flip-flop ice cream cake

flip-flop_cake_bhgI’m loving this too fun flip-flop cake creation from BHG.com. This is perfect for a sleepover birthday party theme or for a pool party {note to self, create a beautiful invite for you}.

Here’s what you’ll need for one flip-flop (double for pair):

  • 1  10-3/4-ounce frozen pound cake, thawed
  • 3/4  to 1 cup desired-flavor ice cream
  • 1/2  of an 8-ounce carton frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
  •   Pull-apart licorice twists
  •   Bright-color candy wafers and/or round candies
  •   Graham cracker crumbs (optional)

And here are the super simple steps for one flip-flop:

  1. Halve pound cake horizontally. Using a serrated knife, cut off the rounded top of the cake so each layer will be level. Cut each half into a flip-flop shape. (TIP: Trace the bottom of a child-size flip-flop (needs to be 7 to 7 1/2 inches long) on a piece of paper. Cut out shape. Place paper, clean side down, on a piece of clean cardboard or sturdy paper; trace shape. Cut out shape. Place cardboard shape on top of one cake half and use a small sharp knife to cut around shape and through cake. Repeat with other cake half.
  2. Place ice cream in a small bowl and stir to soften. Spread softened ice cream over one of the cakes. Top with second cake. Place ice cream-filled cake on a baking sheet. Cover and freeze until firm (2 to 3 hours). Spread with whipped topping.
  3. To decorate, cut the ends of two twists at a diagonal. Insert a toothpick on the underside of each twist. Arrange the two twists with the cut ends together to form a V-shape, inserting toothpicks in cake to hold the twists in place as straps. Arrange candy wafers around base of flip-flop to decorate. Cover cake loosely and freeze until serving time. Serve on a platter sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs as sand, if desired.

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rock star guitar placecard craft

guitarplacecardThe Rock Star birthday party theme is so very popular right now so we thought we would create a fun placecard craft for your table. These would also be a great way to tag your goody gifts.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For these fun electric guitar placecards, simply cut out your craft paper using the template, assemble with craft glue, draw on accessories and write your guests name. Wow… that was easy!

Happy celebrating!

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sweet treat candy table

amyatlas_candytableSometimes we just need a little inspiration to pull our parties together and this beautiful candy table from Amy Atlas is a wonderful idea for our sweet treats birthday party theme. With a little bit of prep and a visit to a candy shop anyone can pull off this beautiful table.

Our sweet treats décor is multi-color so my plan of attack would be to go first to a craft store in search of some fun ribbon (grosgrain shown) and craft paper that could be used for labels on the candy jars, as well as maybe to make some fun party hats.

My next visit would be to a candy shop… where I could spend hours! For the jars, you likely have exactly what you need in your own home… glass vases, bowls, containers… once embellished you won’t remember what you were using them for.

And as for the banner, this could be easily created using ribbon, craft paper and a glue stick. Or, you could get fancy with ribbon, stiff fabic and a sewing machine, either way it’s an easy craft.

Have a wonderful celebration. Oh, and don’t forget to have a beautifully embellished box of wipes nearby  if your guests are under the age of 6! {wink}

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sweet owl cupcakes

owlcupcakes_hellonaomiHow adorable are these owl cupcakes from Hello Naomi! They are perfect for our owl couple baby shower theme or for our owl fun sleepover birthday party theme with a few color tweaks.

Naomi doesn’t provide instructions, so I’m going to give you a few tips on how I think you can pull this one off without the use of fondant. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 white cake mix (don’t use the yellow of your eggs and bake them in white baking cups)
  • 2 cans icing {cream cheese is my favorite!}
  • Gel food coloring {the others are too watery in my opinion}
  • 2 resealable bags
  • 2 icing connectors
  • #2, #3 and #6 icing tips
  • Toothpicks

And here’s what you do:

