Entertaining a group of kids can be tricky, to say the least. Between the menu, the decor and the activities, things can get out of hand (and expensive) in the blink of an eye. This party concept simplifies the process by limiting all decor to projects that can be made using inexpensive materials, and by basing the party around a cookie-decorating activity, so kids will be well-fed and entertained throughout.
Our ridiculously delicious birthday cakes are perfect for celebrating. Whether you’re going all-out with Ina Garten’s three-tiered hot-pink cake or keeping it simple with a vanilla sheet cake with chocolate frosting, these desserts will elate any birthday boy or girl.
1. Birthday Cake with Hot-Pink Butter Icing
The secret ingredient for Ina Garten’s moist cake layers? The addition of sour cream. Bake a 9-inch, a 6-inch and a 3-inch layer, and frost each separately with hot-pink icing. Chill each frosted layer before stacking, then pipe or spoon the remaining frosting around the base of each cake and around the top edge of the top layer before finishing with candy decorations. This is certainly a centerpiece cake that your crowd will remember.
From low-sugar options to decadent cakes sure to make any sweet tooth swoon, here are some of FN Dish and Foodlets’ favorite ways to celebrate a child’s birthday in spring.
Rainbow Four-Layer Cake from Food Network Magazine (pictured above): Spring showers bring rainbows to mind and with one color per layer, this dessert makes cutting a cake even more fun. Kids can choose the colors they want, or you can make it a surprise.
Tie-Dyed Cupcakes: Sandra Lee brings a burst of color to this batch of bright and cheery cupcakes.
When it comes to children’s birthday parties, the name of the game is fun, festive and kid-friendly. That’s why FN Dish loves these miniaturized versions of everything ,from personal mac-and-cheese cups to baked corn dogs, to tiny burgers and Giada’s mini Italian subs — all perfect for small hands to dig into. And don’t forget the sweets. Ina’s sharing chocolate-dipped goodies like strawberries, pretzels and graham crackers. These recipes are decadent but never too complicated for the cook — Mom and Dad will still enjoy the party too. Here’s to hosting a happy spring birthday bash near you.
2. Baked Mozzarella Sticks (pictured above)
We shove frosting in our soul mates’ faces on our wedding days and sing over flaming cakes on birthdays. No matter how many tiers are stacked or candles are lit, there’s something innately celebratory about a slice of homemade cake. And, as far as we’re concerned, there are so many reasons — both official and unofficial — to get together and party. Feast your eyes on our loveliest, fluffiest, most crowd-pleasing cakes, each fit for today’s special occasion. If you can’t think of a reason to celebrate, we can think of a few excuses.
Birthday Party – It’s on a person’s birthday that they definitively decide: chocolate or vanilla? Luckily, we have both covered. Bake the boxed version of Fluffy Confetti Birthday Cake from scratch this time, sprinkling in some color. And, if you have a constant hankering for chocolate, you won’t be able to wait another year for Ree’s Big Chocolate Birthday Cake.
I am the designated birthday dessert baker for my circle of close friends and dear family members. Every year, I make a dozen or more cakes, pies, tarts and meringue concoctions for parties, picnics and small family dinners.
It starts in January with my dad’s birthday. Tradition dictates that he gets a thing called Pinch Pie (though it’s neither pinched, nor is it a pie). It’s a meringue shell filled with ice cream, strawberries, whipped cream and toasted almonds. It’s a sugar bomb, but it’s beloved in my family.
In February, both my sister and my husband celebrate. When she was younger, Raina was into ice cream cakes, but these days she prefers something dense and chocolatey. Scott, on the other hand, hasn’t shifted his preferences since childhood. He likes to celebrate with a Funfetti cake made from a boxed mix. Though it violates my from-scratch sensibilities, that’s what he gets.
As we head into March, I start thinking about baking for my friend Shay’s big day. She doesn’t have a standard cake, instead preferring to try something new. Last time I did a carrot cake, and this year I’ve been planning something layered and featuring chocolate.
Home is where the heart is.
Cliché? You bet. But I say it regardless because I believe it‘s true.
I’m both a California girl and a New Yorker. But my home is not defined by the house that I grew up in or the little apartment I rent in New York City, it’s defined by the people who make me happy. My dad is one of these people. So for his birthday last weekend, I was ecstatic to journey back to the golden coast to celebrate with my family.
Although everyone loves my dad’s cooking, he was banned from the kitchen for the festivities. My mom took over as executive chef and put me on cake duty.
Birthday cake can be tricky. As a baker, you must sacrifice your own taste cravings to those of the honoree. In my limited experience, I’ve come to learn that red velvet is not everyone’s favorite (unfortunately), and boxed mixes are actually preferred by some people (I try not to take it personally). There are also rare cases in which the perfect celebratory dessert isn’t cake at all.