My friends Claudio and Julia are expecting their first baby this spring, a girl. For their baby shower they asked if I could make the cake and I was more than happy to oblige. These are the exact occasions where I love to put my baking skills to good use.
For the cakes themselves Julia had requested her favorite, carrot, for the bottom tier and I suggested red velvet for the top since it was Claudio's favorite. As for the theme Julia had in mind something similar to this pink and grey themed creation she found on Pinterest. Lucky for me it didn't look too complicated once you deconstructed its parts.
Don't be intimidated by the design because it's a bit easier than you might think. Once I filled and crumb coated the three layers of carrot cake I simply piped large rosettes all around the outside with pink hued Swiss meringue buttercream. For even the novice baker this is achievable with beautiful results. Admittedly, the top tier of red velvet did require a bit more patience and skill in order to get the buttercream perfectly smooth and even. Once that was achieved I decorated with grey and pink fondant circles and applied a thin fondant ribbon at the bottom.
One trick I did learn from watching numerous episodes of Ace of Cakes is to use large boba straws as supports when doing a tiered cake. This provides structure so that the top tier doesn't sink in to the one below. The straws are so much easier to use than wooden dowels and they're super cheap too. I picked up a packet of 50 straws from the local restaurant supply store for under $1!
Congratulations Claudio and Julia!