Coming off a couple of insane weeks of travel, Jason and I made the trek from Atlanta to our sleepy hometown of Vero Beach.  There were lots of reasons to celebrate – new babies, several birthdays, recent engagement and of course the whole reason we had a long weekend – Independence day!

Elmo Cake

When a long weekend and your nephew’s first birthday party coincide, you just don’t miss that! In fact, no matter how exhausted you are, you volunteer to make the smash cake ’cause that little man is only turning 1 once.  Elmo agrees.

We also volunteered to bring an Elmo fruit platter that was inspired by a photo on Pinterest (sorry, after much googling I still can’t find the original source of the photo). While I was helping Elmo paint a masterpiece, hubs meticulously arranged strawberries, mandarin oranges and blueberries into this:

Awesome job right?  My man may let me take over the kitchen most of the time, but he’s got serious skills.

As for the details of the cake, my original goal was to limit the use of food coloring. I also wanted to keep it mostly buttercream (fav recipe here) so little V could smash it easily.  Unfortunately I realized it’s almost impossible to achieve that “Elmo red” any other way.  By making removable marshmallow fondant decorations, he was able to smash it and get more cake than frosting. See?

He even shared the lemon cream cake (1/2 of this recipe) with mom & dad who noticed the subtle lemon & tried to sneak in a few extra bites :).

I express my love through cake and I hope when this little guy gets older he sees the family pictures of his first birthday and knows there are a lot of people who think he’s pretty cool, crown and all!

Happy Birthday 1st Birthday Baby V!