It’s here, the dreaded day. My baby is growing up so quickly and his mom doesn’t like it. It makes me sad. Like I’m tearing up thinking about it right now kinda sad. I know, he’s growing into a smart and handsome little man. But he’s still my baby and moms don’t like when their babies grow. One positive thing about birthdays though, it gives me an excuse to make a cake. Every now and then I get the cake bug and want to make something and a baby smash cake is the perfect project for me, the not-so-great baker/cake decorator.
I mentioned how much I admire I Am Baker in a post last week. Again tonight, Audrie and I sat memorized on the couch watching some of her videos on Facebook. She makes everything look so simple! I daydream often about winning the lottery, quitting my job, and taking cake decorating classes all day long (and eating the cakes after class, obviously). For now I’ll just have to get my cake fix by making the occasional birthday cake but someday, I’m gonna be a professional cake-decorating class taker.
Of course, before starting this project, I diligently read I Am Baker posts and scoured Pinterest. I found this post on making a smash cake. I took some pointers from her, mainly the little dishes she used. Those were in my cabinet and were perfect for this cake.
I started by preparing the cake batter. While from-scratch cakes are great, I didn’t have time for that on this day. The Betty Crocker Vanilla cake mix worked just fine.
Spray the bowls and only fill about 1/4 full with batter. If you get them too full, the cakes will get too done around the edges and not done in the middle. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. With the remaining batter, I made cupcakes.
After the cakes are cooled completely, I put them in the freezer for a bit so they would harden and be easier to work with. This step isn’t required but is helpful. My cakes came out with pretty good domes on them so I had to cut them off to be even. It’s easier to do this when they’re cold. To stack the cakes, I put the top layer upside down which gives a more even look to the top layer.
Stack your cakes together, putting some icing in between the cakes. Next, you’ll want to put a thin layer of icing all around the cake to serve as your base. Crumb coats are supposed to be a really thin layer of icing, just enough to keep the crumbs contained. I got a little carried away with the icing here but, hey, it’s icing. Is too much really a bad thing? I Am Baker has a great post about crumb coating if you need some pointers.
And now we’re to the fun part, the buttercream. For the crumb coat, I used store-bought icing because I’d already made and colored a batch of homemade buttercream and, honestly, I just didn’t wanna to make another round of icing.
For the pretty icing, I made this Whipped Vanilla Buttercream. This icing didn’t require me to have a lot of ingredients, it came out to the consistency I wanted on the first try, and it tasted really good. I was going for super hero colors for my icing but, unfortunately they ended up also being KU colors (gross). Oh well, we have enough tiger stuff around the house that baby won’t be confused about who to root for 🙂
And, after switching tips and bags many times, here’s the result! Inspired partly by the sides of this Purple Shell Cake and partly by the top of this Open Star Tip Cake.
Baby messed the cake up a little but he wasn’t too into it. He gets his aversion to messes honestly so I can’t be too mad at him. Plus, if he doesn’t eat much, that just means more for mom 🙂