Monday, April 26, 2010

The Castle Birthday Cake - Icing Woes - And Giveaway Reminders

Well. The cake was delicious. It wasn't one of my best presentations. (I'm sure you could make it look a lot better.) But it tasted good. Witzy was pleased. Minus the icing. Here's the cake and the story.

I used the Super Moist Oatmeal Chocolate Cake using soaked grains. (Recipe here.) That was the good part. I doubled the recipe and baked two 8x8 squares and seven cupcakes. The cake assembly was simple. Layer the two squares. Stack three cupcakes at the front for the front tower. Stack two cupcakes at each back corner for the back towers.

Then came the icing woes. I wanted the icing to be healthy -- whole foods, natural sweeteners. I had tweaked a cream cheese icing recipe from Nourishing Traditions for my son's coonskin cap birthday cake. But this time around, I needed a lighter color. So, I searched online and found a recipe using just honey and cream cheese. I mixed it up and gave Witzy a taste. She politely told me she didn't like it.

So, I had to make a few changes. I added some vanilla and some stevia, because it was the only natural sweetener I had on hand that wouldn't add color or bulk. That improved the taste 100%, but it still wasn't excellent... consider where we started. I began to spread it on the cake. ARG! I wasn't going to have enough for the whole cake! And, then I looked at the clock and realized I was quickly running out of time!

I had planned on adding Blueberry Juice to part of the icing to make a pretty lavender. Witzy told me she wanted purple decorations on her Castle Cake. But that wasn't going to happen since I barely had enough icing for the front of the castle. (The back of the cake is bare!) I wasn't going to have any purple for trimming up the edges. It was looking sloppy, and time was running out! (Did I mention that the day of her birthday celebration was one of the worst of the year... fiasco after fiasco.)

I had to delegate the job of cutting out the cones, flags and grass to Rainbow. I also asked her to make doors and windows since I wasn't going to have purple icing for that either. She was cheerful about helping. I was tempted to ruin her gladness when things didn't come out perfect. But I restrained myself. I reminded myself that her memory of helping with the birthday cake would be a treasure... unless I made her feel bad because it wasn't as good as if I had done it. Children before cakes, right.

When the cake was complete, I was quite flustered. It didn't look at all as I had planned and the icing was just mediocre. I was nearly an hour late starting supper. Witzy and Spiderman had been playing outside. When Witzy came in for some water and saw her cake on the table, she said, "Oh Mamsie, that is the prettiest birthday castle cake I have ever seen. Thank you so much for making it for me!" Which made everything better.

Like I said, I am sure you could make this cake look better. But in the end, it made for a perfect birthday celebration. Witzy was so pleased. And Rainbow was so excited that she got to make the paper additions.


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And one more thing... Are you having trouble loading Health Begins With Mom? Is it slow to come up on your browser? For some reason, something is slowing it down... any thoughts? I can't figure out the trouble. I need some technical help!



Milkmaid said...

The cake looks beautiful. HBWM loads super fast for me - both in my reader and in Firefox browser.

Melinda said...

It's beautiful! I remember one July birthday when my daughter wanted a house cake - the humidity was about 100% and we had no AC. The whole thing collapsed. I started grabbing cake and frosting handfuls and stacked it up. I was so flustered at the end - but she loved it and that's what matters!

Amy Ellen said...

Thanks, Milkmaid! I wonder if it's an IE problem or just my laptop, which seems to always be presenting a new problem.

:-) ae

busymomof10 said...

Loved the story of your cake! I could really identify with one of those days when everything goes wrong and you get flustered! But, how precious that you remembered to put Children before Cakes! And I'm sure it made it all worth it when your daughter loved it! Just so you know, I wouldn't have even attempted it! You are a great mama! :)

Carrie Beth said...

Wow! This is impressive! I never would have had a thought of being able to do better :).

Noel said...

the cake looks great! and I'm sure it tasted even better. The kids will only remember the great birthday cake you put so much into, and getting to help their momma was the icing on the cake for them :) Great job!

Debbie said...

I have had times when I have spent hours on birthday cakes and then haven't been happy. It is very frustrating. But this one looks great to me!

Ami said...

It's all in your perception I guess. When I first saw the cake, I thought it was sweet and classy. I even thought the paper additions were a clever alternative to food coloring. I might make your hungry caterpillar cake for my little boy's birthday. I love seeing all your cakes and I think they're great!

Michelle Repolles said...

hey amy! wow, so impressed! can't wait to try your cake recipe!