Monday, August 29, 2011

A Ducky 1st Birthday Party

Here's how the cake turned out. I kept changing my mind about how I would make it. Originally, it was going to be a white sheet cake cut into the shape of a duck. It ended up a chocolate 3-layer cake with a duck frosted on top! It looks alright from this angle, except that the yellow icing was a bit too runny.

But this is what happened at the back. It just fell apart. And now I remember why I always avoid baking homemade cakes - they never stay together!! It is impossible to get them out of the pans cleanly, and I always have the most difficult time stacking them, and frosting them, since they are so flimsy and crumbling everywhere. Is there something I am doing wrong??

Here's the kitchen table, starting to get ready for guests.

The rainbow sherbet punch with, appropriately, rainbow-colored duckies.

Blue raspberry lemonade (this one was supposed to be reminiscent of a bathtub).

The backyard table all set up.

Sly, having no clue why we're all singing at him. Please disregard the back of the cake!

mmm - yum!
Helping him to open his presents out back.

Sly got four different Little People sets! They take up a lot of room, so that prompted us to have to sort through and pack away/give away a lot of his other toys last night!

These are the ridiculous (but cute and amusing) inflatable coasters my mom got. All the guys were using them for their beers :-)

He got a great wooden snail pull-toy.

Enjoying his car from Grammy and Grandad!

Happy Birthday to my big boy!


  1. The cake looks so yummy! You are most likely overbeating the cake batter and that makes the cake heavier and more dense, thus, making it hard to stack and ice and stay together. Also, I grease my pans with Crisco and flour. And I mean I really, really grease them. You can never use too much Crisco or flour. I don't have problems getting my cakes out anymore since I started doing that. Plus, the more cakes you make, the better you will get. When I first started, mine looked nowhere near as good as yours. lol They were pretty disastrous.

  2. Adorable party! Looks like the birthday boy had fun. Did you make the sour cream chocolate cake? Ditto Danielle, it does look yummy. Ditto her tips too. Also, are you leveling off the bottom layers so they stack straight? That's all I can think of. Cake making really is a "practice makes perfect" thing, but if we have as many kids as we hope we'll be birthday cake pros!

  3. I love and second what Mary said. "practice makes perfect" and more kids will aid in that. :) Keep trying!

  4. Mary, I did make the sour cream cake (thanks for the recipe!), but did a buttercream chocolate icing instead, since the sour cream one looked like it would be kinda runny. No, I could not level off the layers because it would have just destroyed them even more. I'll just have to use TONS of Crisco in the pans next time, I guess. The cake was delicious and very moist. It just didn't adhere to itself well enough!

  5. A couple of things: the rainbow ducks are awesome / I love the ducky coasters, they are really funny / next time when you bake a layered cake, you can try baking the cake ahead of time so that you can stack it frozen... If you pull the cake out of the oven, let it set for about 10 or 15 minutes, pull out of pans and let it set for about 10 or 15 more. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and stick it directly into the freezer. When you are ready to use the cakes, pull them out and stack 'em up and frost! Be sure to "crumb coat" the cake, put in fridge or freezer for a bit to help the icing harden, then do the last layer. I usually bake mine early in the week for a weekend party. I hope this helps (a little).

  6. Hi there, where did you purchase all your duck themed party gear?? we have looked all over the place for reasonable priced the moment $2 shops look the best?? I love the big centre piece duck as well as the coasters.

  7. Sorry, I'm not exactly sure where they came from. My mom found them all online.