Last year was such an awfully long, cold, and hard winter full of sick kids and parents. We had planned on having a skating party with more kids than you could count and the best birthday cake ever. With all that being said we had a small intimate party for my baby boy which included a hot bowl of chicken soup for everyone, nebulizer treatments, no cake or sweets what so ever, and shoveling (lots of shoveling). The snow was never ending and all we could do was dream of warmer days and phlegm free breaths of air.
This year we prepared the best we could for an "actual birthday party" as my son reminded us to do daily. So what better way to celebrate than with friends, a movie, gifts, pizza, chocolate strawberries, a sleep over, and a fabulous Kirby cake? Nothing I say, and I better have at least a movie and chocolate strawberries for mine this year! Speaking of this year we more than made up for the debacle of last year and we were able to feed, entertain, and accommodate 10 children and a couple adults. What I'm the most excited to talk about this year though is the cake. Most people know that cake is my thing. However I have been watching my caloric intake and exercising which has put cake and me on two different unconnected trails.
In spite of my cake issues though I had to make sure to come through with something that would make it all up to our little guy and his friends. This years half gluten free, multi-layered, homemade, from scratch cake tasted good enough to slap your mamma. I'm still new to working with fondant, but I have to say that Eb and I did pretty good for amateurs. Especially since dealing with food allergies are a daily issue in our family. We had to find natural alternatives to "traditional" food dyes *poison cough cough*, and also since some friends of ours have different food challenges they appreciated having a gluten free option.
You may be asking "So how did you color that fabulous cake?" Well, there are very few natural food dye options commercially available to consumers, but lately it's become a little easier for families like ours to adapt. On a recent trip to our local co-op to purchase a gluten free cake we thought why not use a couple fresh red beets? Well the beets and a bottle of the blue natural dye from a package of India Tree Natural Decorating Colors was all it took for us to get our Kirby color on. As far as the from scratch "regular" cake portion was a vanilla cream cake with two layers of lemon curd and two layers of cream cheese frosting which was covered in my own butter cream frosting then covered in our fondant. The same was done for the gluten free cake, and I must say that from now on I will be adding Gluten Free cake mix to my list of grocery items it was so good.
If you have questions on finding natural alternatives to synthetic food dyes please send me an email or post a question right here. I'm very passionate about providing natural food to my family as I've come to find out the hard way that what is bright and rainbow colored does not mean good for you. Not that I'm suggesting cake is good for you either, it's just plain good (in moderation) lol.
Happy Baking Everyone Spring is just a few weeks away!!