Wishing a happy birthday to my dear Isabelle. She is a huge fan of M&Ms, so of course I had to make an M&M cake for her.
She has blossomed so much this past year. She has such a fun personality and has been a wonderful big sister to Alanna. I was worried that having to share attention with a new baby would be difficult, but she adores her baby sister and is very motherly – always wanting to help with getting diapers, dressing, feeding, and playing with Alanna (and her stuffed animals). We have to remind Izzy to be gentle, but we know this all comes from a good heart.
Like any toddler, Izzy has strong opinions on what she wants and gets into a lot of mischief. Right on cue, after turning 2, the “terrible twos” started. She is able open doors, climb to any height with a stool, and pick apart any child locks. I am sure we will enter this “threenager” period soon. The tantrums aren’t fun, but I remind myself this is such a short period on her life.
She is quite a fashionista, and loves wearing the most princessy, poufy dresses and tutus. Pink and purple and rainbow are her favorite colors. She enjoys accessorizing with purses and sunglasses too. She loves cooking in her play kitchen and building blocks. Her imagination has been so fun to see as she pretend plays with her toys and stuffed animals (I cook egg and pancakes for Penguin! Elmo eat cookie! Careful, it hot. I make strawberry ice cream for Dog!). She is incredibly sweet and always wants to help with her doctor kit if we have a booboo.
She went to a co-op preschool starting in the fall and finished when she turned 3. She loves school and asks to go to school every day. Her teachers have been wonderful, and got her this lovely card and flowers. Her main teacher even dressed up as Snow White since she knows how much Izzy loves dresses.She went to a co-op preschool starting in the fall and finished when she turned 3. She loves school and asks to go to school every day. Her teachers have been wonderful, and got her this lovely card and flowers. Her main teacher even dressed up as Snow White since she knows how much Izzy loves dresses.
Her vocabulary has taken off. She likes to bargain “No M&M” “How about one orange M&M” or “No more music” “How about one Cold Heart (by Elton John/Dua Lipa)”; state her needs “No I want purple dress, no green dress”; and ask “Why! What happened! Who that? When? Where’s dada” over and over again. It’s been so fun being able to have “conversations” with her.
Lemon cake adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and M&M design from The Cake Blog. This cake was a lot more tedious than I anticipated (although B said he could totally see the tediousness when I showed him my inspiration photo). My cake was initially underbaked so I had to go back and bake it again. Thankfully it turned out fine, but I don’t enjoy baking and assembling cakes at 2am. It was worth making this cake and seeing Izzy’s eyes light up – she loves birthday cakes, and loves blowing out the candles on top.
Rainbow Mosaic M&M Lemon Cake
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice ~ 3 lemons
CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt to taste
- 1 bag M&Ms to decorate
- LEMON CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three cake pans (I used 6 inches for a taller cake) and line with parchment paper rounds. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside. With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the milk, lemon and lemon juice and mix just until combined. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around 35-40 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.
- CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING: In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, lemon juice if frosting is too thick, or add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
- ASSEMBLY: Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand, cake turntable, or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting. Top with 2nd cake layer and evenly cover the top with about 1 cup of frosting. Top with the third cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Decorate with M&Ms while frosting is still soft. Enjoy!