Tuesday, November 16, 2010

THE First Birthday Cake

Perhaps it's only my fellow cake designers who can understand the stress (I put on myself) for my daughter's first birthday cake. In fact, my husband jokingly reminded me TWICE that he ordered a sheet cake, NOT a sculpted cake (a.k.a. cake that will take days to bake, sculpt and decorate) but OF COURSE I was not going to serve a sheet cake at my own daughter's first birthday party.

"Owl Eyes"

So the stress actually started months ahead of time deciding on a design. I finally chose an owl because we affectionately coined the phrase for my daughter "owl eyes" for when she should be sleeping in her stroller but we see her bright large eyes looking back at us.

My inspiration: sketches and tear sheets

The colors came from the plates and napkins I chose, and the style was modeled after all those fabulous Owl pillows, back packs, change purses that are around now. I used a special textured rolling pin to make the medium-pink color look like corduroy on the back and in the ear and pocket details. I hadn't used that rolling pin since the first sock monkey I made, in 2005 on the first Food Network Birthday Cake challenge. Lots of stitching, everywhere to make a cute and cuddly owl.

It was made of our old-fashioned vanilla cake with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, very simple but delicious.

And it is kind of appropriate I joined twitter today and I am using this "bird" cake photo for all my tweets! Follow along...

**Top photo by my talented cousin Jordan Pique