Monday, October 20, 2014

E's Second Birthday


When E turned one, I had debated throwing a birthday party for her.  It would be high on the cuteness factor, but primarily an event for the enjoyment of the parents, since she was still a bit young to play with other kids and understand the idea of a birthday.



Instead, we let her destroy a cake (something I wanted pictures of) and Skyped with family in other parts of the country.

Over the past twelve months, E has developed a lot socially (as would be expected).  She enjoys playing with other kids, talks about wanting to play with her friends and is a big fan of birthday cake (her daycare provider makes cupcakes for each child's birthday).  In fact, "birthday cake" is synonymous with anything birthday related (birthday cards, birthday parties, presents, etc.).  So, we decided to throw E a 2nd birthday party.

I wanted to keep the party low key, so we invited friends with kids around the same age to join us for snacks and cake at a splash pad.  I spent some time looking on Pinterest for ideas for toddler birthday parties (note to self: do not look at Pinterest for inspiration when planning a low key party).

I decided to make chocolate cupcakes (E loves chocolate) with sprinkles.  She was very eager to help.  At one point, before starting to bake, E starting crying about wanting "bacon", so I put my recipe search on hold to make us some eggs and bacon for dinner.   I later realized, after she finished dinner and still wanted "bacon" that she was actually saying she wanted "baking".

Sure, it was messy, including when I spilled a bowlful of ingredients on the ground (and E said, "Oh...that's too bad" -- not sure where she picked that up from) and when E turned the mixed on full blast on the liquid ingredients (still finding random chocolate splatters to this day).  But, it was fun.

Chocolate Lovers Cake
3/4 cup butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup boiling water
2/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup g

Directions ( for cake - see link for instructions on making this into cupcakes)
  1. Let butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla; set aside. In medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture on low speed just until combined after each addition. Beat in half of buttermilk mixture. Mixture may look curdled. Beat in half of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk mixture, and finally, the remaining flour mixture.
  3. Divide batter between prepared pans, spread evenly. Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Let cool on wire rack. To assemble, place first cake layer on a serving plate. Spread 1-1/2 cups frosting over the top of the layer. Top frosted first layer with second cake layer, top side up. Frost top and sides of entire cake with remaining Chocolate Butter Frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

3/4
8
1/2
cup milk
2
teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a very large mixing bowl, beat butter, softened, and unsweetened cocoa powder with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar until well combined. Gradually beat in milk and vanilla until well combined. Gradually beat in 6 cups powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach spreading consistency.







We had the party at a the splash park, which is great because it's free and doesn't require cleaning up my home (before and after the party).  Now, almost two months later, E is just understanding that every birthday is not a party for her birthday.

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1 comment:

That Girl said...

You know I love birthday parties. But really, I kind of think they're more for the parents for a while! I mean, the kids appreciate them, but they'd probably be just as happy without. So never feel guilty about anything party related. Whether you have one, whether you don't. If you go all out crazy, or keep it simple. They're happy just having someone sing happy birthday!

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