Samantha and Amelia’s “Baby Love” 1st Birthday Party: The Food

Now, for my absolute favorite part of Samantha and Amelia’s “Baby Love” 1st birthday, the party food! I’ll start with dessert since who really cares about the buffet, anyway? I always eat dessert first!
The dessert buffet menu: 
Two pink ombre rosette cakes
Two giant cupcakes with chocolate “wrappers” (for Samantha and Amelia)
Strawberry ice cream cut into heart shapes
Mini cupcakes
Heart-shaped brownies
White-chocolate covered pretzels
Chocolate covered strawberries
Pink and gold cake pops
Macaroons from Trader Joe’s
White chocolate bark hearts
Donuts with pink frosting and sprinkles
Apothecary jars filled with candy (pink rock candy, pink sixlets and pink gumballs)
I’ll start with the cakes first, since they took up the majority of my time preparing for this party. Thanks to the zillions of ombre rosette cakes all over Pinterest, I couldn’t NOT make one for the party. Every time I scrolled Pinterest, the ombre cakes would pop up at me, screaming, “MAKE ME.”  They just look so darn cute and although time-consuming, they were not that difficult to make. I am not a baker by any means and still managed to pull it off. The hardest part was finding the time to do the actual baking since it was a four-layer cake and I had to make two of them to ensure we had enough for all the guests. 
The other tricky part was dyeing the batter just right so that the layers would look “ombre” (light to dark, in this case). I started with white vanilla batter, which I divided and added drops of Wilton food coloring in Rose to make it slightly pink. For the bottom layers, I used a strawberry cake mix and added drops of the same food coloring to create two more shades of pink batter. 
The results looked pretty cool when we cut the cake!

I did all the baking two nights before the party (or should I say morning…I didn’t finish baking until 2 a.m!), saran wrapped the cooled layers and stuck them in the fridge to stay moist until I was ready to frost. I didn’t want to frost and bake in the same day, which is why I stayed up all night to get the baking out of the way, the entire time ignoring Jake’s constant comments about how crazy I was and how I needed to go to bed NOW. Thanks for the moral support, babe!

The next day, I leveled the layers of the cake to make them flat, stacked the layers, and applied a crumb coat of frosting all around the cakes to make the rosettes stick. I then made a few batches of white buttercream frosting, and, just like the cake batter, used Wilton food coloring in Rose to dye the frosting three different shades of pink. Then, I loaded three piping bags up with frosting and, using a 1M star tip, added on the rosettes. I watched a YouTube tutorial for the rosettes and after a few practice ones, was pretty efficient. Rosettes are pretty forgiving, so when I messed up, all I had to do was wipe them off and start over. I began with the bottom layer, and basically squeezed frosting out in a circular shape, moving clockwise until I created a rose shape.

Even though frosting the rosettes wasn’t that bad on the difficulty scale, I do NOT want to see piping bags again for a very long time! Frosting two of those cakes burned me out for a while!

I made the cute mini cake bunting using a free online template from Yellow Bliss Road, some baker’s twine and striped straws that I found at Koyal Wholesale. 

In addition to the rosette cake, which was for the guests, I made two giant cupcakes for Samantha and Amelia’s smash cakes. I used Wilton’s awesome giant cupcake pan to bake a strawberry-flavored cake, which I baked the same night/wee hours of the morning as the rosette cake. Needless to say, I was pretty sick of baking after that night!

The next day, I frosted the cupcakes with rosettes using the same frosting I had used for one of the layers of the rosette cake and then added some edible candy flowers. The edible chocolate wrapper is definitely my favorite part of the cupcake and took a few attempts to get it right! After a few fails on my part, Jake saved the day by making two successful chocolate wrappers for me. He melted down some yellow chocolate melts, coated the cupcake pan with Pam, painted the inside of the pan with the melted chocolate, and then stuck it in the fridge to set for a half hour. He then took it out, flipped the pan upside down, tapped it gently, and, like magic, out came the chocolate wrapper! I guess the secret ingredient was using Pam because every time I tried to get the chocolate out, it broke all over the place.

Too bad Samantha and Amelia didn’t appreciate their giant cupcakes as much as I did, but more on that tomorrow!

When all was said and done, the giant cupcakes turned out AWESOME. More than one person at the party asked if they were real, particularly the chocolate wrappers!

