Ryleigh didn't really care what her "tea party" birthday cake looked like, but she did have three special requests: 1) she really wanted the cake to be strawberry; 2) she really wanted a pearl border; and 3) (and most importantly) she wanted a "high heel shoe" on top. I thought those were pretty reasonable requests. Per her momma, my sweet friend, Amanda, if I could incorporate all three of those things, she would have a VERY happy birthday girl, and the rest of the design could fall on me. Music to my ears, as I love to hear those words! Artistically free is my favorite way to bake! For months, I'd been saving up all these ideas for my next "little girl" cake. I could only get away with a couple at a time on any one cake, though, so sadly, I had to narrow it down to just one or two.
I was desperate to try the "melted icing" look, so I knew I'd be doing that on this cake. I also knew it was a great time to try the "quilted" look (with tiny flowers or pearls, but I wasn't sure which). So those were the two new techniques I wanted to incorporate into Ryleigh's cake. All you other little ideas, just be patient. You'll get your turn. So, looking back, maybe I shouldn't have tried two "new" things on one cake. I was a bit disappointed with the end result, as the cake wasn't as "clean" in real life as it was in my mind. But I have to say, looks aside, this was quite possibly the BEST cake I've ever tasted. And I don't typically even like strawberry cake. This had 2 quarts of fresh strawberries in it, a pound of butter, a pound of sour cream, a pound of granulated sugar, and more than a dozen eggs. Just in the cake. The almond and Madagascar vanilla-infused whipped buttercream filling and icing were another shopping list entirely. Oh I do hate to brag, but I'm telling you, this cake tasted GOOD. Speaking of good taste, Amanda has an amazing gift when it comes to all things regarding that. Entertaining and decorating are among her many talents, so it makes sense that she provided an exceptionally beautiful setting for this little tea party. Happy birthday, Ryleigh. What I would have given as a little girl to have had a day like this!