Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Shelby!

When I was pregnant with Ellie, my sister-in-law and two of our friends were also pregnant, so all four of our children are the same age.  This means they'll all be one year old this year and my niece was the first. 

She had a princess themed party and she was adorable in her princess sash and party hat.

Even Ellie tried out the party hat.

Shelby was next.  I was asked to make the cake for her party.  I was so excited to do it.  The theme was snowflakes, which would have been perfect last year with all the snow we got, but this year it was nearly 50 degrees outside.  Figures.  

(you can't really see it, but there was shimmer dust all over that cake!)

The cake was white cake (yes, from a box) with a white chocolate pudding and raspberry filling.  This is my little secret that I guess won't be much of a secret anymore.  I use box cake because its easier.  There are several cakes I'll make from scratch, but generally I go with the box.  The easiest way to dress it up and make people assume you slaved over it is to make a special filling.  This one sounds fancy and complicated, but it's so simple.  Pudding is always a great filling because it's cheap and easy to make, no fuss.  Plus there are so many different flavors!  Another trick is to use heavy cream instead of milk.  This gives the pudding a thick, rich flavor and texture, almost like custard.  Sometimes I do half whole milk and half heavy cream (this is dessert, no skimping!).  For the raspberry, I used store bought raspberry jam, which I spread on each layer of the cake.  Then you add the pudding, put the layers together like a sandwich and ice it.

You could also try ganache, fresh fruit, canned pie filling, or cream cheese blended with fruit.  There are so many options.  Just keep in mind the cake's texture; soft and creamy foods work best.  Whenever you do a filling remember to leave about a half inch border.  You could even pipe some of your icing around the edge of the first layer.  This keeps the filling from seeping out the sides when placing the top layer.

Before I know it I'll be making Ellie's first birthday cake!  Eek!


Jessi said...

Thank you so much for the filling tips! I have tried pudding lots of times and the consistency is always a little wimpy, but heavy cream makes a ton of sense. Something I would have never thought of.

Lisa said...

You're very welcome!