  1. Bake your cupcakes so that you have a muffin top (filling the cups ¾ way full).
  2. While they cool, tint your icing. The image shows a light pink which works great for our owl fun sleepover birthday theme, but you might want a nice yellow for our owl couple baby shower theme… unless you want to show off the gender! {wink}
  3. Now, microwave your tinted icing in intervals of 7 seconds, stirring in between, until it is a little bit like soup. It will harden back up quickly so you’ll have to remicrowave it between every other cupcake or so.
  4. Take your cupcake and dip the muffin top in the icing, being careful not to get it on your baking cup. Slowly lift it out and spin the cupcake allowing the excess icing to drip off. Place it immediately on a cooling rack to allow the icing to dry. (Tip: If you have a little point in your icing where the last dripped off, quickly, and gently, shake your cupcake back and forth so that the icing will settle before it dries.)
  5. Now for the owl, tint a half can of icing the color you want your owl to be and set aside.
  6. Take a resealable bag, insert a connector and attach a #3 tip. Fill the bag with half of the tinted owl icing.
  7. Outline the shape of the owl on the cupcake.
  8. Change your tip to a #6 and pipe on your branch and dot leaves.
  9. Now to fill the owl, microwave the remaining icing, minus a heaping tablespoon for the eyes and noses, and carefully fill the owl outline. Smooth the icing to the edges with a toothpick. (Tip: Plastic icing bottles are great to control spilling, but you can do it with a spoon if you’re very careful.)
  10. Allow the owl to dry completely.
  11. For the outer eyes and nose, take another resealable bag with a connector and a #2 tip. Pipe your circles and triangles on each cupcake and then microwave the remaining icing to fill them in. Once dry, use the bag with the #6 tip and pipe the inner eyes.

For presentation, I love a tiered cake plate, but if you’re fresh out, buy some coordinating gift wrap tissue paper and line your serving tray. And if you have a pair of scalloped scissors to trim the edges, all the better.

Happy baking!

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cowboy boot birthday cake

cowboybookcake_parentsIf you’re planning a roundup of your favorite cowboy buckaroos, this cake from Parents.com is the perfect cake for you… plus it is a cool addition to our wild west cowboy birthday party theme.

Here’s all you’ll need:

  • 1  box (18.25 ounces) yellow or devil’s food cake mix
  • 1  can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
  • 1  can (16 ounces) caramel frosting
  • Red food coloring
  • Boot cake template (will have to sign up on Parents.com)
  • Boot piping template (will have to sign up on Parents.com) 

And here are the simple steps:

  1. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Using the pound-cake variation on the side of the box (add instant pudding and 1 extra egg), prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. Bake and let cake cool completely.
  2. To make the boot, print out the boot template. Place it on top of cake, angling so that the template fits. Using a food-coloring marker, draw the outline of the boot pieces on the cake, and cut out pieces with knife. {Love the tip about the food coloring marker!}
  3. Spoon 1/2 cup vanilla frosting into a freezer-weight resealable plastic bag, and snip off a small corner. Tint remaining vanilla frosting red. On a serving platter, attach cake pieces together with red frosting to make shape of boot. Cover entire boot with a thin crumb coat of red frosting. Once dry, apply a thicker coat and freeze the cake for one hour.
  4. Next, frost the heel, toe, sole, and top of the boot with caramel frosting. Place 1/4 cup caramel frosting in freezer-weight resealable plastic bag, and snip off small corner. Pipe a line down the center of the boot.
  5. Print out the piping template. Cut it out and place it on the boot, tracing the outline with a toothpick. Flip the template and repeat on other side of boot to create mirror image. Pipe white frosting over scored outline for stitching. Pipe white lines around edges of caramel top and toe of boot.

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tropical fish birthday cake

fishcake_parentsThis fun idea from Parents.com goes perfectly with our deep sea birthday party theme. And I love the modernly decorated fish cookies all around it. We even have a fish cookie cutter that will work perfectly!

Here’s all you’ll need for the cake:

  • Box (18-1/4 ounces) yellow-cake mix
  • Can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
  • Orange food coloring
  • 1 blue sour gumdrop
  • Twizzler Pull-N-Peel in Watermelon Mania

And here are the simple steps to pulling it off:

  1. Bake your cake mix according to the package directions for a 9 x 13-inch cake using the pound-cake variation (add instant pudding and an extra egg). Cool completely.
  2. Using the fish template on Parents.com as a rough guide, cut out the fish shape.
  3. Tint your vanilla frosting orange and start with a light crumb coat allowing it to dry. Next, frost entire cake again to cover completely.
  4. Place the gumdrop on the cake for the eye. Cut the Twizzler to fit the cake, and place it on top to divide the face and the body. Trim another Twizzler string into strips for the tail. Finally, using the back of a spoon, pull the frosting away from the cake to give the body of the fish a scaly look. (Tip: Make sure you do this fairly quickly so that your frosting doesn’t harden.)