My sweet friend, Jodi, has a mini cupcake pan and baked the cupcakes for me. I frosted them using frosting left over from the cake, topped them with pink candy pearls and hearts cut out of gold glitter cardstock. 

Like I said in my last post, I had all my slaves family members working non-stop to get ready for the party. My mom made these yummy heart-shaped brownies using my silicone heart shaped baking mold and drizzled white chocolate and sprinkles over them. In addition to some food-prep duties, she and my sister were tasked with taking care of the twins while I got the rest of the baking and party prep done. They were pretty exhausted at the end of each day!

A party wouldn’t be complete without cake pops! Fortunately, I have the BabyCakes Cake Pop Maker (yes, there is such a thing, as I had to explain to an incredulous Jake), which made the process a lot easier. Just throw some batter in the machine, let them bake for eight minutes, pull them out using prongs, melt some chocolate, dip a lollipop stick in the chocolate and stick in the cake pops, let them set in the freezer for a few minutes, and then dip the whole thing in more melted chocolate and sprinkles. I made the little cake pop stand topper using Photoshop.

 Warning: The U.S. Surgeon General does not endorse eating any of the products at this table.

The ice cream hearts aren’t pictured here since we made them right as we were serving the cake, but they turned out so cute, even though I’m sure no one notice or cared that they were hearts! The night before the party, my dad painstakingly emptied a few gallons of strawberry ice cream into some foil 9 x 13 pans and smoothed the ice cream evenly across the pans. As we cut the cake, my dad took my heart-shaped cookie cutter and cut out little hearts from the ice cream. Even if no one noticed, those little ice cream hearts made me smile. It’s all in the details, people!

 In a perfect world, I would have spray-painted the macaroons pink and gold with some edible spray paint I had, but I completely ran out of time. Sigh. The white chocolate bark hearts didn’t turn out exactly as planned either because I underestimated how big my silicone heart mold was, and the end product turned out way too huge to be appetizing. Who wants to eat an enormous, thick, heart-shaped piece of white chocolate? Well, I guess I do, but not when there were so many other sugar-coma inducing treats around as well. They looked pretty, at least! Fortunately, the silicone heart mold worked a lot better with the brownies.

Major sugar overload. I didn’t think the rock candy would get eaten, but turns out, little kids LOVE the stuff! 
The dessert table in all its high-calorie glory. 
Now for the buffet menu:  
Heart-shaped buttermilk pancakes
Quiche lorraine
Feta pastry puffs from Trader Joe’s
Hummus and pita chips
Veggie platter and dip
Sea salt kettle chips 
Berry fruit salad
Grape and watermelon hearts skewers
Roast beef and turkey sandwiches (one platter was from Costco and one platter I ordered from a local deli for those people that didn’t like their sandwiches on croissants)

Thank you to my sweet husband for making the heart pancakes the night before the party with me! We stayed up until 2:30 a.m. making these!  The morning of the party, we re-heated the pancakes in the oven, stuck heart toothpicks through them two at a time, and topped them off with a raspberry. They turned out looking adorable. The best part is, Jake will now be able to make heart-shaped pancakes for me forevermore (hint, hint!)

In the background, you can see the adorable fruit skewers we made by placing grapes on wooden skewers and placing the heart-shaped pieces of watermelon my dad cut for us on top to create a little “wand.” I clearly got some good use out of my heart-shaped cookie cutters!

Not pictured here are the Nutella French Toast Roll-Ups (also made at 2:30 a.m the night before the party), which didn’t turn out looking so great, but were DELICIOUS! Just picture churros oozing with Nutella…yum.

My other favorites from the buffet table were the sun-dried tomato pasta salad my mom threw together and my absolute favorite salad, cranberry spinach salad with poppyseed dressing. Not as satisfying as dessert, in my opinion, but since people probably wanted to eat something else besides pure sugar, they were necessary additions. I would have personally been very happy with two buffet tables of frosting, just of the record.

Dig in!

Anyone want to come over for some lunch and dessert? We are STILL eating leftovers, four days later!

Even more party details to come tomorrow!

Lots of love,

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  1. You are wonder woman!!! This is amazing! if I ever need party planning tips, I know who to come to, WOW!