My Cake Decorating Gallery

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Megan's Winter Baby Shower


I recently had the pleasure of hosting a baby shower for Megan at my house. Since she was due in early February, she chose a "winter baby" theme. There weren't too many ideas online so it was fun to think of ways to create a winter baby wonderland at my house and make it special for Megan. Also, (and because there isn't much online,) here are the details for all of you winter baby shower planners out there. Who knows, there might be some one one out there! Sorry this is a late post, but it took me a while to remember to take photos of the invites... so let's start with those.

I was really excited about making the invitations by hand, and while it is more time consuming, I knew I wasn't going to find any "winter baby" themed invites that didn't also involve Santa or a bunch of blue/silver.. they just weren't going to cut it. I quickly chosen pink and brown as the main party colors since we knew Megan would be having a little girl, and I knew the cake would be chocolate - one of Megan's favorites! Plus it's a cute color combo for baby girls these days. :)

So I went to some local scrapbooking stores and finally found the paper I liked - pink cardstock, cute striped white, and some brown card stock for details. On an earlier shopping trip at Michaels, I had already picked up some snowflake and "It's a girl!" stamps which ended up being useful. Snowflake confetti and little pink sparkles also made their way on the back of the invites for extra glamour Megan loves scrapbooking so I knew she'd appreciate me getting out all of my cropping supplies (most of which she bought for me!) to work on the fun project, and I'm really happy with how they turned out! Too cute! (sensitive information removed in photo above)

For favors, I waited until a little too close to Christmas and couldn't quite get a bunch of pink ornaments but ended up with a nice variety, including some carved snowflake ornaments. I had gone to the Paper Party Place for party supplies an that's where the little pink laundry pins and tags came from.

Paper Party Place also had the perfect set of pink and brown striped plates (technically in the wedding section) and I got some plasticware, napkins and pink polkadot cups to match.
For other decorations, I could tap into general Christmas decor but I was trying to stay away from red, green, and Santa... so we had some big and small snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, a Baby Shower banner, snowflake confetti, and I had purchased some inexpensive solid pink, pink polka dot, and white fabric for make-shift table clothes and table runners. Some of Megan's friends were super sweet and not only organized and ran the games but also helped with last minute set up and decorations!



Due to the layout of my house, the lunch would have to be a bit informal (i.e. plate in lap) since I didn't have room for big long buffet tables. It worked out OK and I used TV trays and also tied pink and white tulle into big bows to dress up the various chairs we have in our house. Informal seating just means informal eating - appetizers and finger foods - lots of good options here.


Let's talk about cake! "Winter Baby" didn't pull up any google hits for baby shower cake ideas so I decided on my own plan.. I knew Megan liked chocolate, so we had chocolate cake layers filled with raspberry preserves and buttercream (conveniently turning pink!) and frosted with chocolate ganache (2 types-whipped for the crumb coat and poured for the top coat).



This was going to be my first time making a tiered cake and I was excited to go out and get different columns and see what options I had. I had a 6inch cake on top of a 12 inch (I think?) round cake on bottom. The idea was to send the top layer home with Megan, just like a wedding!


The topper was made from ready-made fondant, and I kept the bear white with pink accents (blanket, etc) and made a little flag that said "Welcome Alyssa" for the bear to hold.



To give texture to the tops of the two layers, I did cornelli lace with extra chocolate ganache, and the sides of the cakes were decorated with white chocolate snowflakes with a border of pink polkadotted ribbon.


I picked a few snowflake clipart pictures I liked and melted down some white chocolate candy chips, and hand piped a bunch of snowflakes onto parchment. This was done a few days in advance. Half of them got a dusting of pink sparkly sugar, just for fun, and I alternated them on the sides of the cake tiers.

Everything with the cake went as planned and the stupid ladies at the cake store who told me I should use the ugly small solid snowflake molds instead of piping the white chocolate were wrong - but I used the snowflake candy mold remnants as something to munch on for myself and the guests!


