Baby showers have been popular in the US and the UK for ages now. But a new trend is catching on which could replace them on both sides of the pond.
YouTube has been inundated with videos of expectant couples revealing the sex of their baby in front of excited family and friends – by cutting a cake.
It’s the ultimate surprise party that parents can give to themselves. It works by the expectant mum and dad-to-be asking their ultrasound technician to determine the sex of their baby at their 20-week scan, but to keep it a secret from them.
Instead, the information is written down and placed in an Oscar’s style envelope before being passed onto either a baker or a friend who makes a cake in either pink or blue sponge, depending on whether the couple are having a boy or a girl.
The cake is iced in a neutral colour and friends and family are invited over to watch it being cut, and the baby’s sex being revealed.
Critics have complained the latest craze is leading to the over-commercialisation of pregnancy but parents who hold the lavish bashes say they are a special way to celebrate with loved ones.
Unlike a traditional baby shower where usually only women are allowed, gender reveal parties get the whole family involved.
One website, completely dedicated to giving advice on holding gender reveal parties suggests coming up with a theme of Team Boy vs Team Girl. Guests are asked to come wearing pink or blue clothes, depending on what they think the expectant parents are having.
Parenting forums are full of comments about the new craze, with many saying it is tempting fate to celebrate before the baby is born safely, but other mums say they have no regrets about holding a party during pregnancy. “I was so glad I could share my excitement with all the people I loved and cared about,” said one Mum.
Buddy Valastro the host of the Cake Boss television show on TLC and owner of Carlo’s Bake Shop in New Jersey, says he makes several gender-reveal cakes a month, costing anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
“Some people go crazy and want something totally elaborate,” he says, like multitiered cakes with lifelike fondant babies on top. “I think it’s a cool way for people to find out what they’re having.”
With her eye on American trends, Ally Atkin’s British company, The Ultimate Baby Shower, based in Merseyside, has already done half-a-dozen gender reveal parties with prices starting at £15 per person, and she says the bill often runs into hundreds of pounds.
The cakes themselves start at £45 and Ally has also added reveal cupcakes, where you whip off the wrapper to find a pink or blue sponge, at £2.95 each.
“The concept is new to the UK but it’s definitely catching on,” says Ally. “It’s amazing how excited guests are at the big moment. You almost need a drum roll.”