Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jen's Birthday and a Birthday Cake for Jennalyn

Look at this adorable birthday cake, made with rolled buttercream fondant, by my friend Jen, for her daughter Jennalyn's 2nd birthday. That was a mouthful. 

Let me introduce you to Jen, one of my dearest longtime best friends. We go waaaay back. I mean, back when we would hang out in her room for hours listening to Enya and the Backstreet Boys and dream about who we would marry some day. This photo was taken on my wedding day in 2005, just one month before Jen's wedding day. The last photo of us as two single ladies. Our lives have run parallel in many ways for years. Our birthdays are both in March. In fact, Jen's birthday is today! What a blessing to have a friend who knew me "back when," and to grow up alongside.

Jen is one talented lady - she is creative and funny, with an amazing voice and God-given ability to play the piano and sing like nobody's business. She is comfortable on stage, performing in front of an audience, which is probably the biggest way in which we are not alike. That, and the fact that she's one year younger than me. But I like to pretend that she's not. She is a teacher, an incredible wife and Mom of two beautiful kids! It's amazing for me to see her raising two little ones, taking care of them and guiding them in the Lord. She is so strong, dedicated and inspiring. She's one of those Mom's that I take mental notes of how she does things for future use some day.

When she showed me photos of the cake she made for Jennalyn's 2nd birthday, I was quite impressed and had to share it with you. You know my love for Cake Boss and the mini wedding anniversary cake I made. Jen used fondant, which has a smooth texture and flexibility to form shapes. First she covered the entire heart shaped cake with white fondant.

Then she added food coloring, rolled it out and cut shapes to decorate the cake. She didn't have cookie cutters so she used her daughters play-dough cutters (clean of course). Don't you love the stripes?

For the final touch, she wrote "Happy Birthday Jennalyn" and the number "2" with icing.

So cute! The Rolled Buttercream Fondant recipe can be found here   
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, stir together the shortening and corn syrup. Mix in the salt and vanilla flavoring, then gradually mix in the confectioners' sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. Otherwise, knead by hand. If the dough is sticky, knead in more confectioners' sugar until it is smooth. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. 

To use, roll out on a clean surface that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar until it is 1/8 inch thick or thinner if you can. Drape over frosted and chilled cakes and smooth the sides down, or cut into strips to make bows and other decorations.

I am going to have to try this. Thanks for letting me share your cake Jen. Happy birthday beautiful friend! So glad to have you in my life. 

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