Inspiration for a Double Birthday Celebration

We try to stretch out birthday celebrations as long as possible in our house, waking up to a pile of presents and closing the day with a big birthday cake. Because my daughters share a birthday, I usually prepare months in advance to make sure each one feels special on her shared special day, but this year, the birthday caught me by surprise.

Last Thursday, as I was driving to school pick up, I did the math and almost had a heart attack. My girls would be turning 5 and 10 in less than a week and I had no present, no plan, no party invites, nothing, nada, rien, ready to celebrate. It could have a little something to do with the early arrival of Sophie who was supposed to be born on her sisters’ birthday. Not having to share their birthday with anyone else was probably the greatest present Baby Sophie could have given her sisters.

The gods of swag intervened and delivered the most wonderful book in the mail that day: Barbara Beery‘s Pink Princess Party Cookbook. Although it sounds very little girly, the book is actually filled with ideas that would appeal to a wide age range of girls, including a very cool 10-year old. Although the cookbook cover is Pinkalicious sparkly pink, Beery includes spa party ideas, mermaid party ideas, pony party ideas, as well as the requisite hot pink princess party ideas. I loved that she included more than sweets, providing inspiration for fun drinks as well as cute sandwiches.

Tonight each birthday girl will have her own cake, and this weekend, when friends join us for their birthday parties, more cakes will be baked. Seems like a lot of cakes, and a lot of work, but creating unique sweets to celebrate another year of milestones and accomplishments is my favorite part of birthdays!

Happy 5th birhday and 10th birthday to Bella and Juliette!

Recipe: Fairy Tale Flowerpot Dessert

Summary: These flower pots would be a great cake for a tween party, especially one with a green theme. Recipe from Pink Princess Party Cookbook by Barbara Beery (Simon & Schuster, June 2011, $15.99/Spiral-Bound)

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh pineapple, cut into 12 round slices
  • Seedless red and green grapes, raspberries and blackberries
  • Twelve 6-inch wooden skewers
  • Twelve new 2-inch clay flowerpots and saucers, washed and dried
  • 1 purchased, 16-ounce angel food or pound cake, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 quart ice cream or your favorite frozen confection, any flavor
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chocolate syrup
  • Assorted sprinkles
  • 12 colorful straws cut to fit the length of the skewers

Instructions

  1. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. To make fruit flowers, cut out the center of each pineapple slice with a small melon baller. Cut each slice into a flower shape with a 2- to 3-inch flower-shaped metal cookie cutter. Place a grape, raspberry, or blackberry in the cut-out center of the pineapple flower.
  3. Insert a wooden skewer starting at the bottom of the pineapple flower, carefully pushing it through the fruit in the center and through the top portion of the pineapple flower, making sure the skewer is not sticking out the top of the flower. Place the flowers on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator.
  4. Place the flowerpots in their saucers and set on the other cookie sheet. Put several cubes of cake into each pot, filling it halfway to the top. Press down on the cake, making sure to cover the hole in the bottom of each pot. Fill each flowerpot with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and garnish with sprinkles.
  5. Insert a straw into the center of the ice cream. Store the flowerpots in the freezer until you are ready to serve.
  6. When you are ready to serve, remove the flowerpots from the freezer and the fruit flowers from the refrigerator. Insert a flower into the straw in each flowerpot and serve immediately.
  7. May be stored covered up to 8 hours.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Microformatting by hRecipe.

 

Recipe: Pink Princess Crown Cake

Summary: Recipe from Pink Princess Party Cookbook by Barbara Beery (Simon & Schuster, June 2011, $15.99/Spiral-Bound)

Ingredients

  • CAKE
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • Pink paste food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or half-and half, more if the frosting is too stiff to spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pink paste food coloring
  • Assorted candies and sprinkles

Instructions

  1. CAKE
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of one 8-inch round cake pan and one 6-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of each pan with a circle of waxed paper or parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and strawberry extracts and a dab of food coloring for color.
  4. In another bowl, stir the baking powder, salt, and flour together with a whisk. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk. Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake pans.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The smaller layer may be done a few minutes before the bigger one. The layers should be golden brown. When you touch the top lightly, you should not leave a fingerprint.
  7. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove them by placing a plate or rack over each pan and inverting the layer onto the plate or rack. Cool another 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.
  8. FROSTING
  9. Beat the butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until butter is soft and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, alternately with the milk. Beat in the vanilla.
  10. Beat in a tiny bit of pink food coloring. Add extra milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary.
  11. When the layers are cool, center the smaller layer on top of the larger one.
  12. Frost the cake and decorate with candies and sprinkles.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Microformatting by hRecipe.

 

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