A Creepy-Crawly First Birthday!

One of my favorite little rugrats just turned one!  Hard to believe that a year has gone by since the day at work when I was glued to my phone, anxiously awaiting the call that my good friend Mary was finally in labor and giving birth to one of the cutest and coolest kiddos I know.  Well a year has certainly passed, and now my little Tucker is walking and gabbing with the best of them.  His first birthday party was bug-themed and I was super excited to make the treats for his party.  His little smash cake was inspired by the caterpillar from Baby Einstein. 
The bug cupcakes were inspired by Hello, Cupcake!  I chose to just pipe the bug legs with icing rather than make the templates out of candy melts.  Much easier for the time crunch I was under.
Tucker wasn’t so sure what to do with his little cake, so we helped him out a little!
Yellow cake recipe is the same one I used for the Boston Cream Pie cupcakes (from Annie’s Eats).  Baked in 2 6-inch cake pans.  Used leftover batter to make some extra cupcakes.

Chocolate cake recipe from Hershey, same one I used for the Halloween spider web cupcakes

And the icing was so delicious, it just might be my new go-to frosting.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of regular buttercream – too rich for my tastes.  Hence my tendancy twards cream cheese frostings.  But the Swiss Meringue Buttercream is light and fluffy and definitely not too rich – leave plenty of room for seconds!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting
as seen on Beantown Baker

1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 large egg whites)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract

Lightly whisk egg whites and sugar together in a double boiler until egg white mixture is a smooth consistency (not grainy) and candy thermometer reads 140.

Pour hot egg whites in a room temperature bowl of stand mixer.  Whip with wire whisk attachment on medium high speed until mixture doubles in volume and bowl is cool to the touch (mixture should have between soft and stiff peaks).  Meanwhile, cut up butter into 2 inch pieces.

When egg white mixture is finished, remove wire whisk attachment and attach paddle.  Add half the bowl and pulse mixer several times by  turning mixer on and off in a jerky motion (will force butter to the bottom of the bowl).  Add the rest of the butter and pulse several more times.  Slowly increase the mixer’s speed, starting with the lowest and increasing speed every 10 seconds until you reach medium high speed. 

Continue beating until mixture begins to look light and fluffy.  Stop and scrape the bowl.  Reduce speed to low.  Add vanilla and continue to beat on low for 45 seconds.  Increase speed to medium high and an additional 60 seconds. 

Frost cake or cupcakes immediately.  If adding coloring, divide and add gel coloring until desired color is reached.

One thought on “A Creepy-Crawly First Birthday!

  1. Pingback: Chicken and Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing « Peace, Love and French Fries

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