It was my dear old dad's birthday this week, so I made him a birthday cake. Chocolate is not his favorite, and I really wanted to try something special, so I made him an "Italian Cream Cake." That's vanilla buttermilk cake with toasted coconut powder and chopped toasted pecans in the batter, and coconut cream cheese frosting, with more toasted pecans between layers. It was definitely one of the most delicious cakes I've ever had! I also wanted to try a new decorating technique - hand painting. I had done a little bit, as seen in the last couple of posts, on the Harry Potter cake and the Chinese New Year cupcakes, but this time I wanted to really do a hand-painted decoration. I covered the outside of the cake in homemade almond fondant, and then hand painted on the birthday greeting and roses. It turned out pretty good for my first try!