Sunday, December 1, 2013

the perfect cake smash cake [working mom approved]

As we were preparing for Everly's first birthday, I knew that I wanted to make her cake smash cake. In the past I have made a few different versions of a two ingredient cake, so I knew I wanted to do something similar for Everly's cake.  And so I created the easiest cake smash recipe, perfect for my babe.  One box of yellow cake mix, one cup of applesauce.  Mix two ingredients, bake to the directions on the box.  I wanted the cake to be petite just like my little lady, so I skipped the cake pan, and baked the cake in two small Pyrex dishes.  I used my 473 bowls which have flat bottoms and were just the perfect size.  With this recipe, I didn't even spray the Pyrex, just baked and the cakes popped out perfectly.  I did notice that the cake was a little more of a cornbread consistency, between the dishes and the lack of ingredients, but it made it easy to frost, and pretty yummy to eat.  Now I also knew that I wanted the cake to be pretty and girlie, because we typically don't go too fufu in this house, so I wanted that extra little touch for her birthday.  I had seen a ton of beautiful cakes floating around the internet that boasted about being the easiest thing to do on the planet.  Well folks, the pinterest princesses were not lying about this one.
How to ice the perfect cake smash cake - it really is as easy as the recipe I used for the cake.  First off, you need to buy one little item, the key to success, the 1M Wilton cake decorating tip [super cheap at a craft store].  It looks like a star on the tip, but man does it make some beautiful looking flowers on your cake!  Because I'm not one for buying things I do not need, I never mess with icing bags. Instead, I cut just the corner off of a gallon size storage ziplock bag, push my Wilton tip down through the cut so that the plastic bag is stopping right about the middle of the decorating tip, and then I fill the bag with some store bought frosting.  Of course you could make your own, but for me, I used off the shelf vanilla icing, something in the "rich and creamy" category.  Oh, and I always used at least two containers, even for Everly's mini cake [when mixing just the perfect shade of pink or lavender, you don't want to come up short].  

I did start with a quick layer of icing on the cakes that I had stacked on the cake stand.  I found that when icing the roses, having the cake high off the counter worked best for me, so use a stand of some kind for this step.  I started on the sides, because I found this part the most challenging.  Just start in the center of where you want your flower to be, and start swirling out in a spiral motion.  Make your flowers as big or as small as you like.  They are very forgiving, and if you end up with any little spaces in between the flowers, just add an extra little swirl in the same direction as the flower you are working next to.  I did find that the icing worked best if perfectly chilled, not too cold or it will be impossible to ice, but if you notice your flowers are starting to look droopy, throw the cake and the icing bag in the fridge for a few minutes.  Once I finished the entire cake, I chilled it for about ten minutes to make sure the flowers would stay.  I did make these cakes in fairly mild temperatures, so if doing this in the middle of the summer, you may need to keep your cake chilled longer.  

So, there you go.  The easiest way to make a pretty impressive cake that will be smashed to pieces in a matter of moments.  But geez, the pictures are pretty.  

Time needed:  About thirty minutes to bake the cake.  Another thirty to let it totally cool.  Ten minutes to ice the cake, no joke.  

All photos taken my Sarah Maren Photographers.

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