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!