Here is the first cake I have made for my darling granddaughter, Violet. Not only did I want one to celebrate her birth, I also wanted to do something special for my wonderful daughter, Emily, especially since she was not allowed to eat anything with sugar during the last few months of her pregnancy. So, I decided to make her something I knew she would really like, one of her favorites, a white cake with white frosting.
For this cake I wanted to include a woodland flower fairy reminiscent of the exquisite watercolor ones created by the very talented Cicely Mary Barker. She did indeed paint a fairy for the sweet violet flower, however for me this illustration appears to more resemble a little boy fairy rather than a girl. (If you would like to see it here is a link to her “Dog-Violet Fairy”) Although I used this fairy as an inspiration, I still wanted to create a cute baby fairy I could call my own.
So, here is where my imagination took me. I nestled my baby in a cupped leaf cradle covered with a sweet violet leaf blanket and laid her beneath a twig arbor. I think it goes without saying there had to be some cute little sweet violet flowers included on this cake, so I placed them in the background. Many of Ms. Barker’s elves & sprites wore little hats, so I thought it would be apropos for mine to wear one also. I fashioned it from a sweet violet blossom instead of a not-so-interesting (okay boring) fabric elf-type cap. I also added some tiny little blue butterflies and a mushroom to give my topper a more woodsy feeling. I made the baby’s head with a resin mold from Holly Products. It took me several attempts (more than I’m willing to admit to) to get the face painted to my liking, but being that this is supposed to be my granddaughter, it was totally worth the extra effort.
I had created this little gumpaste/fondant baby before Violet was born and assumed she would not have a lot of hair. Boy was I wrong because she has been blessed with so much hair that even the maternity nurses mentioned it. That is when I realized (and my husband pointed it out) that my gumpaste baby needed some hair added! I really wanted to ignore this glaring omission (I mean what if I messed it up by adding this hair?). It continued to eat away at me though, so finally I took several deep breaths and braved painting some hair onto her petite little pate. Truth be told, it was touch and go a couple of times using a darn, itty-bitty brush and a sometimes shaking left hand. (I am a lefty by the way!) However, in the end I’m really happy I added these tiny tresses because I would never have felt I did the real baby Violet justice had I not replicated her lovely, dark-brown locks.
My First Cake Frosted With Buttercream Icing
As I mentioned in a previous posting I have not made a frosted cake for years. Even then I made mostly sheet cakes so this was my first four-layer cake. Another first was making this cake from scratch instead of a cake mix which I have always done in the past.
As for the frosting, I will need some more practice as it did not come out as pretty as I had hoped. I realized after the fact that I may have had the wrong frosting consistency i.e., it was too stiff (thick) which made it harder to spread on evenly.
My hat goes off to all of the gifted bakers out there who make fabulously frosted cakes. You are incredibly talented! And now that I have my first frosting foray under my belt, I am sincerely hopeful that my future frosting endeavors will prove to go much more “smoothly” (pun intended)!
On a personal note, I am so thrilled to be a grandmother for the first time! I realize I am totally biased here, but I think she is one darling little baby! Of course, I assume feeling this way is a proud grandparent’s prerogative and when it comes to my happiness factor, baby Violet truly is the icing on the cake!
FYI: If you are wondering what happened to my Gumpaste Violet Bib, I will be definitely making another cake featuring it in the very near future.