Maria’s Designer Lemon Birthday Cake

Maria’s Designer Lemon Birthday Cake


My daughter Maria turned eight-years-old today!  Maria is my fourth child out of seven.  It’s been a very busy eight years.  I’m very thankful for my cake decorating and recipe writing skills because I can make very special birthday cakes for each of my children.  They place “orders” about a week before their birthday.  I like to keep the main designs simple, as I’m usually in the process of cooking the birthday dinner, wrapping presents, and doing a ton of laundry on their birthday.  I do a ton of laundry every day.  It never stops.  Ha.

My point is that the design has to be easy.  Striking, but easy.  This is a great design that anyone can do.  You don’t need to know how to make roses, or daisies.  All you have to know how to do is fill an icing bag and pipe a line.
Maria did not have a design in mind when she asked for a lemon cake.  So I set about to write a lemon cake and lemon icing recipe just for her (recipe on following post YET TO BE POSTED – see below for details**).
20151001-DSC_6874After I had created, baked and iced the cake, she gave me this drawing.  My kids and I communicate a lot via drawings and sketches.  There is an understanding that the theme will be reflected in the final product, but that some artistic license will be taken.  I’m glad my kids understand this concept.  Their future wedding planners and wedding cake designers will thank them.  Ha!
20151001-DSC_6877I made a version of basic vanilla butter cream for the piping.


2 cups unsalted butter, softened

1 2-lb bag powdered sugar

4 Tbs heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch salt


Whip all ingredients in heavy-duty mixer, using the balloon whip.
20151001-DSC_6885I divided the batch of vanilla icing into thirds.  I tinted one Wilton Lemon Yellow, another Wilton Golden Yellow, and left the third white.
20151001-DSC_6899My tips were as follows:

Golden Yellow – Tip #22

Lemon Yellow – Tip # 13

White – Tip #22 and Tip #2A
I don’t usually draw or trace the design on the cake before I start.  I like to freehand.  I think at this point, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to pipe.
I had originally envisioned several large flowers on the cake, but after I piped the first one, I decided it would be best to make one single over-stated flower.  You can really use the shape of the cake to your advantage when piping a design. It is very fun to drape a big floppy flower over the side of a cake.  You could make a big floppy spider for Halloween.  I hate spiders though, so I probably wouldn’t ever pipe one out of icing.  I’m afraid I would walk by the cake an hour later, catch the sight of a giant spider out of the corner of my eye, have a panic attack and put my shoe in the side of the cake.  Or take a flamethrower to it.  So, I definitely should not make a spider cake.  But you could.

20151001-DSC_6930You can also use the cake plate of pedestal to your advantage too.  I drooped the lower petals over the base.
One big giant flower is nice, but I knew I needed something on the rest of the cake to balance all that flower.  I took a cue from Maria’s drawing, wherein the stem of her flower was white and very wide.  I decided to use the jumbo A2 tip to make a big, winding stem that would start out of the flower, then curve all over the back of the cake.
I “snaked” the stem all over the back of the cake, then made some stars out of the #22 tip for a little added whimsy.
She LOVED it!!!
And it was delicious.
**I did not photograph the process of baking the cake and making the icing.  It was Saturday night, my kids were running in and out of the kitchen and the toddler was crawling all over the counter.  I will remake this cake to photograph the process next week.  I will share the recipe on that post.  It is complicated and I wrote it on the fly, so I’d like to test it one more time so I can be sure that it will work for you.
Thanks for reading this post.  Have a great day!

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