Nate’s half birthday fell just 18 days after Luke was born. Since the two were so close together I knew keeping it simple would be key to getting a cake decorated for his special day.
I have a great vanilla cake recipe in my cookbook, but I am always on the prowl for other vanilla cakes. Vanilla is Joe’s absolute favorite flavor. I would eat chocolate every day of the week. But, it makes me happy to bake food he likes. Nate isn’t quite at the place where he can tell me his favorite flavor so we went with Daddy’s.
Since there wasn’t enough time to develop a new recipe, I grabbed my sweet friend Kelly’s cookbook and made her Vanilla Berry Cake, omitting the chocolate raspberry stevia, and made a frosting inspired by her coconut buttercream frosting. Joe loved the cake, so put it on your list for the vanilla cake fans in your life. It’s a moist, dense cake which is what I expected given the almond and coconut flour. I used an 8-inch cake pan instead of a 9-inch and once baked the cake is about an inch thick; maybe a little less. The cake is stacks well. My half birthday cake was three layers; I would have made it four layers high but I was worried I’d run out of frosting.
As for the frosting; I used almost the same ingredients as Kelly did but in different proportions. I was going for a frosting with less flour in it. It was nearly perfect but it still needs to be tweaked a little. I’ll share it once I get the kinks worked out. One of the biggest challenges is the low melting point of the coconut butter. It’s 76 degrees, which is 22 degrees below body temperature and many degrees below the melting point of butter or shortening. If you mix it for an extended period of time, it can melt and separate. It melts quickly when piping it too from the heat of your hand. From that standpoint, it’s not the easiest frosting to work with when decorating. But, it’s dairy-free so I am going to work with it.
The great blue color in the frosting was from Nature’s Flavours Rainbow Pack all-natural food coloring. It’s mostly blue with a little yellow. Gorgeous, huh?
I needed a quick and cute solution for decorating the cake because the Good Lord knows I barely had time to make the cake, let alone pipe out adorable decorations like I did last year. So, I found the cake topper on Etsy for two bucks. Yep. I love Etsy.
Enough about the food…let’s talk about the half birthday boy!
Isn’t he adorable? We got him a Fisher-Price I Can Play Basketball hoop. The neighbor boys have a full sized basketball hoop and Nate loves to play with them. Now he has his very own Nate sized hoop and can make a 2-pointer all on his own. Daddy likes to step in and throw 3-pointers while I pray that they don’t break my glass-front cabinets.
Do you celebrate half birthdays? What are your favorite cake recipes to use?