At any baby shower, the cake should be your centerpiece. Even if you're planning for other foods or even a meal, the cake should get a pretty table all its own with a coordinating tablecloth. You should also have plenty of room for dessert plates, silverware and napkins. Leave room at the front and back for a server and for guests. Ideas abound for cake designs that go far beyond the classic rectangular sheet cake.
A decorator/baker can provide many ideas or you can suggest your own. For design ideas, you might want to coordinate with the mother-to-be's nursery theme. Take photos of bedding and the decor to show the decorator. He or she can use matching colors at the very least without treading on copyrighted designs. If you have an artistically inclined friend, ask for an adaptation with some original designs to go on the cake.
Shaped cakes are popular, ranging from ladybugs to storks. These are more playful as opposed to tiered round, rectangular or square cakes. On tiered cakes, consider offsetting the upper layers rather than stacking them symmetrically. It's an interesting and artful touch.
Stacked cakes are also nice as the top section can be saved to share when celebrating baby's first birthday. (A note on that: frozen cake won't be nearly as good. We recommend ordering an entirely new cake for that very special first birthday.) Also, having multiple levels lets you choose a mix of flavors that will make every sweet tooth happy.
For those on a budget, sheet cakes are still the most economical. From a bakery or made from scratch, the type of decorations you choose will make it unique. This is not the time to experiment if you're a beginner in baking or cake decorating.
It's also nice to have an assortment of other sweets available. Perhaps even cookies or cupcakes decorated with the same cake theme. A tiered cupcake arrangement beside the cake will be very attractive.
With regard to tableware, glass plates are always a first choice, but nice plastic pieces would serve as well. Silver-finished plastic forks are also acceptable substitutes if you're serving a crowd and elect not to rent the service.
Our featured cake
includes nursery colors and designs based on the crib bedding colors
and patterns. The baker provided the stand, which was sized just right
and added a special touch: Cake blocks at the front spell out baby
and gave it a dimensional look. Every segment is beautifully decorated
and "girly" infant shoes crown the top portion.
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Our House and Garden/C.K. Kennedy. All rights reserved.
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