Tag Archives: Birthday Party

Look wHoo’s 2! – the cake

The owl theme turned out to be quite fun and my little girl is still enjoying her decorations.  A few days ago I posted the owl cookies that were made for the birthday party.  This post contains how to make this owl cake and some decoration ideas for my daughter’s birthday party.

Owl Shaped Birthday Cake

Preparation for decorating the cake, can be done days in advance.  This is the part when you need to get creative with embellishment for the cake.  To make the eyes and beak for the owl, I used Wilton’s Candy Melts.  Melt a handful of white chocolate wafers.  Then place a large spoonful of white chocolate on wax paper.   Spread into a circle that is approximately 2 inches in diameter, then offset and place one round chocolate-colored wafer for the dark part of the eye.  Make second eye mimicking the first.  For the beak, I melted a small handful of yellow Candy Melts, then spooned into a triangular shape about the same size as the eye.

Owl Eyes - made from melted chocolate wafers

To make the cut-out shape of the owl cake, I baked two 9 inch rounds using a Devil’s Food cake box mix.  I gently sliced each round cake into half to make two layers with filling in between.  Overlap the two bottom layers and cut a semi-circle out of the body layer, so that the head is nested into the body.  Cut the shape for the head and ears out of top cake round.  Spread filling.  Then place the top layers on, trimming to the shape of the bottom layer.

Pineapple Filling

1 can (16 oz.) crushed pineapple

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Drain pineapple reserving the juice.  Add water to the pineapple juice to make 1 1/4 cups.  In a saucepan, combine the pineapple liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.  Stir until the liquid boils and thickens.  Cool completely, then mix in the crushed pineapple.  Refrigerate.

Owl Cake - using two 9" rounds

For the chocolate frosting, I followed a recipe from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa).  It was delicious, but next time I would cut back slightly on the ground coffee.  It does enhance the chocolate flavor, but for a kid’s palate it could be reduced a bit.

After frosting the cake, I placed the eyes and beak in place.  Then used blanched almond slices as the ruffled chest feathers, starting from the top to bottom and leaving room at the bottom to write a birthday message.

Chocolate Owl Cake

Was actually super easy and turned out darling!  I refrigerated the cake overnight and my daughter was hanging on the fridge in the morning because she knew the owl was in there.

I found a few cute things in the dollar bins at Target for Valentine’s day that matched the owl theme.  This little felt purse was perfect to hold the balloon weight.  I stuck a few festive metallic picks into the weight to fill in this arrangement.

Owl Balloon Decoration

I Love to Reuse!  Why keep buying birthday banners to match a theme when you can simply reuse a basic banner every year?

I have been reusing the same two Happy Birthday banners since my kids were born.  These banners actually say Happy 1st Birthday and each one comes in a different set of colors for girl and boy.  Every year I change the “1st” circle piece to their current theme.  For this party, I created this cute little owl out of card stock to match our color scheme and used a few heart shaped stickers to make the ruffled feathers.

Happy Birthday banner

Happy 2nd Birthday kiddo!!


Princess Castle Birthday

Hear ye, hear ye, my eldest daughter is turning 5!  We hosted her first kid’s party with a princess castle birthday theme.  My creative juices were flowing!  We invited about ten boys and girls and their parents.  Since this party was co-ed, I concentrated on a “castle” theme over Disney princesses and frilly princess apparel.  Here are some ideas to impress your guests and keep the kids busy and having fun!

Sugar Cookies:

For dessert, I made homemade sugar cookies in addition to the birthday cake.  The castle and crown cookie cutters were from a 3 piece Princess Cookie Cutter Set by Wilton.  My baking projects usually occur late at night to avoid distractions.  The first night I worked on baking the sugar cookies.  Once they cooled, I stored them in plastic storage containers to keep them fresh.

Sugar Cookie Dough Cutouts

The following night I made icing by mixing 1 C powdered sugar and 1-2 tsp of milk until the right consistency is reached.  Since my color scheme was lime green and pink, the castle cookies were outlined with lime green icing (add one drop of green and one drop of yellow food coloring to the batch of icing until the desired shade is created).   Carefully outline the castles, let the outline set, and then flow white icing in the middle.  I made a small batch of princess crowns using a brighter shade of pink icing and white sprinkles.  Once the icing is set, store the cookies in a plastic storage container to keep them fresh until the day of the party.  The cookies were made one week before the party.

Decorate Castle & Crown Cookies

The Castle Cake:

Decorating the cake usually has to be done the day before the party, but I like to do things ahead of time if possible.  The spires for the towers of the castle were plain sugar cones that were dipped in mint favored white Melting Wafer chocolate.  Once they were dipped in chocolate, I smoothed with a knife and bright pink sprinkles were added.  I stored these for a few days in a cool place.

The cake was made from four box mixes because I wanted to alternate the layers of devil’s food and yellow cake.  I used a 9×13″ pan for the bottom layers and a 6″ round pan for the top layers.  I had extra batter when making the 6″ rounds, so I filled 11 wafer cones half way with batter and baked them in muffin tins.  The cones baked well but softened a bit after being stored, so I refrigerated them before building the cake.  To build the towers, I used one wafer cone upside down and placed one wafer cone right side up, then added a dowel rod to stabilize.  I also stabilized the center of the cake with a dowel rod to prevent the layers from slipping.  The layers were filled with vanilla and chocolate pudding.

Once the cake was iced, I cut graham crackers in a gothic shape for the drawbridge and windows, then carefully placed the spires on the towers.  I trimmed each with pink icing florets.

Party Games & Activities:

The kids were kept busy and together from the time they arrived.  The stand-up cardboard castle was a huge hit.  As the guests arrived they were directed to a craft table full of cardstock di-cuts, crown foam shapes, adhesive jems, stickers, glue sticks, washable markers and watercolor paints.  Each kid was able to decorate the castle with their own creativity.  This kept all of the kids busy for well over an hour until lunch was served.

We played two games after lunch:

  1. Pin the banner flag on the castle (like pin the tail on the donkey).  I had pre-cut flag shapes out of glitter foam sheets and kids were allowed to select their color and attach their name to their flag.  The stand-up castle had a picture of a flag that we used as the target.
  2. Then had a “dragon” egg hunt in the yard.  I had 40 plastic Easter eggs filled and hidden in our yard.

Before the cake was served we had the kids break the piñata.  Here is how we made our castle piñata.   https://partykitchen.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/castle-pinata/

All of the kids had a blast and my daughter had a very memorable 5th Birthday Party!