Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thomas' Birthday Cake

I think that, of any cake I've ever made and decorated, this was my absolute favorite so far!

How cute is this cake? Racing through the desert, this little car is so happy to be in first place!

My little baby Thomas turned one year old today. I can't believe that he has grown so old so fast! This is all about the cake I made to celebrate his big day.

The recipes will be at the end of the post - this is a homemade yellow cake, topped with a delicious boiled peanut butter frosting, and it tasted incredible!

To decorate this cake, I used:
1 large package assorted sandwich cookies (chocolate and vanilla)
1 package mini Charleston Chews
Small amount yellow frosting (leftover from the sugar cookies I made a while back)
Some spiny fake foliage
A toothpick and paper
Toy car (doubled as birthday present)

After frosting the cake, coarsely crush the sandwich cookies. Press vanilla cookie crumbs into frosting for sand, and press chocolate cookie crumbs in for the road.

Press Charleston Chews along the sides of the road to act as a curb and define the road better. Press them along the middle of the road to make the stripes in the road. Pipe a small amount of yellow frosting on the chews in the middle of the road.

My mom was able to find me a branch of plastic some-sort-of-plant. It had little spiny heads on it that I pulled off, washed really well, and stuck into the cake as desert bushes. For the flag, cut a rectangle out of blank paper, and color black and white checkers on it. Tape this to a toothpick and stick into the cake. I originally thought of taping the flag to the candle, but decided that would be a fire hazard (albeit a small one).

Place toy car on the road, and you're ready to race!

The recipes:

Yellow Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9x13 pan. If using the boiled peanut butter frosting, use a glass pan because you'll leave the cake in the pan to frost it, and leaving cake in a metal pan can negatively affect the cake.

Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter into pan.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (the pan I used ended up being 10x14, so I checked it at 25 minutes and kept checking on it until it was done). Cool in pan on wire rack.

***To make ahead (like making your own cake mix!), combine all dry ingredients in a container with a lid (all ingredients except milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs). Then, when you're ready to make the cake, dump dry ingredients into mixing bowl, add wet ingredients, and mix and bake as directed.

Boiled Peanut Butter Frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
7 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. shortening
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Combine sugar, milk, shortening, butter, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Once it reaches a boil, let boil for one to two minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter. Beat until smooth. Working quickly, pour and spread the frosting onto the cake. You want to spread it pretty quickly because it'll harden. If you're decorating the cake with cookie crumbs like I did, do it soon after spreading the frosting, because it does harden quickly. But it tastes soooo yummy!!

I got this frosting recipe from Southern Plate, who has a touching story on her blog about why this delicious frosting is so special to her.

Verdict: This was a delicious cake, with an even more delicious frosting. I think it may be my new favorite frosting recipe, it's that good! Everyone thought the cake was very cute, and gave lots of compliments. I mean, just look at it! So adorable!

And Thomas thoroughly enjoyed his piece.


Southern Plate said...

I was about to comment on how cute your cake was, but then I got to the bottom and saw the CUTEST LITTLE BOY eating it!!!
I love the cake, it is precious and adorable......but that Baby!!!!!!!
I'm afraid he outshines your amazing cooking!!!

On another note, I am so excited you liked the icing!!! Thank you for the link back!!!! OMG LOOK AT THAT BABY!!! HOW CUTE!!!!!
I am going to print this pic of him out and show it to my grandmother!!!!

Michelle said...

My little nephew.... Your hubby got a better shot than I did, but his angle was better.

I can't wait to make this awesome frosting, I love anything to do with peanut butter or salted peanuts or dry roasted peanuts. Don't know why...

Sharon said...

Both the cake and your little boy are absolutely adorable. Great job on the cake. It looks perfect and I'd love to take a 'no hands' bite myself! :)

Laura said...

You are so talented!!!
How creative and absolutely adorable.

Mommy's Kitchen said...

How cute is that little guy. I guess if he is diving in that cake like that then it must be good. I cant wait to try it. You have a very nice blog.

Jaime said...

that is the cutest cake!

Kate said...

I've left something for you on my site. Come and see.

Jenny said...

That is seriously the cutest cake I've seen. I'll have to make it for my boys for the next B-day party! So cute!