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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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.