june: birthday cakes and macarons
I touched on this in my last post but I'm declaring here and now that May/June is the new December. I've been trying to get away from using the word "busy" but I'm not sure what the better way to describe it is. Schedule too full? A lot of cool, amazing, fun things going on that this almost third trimester pregnant lady can barely keep up with? No matter which word or phrase I settle on the bottom line is that we had a whirlwind of school musicals, dance rehearsals and recitals, end of year activities and June is a big birthday month around here. It was all wonderful but I'm looking forward to the slower pace of long summer evenings!
On the baking front, this was the month of the birthday cakes. My go-to recipe is this lovely white cake from scratch by Goodie Godmother. I've posted about this before over on Instagram and this is a recipe to try if you've been looking for an easy and delicious white cake from scratch. I modified it to an orange and cranberry version for Christmas and I made an Oreo version for my daughter's communion last year. Super simple to change it up!
The first birthday required rainbows and we went with simple vanilla white cake with vanilla buttercream, topped with white chocolate strawberries and all the rainbow sprinkles. I had strict instructions that she wanted a rainbow birthday. I'm still trying to practice that smooth buttercream finish on a cake and this was a good practice run....I'm getting there! I think I fuss too much and keep trying to perfect the frosting finish and make things worse. Many moons ago, I took one of those cake decorating classes at Michael's with a good friend and I remember our sweet instructor telling us to stop fussing at a certain point, but it's so hard to not be Type A about it and just get that last little bump smoothed out...which then ends up creating 3 more.
The second birthday checked off a goal from our baking bucket list as my daughter and I baked macarons for the first time! This "little one" is Paris obsessed these days and loves everything teal so she wanted a Paris themed cake. She's talked about macarons for months. I said we would give them a go but I admittedly was intimidated. My baking style is totally "a little bit of this, a little bit of that" and macarons are. not. that. They are precise. I needed to use a scale...and a stop watch...and my Vitamix....and a mesh sieve....but we moved forward anyway and we had success for a first try with the very helpful tutorial by Turquoise Toffee. I can't say that each cookie came out like these photos. I baked a few too close together and they crumbled, but they were great for taste testing. We kept these simple with a vanilla, teal macaron filled with vanilla frosting. I'm pretty sure we'll try new flavors soon as they're just too pretty to not make again.
Aannnd for the cake, we continued with the teal and Paris themes by plopping this giant Eiffel Tower stand on top as a cake topper after the cake was filled and frosted with likely too much vanilla buttercream (but is there really such a thing as too much vanilla buttercream? I'm asking for a friend). This cake was made with the same recipe, but somehow I did something wrong this time because the cake was made the day of the birthday party but I found it a little dry. I know it's me and not the recipe because I've made it so many times before. I'm chalking it up to distracted baking, which has happened around here before...more than once. I've had experiences in the middle of a recipe only to get distracted by kids or dogs and then return to the recipe and forget where I was mid-measurement and then oops. Too much flour, too little flour....no sugar...oops. I'm not sure what the specific culprit was this time but I will pay more attention next time. Really...I will.
That's June in a nutshell for me. I hope that you have had a wonderful month and enjoy all that summer sunlight!
New England wife, mom & home baker. Faith, food, fitness, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.