Have you ever been asked to throw a party but didn’t have any time or money to make it special? You may say no because, honestly, this is not a regular occurrence. But it happend to me last week. I was asked to host a party for my sister who is five months pregnant with her second child. So instead of having an Easter lunch last Sunday, my family had a gender reveal party. For those of you who don’t know what a gender reveal party is, it involves a pregnant woman, a cake or cupcakes with a center of icing in either blue or pink (hence the gender reveal), and a bunch of excited relatives and friends.
I wanted to make the event special for my sister, but I also didn’t have a lot of extra time in my schedule. So I researched cake-decorating tips on Pinterest in the hopes that a really spectacular cake would deflect attention from the lack of other party favors. I decided to make a rosette cake, which is a cake with swirly icing that looks like roses.
What you need to get started:
- I bought a chocolate cake mix for two dollars at my local grocery store. I usually bake my cakes from scratch but I didn’t have the time or all of the ingredients. I found out two things from the cake mix way. One, it is so much easier and time saving. Two, it is reliable. Cake mixes never come out of the pan and dissolve into crumbs like some of my cakes from scratch.
- I bought a simple and cheap cake decorating kit. Party City sells a three-piece set of decorating tips for only $2.99. If you don’t have the decorating bags then you can cut a hole at the corner of a Ziploc bag and that works fine.
- Then I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to ice a rosette cake. These tutorials were really helpful and easy to follow. The great thing about rosette cakes is that the way the roses are arranged on the cake is very forgiving of mistakes. It does not have to be perfect or even look much like a rose.
After watching the videos I got started decorating and here is what the process looked like:
- First I practiced my swirly roses, which ended up not looking much like roses but it didn’t matter.
- Second I spread a thin layer of icing over the cake to keep the crumbs from mixing with the rose decorations. Then I started decorating.
- The finished product was not anywhere near perfect but people still seemed impressed. I also made spiral and checkerboard cookies in pink and blue from my favorite recipe on the Cooks Illustrated website. Food coloring is a staple in such parties.
- And the big reveal? It’s a boy!