Thursday, July 26, 2007

First Birthday Party

Yes, little Rachel turned one this past week and I know you are all just on pins and needles to see what we did. Ok, probably not - but I'm going to share anyway!

Starting with her cake - pictured above - I made two round cakes (recipe follows), then cut in half and flipped to put the round edges together. Then, I cut out notches to make the wings of the butterfly. Now, I just have to tell on myself here because there was a very near catastrophe with the cake.

You all know how hard it is to frost CHOCOLATE cakes right? Meaning all the crumbs that get stuck in the frosting?!?!?!? Well, I had intended for this little darlin' to be purple, but the purple icing was just loaded with crumbs. What to do?! I nearly panicked, but remembered Martha talking about a "crumb coat" ~ so I decided to give it a try.

I popped the whole crumby mess into the freezer to chill for about 15 minutes. The icing was firm and I made a fresh batch of pink icing and spread it over top of the messy purple - voila! Cake rescued! Whew!

Then I decorated the top with yellow and green using this handy little gadget - wonderful for cake decorating!

The antennae are made out of two long birthday candles and there is a border of Easter M&M's around the bottom. Yes, I know you all wonder why I was saving Easter M&M's. Well, that is how long I've been planning this cake - I saved them for this. There was a picture of a cute butterfly cake on the back of the bag which was a mosaic made out of M&M's - but I opted for just a nice trim around the bottom.

You can see that Rachel loved every bit of her piece!

Now, for the table ~ it turned out so cute, I thought. All the plates, cups, hats, etc... were given to me by a friend (thanks Grace!) and by my Aunt! So, I went with the butterfly and flower theme that was represented on those items.

For the table cloth, I used fabric strips in bright pink and bright green - these were left from being used at my sister's bridal shower! I wove them together across the table to make it look "quilted". Then, I filled mini glass flower pots with sugar and a pinwheel left from my tea table two years ago - these are super easy to make! I sprinkled more M&M's on the table and added a couple of party hats and blowers to finish it off.

Then, she had fun opening presents! Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Devil's Food Cake (from Betty Crocker cookbook)

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 2/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. shortening
2/3 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs

Beat all ingredients in mixer to blend. Spread into two round cake pans that have been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing (from Betty Crocker cookbook)
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. stick margarine or butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T. milk

Mix together and color as desired.


Leanne said...

That was SO cute!! I love that you saved the M&M's that long... I NEVER would have had the will power!
Happy Birthday, Rachel!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

Very cute table! I think the pinwheels are adorable and such an easy idea.

Anonymous said...

Love this cake. I am going to borrow this idea for my sweet daugther Annika's Birthday which is coming up in 2 weeks. Love Butterfly's my self. Think it will be a fun cake to make.

Mary Ann said...

I've seen the butterfly cake idea before using the round cake pans-love it!

What a sweet cake and party for an adorable little girl! Can't believe that she's one already.

carrie said...


You are such a great party planner! LOVE the tablecloth, and the cake is almost as cute as Rachel. =)

You've done it again! love, me

Anonymous said...

Actually I have been practically on pins and needles waiting for this post about Rachel's first birthday! Since I couldn't be there, I was anxious to see photos of the birthday girl and her darling party (planned by her creative and talented mother!) --

Happy 1st Birthday, Rachel!
Love, Grammie

Tessa said...

That looks amazing, Monica! And you would never know about the purple icing. I have major issues with icing, so it was nice to hear of someone else having difficulties. ;) And I am also impressed at your will power with the M&M's!

Gini (Hallquist) Young said...

We did butterfly theme as well for M's 2nd b-day! You can catch the pics over at my SIL's site, She made the butterfly cake out of cupcakes! It was great! Good save on the cake. Didn't know about the whole crumb layer! Will have to remember that for my SIL as she does lots of cakes. Check out her cake site at

designsbynana said...

So cute!

Mrs. C said...

You did a fabulous job with the cake and all the decorations! Looks like lots of fun was had by all. :)
Mrs. C

Amy said...

Great job, Monica! You are such a fun and creative mommy! I know that your children will really appreciate this about you someday. They might not get it yet, but they will when they are older and you are the coolest mom on the block.

Sonya said...

You did a wonderful job! I'm so impressed with the cake and also the tablecloth! That's just such a smart, useful way to brighten up the table! I'll be sure to try that in the future! Thanks for sharing your ideas! They are so helpfuL!

Jthemilker said...

So cute and girlie! I love it!

Jammy said...

What a SWEET birthday party! I'm sure it was memorable for all invited. ;-)