happy birthday

Alexa Turned Two

My little girl, Alexa, has turned two (last month — another late post)! Time flies just like that! We also had welcomed our new bundle of joy, Luise, a few weeks back. Hello, sleepless nights!

Just like Alexa’s first birthday, we had another DIY party for her. But she had fun this time because her friends were there too! We did not have any games like other children’s parties (due to my poor hosting skills and space constraints), but we had lots of food, non-stop Barney videos, and kids running around, laughing, and screaming. It was such a fun chaos!

Now let me share with you my labor of love for Alexa for this year…

The cake.

It’s a funfetti white cake with rainbow petal buttercream frosting. I did enjoy doing the frosting. I got both the cake design and cake bunting printable from posts in Pinterest.

cake1

cake2

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The cupcakes.

They are rainbow cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and rainbow rice sprinkled on top, also from a post in Pinterest.

cupcakes

May this year be as colorful as these cakes for our first princess.

Thanks for dropping by!

Alexa’s Mom

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyday I am thankful for all the wonderful blessings that I have been showered with. But today is extra special because it’s my birthday. I am thankful for another year of life full of love and happiness. What made it even more special is that I spent it in our new home and with the best gifts that God has given me… my loving hubby and our growing baby girl who we will be welcoming to the world and to our family next month.

And so for my birthday, I baked my own birthday cake. I made another favorite, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! It has cinnamon, which I love, and I am able to use the leftover cream cheese frosting from hubby’s birthday cake.

I tried to style it using this free printable which I found on Pinterest. Cute, isn’t it? I want to do something like this again for my baby shower. Of course, it has to be more colorful, pink and girly!

Here’s the link to the original recipe. She’s right, the cake was amazing hubby thinks it’s the best one I’ve baked so far! And my friends loved it too! She also took such lovely photos which made the recipe so easy to follow.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I used cake flour which made the cake lighter and fluffier. Just now, I found this post on how to turn all purpose flour to cake flour. Good to know just in case cake flour is not available. It’s quite difficult to find it in nearby supermarkets.)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups (about 3 sticks) of grated carrots (hubby grated for me ‘coz it requires muscle power)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (I used cashew and macadamia nuts. It was good!)

Procedure:

  • Start by preheating the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.  Then spray pam or spread butter/oil and flour a 9×13 inch pan
  • Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix.
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients: brown and white sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil. I mixed using a wooden spoon to avoid over beating of the eggs.
  • Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet in three equal batches. I used a mixer for this step.
  • Mix in the grated carrots by hand to avoid over beating. Then fold in the nuts.
  • Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes. I set the timer to 45 minutes but checked at the 40-minute mark, as recommended.

Cream cheese frosting:

(I used the leftovers from hubby’s cake birthday cake, but added some more cream cheese and butter to create a lighter texture. I think this recipe is less sweet than the one I used before. I would definitely try the next time I make this.)

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 stick) softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Procedure:

  • First add the butter and cream cheese then sift the 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. This makes the frosting smooth.
  • Mix until you get the consistency you want.

This is a recipe worth trying, and repeating… over and over again!

My birthday is ending in half an hour. Today has gone by so fast! I greatly appreciate all the love and wishes sent to me by family and friends.

For now, birthday girl is signing off… Good night!