Hop To It Storybook Cake

So I offered to make a cake for a friend whose daughter was turning one. She wanted a bunny cake and I had never made a bunny, but was up to the challenge. The cake evolved as I was baking it into a bunny in a book. It was surprisingly simple.

I used 3 Dunkin Heinz cake mixes which will feed about 50 people.

The bunny was made from a ball shaped cake pan from Joann Etc. I cut a small part off the bottom to have it lay flat.

The head is 4 pre-made Rice Krispy treats rolled into a ball. The ears are one pre-made Rice Krispy treat each and molded into a floppy ear shape. You could use fondant if you wanted them to stick up straight.

The storybook is the result of two 9×13 sheet cakes.

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Under The Big Top Party

I recently took my daughter to a circus party and it truly was over “The Big Top.”

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This was the “CANDY BAR” with all the fun aspects from the circus. The “CANDY BAR” also acted as the favors table. It included, classic paper popcorn holders, boxes of Animal Crackers for each child, big lolly-pops that every kids HAD to have and my daughter’s favorite were the ring pops. All the candies were placed in glass jars and color coordinated.

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This was “THE BIG TOP,” a circle ring that had different colors of mesh material coming down and hung from the ceiling in front of a red/white striped backdrop.

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Here is the drink table. There was regular and pink lemonade in plastic jars (just like at a state fair) with the birthday boy’s circus labels on them. There were also bottles of water with circus labels and juice boxes. However, because it was so hot out the day of the party, in addition to the table of drinks there were also coolers of regular water below that were easily accessible.

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I really thought this was a creative use of a “BIG TOP” cupcake holder. Individual servings of vegetables were placed in plastic desert cups with a little ranch dressing in the bottom. It was a mess free way to make sure the kids ate something healthy. In the distance you can see “BIG TOP” cupcake holders, fruit was placed in those with a little appetizer fork.

Kids are easily bored and easily distracted so keeping them busy during a party is always key. In addition to a bounce house with a slide, there were classic circus games, like ring tosses onto coca-cola bottles, potato sack races, and bean bag tosses. Prizes were given to each child who participated in the potato sack races.

As for food, this family served hot dogs from the grill, making it the perfect party “UNDER THE BIG TOP.”

My Rapunzel Tower Cake

My daughter really wanted a Rapunzel cake for her birthday and after scouring the web I found a cake I loved and to the best of my ability I recreated it. Below are the steps I used to make Rapunzel’s tower.

My inspiration found online: A Tangled Celebration

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I used a bunt cake pan for the base and colored white frosting green, and I used cookie sprinkles to give a little shimmer to the cake.

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This next step was my trial an error. I decided to use donuts for the tower, but the weight was going to break the cake so I decided to use a ramekin in the center for added support.

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This worked great as you can see. I used 5 Chocolate Frosted donuts from Dunkin Donuts, my daughter’s favorite.

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Between each layer I used the left over green frosting which acted a glue, keeping the tower intact.

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I then frosted the donuts with white frosting, and used Nilla Wafers as the rocks and sprinkled candy stars.

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To make the top of the tower I used 2 Dunkin Donuts cinnamon/coffee rolls, 2 sugar cones for the peaks and another cone for the tiled roof, as well as purple sugar for the glittery effect. I did have to cut off part of one cone to make the peak smaller. I frosted the cinnamon rolls with white icing and assembled it on a separate plate. I refrigerated both the tower base and top part overnight.

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About an hour or so before the party I began assembling both pieces and putting the final touches on the cake. My biggest mistake was using chocolate cookie icing for the tower trim and windows. It was too thin and would run down the cake. I kept doing a section putting the cake in the fridge to harden. I would recommend using a much thicker icing. This was the only part of the cake I wasn’t overly happy with, but time restraints didn’t allow for me to change it.

20120530-005354.jpgI finished the cake off with a miniature Rapunzel doll that my daughter could then play with and of course candles. Aside from the cookie icing incident, overall I was very happy with the way the cake turned out, and all the kids loved it.

Princess Ballerina Party

Princess Ballerina Party

I found inspiration everywhere, from the Internet, to magazines to places like Party City. Princess decor is everywhere making parties easy to plan.

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Guests were greeted with their favors as soon as they arrived.
Girls received tutus that I found on e-Bay and wands from Target’s dollar bin. The boys received swords & shields from Oriental Trading Company. As a bonus I used stickers to put each boy’s name on the shields and gift tags for the girls tutus.

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Her Royal Highness, The Birthday Girl

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A crown fit for a King

It was important to me to make sure the kids were constantly busy and that no one got bored. We had a craft station where both boys & girls could make and decorate their own crowns.

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I repurposed things I had used for other parties for tablecloths & decorations. I tried to include snacks everyone would like. As for the main food we ordered pizzas & chicken nuggets for the kids and antipasto salad for the adults.

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As a special treat, sticking with the fairytale feel we hired Magician Tim Hall. He was AMAZING and was great with the kids. Everyone loved him.

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In addition to his magical show, Tim Hall made balloon animals for all the children.

1st Birthday Party – Welcome to the jungle!

For my daughter’s 1st Birthday back in January (the same day the Ravens played in the AFC Championship), I went with a monkey, jungle theme & a little bit of RAVENS pride sprinkled in. I really did not want to spend a lot of money since we were in the process of moving and the sheer fact that the party was more for my husband and I because a 1-year old won’t remember.

I found tambourines & maracas in the dollar bin at Target and bought them for the kids to play. We had a friend come and perform kids music on his guitar, and everyone played their part with their own instruments.

We had the party late in the morning so I made brunch, an egg casserole, French toast casserole, bacon, sausage and monkey bread of course. I knew around Christmas I was going to do a jungle theme and found a 45-piece bin of jungle animals the day after Christmas at Target for just $3.00. I used the animals in the food, as if it were the jungle terrain. I used the monkeys and gorillas on the monkey bread. We also made Jell-O cups for the kids.

As for the linens on the table, I went to Jo-Ann’s Fabric and purchased remnant pieces of jungle print fabric. I used them as backdrops on the windows and as tablecloths. I paid less than $20 for all of the linens.

When it came to tables and places for the children to sit, I moved my coffee table (perfect height for kids) into the kitchen and brought our outdoor picnic table inside and we had one other small kids table that we used. I have done this for all my kids parties and it has always worked great.

Instead of a cake I opted for monkey cupcakes. They weren’t that hard, but they were tedious. It was worth it though, because they turned out so cute. I used candy eyes I found at Micheal’s Craft Store, red cookie icing for the mouth, chocolate icing to frost the cupcakes and to make the 2 dots for the nose. As for the ears and mouth, this was actually the hardest part. It requires a very sharp flat blade knife. The ears are a Mini Nilla Wafer cut in half, while the other part of the face is a regular Nilla Wafer with 1/4 cut off. The sharp flat knife keeps the crumbs to a minimum. I recommend cutting all your Nilla Wafers first and then putting the face wafer on, then the 2 ear wafers. Again, these aren’t hard, just tedious. It goes much faster if you have 2 people, like an assemble line.

As for favors, we gave each child some sort of snack case with monkeys on it. I found them in the dollar bin at Micheal’s Craft Store ($20). When all was said and done, we spent no more than $120 for everything, food, favors, decorations etc.