Coco’s First Birthday Cake – “Die Kleine Raupe Nimmersat”
I can’t believe it’s just over 400 days since little Coco splashed into our world. It’s such a parent cliche, but time has really flown by and our tiny bundle of joy is now flying around (on all fours), opening everything, pulling down anything she can get her hands on and generally causing chaos!
She is also developing her own sparkling personality and early indicators are that she is very strong-willed and determined (eek!); has no concept of danger or risk whatsoever; is a real extravert; and full of laughs and smiles! We feel so privileged: seeing our little charges growing up and developing. Sure it’s tough at times and Mr C & L (who loves his sleep) is still recovering from the first 8 months of Coco’s life when it seemed she would never sleep through the night! Thankfully, she’s now a much better sleeper, although still a partygirl at heart – I think she’ll cause her Papa to have many more sleepless nights in years to come!
Naturally, every party girl needs a party cake. I was quite pleased with Lentil’s first birthday cake, less so with the second……! I wanted to create a really nice cake for Coco and also quiet my sister (a third child) who constantly waxes lyrical about parents pulling out all the stops for first children and having less enthusiasm or time to do so for subsequent siblings!
At one, Coco is a little young to be “into” anything in particular, but she does enjoy her bedtime stories (when she can stay away long enough – who would have thought during those first 8 months!) and “The Hungry Catepillar” is a favourite. We have a bi-lingual household and have this book in both languages. I did a bit of Pinterest research to get some ideas for Hungry Catepillar cakes – you gotta love Pinterest!
I made a basic Mary Berry sponge cake and filled it with butter cream and marmelade (I realised the jar of jam I thought I had in the cupboard was actually a jar of cranberry sauce and marmelade seemed a better option!). In an attempt to avoid any last minute stress, I made the sponge two days early. Butter cream icing and marmelade made up the sandwich filling and I then covered the whole cake with butter cream icing. A good tip I was given: refridgerate the cake prior to icing so the butter cream is nice and set before you add the fondont icing.
I used ready to roll fondont icing and borrowed an icing smoother from a friend, which saved the day, or rather cake!
I drew the fruit on carboard to make stensils to cut the icing. The trick is (as I learnt) to add the decorations to the cake before the icing starts to harden so your decorations doen’t . This allows you to stick the various elements together and wrap them around the cake without cracking. Undoubtedly less of an issue with a square cake. I left the catepillar to dry and harden as it just sits on top of the cake.
Of course, I was also very, very lucky to have Toddler patisserie chef extraodinar, Lentil, to help me. Naturally, it would have been a disaster without his assistance!!
Coco seemed to enjoy the birthday celebrations and tasted a little cake. Her first taste of refrined sugar so I was hoping you wouldn’t like it too much!
Although she won’t remember the day or cake, hopefully she can read this post and look at the photos in future and know that she has a family that really love her and wanted to make her day really special. And her mummy definitely put in as much effort and as many hours as she did for her brother’s first birthday cake!