I love the shapes of snowflakes and I guess you could say that was the main theme for this "Winter Baby" shower - pink sparkly snowflakes!

Now let's talk about the rest of the food!

I didn't have any obvious food choices for "Winter Baby" themes, so I just skipped the theme for the food and tried to pick interesting, tasty, and easy items. For beverages, though, I was having a hard time deciding between hot cocoa and spiced hot cider. I ended up doing a crockpot of spiced cider, with some soda, tea, coffee, and water as alternatives.

A common baby shower item is the carved melon baby carriage for fruit salad. A winter baby shower means that watermelons aren't in season so I used a canteloupe and filled it with just the berries, and had the rest of the fruit assorted (in a beautiful way by Cindy) around the carriage. Carving a melon is a nice idea because you can carve it a day ahead of time without a problem.





I had tried to get a mini green watermelon but Trader Joe's only had one beat-up one left so it just didn't work out.

Going with our informal / appetizer / finger food idea, we had an assortment of veggies. This idea was from Martha Stewart and didn't quite go as planned - she makes her own veggie dips and then piped them beautifully onto cut out veggies and snowpeas. I used dips from Nino Salvaggio's but the morning of the shower, they were not piping through my decorator tips very easily! I eventually just had to blob them on. I had three offerings - peas with feta dip and chives as garnish, red bell pepper diamonds with hummous and cilantro garnish, and cucumbers with dill dip and dill as garnish.




I filled up my three-tier server and while they didn't look as good as Martha's (as usual), they turned out OK and was an attractive finger-food friendly way to get in some veggies.



For hot food, I had handmade vegetable samosas from a local Indian store with homemade (from Padma my coworker!) cranberry tamarind dipping sauce and mango ginger chutney (from a jar). The cranberry sauce was awesome and I'll have to get that recipe. On the hot tray, I had Trader Joe's spinach/cheese triangles, and Trader Joe's italian meatballs, with hoisin/sweet and sour asian sauce. These were modeled after another Martha app idea - two meatballs on a skewer, separated by a folded snowpea. Cute! However if you heat the meatballs in the oven for too long, the peas turn a dull green. Microwaving would've kept them brighter. My oven was packed to the gills keeping all of these trays warm but it worked out OK, maybe a few samosas got a bit overdone. Timing is always difficult, especially when you decide to leave piping veggies in the morning! Cindy also brought an excellent italian bruschetta, which was a big hit and her help in the kitchen was much needed and appreciated.



Poor Cindy, I think there was one point when I was trying to put pesto into cherry tomatoes and she was frantically garnishing veggies, when I realized there wasn't time as guests were arriving and we had to "abandon ship" - she witness first hand that even careful planning on my part doesn't mean things will go exactly as expected! All in all I think it worked out okay, I had some diverse food offerings that I was able to attempt to make it look nicer-than-average, and I purchased pre-made quality items for any parts that I could so that I could manage everything overall. Before trusting any of the purchased items, I did have a trial tasting with my mom so there were no surprises or worries.



Hosting the baby shower was a great experience and it was a LOT of fun! Everyone was so happy to see the glowing mom-to-be and shower her with love and cute gifts that we could all "ooh" and "awww" over. Also a big thanks needs to be extended to everyone who helped out and even stayed to clean up, it was so sweet of you!

25 comments:

  1. The cake is GORGEOUS!!

    I really like the snowflake ornaments as favors too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely GORGEOUS! I love the white bear on top.. too cute! you are a very talented baker

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for the comments!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been searching for some ideas for my daughters baby shower and I found it! Great ideas. My daughter is having a boy so I think this idea will work better with blue snowflakes. Thanks for the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The silver and blue will be a beautiful winter baby shower theme. You'll have a lot of decorations in those colors to choose from and probably invites too. Thanks for stopping in and I am glad to help!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so very much for this. I am only on my 4th month of pregnancy but really exhausting myself already with the idea of baby shower since most likely either me or my husband ourselves that have to throw the baby shower! We will be moving to an European country where the people are not familiar with baby shower. My family cannot make it because it will require them to fly like more than 38 hours of flight to reach us and my husband has no sisters nor sister in law :-/ So, been planning and searching for winter theme but yes, I agree with you, there arent too many ideas online. So am very grateful for this posting!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Where did you get your shower invitations and decorations from? They are simply beautiful. You can contact me LDColenberg@umsmed.edu. Thanx.

