This past week was rough, physically speaking that is. Just seemed like every time I would try to lie down to rest either one of the boys would start fussing or my body would rebel. For days I was having some pretty strong contractions that drained the rest of my energy as well as put my mental state in chaos. I wanted to believe that the contractions were nothing more than Braxton Hicks, but when they came consistently every 2 minutes some days for half an hour then 10 minutes apart other days for an hour at a time plus knowing that I am at a higher risk for pre-term labor I just started to have little panic attacks. Add into the mix some killer lower back and hip pain and that about sums it all up. Pretty much BLAH!
Thankfully my OB appointment was Friday morning and I was able to get some much-needed advice. Although there is still a big concern for not overdoing things in order to keep my body from trying to jumpstart labor, it was good to hear that the latest bought of strong contractions were most likely the end result of baby girl’s latest huge growth spurt along with my failure to increase my fluid intake with the increasing temperatures. Dehydration and the sudden rapid growth were enough to cause my already overly-sensative uterus to start going into action.
All that to say, I had a baby shower cake to prepare for Saturday so I had to think outside the box (literally) when it came to making and decorating the cake. This was the first cake I’ve ever made in stages but it was out of necessity. I forgot to pick up a cake mix at the store the last time I was shopping, so I had to dig around for a yellow cake recipe I could make from scratch. I wasn’t about to pack up all three boys, load them into the car and drive all the way into town when I already felt like a truck ran over me.
I ended up using one that I happened to stumble across inside my KitchAid recipe book. On Wednesday, I used the amount of energy I had to get the mixing and baking done. (Keep in the mind the shower wasn’t until Saturday!) I usually freeze the finished cakes for a little bit before frosting to help cut down on the crumbling. This time I left the cake in overnight and pulled it out late Thursday afternoon to frost. My favorite thing about this new recipe was that it held together wonderfully!! It was the first time ever I was able to make a 4-layer cake by cutting the two layers. It didn’t crumble at all. 🙂
I still think it had a great texture and taste with minimal ingredients. However, a part of me wonders what it would taste like if frosted and eaten the same day.
So Thursday I whipped up a batch of buttercream frosting and got all the layers put together.
To help smooth the outside frosting, I used a damp paper towel and gently rubbed it onto the frosted cake ensuring that all the big bumps were flattened.
Now the baby shower color theme was grey chevron with yellow and white. I’ll admit that I’m a chicken when it comes to mixing food coloring. I remember from my oil painting classes that blue and brown would give me black so theoretically all I had to do to get gray was add those two colors to my white frosting. Too bad food coloring isn’t as forgiving as oil paints! Haha! I didn’t want to attempt the gray only for it to fail and then I would again be faced with making a run to the store to pick up more powdered sugar. Nope, not gonna happen!!! I settled for the yellow and made the chevron pattern and rest of the decorations out of that instead.
Nothing overly fancy, but then again, I am not a trained baker or cake decorator. I would LOVE to take a cake decorating class one day – maybe in my second life. Haha!
So here is the kicker…. I had the cake completely finished by Thursday evening and needed to preserve it until Saturday afternoon. I was afraid that if I left it covered on the counter without a/c in the house, it would start to melt. If I kept it inside the refrigerator it could possibly dry out the cake. Ugh! In the end I did a little of both. I kept it covered inside the refrigerator until Friday morning. Then I let it sit covered on the counter from Friday morning until Saturday afternoon. What still amazes me about this cake is that even with ALL THAT, it still ended up tasting yummy. Oh happy day!! 🙂
Here’s the recipe to the yellow cake mix….
Quick Yellow Cake – by KitchenAid Recipes
- 2 ¼ C. flour ½ C. shortening
- 1 1/3 C. sugar 1 C. milk
- 3 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp. salt 2 eggs
DIRECTIONS: Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl. Add shortening, milk and vanilla. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Add eggs. Continuing on Speed 2, mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed 6 and beat about 1 minute.
Pour batter into two greased and floured 8- or 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30–35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Frost if desired. Yield: 12–16 servings.
Butter Cream Frosting – by Toni Fuhrman
INGREDIENTS: (for 2 2-layer cakes)
- 3/4 C. margarine
- 3/4 C. shortening
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (only added 1/2 tsp.)
- 6 C. powdered sugar
- 3-4 T. raspberry jelly
DIRECTIONS: Cream margarine and shortening together until creamy. Add vanilla. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, begin adding in the raspberry jelly until you get the texture and consistency you desire. The frosting should form peaks and fluff like whipped cream when mixed correctly.