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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Baby's First Birthday Cake - Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting

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This past Monday, October 13, marked Cole's first birthday. It was an infinitely better day than last year and we enjoyed a quiet celebration (well, as quiet as a one year old and five year old get anyway) at home. Cole enjoyed smashing his very own little cake (not the decorated one above mind you) and made a general mess of it. If you want to see a little video of pictures from his big day you can see them here. Since Cole was born two months early his body will 'technically' be one year at the end of November/beginning of December, but we chose to celebrate chronilogically anyway.

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The interesting thing about dealing with Cole and his anemia over the past several weeks is the fact that the doctor's have basically (other than egg whites and nuts) set a kind of no-holds-barred standard for feeding him. In other words, feed him constantly and feed him anything he will take, and if possible, put butter on it. They call it 'power packing' his calorie intake. It seems to be helping because he is finally gaining a bit of weight again and his anemia is improving. As for his developement, my little overachiever seems to continue to hold his own. He had an Early Intervention appointment for his developmental check-up on the morning of his birthday and in most areas tested at his adjusted age or higher, even almost to his chronilogical age. In short, they 'rejected' us for eligibility for the program. I have never been so happy to be rejected in my entire life.

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I have since felt relieved that he is doing so very well. I just wanted to mark the occassion of his birthday here and give you all a quick update to tell you, and show you, how good he is doing. He is still a bit skinny and he isn't quite on the charts yet for his weight, but he is pretty healthy and has quite the loving and funny personality.

I hope you enjoy the pictures here and get a chance to check out the little slideshow of pictures too. Thanks again to you all for your support over the first year of his rocky life!

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Now, as for the cake I decided to make a vanilla cake for his birthday and since I just received my copy of Sky High: Irresistible Cakes for baking along with the other Cake Slice Bakers (watch on the 20th - TOMORROW for the unveiling of the Cake Slice Bakers first cake project) I decided to take a look at the recipes in there. When Gigi made this cake to announce the new group I thought it looked really good. Oh, is it ever. The crumb is tender, has a great vanilla flavor and is nice and buttery. It is light and delicious and was the perfect texture for Cole because the cake crumb really just melts in your mouth. For the cake he got to smash we actually just did a thin layer of frosting. Though babies 'shouldn't' have chocolate, they have encouraged us to give him anything that will help him gain some weight. This is certainly no diet frosting but he really didn't do much more than play in it. The frosting is light and delicious and not at all overpowering. In all, this cake is extremely moreish and we really loved it!

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Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting
(From Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes By Alsia Huntsman and Peter Wynne)
For the cake:
4 whole large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup of buttermilk
3 cups of cake flour
2 cups of sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces of butter at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8-inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper and grease the paper.

Place the eggs and the yolks in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and 1/4 cup of buttermilk and whisk all the ingredients well. Set Aside.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a mixer; whisk to blend. Add the remaining buttermilk and butter to the dry ingredients and with the mixer on low speed, blend together. Raise the mixer to medium speed and beat until light fluffy; 2minutes.

Add the egg mixture in three additions, scrapping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Divide the batter among all the pans.

Bake the cake layers for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake layers cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack and remove the paper from the bottoms. Cool completely.

Fudge Frosting:
6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
4 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar
12 ounces of unsalted butter at room temperature
6 tablespoons of half and half
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend together. Then pulse until the frosting is smooth.

15 comments:

Kalyn said...

What a cute picture of the little guy, fun post!

Melanie said...

Congratulations, Holly, to you and cute Cole. This is a big day considering the struggle you've gone through the last year (namely being shut in your house for so long!). The pictures are adorable and the cake looks delicious. My second is turning three this week and I've been wanting a good vanilla cake recipe - looks like this is it!

Megan said...

Happy birthday to the cute little bug! I'm happy for you AND him that you both made it so far.

I've had that cake recipe bookmarked and just need an occasion to make it!

The Food Librarian said...

Happy Birthdday Cole! He has the same cool birthday as my niece (she just turned 10). The cake looks great. I have that book and made a few, but might join the group to make the rest! :)

Erin said...

This cake looks amazing! The crumb looks great, and I love how nice and even your layers are! Glad you had a great time celebrating :)

Elly said...

Wow, this cake looks absolutely delicious! I think I am going to try out that chocolate frosting for sure the next time I make cupcakes :)

Isa said...

Happy birthday Cole! The cake looks absolutely delicious... and I love the frosting made in a food processor! Thanks for sharing the recipe =D

Bron said...

hey Happy Birthday to the little guy, cake looks smashing Holly!

Manggy said...

Congratulations on Cole's rejection!! Looks like he has caught up-- no need to do a birthday 2 months later or some other technical celebration, hee :) Oh! Cole smooshed the beautiful cake!! I hope he at least enjoyed it, heh :)

Marie said...

Happy birthday, Cole! I'm so glad to hear he is doing so great. You went on quite the roller coaster with him. There's nothing that makes you happier than to see your kids thriving, huh?

Natalie said...

The cake looks delicious! What a lucky guy. :)

Love your blog and your photos- just wanted to let you know I linked you!

http://ovenlove.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-favorites-food-blogs-and-websites.html

Peabody said...

My birthday is in July...can you make me that cake? Yum!

kamailesfood said...

Mmm...that cake looks delicious. I want to stick my fingers in that frosting!

That's great that your son is doing so well. What a cutie! My little guy just turned 1 a bit ago as well. He's skinny and underweight and was even born on time.

Deborah said...

Happy birthday to Cole! I'm so glad to hear he is doing so well. And it really looks like he enjoyed his cake, even if he did just play in it!

nicisme said...

Aww, he's such a cutie! And that cake looks so scrummy - lucky little fella!

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