Today was Jackson's fifth birthday and boy was he as excited as ever. It was a super fun day and I can't wait to post about it. I forgot to do his annual birthday interview before he went to bed and by the time I checked on him ten minutes later, he was already fast asleep snuggled up with his new Optimus Prime.
For tonight, I just thought I'd share the story of Jackson's birthday cake.
I posted a photo on Facebook and Instagram and it got far more praise than I was expecting... especially the whole "coolest mom ever" comment! Looking at it now, it really is a pretty cute cake. But that's not how I was seeing it at the time.
The Leonardo cake was FAR from what I had envisioned. The entire cake making process was a nightmare. Nothing went as planned and it seems like things were so much more complicated than they needed to be. I didn't plan my timeline well and so I was rushed at the end which didn't help things at all.
I figured I'd go ahead and share my "inspiration" as what I was originally intending to make.
I was going to use blueberries to make the fruit glaze.
I picked the cake recipe out last night and I knew I'd need to go to the store to pick up all-purpose flour because that's not something I have at home anymore. I don't care for whipped cream, so I opted to make a different kind of icing using powdered sugar. I didn't want to have to buy an entire bag, so I figured I'd make my own with the pure cane sugar that I have at home using my blender.
Jackson and I started making the cake and had everything in the bowl before I realized I was out of vanilla.... and Belle was already napping! Ah!!! Fortunately, my father-in-law saved the day and delivered some vanilla. Also, I wish I could've sifted the flour since the whole wheat flour makes a cake more dense.
I only had one circular cake pan, so I had to bake the cakes in two rounds, which wasn't a big deal other than taking more time. When it came time to make the powdered sugar, I didn't have enough pure cane sugar (ugh!) and so I used some coconut sugar, which is brown. By the time I mixed the butter with the sugar I had ugly brown icing. Oh, and I remembered that I needed vanilla for the icing too, but I already sent it back with my father-in-law. I was hoping to avoid food coloring, but I had no choice! If I was going to have icing that didn't taste good, I'd need it to be pretty. Green was the only "boy" color I had and I didn't have much.
I ended up with an ugly shade of green, but it was going to have to work. I iced the first cake and when I put the second on top... the top one broke into several pieces! It was a mess (ugh!). I was so flustered! I decided to scrape the crumbling mess and just work with the bottom piece. Derek came home at this time and all I could see was a disaster from what I was really hoping to create from the beginning.. An ugly green circle.
At this time, I happened to glance at the kitchen table to see a cup with four turtles the same ugly green as my cake. I dug through my sprinkles to find sprinkles to match any color of the turtles and behold I found some blue. The whole sprinkle process was frustrating because they were going EVERYWHERE and then the icing for the smile was runny. Right before I snapped the photo of the cake, I was huffing and puffing to Derek in the kitchen about the huge disaster of a cake I made. I was embarrassed to serve it to our family who were all here to celebrate Jackson.
I cannot help but laugh at the whole ordeal. I mean, I ended up with a Ninja Turtle cake. A blue one. Jackson's favorite-- which would have been his choice had I ever known it to be an option! I thought I failed big time! But when the first compliment came in-- I just couldn't believe it! I had to look at the cake from a different perspective to realize that it really did turn out pretty good! *
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. If life gives you an ugly cake, make Leonardo!
*By good, I mostly mean looked cool. I have tried making a cake from scratch twice now and haven't achieved major success either time. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't amazing either. But at least it was cute. :)