A Special Day to Celebrate!

6 Jan

Happy Birthday Mom!

I couldn’t be happier that my first cake of the new year is for my fabulous mom! Another year at 29 and I can’t wait to celebrate tonight!


I have to say, I’m pretty lucky to have grown up with my mom at my side and even luckier to have her as my friend as an adult. Things like: “clean up your room before the cleaning lady comes” and “I’m going to make chicken tonight for dinner” all seem to make sense now when I look back, but I have to admit, when I was younger I thought she was crazy!

I really struggled to come up with an idea for my mom’s birthday cake. I mean, what do you make for one of the most important women in your life? It has to be fantastic! I wanted it to be elegant, but fun with a bit of flair. She mentioned a while back that she thought the cakes that look like presents are really cute, so I started with that and expanded from there.

As you know from my previous New Years post, I love the contrast of black and gold with a pop of color. I knew I would cover the cake with black fondant, but then had to work out the details from there.

The cake is my ‘go to’ vanilla cake recipe which you can find Here with chocolate buttercream filling. Needless to day, I cannot WAIT to devour this cake tonight!

Chocolate Buttercream

Makes About 6 Cups


  • 1 Cup of High Ratio Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) of Unsalted Butter – Room Temperature
  • 1.5 Tbs of Meringue Powder
  • 1.5 Cups of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 6 Cups of Confectioners Sugar – Sifted
  • 8 Tbs of Milk

** This recipe can be modified for different uses. If you’re looking for a stiff crusting consistency, add additional Confectioners Sugar, 1/2 Cup at a time. If you’re looking for more of a spreading consistency add more milk, 1 Tbs at a time.


  1. In your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and shortening.
  2. Add the cocoa, milk and vanilla
  3. Gradually add the sugar sifted with the Meringue Powder, one cup at a time, beating on low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. DO NOT over-mix or put the mixer on high speed or the buttercream will become tough to smooth.
  4. Keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. The icing can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator in a sealed container. To reuse, just re-whip!

To assemble the cake, follow the tips and directions from my Just Because post!

For the bow and liner around the cake:

  1. Color white gumpaste with Burgundy AmeriColor Gel Paste and black to the desired color.
  2. Mixed a few drops of the gel paste with a small amount of vodka to create a water colored look.
  3. brush evenly onto the dried gum paste

I’ll do a tutorial in the coming days on how to make the bow! It was my first go at it, but it was pretty simple and fun!

For the Gold strip at the bottom:

  1. Using the excess black fondant that was used to cover the cake, rolled it out to a 1/4 inch think
  2. Measuring carefully, cut a 2 inch in width strip and wrapped it around the cake using a light amount of glue (bits of fondant/gumpaste dissolved in water)
  3. Mix gold luster dust with some vodka brush sparely onto the strip
  4. Using a folded lightly damp paper-towel, wipe evenly around the strip to create the brushed look

Happy Birthday Mom!!





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