I celebrated my birthday two Saturdays ago, and I’m just now getting around to sharing it with you. I do apologize for my lack of organization skills on getting this post together sooner. I’m not going to lie, I love my birthday. There’s cake, gifts, streamers, fancy tissue paper, oodles of brightly colored candles, and singing. Every year, my family takes turns calling me and serenading me with the “Happy Birthday” song. It’s a family tradition that I look forward to each and every year. My family and husband went out of their way and spoiled me this year for my birthday, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Since I’m now in my late 20′s (sob, boo-hiss), I had to go all out and make myself a fancy birthday cake. My favorite color is pink, so I made an all pink cake- inside and out! I made a strawberry cake with pink whipped vanilla frosting, three different shades of pink to be exact. I found both recipes on Sweetapolita.
Isn’t she a beauty? I took three different shades of pink and swirled them together. Surprisingly, it was super easy. I watched Rosie’s video, and she did a wonderful job explaining the steps. You can watch it here.
The strawberry cake was absolutely delicious and super moist. It was a real crowd pleaser and, since it was my birthday, I treated myself to two slices. Yum!
Can you believe my mother made me cook on my birthday? Here’s what we ate:
Let me apologize in advance for the not-so-appealing pictures. I ran out of the house without my real camera and had to use my iPhone. Mmm, sautéed farmer’s market squash and zucchini with onions, garlic, and Land O Lakes Olive Oil & Sea Salt butter.
My mom requested I make another batch of these potatoes.
My family surprised me with crabs that the men steamed while the ladies drank cocktails. They were AMAZING!
We steamed sweet corn with the crabs and holy toledo was it delicious! I’m not sure if any of you have ever experienced corn steamed with crabs, but it is the best thing you will ever eat… Ever! The corn soaks up the flavor from the crabs and seafood seasoning, and it is ridiculously tasty. I literally took down 4 ears of corn that day. It’s that good.
Mmm, crab loot.
Here’s a peek at my family dynamics. Warning: It’s about to get very interesting.
So, here’s the story. My dad has a thing against doves. Apparently, they throw all of the seed out of the bird feeders. Don’t ask! So, my mom had a clever idea to buy him a squirt gun for Father’s Day to fight off the doves. That’s right, you heard correct, my dad is at war with the doves. He calls it his Dove Blaster 2000, and every time he catches a dove on the bird feeder, WHAM! he shoots it with 5 simultaneous blasts of water, causing the dove to fly for cover. Mission accomplished!
Of course, none of us cared about the doves except for my father, so I took possession of the squirt gun and started an epic birthday party water gun fight. There was only one gun, so we all took turns vigilantly surprising one another with blasts of cold water when least expected.
The best shot was when I caught my aunt leaning over the crabs. She was conveniently wearing a dress, so I blasted her in the booty with a generous shot of water. She squealed like a pig; it was hilarious! I may have been turning twenty *cough* but I’m still a kid at heart.
Look what I received for my birthday!
*Squeel!* It’s an amazing lens, and I love it.
Strawberry Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 (3 oz) package strawberry flavored gelatin (I used Jell-O)
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs, room temperature
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 tbs. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1. Place 5 strawberries in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter, line with parchment, and flour two round 9-inch cake pans, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the milk, strawberry puree, and the vanilla. Set aside.
4. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, and set aside.
5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, gelatin, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
7. Add the wet & dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternating, beginning and ending with dry ingredients and mixing just enough after each addition to incorporate, but not overmix.
8. Divide the batter between the two pans, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.
9. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be careful not to overbake. Check cakes at 20 minutes, but not before. Check the cake every 2 minutes after that. When the cake is finished baking, take it of the oven and let cool on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes upright, so the tops are up and cool completely.
10. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Whipped Vanilla Frosting:
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tbs. milk
1 tbs. vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes on medium speed. The butter will become very pale & creamy.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light and fluffy. Best used right away.
For the top color, I used 2 drops of AmeriColor Electric Purple
For the center color, I used 2 drops of AmeriColor Mauve
For the bottom color, I used 2 drops of AmeriColor Electric Pink
Separate the frosting into three different bowls, reserving a 1/2 cup for the filling, then add your chosen food coloring to each bowl and mix until all of the white has disappeared.
Place the first layer of cake face up on a cake plate (preferably one that spins. I would highly recommend you invest in one if you’re going to do a lot of cake decorating). Place the reserved frosting on top of the first layer and spread evenly over the cake with an off set spatula. Add the second layer, face down so the smooth part is exposed, on top of the frosted layer.
Begin by frosting the top of the cake with your darkest color, smoothing with an off-set spatula. Next, add the next darkest color of frosting to the bottom of the cake with a straight cake spatula, smoothing as you go. The final layer to be frosted is the middle layer, and you’ll use your lightest color frosting. You’ll want to swirl the middle layer into the top and bottom layers, slightly.
I suggest that you watch Rosie’s video before you frost your cake. It really helped me understand how to execute the technique. Click here to watch Rosie’s very informative technique video on how to frost the pastel swirl cake.
Feel free to use your favorite colors to frost this cake. Just pick three variations of your favorite color.