My little girl turned 4 yesterday!! We're having her big party on Saturday, going swimming (she's been talking about going swimming for her birthday since Christmas, so it would be cruel to do anything else) but we had some family over for cake last night.
The last two birthday cakes I made were absolutely horrific disasters. Her cake last year I was able to patch together and make it work, but poor James' cake in April was downright embarrassing. I refused to take a picture of it, and I am still unhappy that my mother-in-law took a picture of it when I specifically asked her not to. I've been plotting to get my hands on her camera and delete the picture, but haven't succeeded yet. I'll keep you posted.
So I felt like I had to redeem myself.
I planned and prepared, and things seemed like they were working out. Praise God it was a cool day, so I didn't have to worry as much about the icing melting off the cake as I made it like I have for her other birthdays. No air conditioning means you have to think about things like that.
I asked her what she wanted, and we looked at different kinds of cakes, and she decided she wanted a rainbow cake. I ended up not doing an actual rainbow, but just different colours.
Here's how I did it:
Two boxes of cake mix (because let's face it, I'm doing all this other stuff, I'm gonna take the shortcuts where I can get them)
Different colours of decorating icing
and a ridiculous amount of those little decorating tips, which as it turns out, I did not use to their full potential.
Mix the cake batter, divide into bowls. I have four cake pans so I used four bowls. Yes I know there are five bowls in the picture. Never mind.
Add some food colouring (maybe if I do this again I'll add some flavour or something, this was just a plain white cake after all.)
Put them in the pans lined with wax paper and OH MY GOODNESS I AM ALWAYS DOING THIS NOW. Taking them out of the pans was so easy, clean up was so easy, why doesn't everyone do this??! (Please ignore the dirty chair seat in the bottom right corner. My children are mess ninjas.)
Then I realized I had enough leftover cake batter for another layer. At this point I was thinking 5 layers might be too much, so it was going to be my backup layer in case something went horribly wrong with one of the other layers. And considering my recent track record, I didn't think it was being too cautious. And that way I used up all five bowls so there.
Now my plan was to make homemade pizza for supper, but it was starting to look like I wasn't going to have time for the crust, so while my husband was out at the store I texted and asked him to pick up some frozen pizza dough or something. He asked why didn't I just use the actual frozen pizzas we had in the freezer? My husband, the genius. Saved me so much work right there.
Then I started assembling. I learned from past mistakes and the layers went pretty much straight into the fridge after coming out of the oven, since it seemed like last time part of the problem was they weren't completely completely COMPLETELY cooled. It was bad. So I wanted to avoid that. And it worked! I also cut off the rounded top so that it was nice and straight and flat.
Once I got to layer 4, I had to trim around because I had used 2 9-inch pans and 2 8-inch pans.
Leftover cakey goodness...
And all 5 layers stacked!! All nice and neat!! This was a major victory for me, if my husband hadn't been busy in the next room he would've totally laughed at how proudly I was strutting around the kitchen in triumph.
Not a professional level of smooth icing, but hey, nothing's falling over and it's pretty good, I'll take it. Other stroke of genius: plastic wrap on the cake tray!
Decorating ideas...that is a pair of overalls that the baby has outgrown. I like the flowers on them.
The top: Now I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out, but that's partly because of a rogue air bubble in the icing tube. Then I tried to fix it, and it didn't go as planned but then I had to continue or else it would look really weird. Oh well, not as bad as it really could have been.
I do really like the side though, notwithstanding the droopy-starting-to-melt flower center.
And after all that, I missed the money shot of the birthday girl with it, and I missed the shot of it with a piece cut out so you can see the layers, but it was all good.
The carnage after: