These treats were made for a big party we threw last night. Obviously we don't observe the July 4th holiday here in Germany. However, we had another big reason to celebrate America. After five long years in Iraq Dr. B has accepted a position at the United Nations in New York City. We are moving in August.
We gathered close friends and family for a garden/pool barbecue to wish him/us well in our next adventure. Considering the timing, it was like a faux Fourth of July party for me and a great excuse for some patriotic baking.
Although sad to leave Germany, we are excited to start this new chapter of our lives. Most of all, I am thrilled he will be out of Iraq for good.
Five years of repeatedly seeing him off and welcoming him home from a war zone has been hard. Every single time we said our goodbyes, it felt like a little piece of me broke. Over the years I can't even count the amount of people who have said to me "I don't know how you do it". Today is the day he goes back to Baghdad for the last time for a few weeks to wrap up his job. We are now a final short step from standing on the other side of those five long years. It feels amazing.
Dr. B will have to get used to a job where rockets aren't being launched in his direction daily. At least not real live ones anyway. I have been been busy making arrangements for our move and things are falling into place nicely.
Now onto the cake and cupcakes.
Ever since I saw this fantastic creative cake by Elissa at Baking at 17 I have wanted to try making one myself. I followed the instructions to the letter (a tutorial on Glorious Treats was also extremely helpful.) Despite a huge moment of self doubt when it came to finally cutting the cake (I was sure everything would turn out upside down or sideways), it worked perfectly and every layer was in its proper place.
I used a Classic White Cake Recipe for the cake part and Wilton's No Taste Red and Royal Blue gel past food coloring to tint the layers. For the frosting I made a batch of Magnolia Bakery's vanilla buttercream. Most bloggers who make this cake leave it unadorned as it adds to the drama of seeing the surprise inside once cut.
As readers of this blog know by now, the word "unadorned" is not in my vocabulary. I couldn't help sprinkling several different kinds of red and blue decorations on top.
The cake was delicious but very sweet. I am biased, however, as white cake with vanilla buttercream is my absolute favorite cake.
For the cupcakes. I thought after all that white vanilla indulgence of the flag cake, some chocolate was in order. Specifically from the Magnolia Bakery's Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. I whipped up some Cream Cheese Frosting which was also colored with Wilton's no taste red and Royal Blue paste food colorings. Once frosted, the cupcakes were decorated with sprinkles, edible sparkle sugar and non pareils the same color as the frosting.
This is my last month in Germany for a while. I plan to enjoy it before coming home to America.