    ReplyDelete
  8. LaToya! I tried e-mailing that address but it didn't work.. you can e-mail me at kitchenbliss [at] gmail.com and I'll get back with you. To make a long story short, I made the invites from scrapbooking materials myself, and many of the decorations came from PaperPartyPlace.com which is located near me, plus some decor from Target too. Glad that the post is helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much for posting your wonderful ideas on a winter baby shower. I am throwing one for my sister in December and I can not wait to do it now!! The invitations are so perfect!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're a lifesaver! I'm throwing a baby shower this december for my SIL and could not find anything online for winter-themed baby showers! So happy I found this! And p.s. -- great job!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the idea. My sister is having a girl but doesn't like pink so how do you think purple would look?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Christy, Liv, glad to have helped! Thanks for stopping in!

    Anon- Purple would be fabulous! Purple and silver, or purple and white would be a really nice winter theme.. just add some sparkles. Could use black as an accent color too. Cranberry would be a great winter baby girl color too, and you could pair it with cream or silver (but avoid green unless you want to go 'christmas' with your theme). No one says we have to use pastels! :) Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I linked to you from Tip Junkie--cute shower! I love the cake idea, and the food looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I found your blog today and have been steadily making my way through it. I am really enjoying myself.

    Now, on to my question. This cake was finished off with a poured chocolate ganache right? I am making a three tiered, stacked, poured chocolate ganache wedding cake and I am stuck on the construction. I just don't know what to do. I am not sure whether I should ganache each tier separately then construct. Or If I should construct the cake and ganache it as one. I don't know if you can help but from what I can gather from your blog so far, is we work the same way. Always imagining it perfectly in our minds! Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Zie Zie! Welcome! Yes it was a poured ganache for the final coat (the crumb coat was the whipped ganache). The ganache top coat sets up really nicely, so you can touch it and it isn't tacky. I would ganache the three tiers separately and then stack and then use some kind of frosting or extra ganache or ribbon to cover the "seams" between the tiers. Trying to cover all three tiers with poured ganache seems like it might be a little bit of a nightmare, but hey, it might be possible! I am just thinking it might be hard to smooth out the top portions of the middle and bottom tiers, since you won't be able to spread your spatula straight across it. Good luck, and thanks for stopping in!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love your creativity

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love the ideas .. And most of my daughter's birthday and wanted to do something different, this is great for us.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am having my baby shower in Oct, and I am having a baby boy. I LOVE THIS!!! I wanted a winter theme and I did a google search and tada! Yours came up! =) Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this! Thanks for sharing your wonderfully creative ideas! I am so excited for my sister's shower now! What all do I need to make those awesome snowflakes?

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is such a wonderful idea! I came up with a "Ice Princess" Theme for my God-Daughter who will be born in December and this has really helped me. I can't wait until the baby shower to pull it altogether!

    Jeromie

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you so much for sharing all of your ideas! I am hosting a winter wonderland baby shower for my sister-in-law. What a great resource this is for me. The invitation wording couldn't be more perfect. I have been searching online for hours now before seeing this. Thank goodness I can stop searching!! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm doing blue snowflakes for my cake! thanks for the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Looks awesome! There are too many blogger but quality writing style are very few have this this days. your site is excellent. It's well written and well described blog. I like your blog. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Beautiful cake! I would love to know how you did the textured top with the ganache.

    ReplyDelete