Today I decorated a cake for a dear sweet lady. A Pink Buttercream Cake to Celebrate 103 Years Young.
Pink Buttercream Cake
I've been making pink cakes for Mrs. Gladys for the past 5 years. Well - technically that's not true. One of those years I made cupcakes. Anyway - the long and the short of it is that Mrs. Gladys (and her daughter Paula) are very special to me. I've grown to love them over the years and would do anything in the world for them.
The other thing you need to know right off: Mrs. Gladys loves pink as much as I do!! A woman after my own heart!!
She calls me princess... I call her precious. She's lived a beautiful full life and she has gthe sweetest spirit - she's just a gem! I never manage to get great pictures when I'm with her, but I'm going to share one or two below so you can see what I mean.
I'm actually going to share all of the cakes I've made for her up until now - because I love thinking back on them. All but one anyway 😉
The first year was 2013 and she was celebrating her 98th birthday. I didn't know the family very well at the time, though her daughter Paula was great friends with my Mama. They were both high school teachers with great passion for their students and they immediately hit it off when they started working at the same school.
When Paula found out that I was a cake decorator, she ordered that first cake and requested that I cover it whipped cream frosting and include the color pink, however I could.
I'm gonna share that cake, but please note... I struggled big time with the whipped cream frosting (and have never made it again, for the record). And no, I will not share a recipe - it was terrible (tasted great - not meant to look pretty apparently).
So here it is (hangs head in shame):
I can't even show you the cake from the side.... it's too horrible. Mercy... what was I doing? I was already very established as a cake decorator and had made hundreds of beautiful cakes by then, but that cake? Shame. The pink sugar... jeez!
And even the photography? Why the velvet blue? That's just terrible.
Anyway... I wonder if her daughter doubted my capabilities because the next year, for Mrs. Gladys' 99th birthday, Paula only ordered cupcakes. Ha!
Below is the only picture I can find on any of my hard drives.
Then there was her 100th birthday. They had a bigger celebration in 2015 - inviting a few friends and family. So Paula requested a bigger cake. Usually I'm only feeding Mrs. Gladys, Paula and her brother Chris. For the 100th, they were expecting 20 or so guests, so I made this roses cake:
She still only requested that it be pink, be buttercream, and have "100" on it. Easy-peasy!
By this time, I had gotten to know and love this little family. I can't remember what I had going on that I couldn't attend the party, but I was so, so sad I couldn't go. By this time, I considered them dear friends.
Mrs. Gladys doesn't talk a whole lot but she has a sweet, sweet smile and the few things she does say are fiesty! Paula is the opposite and will talk your ear off - but in a good way! She's a brilliant teacher and so smart in so many topics. She can talk history, arts, photography, books, sports, politics, good food and anything Cajun. And she loves her family fiercely.
I've spent lots of time with them over the years... I've worked on her computer (mostly internet and software issues - the one thing she admittedly struggles with), been to a family funeral with them (her sister died a few years back), enjoyed meals with them and welcomed them into my home. They are just so precious to me!
When her 101st birthday rolled around, Paula requested something with a few more details. She said Mrs. Gladys loved snowmen (I do too - another reason she's such a kindred spirit to me) and that she still enjoys sitting outside at night and looking up at the stars.
So for her 101st birthday, Paula asked that I do a pink snowman cake with stars. Haha... I just had to smile. She also asked that I bring the cake to Mrs. Gladys at a restaurant and that we all go out to eat. It was pure joy to fill that request!
I shared about her 101st birthday in this post if you want to read all the details!
And then last year - she invited us to go out to eat with them again for her birthday celebration! For 2017 - it was Mexican and a pink ombre cake:
Note her pink jacket and purple shirt with pink butterfly <3 Chips & Salsa for the WIN! (one day I'll get a non-blurry pic of her).
And then there was this year. We planned to celebrate with another birthday dinner, but we had major thunderstorms going on. It wasn't a good idea to try and get Mrs. Gladys out of the car and into a restaurant in the flooding rain. So our annual meal will have to wait but the pink cake was ready!
With the storms happening, my Mama took the cake and met them at a gas station (under shelter) and gave the cake to Mrs. Gladys. She was so, so happy to get her pink cake:
Can you believe she's 103 years old? I asked my Mama to be sure and send me pics, so she set the cake in Mrs. Gladys' lap and asked her daughter Paula to take a picture (Chris snapped some too).
Then her son got in the back seat and tried to grab the cake, "Ma - let me hold the cake for you!" She fussed - "You're not getting my cake!!" Nobody was gonna take her pink cake! I'd say at 103 years old, let her hold the cake! When Mama told me that story, I cracked up! Gosh I love this sweet lady and am so looking forward to her birthday dinner!
Okay... I'm almost done.
Just a couple of housekeeping notes:
- This year's cake was 7" round white almond sour cream cake. It was baked in my favorite Magic Line pans.
- The frosting was cream cheese buttercream.
- I used Electric Pink to color the frosting pink.
- It was smoothed with a bench scraper, then the border and top decorations were piped with Ateco #829 tip.
- My daughter designed this cake and she added some white, pink and lavender sugar pearls on top and the sides as a finishing touch.
Alrighty... and I'm off to make some potato soup for supper and finish paying some bills. Sounds like fun, huh? Not so much 😉