Are you a fan of all things pink and glittery?
If not, read no further. This post is definitely not going to be your cup of tea.
I was asked to make some cupcakes and a small cake for a baby shower. The instructions were simple: make it as pink and glittery as possible. I have to admit, though pink and glitter are not my favourite things, I really enjoyed making this cake and cupcakes. If you do a quick google search of baby shower cakes, you can find a lot of questionable designs (and some pretty gruesome ones at that!). This was a nice, simple, elegant way to welcome in a new baby, without any of the strangeness that could accompany this kind of order.
I did have some reference shots for this cake, so the creative side of this was about as simple as looking at the photograph and finding the right piping tip. That being said, I did have a lot of fun putting this cake and cupcakes together. It’s not every day you get to throw “glitter” (read: sprinkles) all over a cake to make it as shiny and shimmery as possible.
I started with a simple 6″ chocolate cake, and a vanilla cake for the cupcakes (to give as many options to the guests as possible). The cake used a rosette style of decoration in a soft pink vanilla buttercream. I added a good pile of edible glitter to the icing, though unfortunately it didn’t show up as much as I would have liked.
So I went to plan B: sprinkles. I found some great nut-free sprinkles (the nut-free part was unintentional, but great for snacking a few little nibbles of sprinkles while baking!). These came in three styles: some larger, pearl-gloss balls; some plain white sprinkles; and some small, shiny, translucent sprinkles. The third variety were perfect to sprinkle over this cake to give the look of glitter.
For the cupcakes, I used an open star tip and gave a good, tall helping of the same pink icing. This ended up being about 2 1/2 swirls around the cupcake, which makes for a very elegant cupcake (and a good serving of buttercream!). I topped these off with a sprinkle of some more edible glitter, and a few of the larger round sprinkles.
Getting the sprinkles on the buttercream proved to be more difficult than I thought – they kept rolling down the grooves in the buttercream and going all over my kitchen! The best solution was to hold the cupcake and angle it slightly so each sprinkle could be lightly pressed in. I was trying to avoid pressing down too much, so I wouldn’t ruin the buttercream, but holding the cupcake and angling it really helped make this an easier process, without too much risk to getting a big finger dent in the icing.
In total, I had 2 dozen cupcakes in addition to the cake, so these had to sit on my desk to avoid taking up too much space in the kitchen!
I was quite pleased with how these cupcakes came out, and I really like that there was a good amount of consistency across all of the cupcakes. Though it isn’t too difficult at this point for me to get a nice looking swirl with a star tip, mistakes can still sometimes happen and mar an otherwise nice looking cupcake, but I think I came out with a good set of matching cupcakes for this baby shower. I’ve been working a lot on consistency this year. Now that I have some of the basics down, and have improved my overall style, I am really working for consistency, both within a single order, and between orders, to make sure that people are always getting the same quality. It can sometimes be difficult to achieve this when I am doing my baking late at night, so I think it also helps to be able to do this sort of project on a Friday night (even better would be a Saturday afternoon, but I had to sneak in the decorating when I could to match up with the baby shower timing).
Have any of you had experience making (or even just eating) a crazy baby shower cake? I haven’t been to many baby showers, so I’m not sure how common it really is to get some of the creepy cakes I’ve seen. Do you all prefer something a bit sillier, or something plain and pretty for a baby shower?