The christening of your baby is a special milestone in her life. She is baptised to gain admission into the Christian church and it is a special gathering for close friends and family. Dressed in her white christening gown, your baby is sprinkled with holy water. At the reception, choose a traditional christening cake to celebrate this important step in her life.
Traditionally in Italy, most families could not afford an expensive feast so close to the wedding. In Italy, homemade cakes are traditional for christenings. In some areas of Italy, it is actually considered bad luck to purchase a christening cake. An angel cake or light sponge cake is a traditional Italian christening cake. Egg whites help create a light cake that will be the centrepiece of the christening reception. Almond and vanilla extract give it a light taste and icing sugar is sprinkled on top.
Irish Catholics celebrate christenings with Gaelic prayers and gifts with blessings. The traditional cake at the christening is actually the top of the parents' wedding cake. Irish whiskey cake is considered to be a fertility cake and it is served at the wedding. The couple saves the top portion, and it is served at the christening. Crumbs from the cake are sprinkled on the baby's head as a blessing for a long and prosperous life.
Traditional christening cakes often use crosses as the main theme. The entire cake can be baked into a cross shape using a specialised cake pan. A sheet or round cake can be decorated with a cross in fondant for a smooth finish or with buttercream frosting for a thicker frosted cake. The child's name can be added and the date. Some families choose a special blessing from the Bible to be added to the cake.
Another type of traditional christening cake is to decorate a cake into an open Bible. Two 9-by-12-inch sheet pans are used for this design. Once the cakes are cooled, remove them from the pan and lay them side by side. The shorter widths should be at the top. Frost the cakes together with white frosting and use a piping bag to form edging around the cake so it looks like a book. Special blessings and the name of the child are added. The date of the christening is another decorating option for the cake.