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happy baby cupcakes

pacicupcake_tastentell1While scouting for cool ideas to complement our baby shower invitations and decor, I ran across these a few days ago and just had to share this simple idea from the Taste and Tell blog.

Here’s what you’ll need to decorate your cupcakes:

  • Melting chocolate (dark and pink)
  • Life saver candies
  • Wax paper
  • Resealable bag (freezer works best)
  • #2 icing tip with connector
  • Pink tinted icing

For all the details and some great step-by-step pics, visit the Taste and Tell blog.

Happy baking!

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bug birthday party ideas

thecelebrationshoppe_bugsbutterfliesWith spring in full swing, it’s the perfect time to celebrate with our custom “bugs & butterflies” invitations and cool Design Design mixed dots table décor including cake plate, table runner, plates, napkins and more.

And to round out your bug bash, check out some sweet treat and craft ideas:

Happy planning everyone!

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pirate ship cake

pirate-cake

Have a pirate longing for a swashbuckling good time? Invite the crew to weigh anchor and follow the treasure map to this fabulous pirate ship cake from parenting.com. It’s the perfect addition to our pirate ship birthday party or pirate skull birthday party theme.

Here’s the ingredients and supplies you’ll need:

  • 1 (13 by 9-inch) cake
  • 1 can (16 oz) dark chocolate frosting
  • Yellow food coloring
  • ½ can (1 cup) vanilla frosting
  • 1 plain breadstick (8 inches long)
  • 16 yellow mini-candy-coated chocolates
  • 6 PepOMint Life Savers
  • 1 cup blue coarse decorating sugar
  • 2 thick pretzel rods
  • A bread knife
  • A serving platter
  • A fork
  • Scissors
  • Black and white construction paper
  • Glue

For all the “how to” details and a template for cutting out your cake, visit parenting.com. Happy baking matey!

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guitar and music note cookies

guitarnotecuttersWe’ve just added some really cute cookie cutters to our “rock star” birthday party theme. Don’t you just love the flames! You can find guitar, musical notes and star cookie cutters with all of our other “rock star” decor.

As for recreating these fun cookies, here are a few tips on flooding. It’s really quite simple. Give it a whirl.

Icing – First of all, you have to have the right type of icing: royal icing. Don’t let the name scare you, it’s just one pound of confectioner’s sugar, five tablespoons of meringue powder, a half cup of water (or less) and gel-paste food coloring (available at most bakery and craft stores; the food coloring in grocery stores is usually very watery taking more of it to achieve the color you want). You’ll need to mix the icing until it’s fluffy, yet dense, about seven to eight minutes. Then you’ll need to use the icing immediately or transfer it to an airtight container.

Coloring – Separate your icing into the number of colors you need for your project. Then color your icing one drop of gel at a time. It’s a lot stronger than you might think. Once all the icing is the colors you need, separate them again so that you can thin one half for flooding. With your second set, thin each color with one teaspoon of water at a time. Often, one teaspoon is all it takes depending on how many times you’ve separated your icing. Now you have thick and thin versions of all the colors you need.

Tools – Trim one corner of a resealable bag and insert a #3 icing tip with a connector. Repeat this process for each of your colors (thin and thick). Then spoon each into a bag. (I always mark the thin bags so I don’t accidentally ruin a cookie by trying to trim it with the thin icing.)

Flooding technique – Now that your icing is prepped, take a cooled sugar cookie and pipe an outline around the shape. Allow it to set for 10 to 15 seconds and then you can flood the cookie with the thinner version of the color. While the flooded color is still wet pull it to the edges of the outline with a toothpick. You can even add a different thinned color to make polka dots or other designs. Doing it quickly will allow the second color to settle into the flooded color and dry flat. Allow the flooded colors to set for several minutes before adding any additional piping or layers to your design (like the flames). 

 Happy baking everyone!

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