Monday, October 15, 2012

Superhero Cake

The cake was a recipe from Cake Doctor.  It was a Yellow Sour Cream Cake with Vanilla Buttercream frosting.  The fondant was Elite.  It contains white chocolate and is really good.  The print at home graphics came from B Squared Design.

After I made the cake batter, I separated it into thirds and used gel color to make the red, blue and yellow.  Gel colors are preferred because it takes very little to color a cake, as opposed to the old fashioned liquid kind.  I layered the colored batter on top of one another in concentric circles.  I tried hard not to move the pan too much.  Rather than evening out the batter with an offset spatula, I gently taped it on the counter and placed it in the oven.  The food color did not change the cooking time.

This is what the cake looked like when it was cut.  I almost cut the cake into four layers but I didn't want to disrupt the natural swirl that was created as the cake baked.  It was a hot day, so I opted for just a bit of buttercream between the layers.  Especially because I made and frosted the cake just hours before the party and there was little time to refrigerate.  It all made for a super light and moist cake.

Super Hero Party!

It is hard to believe but our baby boy just turned 5.  Like most boys his age, Milo is into two things... Superheroes and Star Wars.  It was hard for him to decide a theme for his party, but ultimately Superheroes won.  Naturally, I embraced this theme and went for it.  Most of the ideas below were taken from other party blogs.  All of it was fun to do.  Most importantly, the kids really seemed to have a great time.  

My husband is supremely talented.  He whipped this sign up to greet Milo on the morning of his actual birthday.  We left it hanging to welcome our party guests.

 The spread.  The party was from 2-4 pm so we set out a bunch of snack foods.  I was shocked at how much people ate!  On the table... Super Food! (fruit kabobs), Krunch! (Sun Chips & Pretzels), Super Dogs! (Mini Corn Dogs), Heroes! (Subway Sandwiches & Condiment bar), Pop! (Popcorn cones).

The dessert buffet.  The cake was vanilla but inside it was red, yellow and blue.  The fondant was cherry flavored.  What would any Superhero party be without a little Kryptonite?  Green Apple Rock Sugar Sticks.  And what has turned into a tradition at our house... cake pops.

Our photo booth.  I borrowed this idea from a few party websites.  It was so simple to make and so much fun for everyone.  My daughter helped me affix the windows (a.k.a. Post-its).

 Costumes to wear, costumes to share!  All for the photo booth.  I purchased the sign printables off of Etsy from B Squared Design.

 We had a Superhero dance party in our play room.  My husband made a mix of music the kids these days seem to love.  It was impossible for anyone to stand still.  

 Every man was once a little boy who dreamed of being Superman.  

 Pink Lightening

 The cake.  Once again, I purchased the graphics from B Squared Design and printed them with my own computer.

 The cupcakes were vanilla with cream cheese frosting.  If my son could have cream cheese at every meal, he would!  The cupcake holders and picks came from Williams-Sonoma.

 It is amazing that he had enough energy to blow out his candles, after running around all afternoon.

 My Dad, enjoying the Metropolis skyline.

 I caught these beauties red handed, sneaking candy.

 The birthday boy and his handsome father.  Milo's costume was "Cool Man".  

 This was another idea I stole from One Charming Party.  I purchased a lot of used comic books off of Ebay.  If you would like to make them yourself, all of the instructions can be found here.

 Punch is one of those nostalgic things that I would like to see make a comeback.  We often serve it at our parties, as an alternate to juice boxes.  

The popcorn cones.  I made them by scanning a comic book page and printing them onto cardstock.  I could have used regular paper but I was afraid that the oil from the popcorn would seep through and make it look greasy.  

The party favors were Superhero Learn-to-Read books that I purchased in sets at Costco.  The masks came from Party City.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Candyland Inspired Birthday Cakes

Last weekend, we celebrated the 5th birthday of my friends' daughter, Sadie.  Her party had a Candyland theme.  The kids got a little wacky, naturally.  But it was loads of fun.  I was asked to make the cake.  I was inspired by a cake I had seen online.  Rather than making a stacked cake, I decided to make three smaller cakes (much easier to cut when there are a bunch of impatient 4-5 year olds begging for cake).  Two of the cakes were chocolate with chocolate cream cheese frosting.  The other was a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting.  All were covered with fondant that I had purchased at Michael's; the Duff brand.  I have never loved fondant, but I have to say that their product is pretty darn good.  

The inspiration cake.  Isn't it magnificent?

Three cakes, sugar buzz!

We bought a ton of candy and I just went for it.  I did make several drawings of what I wanted to do but when I rolled my sleeves up and got busy, I sort of tweaked things a bit.

The pink cake was chocolate.  I left the lollipops wrapped, just to control the sticky.

The big problem I had by not stacking the cakes, was that I wasn't sure how to adorn the tops.  I had a few leftover candy buttons and used them to spell out Sadie's name.  I am still on the fence about whether this was effective or not.  It worked.  But I may have chosen something else if I had it to do over again.  

Japanese Themed Birthday Party

Our daughter turned seven yesterday.  She loves all things Japanese so we decided to have a party honoring her passion.  The cherry blossom was also a big inspiration.  We hosted the children from her class and their parents.  Naturally, we went to town.  My family worked hard to make the event memorable and fantastic.  

Cherry Chip Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

The dessert spread.  Many of these goodies are traditional Japanese confections. Purchased from a dessert shop in Little Tokyo.  I added cupcakes because it wouldn't have seemed like a birthday party without them.

The children's table. I used 3, 15" high kid's tables and surrounded it with pillows, rather than chairs. I created the lantern canopy using 6' bamboo poles inserted into umbrella bases and then made an
"X" out of twine and suspended the lanterns from that.   I borrowed the pillows and table cloths from work (sometimes being a set decorator has its perks).  

Party Fans!  The cherry blossom chopsticks from Oriental Trading Co..  The place mats were a last minute choice.  They were constructed of recycled cardboard and fabric that I purchased at one of those crazy cheap places downtown for $1 per yard.  I made each 12 x 12 mat for less than 20 cents each.  And I had a ton of fabric leftover.  My Mom used some of it to sew tablecloths for the buffet and adult dining tables.  

What is a party without a few crafts?  We also had an origami making station and a cherry blossom tree table where the kids made rice paper "scrolls" using india ink and flowers punched out of origami paper. 

The party favors.  Bento boxes wrapped in fabric.

Japanese soda bar. The adults were offered chilled sake and Japanese beers.  I also made a huge batch of cucumber water.  

The food.  Mahogany Chicken Wings made by my amazingly talented Mom, fruit, sushi, rice snacks and seaweed.  My Mom also whipped up this tablecloth, just hours before the party began.

It was a hot day and I was just happy that the cake layers didn't slide!

This dress was bought from a seamstress on Etsy. She made the dress for Ella, according to her measurements. It is a sensational dress!

We also had a karaoke "lounge" set up for the kids to sing their little hearts out.

Etsy is my new best friend.  I bought ready made origami cranes, butterflies and flowers and used them as cupcake toppers.  Truth be told... I also bought the sugar paste blossoms.  But I did actually make the birthday "banner" out of extra origami paper.

Happy kid.  The party was a success!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I see a rainbow!

Lately, I feel like I am being followed by rainbows. They are everywhere...

Actual Rainbow

Rainbow Lollipop

or how about this Rainbow Cake?

And then today, my husband sent me a link to this...
(Which is a precautionary tale to those who might eat too many rainbows)

I just had to laugh. Might have to throw a rainbow party!