Wednesday, October 31, 2012

nancy's two-cake birthday celebration!

If you're like most people, you get to celebrate your birthday maybe with a family dinner, or an evening out, followed by a slice of cake. If you're lucky, you get a cake made just in your honor. And if your my family's friend, Nancy, you get two cakes made just for you!

Nancy had a two-part, all-day celebration. In the daytime, the ladies spent time together and lunched, and they feasted on Nancy's favorite, carrot cake. By night, the husbands joined them for a celebratory dinner featuring chocolate cake.

I wanted the two cakes to look distinct but coordinated, color-wise. Since both had off-white frostings (one cream cheese, the other vanilla), I was able to tie in the color theme with a bit of decorative fondant.

Here's the carrot cake, covered with a lot of cream cheese roses:

I continue to think the rose cakes are simple, elegant, and a snap to decorate! The recipe is a slightly modified version of my mother-in-law's recipe, which is a longtime winner with friends and family.

And here's the chocolate cake.

I had a really fun time making these fondant pinwheels. Decoratively, I was asked to feature Nancy's favorite blues and greens, so I created four different colors of fondant. (The yellow served to break up the blue and green a bit.) The pinwheels themselves are really simple. They are small, medium, and large circles of fondant. I used a thin bamboo skewer to make the indentations, and the point of the skewer naturally created a small circle in the center. The edible pearls dressed them up a bit. I made the pinwheels a day or two in advance to give them time to harden a bit so they'd be able to retain their shape without sagging (as fresh fondant would do). That's one of the problems inherent with fondant - there are certain things you can't do last-minute because the fondant won't cooperate, so you have to plan well in advance. I laid out the pinwheels across the cake, wanting to move up the sides and across the cake and show that movement. Layering them on top of each other and having them stick up over the edges created additional depth and texture.

From what I hear, the birthday girl enjoyed her special day. I hope she got a kick out of her two birthday cakes!

Print carrot cake recipe.
Print cream cheese frosting recipe.
Print chocolate cake recipe.
Print vanilla frosting recipe.


Anonymous said...

The pinwheels are so pretty. Love the colors you chose.

Jami Messinger said...

thanks, Joan!

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