1st Birthday Baking

So this all started as a pipe dream. I had imagined creating some sort of fabulous cake for Billy's birthday, and of course it would have to be accompanied by some cupcakes. I had never really made either before though. We had ordered Billy's birthday cake and everything was sorted in that department. But I just kept getting this niggling feeling that I wanted to bake something for his birthday myself. 

And then it came to me - a cake smash. This is fast becoming a very popular little tradition for first birthday parties. It's really popular in America and is starting to catch on here now too. A friend of mine has done one for both of her daughters' 1st birthdays and when she told me about it I just knew that I had to do it myself. The idea behind it is very simple - you let them smash a cake. Honestly, that's it. You basically dress them in something cute (or leave them in a nappy with a birthday hat or something), place a cake in front of them, and do a little photo shoot of them attacking it. It's such a cute idea. 

So this is where it all began. I decided to bake Billy his smash cake and I wanted it to be a rainbow cake. You know, those really cool cakes whereby you cut in to them and they have layered sponge cake in various different colours. I had absolutely no idea about where to start though. This is where the help comes in. The wonderful people at Decobake took me through the whole process, showed me the supplies I would need, and helped me along the way. I went from feeling completely out of my depth, to actually feeling quite excited about the whole thing. I had to start somewhere right? I really want to be able to make my son's birthday cakes as he grows up, so this was an important starting point for me. 

I went in to the Decobake shop on Bachelors walk in Dublin one sunny Thursday afternoon to meet with Gillian, the lovely manager. She couldn't have been more helpful. She showed me around and gave me some great advice. I was completely mesmerised by the shop itself. If you've visited the shop then you will know exactly what I mean. It's just beautiful. Wall to wall full of baking supplies, colourful, vibrant, and like something out of a fairytale. It's really gorgeous. 

I left with these goodies, and was on my way to becoming a bit of a Delia. 


I'll be honest, I was expecting the whole thing to be very mediocre. I didn't fully expect it to work out at all. So needless to say I was absolutely delighted with the outcome. I did it in a couple of steps, over a couple of days, and with some help from a good friend. 

Want to make a rainbow cake yourself? Here's how I did it. 

1. Use a basic sponge/Madeira recipe like this one, and triple the ingredients. You are essentially making three cakes on top of each other. 
2. Make the sponge cake (x3) and separate in to six separate bowls. To each bowl add a food colouring colour of your choice and mix well. 
3. Bake sponges in circular cake tins and allow to cool. 
4. When sponges have cooled stack on top of each other using buttercream in between each layer. I used this buttercream icing recipe
5. When stacked on top of eachother cover entire cake in buttercream icing. 
6. knead a large piece of white fondant. I used this one from Decobake. Knead to make it softer and more flexible. Roll it out thinly and cover entire cake in fondant. 
7. Using a star cutter (or any shape) like this one, cut out desired shapes. 
8. Using icing glue or water, stick fondant shapes on to the cake (which has already been covered in white fondant). 
9. Enjoy!

I made that sound really easy didn't I? The hardest part would be the rolling out and application of the white fondant, but my friend did this part for me. She is a cake-enthusiast and regularly makes her own fancy cakes using fondant. She did a really great job and I wouldn't have been able to do that part so well. She also made the little plaque with Billy's name on it. I was delighted to have her help and expertise on board. 

Thank you so very much to the lovely people at Decobake for all of their help, supplies and for igniting a little flame in me. I think I've caught the bug... 


And it worked out brilliantly for the cake smash. OK, so it wasn't the smashiest of cake smashes, but we got some cute photos and it was absolutely adorable. 


I'm on a serious cupcake buzz at the moment. Billy's birthday has totally thrown my healthy eating habits so needless to say I've been over-dosing on sugar and baked goods. There is just something about cupcakes though. Only certain types do it for me. Nice fluffy cake topped with smooth and creamy buttercream icing. When done right they just totally hit the spot. 

So I kind of wanted to make some sort of epic cupcakes for the party too. Somehow I managed to churn out these little beauties and they did happen to taste pretty damn delicious if I do say so myself. Once again I have Decobake to thank for the supplies and the guidance with these babies. Firstly, how adorable are the little cases? They are little cups which you bake them and then serve them in too. I just love them. You can pick them up at any Decobake store. And those butterflies? Yep, they are edible. The absolute cuteness of them. 

In my opinion the best part of a cupcake is the icing. These were top notch in that department and it's thanks to this fabulous flavoured icing sugar. It has the vanilla flavour included so it is literally just a case of adding butter and a bit of milk. You can then add food colouring to your hearts content. It's so much fun. I ended up adding some yellow food colouring to the actual cake mixture because I just loved how vibrant the yellow layer of the rainbow cake was. 

And then there was the birthday cake. The actual one that is. For happy birthday singing, candles and sharing with guests. It was a huge hit. I purchased it from Betsys Bakery in Clondalkin. I've bought several items from this girl before and everything is always perfect. The cakes and cupcakes look amazing and taste even better. 

The theme of the cake is Paw Patrol. It's a Nick Jr television show that Billy loves. Of course he's only 1, but he gets really excited by the theme tune and every time he sees a dog he says "wow wow". It's adorable.  I was really delighted with how it turned out. 


And there was more... 

The first photo is my mam's famous cream slices. They are divine. Soft flaky pastry with jam and fresh cream, rice crispy cakes (just has to be done) and finally, more cupcakes. But not just any cupcakes - purple sponge with marshmallow buttercream icing and jelly beans. They were basically made with leftover party sweets. 

And there we have it. A look in to the many cakes that made an appearance at little Billy's 1st birthday party. I'm working on a general post about his party - the highlights, what worked, what didn't, and LOTS of photos. Really looking forward to sharing it with you all, so stay tuned! 

I still can't believe I have a one year old...