January through March is birthday season in my family! First my birthday in January, then my both of my parents in February, and then my sister’s in March. We had a combined birthday celebration for my parents and since there are two of them, naturally we needed two cakes! My dad loves and always requests spice cake with vanilla buttercream icing, so that was a given. And for my mom I decided to go with chocolate cake with peanut butter filling.
My parents are avid bridge players and when I discovered I owned heart, spade, club, and diamond cookie cutters when I was making my Valentine’s Day cupcakes, I knew I had to do something with a bridge theme!
I made two 9×13 sheet cakes – one was spice cake and one was chocolate cake (both box mixes). I also made a double (or maybe it was 2 1/2, I can’t remember) batch of Domino vanilla buttercream. And in addition to the peanut butter filling, I also decided to whip up a 1/2 batch of chocolate buttercream. When the cakes were cooled, I cut them each in half and put one half on top of the other and trimmed them into playing-card-shaped rectangles. I filled the spice cake with vanilla frosting and the chocolate cake with the peanut butter and the chocolate. I covered both cakes with the vanilla icing.
For the decorations, I used marshmallow fondant again. I made a small batch, split it in half and tinted half of it black and half red. I used my cookie cutters, plus my brand new letter/number fondant cookie cutters to put each of my parents’ new ages on their cake.
In my last post, I was saying how I was so pleased to have given the Domino buttercream another chance with such great results. And now, I’m iffy on it again. For the first cake, it was too thick and I was having real trouble spreading it on evenly. So before I started the second cake, I thinned it with some milk. And that helped a lot and it was much easier to frost. But it was too thin – later I noticed the icing was sliding off the cake!! Ugh, I can’t win. I really need a good all purpose vanilla buttercream recipe that can be piped and spread.