I wrote this post a while back and them promptly forgot about publishing it, as my life got twice as busy the day after this party. Greta saw her dream cake in a Meredith Publishing special interest magazine and insisted on having car cakes for her birthday this past June. I am not a master cake decorator, as you can see, however, it was fun and the toddler birthday girl was delighted at the final products. I was excited that I finally got to try using natural dyes for the frosting. I must admit, I was hesitant, for fear of weird flavors or slightly off colors. I am happy to report that the cakes were deliciously rosy pink and sunny yellow.
Next, I cut a notch out of the cakes to make the windshield indentation. I went wild and whipped up some homemade butter cream frosting. Homemade butter cream frosting is my go-to cake topping – it’s perfectly sweet, thick, and distinctly different from the store-bought tubs of frosting.
I tried to cut as many corners as possible since I was VERY pregnant and knew I would be standing in the kitchen for some time that day. I got smart and only allowed myself partial from scratch birthday cakes – the frosting because, as I said before, I really wanted to try the natural dye and avoid the crazy Red Lake 40’s and such. For the yellow, I used ground turmeric. I sprinkled liberally, mixed, tasted, and repeated until I had the nice sunny yellow that I knew my birthday girl would love. Then, with the leftover yellow frosting, I added beet juice, from canned beets. I mixed until I had a nice rosy pink color. The frosting had a slightly different aroma to it, but again, no different taste due to the dyes.
Normally I am not fond of decorating cakes – I am just not patient enough with frosting, piping, bags, and tips. I wouldn’t even dream of using fondant! This time, though was different, I didn’t worry about rushing or making it just perfect. It was fun hunting for the perfect items to make the elements of the car. Oreos with large chocolate disks held on by frosting dots were wheels. The windshield was cut up fruit leather. The headlights and decor were made from YumEarth Naturals, Sour Jelly Beans (seriously better than I ever imagined they could be!). The racing stripe by one (extremely artificial dyed and flavored) Air Head sour strip.
Birthday girl and family all raced to dive into the car cakes. Greta was so excited and showed them off to the entire family. I was just thrilled to see her so delighted. Here we are still as a family of three – it was a good thing we decided to take a family portrait, as little brother arrived the very next day.