the white roses red. As I was preparing the cake decorations earlier in the week, this was one of the things I was doing…painting the white roses half red for the painted effect. I called her up and asked, “Hey, I just realized that I’m painting white roses red. Does that make me a minion?” She paused, and said, “Why, yes…yes it does.” So be it. I diluted the red food coloring with vanilla, because otherwise the color is clumpy and looks like a blood red color that’s painted on. Diluting the food coloring makes the color much smoother. If you don’t have vanilla, you can use vodka (it evaporates and doesn’t cause the food coloring to bleed as much when diluted). Try not to drink the vodka during the decorating process though…
I ended up calling my cousin back and asking her if she wanted a baby smash cake to match the big cake. So, I just made a 4 inch cake, piped the icing on with a leaf tip, and topped it with a red rose. So stinkin’ cute.
Cookies with instructions…I like it. Although, with these cookies, you don’t have to tell me more than once. These are my shortbread cookies, decorated with chocolate. Chocolate? Yes, chocolate. I melted the colored chocolate wafers and spread the colors on top, then used a squeeze bottle with white chocolate to write on top of them after the colored chocolate set. As I’m doing this, my daughter is sitting on my husband’s lap at the table, watching me, and says, “Don’t mess up the cookies, Mommy.” I couldn’t help but to laugh. Yes ma’am.
I didn’t do these, but my cousin did. She just got the string, labels, and tied them on to the flavored drinks. They were SO cute, went along great with the theme, and all the kids loved them. The party was a big success, and the birthday girl was as adorable as they come!