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Friday, July 26, 2013

Madeleine's 1st Birthday

My youngest daughter, Madeleine, turned one at the end of May.  How that's possible, I have no idea.  It doesn't seem possible that she could be a year old and now she's almost 14 months old and I still have a hard time saying she's a toddler and not a baby!

For her first birthday, we planned a "cute as a button" celebration.  Since we all know that 1st birthday parties are really for the parents anyway since one year olds don't really care what they do, I came up with this one early on.  I found a button cake on Pinterest a long time ago -- probably sometime while I was pregnant with my first baby.  I filed it away and thought nothing more of it until I was pregnant with Madeleine.  Then I thought about using it for a baby shower but didn't have an opportunity to throw one and then I decided it would make a great theme for a birthday party as well.

The cakes are both traditional vanilla birthday cake - you can find the recipe on this post, but it's a slightly adapted recipe from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook.

This was a pretty light theme, we had cute as a button cookies, a button cake, and a few decorations but we also just had a great summer birthday party and let the kids play outside and tried not to go overboard on decorations and such.

For the main button cake, I covered it in homemade marshmallow fondant, and then made little button cutouts out of pink and yellow fondant to decorate the cake and add to the sugar cookies as well.  Marshmallow fondant is really easy to make and simple to work with.  You can find my recipe as well as some tips on this post.   If you want another example, check out this post from Aubrey's 2nd birthday party for a look at her Sesame Street cake.

For food, we did a self-serve burger bar and grilled up beef and turkey burgers and offered tons of choices for condiments.  We had the standard ketchup, mustard, pickles, and cheese but also offered more fun toppings like chipotle mayo, sriracha sauce, jalepenos and banana peppers, grilled pineapple, and crispy bacon.

We had a variety of chips and dips - a hot and spicy corn dip, hummus and crackers, and guacamole, because we don't have parties without guacamole.  We had a vegetable platter and fruit salad as well.

For desserts, we had cookies and cake and homemade vanilla ice cream.  The cookies are my normal sugar cookie recipe - these are so easy to make and you can make the cookie dough ahead of time and freeze it to save time for the party.  You can also bake the cookies in advance and freeze if you prefer but I would recommend waiting to frost and decorate until closer to party time.  I always like to do mine within a day or two of the party and then store between layers of parchment paper once the royal icing is completely dry (overnight) in an airtight container.   You can find the recipe in this post.

Of course, I made Madeleine her own smash cake.  She had some fun getting into the icing and cake but wanted nothing to do with the cold ice cream.  A few weeks later she tried it again though and decided it was pretty good stuff so rest assured, she's a normal kid!  For the smash cake, fondant isn't really practical.  It's too hard for the little ones to get through so I always stick with a simple buttercream icing.  I also tend to put it on pretty thin so it's not quite as gooey for them.  Also make sure you don't decorate with anything that could be a choking hazard.  I used the large thin candy wafers on this one.  They basically dissolve in your mouth and break up really easily.

Thumbs up for cake!  

Happy birthday baby girl - I can't believe you're already a toddler.  The first year was so much fun and the days just keep getting better.  You and your sister are the best of friends and you are the sweetest little girl.  I'm so thankful everyday to be blessed with two beautiful, happy, healthy baby girls.  I love you with all my heart sweet birthday girl!

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