We’re expecting baby #2! I had always wanted at least two. But I did not enjoy pregnancy at all (severe nausea/vomiting requiring round the clock medications, an unfortunate ER visit, and requiring medical leave), and we spent many sleepless nights in a haze with a newborn. I recall telling my husband “That’s it! We’re one and done!” after a particularly bad night.
However, the wonderful moments watching baby grow up + time make you forget the struggles… and you end up wanting another baby.
B was thrilled, as he adores children and if it were up to him, we’d have 5 babies (I told him, that’s not happening).
We were very lucky our timing worked out well, as I wanted to have my second during my research years of hematology-oncology fellowship. The hours are more flexible, I can work mostly from home (so much nicer to throw up at home instead of the hospitals), I’m not on call as much, and I don’t need as much coverage during my maternity leave.
Having a baby is a great opportunity to bake fancy cakes, and a gender reveal is always super fun. I made an M&M gender reveal cake for my first, and wanted to try something different this time, so I decided on an ombre cake!
This is something I have always wanted to do since I saw it on Pinterest. The cake is a coconut cake adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
At this time, my parents were visiting us and B’s mom lives with us. I had to bake this cake in secret as I didn’t want anyone else to know; only B and I knew the sex.
Even before I got the results, I knew it was going to be a girl since I had the exact same symptoms (horrible, intractable nausea/vomiting), cravings (oranges) and aversions (ice cream). I was super excited since Isabelle is so sweet and easygoing, so I’m partial to girls. As a bonus, we can reuse all our clothes/girl items. B was in shock as he is surrounded by all girls (his mom, me, Nike, Isabelle, and now baby #2) and was hoping for a boy to join his team. But he loves being a girl dad (Isabelle totally has him wrapped around her finger) and will do great.
As I only had one cake pan (somehow we lost the other two during our move), baking each layer one by one was painfully time consuming. I spent ALL day baking. Later that night at 10pm:
Mom: B seems to be eating your cake
Me: That’s fine, I told him to eat the domes
Mom: What part is the dome? B seems to be eating the entire cake
Me: The dome is the top part I slice off each layer to make the cake flat
Mom: I think you should take a look….
Lo and behold, he ate my actual cake! He thought it was an “extra layer”
Me: OMG, YOU ATE THE CAKE LAYER!!
B: Oh really? Oops. The cake was so good you should be flattered. It’s a compliment as a chef!
I was not flattered at all, and I couldn’t have an ombre cake without enough layers. So I stayed up after midnight frantically baking two more layers (again baking each layer one by one due to my sad lack of cake pans) since our Zoom gender reveal was the next day at noon.
I was super mad at the time, but it made for a funny memory, and fortunately, I was able to complete everything in time for the party. I did go out and buy a bunch of cake pans to avoid baking layers one at a time ever again.
We can’t wait to welcome baby girl #2 – Isabelle has no idea what’s coming, but it’s going to be a lot of chaos and fun!
Ombre Gender Reveal Cake // Coconut Cake
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup shredded coconut (I did half unsweetened/sweetened)
COCONUT CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4-5 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 Tablespoons canned coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease 6-inch cake pans (I ended up with 4 layers and just reused my pans), line with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper.
Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg whites until combined, then add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Beat until combined. Mixture will look curdled as a result of the varying textures and solid butter combining. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.