Monday, March 12, 2012

Half Birthday Fun

My precious and amazing little Baby Boo is officially 18 months old! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown. It doesn't cease to amaze me how quickly a baby can go from a completely helpless little bump on a log to an autonomous little person brimming with personality.
Cuddly teething baby

Personality was in short supply for Baby Boo's half birthday. Her 2 year molars have decided to wreak havoc and they have made my little girl absolutely miserable. Luckily, she handles it by mostly sleeping. . . a lot! She naps extra, sleeps 14 hours overnight, and then passes out on us during the day too. So sleep is what she did for her half birthday. For the few waking moments she had, she was C.R.A.N.K.Y.!!!

Unfortunately she wasn't in a particularly celebratory mood, but I wanted to at least do a half birthday cake for her.

I took the opportunity to bake while she slept. I wanted to make a flavor combo I hadn't done before. I chose a lemon raspberry cake. I went with a new cake recipe from the Joy of Baking website, and it turned out fabulously light and fluffy. Check it out HERE. Since I wanted to go with a lemon cake, I replaced the teaspoon of vanilla extract, with a teaspoon of lemon extract. I didn't use the same recipe for the filling or frosting, though they do sound delicious too.
I cut the cake in half and stacked the pieces to make it officially a "half birthday cake".

Later that evening I pried the sleeping baby from my arms and handed her to the hubs for a while so that I could make the frosting and finish off the cake.
Love Love Love

I used my favorite buttercream recipe that I perfected for Baby Boo's 1st birthday cakes. The recipe is originally from the Food and Wine website; HERE is the link. My own personal addition was a half cup of frozen raspberries (thawed) that were beaten into the buttercream at the very end.
As you can see, the raspberries give the frosting a beautiful pink color (no artificial colors here) with the bright pink specs throughout. It had a subtle, yet yummy flavor to it that paired wonderfully with the lemon.
Nothing fancy here, I simply spread the frosting on with a wide knife and that was that. After all, half birthday cakes are all about yum, and not so much about being fancy. I didn't use a separate filling either. The filling was just more of the buttercream.

Finally we woke up the half birthday girl and showed her her cake. She was interested, but wouldn't crack a smile.
Don't worry, she only got the knife for like 3 seconds, and daddy was watching her closely. 

We tried our darndest to get her to smile, and I have about a dozen shots very similar to this:

Her brother, on the other hand, was ecstatic about eating cake. Smiles and applause were not hard to come by there.

We finally snuck a smile so I put the camera away after that.
Happy 18 months precious girl!

. . . and she was out again within 20 minutes.

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