In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dr. Seuss First Birthday Party for Twins - Party 6 (Dessert/Cake Table)

This morning I posted this post about the food and snacks we had for our twin boys' Dr. Seuss first birthday party.  This afternoon I want to write a post about the sweet treats we had at the party.  

I wanted the dessert table to be fun, but I also needed the desserts to be easy. And by easy, I mean all of the cakes and cupcakes were boxed cakes.  They are not from scratch.  The only thing from scratch was my cream cheese frosting on the red velvet cupcakes, because I don't think that the store bought stuff can compare.  Not making everything from scratch kept things easy, and not buying everything from a bakery kept things cheap.  Of course, I would have loved a beautiful three tiered cake with fondant and some coordinating cupcakes, but that was not in the budget....unless I could magically become a cake decorator...which I can not.  For this reason, I decided on the following:
  • The chocolate sheet cake had butter cream icing and was the main birthday cake.  To make it look a little fancy, I ordered a custom dehydrated icing sheet from this Etsy shop.  It was only $7.75 and was very easy to place on the top of my iced sheet cake. I was very pleased with this purchase.
  • The cupcakes were red velvet with cream cheese frosting and topped with cotton candy that looked like Thing One and Thing Two hair.  I found the cotton candy at Walmart for $2. I bought a card board cupcake stand at Walmart and taped red polka dot ribbon around it.
  • The smash cakes were vanilla confetti cake with cool whip frosting.  This was my Mama brain thinking, "white cake equals less mess and cool whip equals less sugar."  
  • The oreos were dipped in microwavable white chocolate (found in cake and candy decorating) and topped with sprinkles.
  • The marshmallows were placed on lollipop sticks and dipped in microwaveable milk chocolate (found next to chocolate chips in the baking section of the grocery), and then dipped in red sparkle sprinkles.
  • The pretzels had white chocolate melts (found in cake and candy decorating) placed on them, then were put in the oven at 250 degrees for 3-5 minutes (just until the chocolate melts), and a green sixlet (found in cake and candy decorating) was placed on top of the melted chocolate.
  • The Jello was two boxes of blue raspberry jello.  Once it started to set up, I stuck Swedish fish (found at the Dollar Tree) in the jello.
I made all of the treats the day before the party, since I knew I would not have time the day of the party.  Below you will find my dessert menu, my grocery list and a few tips about what I learned from this experience.  I am not a baker.  I repeat...I AM NOT A BAKER.  I am just a mom, trying to throw a first birthday party for the first time.  Here is what I learned about making the desserts in advance:

  1. All of the chocolate dipped desserts did fine once cooled and stored in zip lock bags over night.
  2. The Swedish fish in the jello got soggy over night.  It would have been best to just top the jello with the fish, since I didn't have time to make the jello the day of the party.
  3. The cool whip that I iced the smash cakes with started to sweat in the fridge, and as a result the cakes looked like they were starting to melt when I served them.
  4. I need a cake cover.  I had to use a foil tent over the sheet cake.  As a result the cake got smashed in some places and the red border started to slide off, making it look a little blemished before serving.
  5. DO NOT PUT THE COTTON CANDY ON TOP OF THE CUPCAKES UNTIL RIGHT BEFORE THE PARTY STARTS!  I put the cotton candy on an hour before the party, and by the time my guests arrived the cotton candy had melted!  Luckily, I got a picture before it completely melted.
The dessert table was an old kitchen table that we store in the basement and bring up for moments like this.  I made most of the decorations.  Below you will find what I made and how I made them.

Happy Birthday Cake
(Chocolate Cake with Butter Creme Icing)
Thing One and Thing Two Cupcakes
(Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cotton Candy Toppers)
Individual Smash Cakes
(Confetti Cake with Cool Whip Icing)
Cat in the Hat Pops
(Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Pops with Sprinkles)
Lorax Vines
(Red Vines)
Dr. Seuss Cookies
(White Chocolate Dipped Oreos with Sprinkles)
Green Eggs and Ham Treats
(Pretzels with a Melted White Chocolate Candy topped with a Green Sixlet)
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
(Blue Raspberry Jello with Swedish Fish)
Bowl of Mints
(Wrapped Peppermints)

Decorations to Make:
Truffula Trees for the Table
Supplies: green and blue tissue paper, red and white paper straws, two red tins, floral wire, floral molds, blue and green paper grass
Directions:  take a stack of tissue paper that has been layered by every other color and fold long ways back and forth like you would a paper fan, then fold in half and secure with floral wire, cut off the ends at an angle so it looks like a triangle, then pull apart and fan out the paper to look like a flower, tape the flower to one end of  two paper straws that have been taped together, secure the other end of the paper straw in a flower mold that has been placed inside the red tin, fill the rest of the tin with the paper grass. 
See here for visual directions.
Table Runner
Supplies: 1 yd patterned fabric, 1 ft burlap, Heat N Bond, hot glue gun
Directions: hem patterned fabric with Heat N Bond, hot glue burlap to the ends of the two hemmed pieces of fabric)
JUST SO YOU KNOW:  I am not a seamstress.  This was my no-sew version of a banner.  Sewing would be just as easy for someone who has a sewing machine and is good with a needle and thread. 
Food Tents/Labels
Supplies: 2 pieces of 12x12 scrapbook paper, paper cutter, printer, scissors, glue stick 
Directions: using paper cutter, cut scrap book paper into 4x4 pieces, fold pieces in half to make tents; make labels on Microsoft Word using shapes, fill shape color black, use center type in white font, print, cut and glued to paper tents 
We Are One Banner
Supplies: printer, color ink, card stock, construction paper, scissors, scalloped scissors, tape, string
Directions: use some of the banner pieces from the Happy Birthday banner that was ordered from from this Etsy shop, print, cut and a tape triangles to string; then make We Are One in Microsoft word by putting larger letters in a circle, print, cut, glue to construction paper, cut, whole punch and string them to the banner)
Pictures for the Wall
Print a 5x7 of the twins' newborn picture and a 5x7 of their one year picture and tape to scrapbook paper.  Print a 8x10 of their 7 month Halloween picture and frame it using a spare frame from around the house.
Dr. Seuss Quotes for the Wall
Using free clip art, find Dr. Suess quotes and print them for decorations and glue to construction paper

Grocery Store Shopping List:
melting milk chocolate
melting white chocolate
white chocolate candies
green sixlets
two packs of blue raspberry jello
red velvet cake mix
chocolate cake mix
confetti cake mix
2 butter creme frosting
2 creme cheese
powdered sugar
cool whip
lollipop sticks
red and white paper sticks
two small plastic cake platters 
Cup cake stand
ribbon for the cupcake stand

Dollar Store Shopping List:
two small green and blue platters 
plastic cake cutters
blue and green tissue paper
two red metal stands
blue and green paper grass for the stands
red vines
Swedish fish

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