A week or two before our daughter’s third birthday, we were talking about her cake. She had very definite, albeit vague (if you can be both!) ideas about what it should look like. I quote: “Purple on the top. Green on the bottom. And orange on the sides of the white.”
I thought about these “instructions,” then drew a sketch for her approval. Based on her idea, we settled on a vanilla cake frosted in orange buttercream, with purple flowers on top and green leaves on the side/bottom edge.
And then, I realized what I’d gotten myself into.
I’d never decorated a cake before! Sure, I’ve made plenty of cakes from scratch, and I’ve put frosting on them, but I’d never done flowers or any kind of ornamentation. Hooooo boy.
In the end, I found a great frosting flower tutorial by searching something like “easy frosting flower” on Pinterest. I also signed up for a free Craftsy class called “Modern Buttercream,” which was great, since I am a visual learner, and it helped to see details like the consistency of the frosting at different stages. I bought myself an offset spatula, a set of four frosting tips, and frosting bag connectors for the tips. I also ended up making a last-minute run to Michaels at 9:30pm the night before V’s birthday to purchase gel food dyes (red+blue liquid food dye drops made a sickly gray, not purple! Yuck!!)
The end result?
I am really proud of this cake, even though it is not technically perfect. Yes, Husband had the steady hand that was able to make the final smooth coat of orange frosting, which is certainly a non-negligible contribution, but I did pretty much everything else.
This was for Vivian, so she could have a beautiful birthday cake to her “specifications.” This was for Vivian, as another kind of handmade gift from Mommy, especially since I was unable to complete the one I’d hoped and planned to give to her. And this was also for me, so that I could start learning a new skill, and enjoy a bit of “project time”–the kind of time that lights my fire and gets me excited to create.
Happy third birthday (a couple months later on the blog), my sweet, vibrant girl!!
P.S. Now I really, really want to step up my cake decorating game!!