Happy Birthday Nicki (a little late!)

This blog post is ridiculously late – it should have been posted about a month ago, but that just didn’t happen. But better late than never, right?

My very good friend Nicki turned the big 3-0 in early November. She had a party at her home with a few friends to celebrate and I was more than happy to make her a cake for the occasion.

Nicki is a cake lover and if we didn’t live 45 minutes away from each other I’m sure she’d be happy to take my “experiments” off my hands on a regular basis 🙂 But for her birthday we decided on her two favorite cake flavors: carrot cake and red velvet cake. Both would have a vanilla buttercream icing and filling.

I made two separate cakes since carrot and red velvet don’t really go together. I ended up making an 8″ round carrot cake using my usual carrot cake recipe. I also made a 6″ round red velvet cake using a red velvet recipe that I had used once before for cupcakes (also for Nicki). I made a half recipe and I was delighted that it was the perfect amount for two 6″ round cake pans. The halved recipe called for 3 tbsp. of red food coloring and I had to skimp a little because my 1 oz. bottle, plus one of those tiny squeeze bottles (the ones that come in the 4 pack of liquid coloring) only yielded about 8 tsp. of coloring and that’s all I had on hand. But the cake was still decidedly red, so no harm done.

For the “theme” we were going with martini glasses – inspired by the invitations for the event. I picked up some mini plastic martini glasses at Party City and I made some olives out of red and green fondant and skewered them on toothpicks. My original plan had been to make the numbers “3” and “0” and skewer them on the tooth picks with the olives, but it didn’t quite work out. So I just used the numbers for decoration on the smaller cake.

I made a triple batch of vanilla buttercream icing that I used for the filling and the icing. I had planned to do a pale pink for the icing and do white Swiss dots or a quilted pattern on the sides of the cake. But truth be told, I ran out of time and ended up doing a basic bead border in a darker pink color. I wasn’t pleased with the shades of pink I ended up with – they were a bit too Pepto-Bismol-ish for my taste. But the cakes themselves were tasty and it seemed to go over well. Nicki’s 3 year old daughter even ate some of the cake and apparently she only ever eats the icing, so I’ll take that as a good sign 🙂

This blog post is ridiculously late – it should have been posted about a month ago, but that just didn’t happen. But better late than never, right? 

My very good friend Nicki turned the big 3-0 in early November. She had a party at her home with a few friends to celebrate and I was more than happy to make her a cake for the occasion.

Nicki is a cake lover and if we didn’t live 45 minutes away from each other I’m sure she’d be happy to take my “experiments” off my hands on a regular basis 🙂 But for her birthday we decided on her two favorite cake flavors: carrot cake and red velvet cake. Both would have a vanilla buttercream icing and filling.

I made two separate cakes since carrot and red velvet don’t really go together. I ended up making an 8″ round carrot cake using my usual carrot cake recipe. I also made a 6″ round red velvet cake using a red velvet recipe that I had used once before for cupcakes (also for Nicki). I made a half recipe and I was delighted that it was the perfect amount for two 6″ round cake pans. The halved recipe called for 3 tbsp. of red food coloring and I had to skimp a little because my 1 oz. bottle, plus one of those tiny squeeze bottles (the ones that come in the 4 pack of liquid coloring) only yielded about 8 tsp. of coloring. But the cake was still decidedly red, so no harm done.

For the “theme” we were going with martini glasses – inspired by the invitations for the event. I picked up some mini plastic martini glasses at Party City and I made some olives out of red and green fondant and skewered them on toothpicks. My original plan had been to make the numbers “3” and “0” and skewer them on the tooth picks with the olives, but it didn’t quite work out. So I just used the numbers for decoration on the smaller cake.

I made a triple batch of vanilla buttercream icing that I used for the filling and the icing. I had planned to do a pale pink for the icing and do Swiss dots or a quilted pattern on the sides of the cake. But truth be told, I ran out of time and ended up doing a basic bead border in a darker pink color. I wasn’t pleased with the shades of pink I ended up with – they were bit too Pepto-Bismol-ish for my taste. But the cakes themselves were tasty and it seemed to go over well. Nicki’s 3 year old daughter even ate some of the cake and apparently she only ever eats the icing, so I’ll take that as a good sign 🙂

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2 Responses to Happy Birthday Nicki (a little late!)

  1. Lindsey says:

    Sarah, these are so great! How do you get the edges of the cakes to be so crisp? Mine always slope.

    • skmac31 says:

      Thanks Lindsey! I put the cake on a turntable and smooth the sides with a large putty knife at least as tall as the cake itself. For the top, I go around the perimeter with the putty knife and kind of drag it across the top of the cake. It’s kind of hard to explain – I watched a YouTube video and then practiced a lot! 🙂

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