May 31, 2012

How to bake a cake (to the tune of "How to save a life")

It is true what they say about birthdays becoming less exciting as you get older. Not that I wasn't excited for my birthday. Birthdays seem a little bit scarier now. I decided for this one (a lady never reveals her age) I wanted to celebrate by doing something somewhat dramatic and kick off a new year and age in style. So instead of considering a tattoo--still not sure about that life decision--I decided to cut off all my hair. Well, not all of my hair. It is much shorter than I have ever gone before. I have always wanted to do it and, like birthdays now, it was a little scary but kind of fun when I got over the initial shock.

I am kind of loving it. I took some inspiration from some of my style crushes, such as Carey Mulligan and Agyness Deyn and it's something different. Sorry to talk about hair on a food blog. I realize for me, with an ultimate phobia of hair in my food, it is a weird side note and completely ironic. Onto my birthday food!

I requested homemade pizza as my birthday meal loaded with zucchini, tomatoes, onions, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Mike also made a strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Birthday cake has no calories, right?

Like every year, there are always a lot of friend's birthdays in May, so some of us sometimes celebrate by having one big celebration to honour all the "May babies." One year I made a cake in the shape of a drum and cookies with everyone's faces on them.

Strawberry Ombre Cake

This year I took some inspiration from some cakes I saw on Pinterest and made an ombre cake. Ombre is the new rainbow, haven't you heard?

Instead of making seven individual coloured layers like the rainbow cake, this cake only required three different colours. I used red food colouring to make each layer slightly lighter or darker. But somehow I still used about 10 bowls in the process and ended up with a sink full of dishes and a stand mixer a little worse for wear.

I used this recipe for Strawberry Ombre Cake from Krissy's Creations. The cake has fresh, pureed strawberries in the batter and was a delicious fruity cake base. I baked each layer individually because I only have one 8" pan and tried to get the colours different from each other to make the ombre effect.

Then I built a cake in a few easy steps...

Step 1: pipe icing around the edge of the layer. Then spread the filling (I used strawberry jam) on top.
Step 2: Stack the other layer on top and repeat Step 1.

Then ice the first crumb layer with buttercream icing to solidify the layers together.

Then ice a second, smoother layer. I then used a #21 tip to pipe a pink shell pattern on the edges. The cake somewhat resembles one of those Barbie Birthday cakes I used to get for my birthday when I was younger, but I thought I had to have pink icing with the red/pink ombre design.

I piped "Happy Birthday" on top with my rusty piping skills. The cake was a big hit and I loved cutting into it and seeing the ombre effect even if the colours turned out slightly darker than expected.

The only problem with taking the cake somewhere was that I wasn't able to get a good picture of the layers--only a cell phone picture. Cake is meant to be shared and enjoyed with many obviously, so it was more about the experience of the cake than being a weirdo and taking a million photos of everything I make. Some people said the cake kind of tasted like pink lemonade. It was quite sweet with the addition of jam and buttercream icing as well and a refreshing choice for birthday cake.


  1. love the pink cake - so cute!! I totally want to make one for a baby shower in the future.

  2. It would be great for a baby shower! (especially those "reveal" cakes. I love that idea). The cake was definitely a lot less hassle than the rainbow one too, but looks just as nice


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