This week we are celebrating Mairead’s 5th birthday! My emotions are torn with missing my easy baby and loving watching her grow more into a beautiful and busy little girl.
The birthday extravaganza week began with a batch of mini cupcakes for her preschool class on Monday (you can find them on my Instagram and Facebook). Tuesday was her actual birthday and while tucking her into bed the night before she asked if we could go to the Telus World of Science Museum for her birthday. I’m more of an art museum kind of gal but hey, who am I to hold back a future astronaut, so that’s what we did. We had a super fun morning there and the live science experiments were a huge hit with Mairead and a few other kids. I highly recommend checking it out if you find yourself in Edmonton with the kids.
For lunch I took Mairead to McDonald’s (another one of her requests) which I beyond hate but it was her special day and it will probably be another 365 days before I take her back there.
Of course where I come from you need cake on your actual birthday so naturally I had one on standby (LOL). I baked Mairead a delicious vanilla bean cake with a buttercream icing with real strawberry puree whipped in. Very yummy! I planned to freeze a big slice for Aaron to enjoy when he gets home in a couple weeks but I’ll probably just eat it all and then make him one when he gets home. Ha!
Saturday is the big show, a party with her friends and I think a giant glass of wine will be on order after that one. And by giant I mean the bottle. Unfortunately Aaron’s job will not allow time for him to be home long enough to join us but a little family outing is already in the works for her to celebrate with Daddy when he gets home. Spoiled doesn’t even begin to cover it!
Now back to the cake; it was delicious! The vanilla bean infused milk is the way to go. I only used one bean and gave it lots of time to steep and it really paid off in the end. My chocolate cake recipe has always been my favorite but this one might be my new go-to from here on out. And the strawberry buttercream was amazing! It was a last minute decision and I’m so happy I went with it. If you find it too runny to spread over your cake, just add in some more icing sugar. Enjoy folks!
P.S. My terrible photography skills don’t do it justice, the cake was far prettier in real life and Mairead was super excited when she saw it.
Vanilla Bean Cake with Real Strawberry Buttercream Icing
3/4 cup cream
1 whole vanilla bean
1 2/3 cup cake flour
1/ 2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a small saucepan set to low heat add cream.
Split the vanilla bean length-ways and using a spoon scrape out the tiny seeds. Add the seeds and the emptied bean to the cream and heat just until steaming, do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate mixing bowl combine melted butter, sugar, egg, yogurt, vanilla and infused cream; mix well.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk just until combined, do not over-mix.
Pour into lightly greased 8 – inch cake pan* and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
*The cake in the photos above are mini 4 – inch pans that I baked together in the oven for about 16 minutes.
Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup pureed strawberries, fresh or frozen
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
Strawberry Buttercream Directions
Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk butter until smooth and light.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir by hand a few strokes, then continue with the mixer until the icing becomes smooth and creamy, with no lumps. If too runny add more icing sugar, if too thick add more milk or strawberry puree.
Decorate your cake as desired.
By Three Happy Folk
Adapted from Fresh April Flours