Birthday Blues

My BSFs are growing like weeds.  I can’t believe, when a birthday rolls around, that another year has passed.  As cliche as it sounds, these kids grow up way too fast, which makes me sad about the baby years slipping through my fingers, but happy about the exciting adventures ahead.  So bittersweet.

With my older BSFs birthday approaching, it was time to really plan the little details.  I didn’t want to go overboard with a big party.  Too much was going on in life that I just needed to KISS – Keep It Simple, Silly.  Still, I wanted my BSF to feel very special.  I wanted her birthday wishes to come to life.  I knew I could handle some complexity among the simplicity of our plans.  The little details were keeping me from tears when all I wanted to do was call my mom on the phone and share what I was doing for this party girl.

My oldest BSF and her BFF were born within hours of each other, so this was a joint birthday party plan. We went all out, without going all out.  Matching outfits and ice cream sundaes were in order.

The little details came together and the party made the kids very happy, indeed.

When it came to the birthday cake, my BSF had already made it clear.  BLUE.  She wanted a blue cake.  She wanted the frosting to be blue and the cake to be vanilla. Ok. I could do that, easily.  I’m a baker, but more along the lines of a small town/large family baker.  You know…baking for the masses in giant cake pans…cut squares…frosting spread on top…no frosting on the sides.  It isn’t about show and beauty, but about making sure everyone gets some.

It was decided that we’d make cupcakes for the party-goers and small cake rounds for the birthday girls.

For the cupcakes, I did some research to find a frosting technique that even I could master.  I started with my favorite go-to buttercream frosting, which you can find here, and I piped the buttercream using a 1M tip.  If you make this frosting, make a double batch. You’ll probably eat the first batch before you even frost a cupcake, so you’ll need extra on hand.  I mean it.  It is that good.

As well, I wanted my BSF to have her own prettily decorated personal cake.  Again, I researched to find a technique that was different from a regular 9×13 rectangular cake pan.  So, I decided to try something new to me.  I finally got myself a 5″ round cake pan.  I know, you seasoned bakers out there.  Welcome to the 21st century, right?

I practiced this pretty petal effect on a trial-run cake, the week before the party.  Ha-ha!  A reason to have that buttercream frosting in the house twice in one week was easily found.

Along the way, I learned that a good crumb coat is essential to making this technique shine.

Check out the tutorial on how to master the pretty petal effect.  It doesn’t take as long as it looks to decorate the whole cake.  This technique is forgiving, as well, when you make a mistake, but it does take a little patience.

The top of the cake felt neglected, as it really was, so I added some colorful sprinkles to brighten things up.

The cupcakes felt neglected, too, so I added colorful sprinkles to them, as well.

My dear, darling, super-creative, totally amazing friend, who is the mother of our BSFs’ BFF…Did you follow that?  You should because she really is awesome….added the tall, stunning candles to the cakes.

I was so excited that I finished all of the cupcakes and the birthday girl cake just in time for the party.  It was a labor of love for my sweet BSF.  I could really feel the connection to my mother with all this birthday preparation.  And, all the beautiful blue made my blues fade away for another day.

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