Jess and I have been lucky to be surprised with the pregnancies of two of our best lady-friends recently: Mariko and Erin. We are over the moon with joy for both of them (and their awesome husbands, Brant and Zack.) I think we’re both in a little disbelief that, come early next year, we’ll have two little ones joining our group of friends. But that’s how these kinds of life transitions go, right? I remember feeling like none of us were old enough to be graduating high school, to be starting college, to be traveling the world, to be getting married, to be buying houses, to be moving across the country, and so on. But life keeps moving us forward.
Incredulity aside, I was thrilled when both of these lovely ladies agreed to let me make them cakes that, by cutting a slice and revealing either pink or blue, parents and their guests would learn the gender of their babies. It’s kind of a funny practice (so say the people I had to explain it to who had never heard of gender reveal cakes), but so sweet and so fun. It was an honor to learn the genders first and to make these cakes for them.
For Mariko and Brant’s cake, I took a recommendation from Jess and tried out the pastel swirl frosting technique from Rosie at Sweetapolita (who also inspired my Asparagus Cake). To play with the idea that the baby’s gender was a mystery, I worked with hues of teal, lavender, and peach frosting. I topped the cake with a rainbow of sparkly sprinkles and white pearl nonpareils for contrast in size. Rosie’s tutorial is fantastic. It made me fall in love with using a turntable while frosting cakes. How have I never done this before? Moreover, her frosting recipe showed me the way toward a good buttercream frosting. I never liked this kind before, but her simple instructions guided me toward a fluffy, scrumptious frosting I did not know existed.
For the inside of cake (i.e., the important part), I created an ombre among the three layers by adding a bit more food coloring to each layer. The great thing about this is that it has a crazy visual impact when being cut. There is no way to mistake if the baby is going to be a boy or a girl when you have a vibrant ombre within the cake itself!
I again turned to Sweetapolita for the cake recipe, using the Strawberry Layer Cake, which features both fresh fruit and fruit-flavored gelatin. I used strawberries and raspberry Jell-O, and it tasted bright and sweet. Seriously, Rosie at Sweetapolita knows her stuff. Her cake recipes always result in tasty, yet sturdy cake made for decorating.
This whole project was so much fun. I was touched by Mariko and Brant’s reaction upon cutting the cake. There were misty eyes all around. We get to welcome a baby girl come January!
Soon, I’ll bring you another take on the baby gender reveal cake when I show you the eight layer beauty I made for Erin. What’s your guess: boy or girl? (Those of you who know can’t guess.)