Monday, September 22, 2014

Jackson's First Birthday

My baby turned one! I can hardly believe it. He is getting so big! Actually he's not that big according to the charts, but he sure is big to  me! Our wedding anniversary happens to be on the same day as our little guys birthday and for the second year in a row, we haven't done much to celebrate. But, we did have a big party for Jackson so I guess that's celebration enough. We had lots of friends come and support. It was perfect. Luckily the weather cooled off just in time because we had been having 97 degree days here with no air conditioning. Let me tell you, our apartment was hot! It ended up being a little bit overcast for the party so we were able to leave the back door open so that people could sit out on the deck.

 I made Jackson's "Birthday Suit" onesie. It was pretty simple. I ironed on the words "Birthday Suit." Then I sewed a little bow tie with Velcro on the back and stuck it on.

I have been wanting to make a tiered cake for a while. Mostly because I just wanted to see if I could do it. So, I decided Jackson's birthday would be the perfect time. My cake does look like a Charlie Brown cake. I am well aware of that. I am almost embarrassed to put up a picture of it, but we all have to start somewhere right? I did it, it may be leaning sideways, but I did it. The cake itself tasted yummy though so don't judge it by its looks.

 Here is Jackson's little smash cake. I put some white star sprinkles on it to give it a little decoration.

The smash cake part was so much fun, even though it was a pain to clean up. He somehow flung frosting all over the kitchen. But he sure did look cute!

Here is our family picture. Jackson was trying to touch me with his frosting fingers and he succeeded.
I had blue frosting all over the side of my shirt.

 Here is Jackson getting cleaned up by dad in the kitchen sink.
Yes, he's trying to grab my camera lens cap with his frosting fingers.

Jackson also officially started walking on his actual birthday. He is a rock star!

I used a recipe from Baking Vintage. I knew I wanted a white cake with cream cheese frosting and when I came across this buttermilk recipe, I thought I would try it. Don't let "folding in the egg whites" instruction scare you. It was really simple.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper, then grease with unsalted butter.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar to remove any lumps. In a liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk and vanilla. With the mixture on a low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture with the buttermilk. Beat the batter until smooth.

In a clean separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Working swiftly, fold the stiff egg whites into the cake bake in three additions. Pour into the buttered cake pans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for one hour, remove from pan and allow to cool fully before frosting with the icing of your choice.

Makes 2 8-inch round cakes

With a double batch I made,

two-8inch cakes,
two 6-inch cakes and
two-4 inch cakes

One of the 6-inch cakes I didn't use and one of the 4-inch cakes I used to make Jackson's smash cake with.

I used a cream cheese frosting recipe from Dessert Now, Dinner Later

 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl, beat until smooth.
Gradually add the butter 2 tbsp at a time and continue beating until smooth and well blended
Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, mix until combined.

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