This afternoon I supplied some baked goods for my friend Alexander's birthday party. Alexander just turned 2, and his mother is my best friend from law school. This blue cake pictured here is the cake I made for his birthday last year. My cake decorating skills are pretty mediocre, especially when it comes to cake writing (I just cannot seem to coordinate applying the appropriate pressure to a pastry bag at the same time that I'm keeping a steady writing speed). So, last year, I didn't write anything on Alexander's cake and just spelled out the birthday message in candles.
My standard birthday cake recipe is from Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. The restaurant offers an individually-sized pink birthday cake on their menu, and the Washington Post printed the recipe on April 23, 2006 (oddly enough, the recipe appeared in the newspaper's Sunday Source section instead of the Wednesday Food Section). The cake bakes up moist and lily white, with an extremely dense and fine crumb. It is similar to a pound cake in texture. The frosting is made from butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream. The cake is very good, but especially delicious served with ice cream.
This year, Alexander's birthday party had a fire engine theme, so I made the cake yellow and red to match. I again dodged writing anything on the cake and instead put on an excessive number of red and yellow candles (sometimes I can get a little carried away at the party store).
I also baked up a Chocolate-Almond Souffle Torte for anyone who might want some chocolate (I forgot to take a picture, although you're not missing much since it was particularly homely this time around), as well as some Caramel Pecan Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies to give out as party favors.