Tag Archives: birthday cupcakes

Snack Face Cupcakes

Wonderful to serve but even better to have the kids make these as one of your birthday party games or activities. It will keep them engaged and having fun for probably 1/2 hour, especially if you have enough cupcakes for them to decorate some to take home.

Probably better for girls than boys, and best for age 9, 10 or preteen, but don’t always sell the boys short in the creativity department. If you plan to have enough to send some home, be sure to have some cardboard trays to put them on to take home; you can make these out of old cereal boxes or pieces of posterboard by taping the corners to form edges (like the boxes you use at the holidays).

Buy or make your cupcakes and the base frosting to be decorated. As in the video, tint the vanilla frosting with a little red food coloring plus a bit of cocoa to approximate skin tone, more cocoa or red as you choose. Retain some of the untinted vanilla frosting to use as glue from a small plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner to form as pastry bag. Have enough plastic knives for all your kids to use as spatulas for spreading their frosting.  You’ll also need  a plastic knife for each child to use as a spatula for the initial layer of frosting on the cupcakes.

For the cupcake decorations, first look in your cupboard and pantry for things like chinese noodles, cocoa rice cereal, small candies. etc. You’ll find a good list on the kitchendaily.com website- scroll down below the video. What you can’t find at home you’ll want to go buy, and be open to other thoughts when you’re at the market.

Set up your laptop on your cupcake decorating table and show the kids the video. Have all the ‘ingredients’ out for them, and then turn them loose. If you like, have each child contribute one of the cupcakes they made and use them instead of birthday cake all arranged on a pretty tray with the candles in one in the center. Be sure to take a picture!

These adorable cupcakes make terrific party food but are even better as one of your games or activities if the kids are old enough.

Elmo for Preschoolers

ElmoElmo seems to have always been the favorite of all the wonderful Sesame Street characters, so for preschool birthday party themes he’s a natural. And pretty easy to pull off as well.

Chances are your Elmo aficionado already has an Elmo stuffed toy, so be sure to use it as part of your birthday party decorations. Use this 23″ x 24″ peel and stick Elmo wall decal as a special birthday gift that first adorns your entryway for the party. [If you purchase from Amazon through this link, I make a commission, which seems fair enough to me.] After the party, unstick it and move it to the birthday child’s room where they can enjoy it every day.

Search for Elmo on google images for a multitude of Elmo graphics you can print out to use for decorations (copyrighted, so only for your personal use).

Elmo’s simple face makes him very easy to copy for your birthday party  invitations. If you can manipulate shapes in WORD it’s easy to re-create his face there using circles of different colors and sizes and a cropped half circle for his mouth. Add your invitation language and print the whole thing out on regular sized paper to be folded into a business envelope.

Spend a little TV time cutting your circles out of construction paper and gluing them together into Elmo’s face and you’ve got an invitation that looks just like the kind of thing your preschool invitees would make- they’ll love it for that! Just write your invitation info in a Sharpie on the back.

Same goes for Elmo faced cupcakes: red icing, marshmallow eyes with M&M pupils, an orange jelly candy nose.

Tomorrow I’ll give you some preschool party games that can be tweaked for an Elmo party theme.

Terrible Terrier Cupcakes

This instructional video was featured on AOL on Sunday and I knew these cute little cupcake guys were perfect for any animals party. What group of children, boys or girls, could resist these charming ‘faces’?

And they’re not nearly as hard to make as they might look. All you need are store bought vanilla and chocolate icing, a zip top freezer bag (small size), scissors, full size and mini marshmallows, M&M’s, red starbursts, red decorating sugar, and your cupcakes.

Have some fun and make these cuties ahead of time with your birthday child.

Even better, if your party is for 9 and 10 year olds, even preteens, have the kids make the terrier cupcakes as one of your birthday party games. You can make one along with the kids so they can copy what you do. Or, left click on the video and you’ll see a chain icon appear in the upper right- left click on it and get the link for the video that you can then set up to play on your laptop on the terrier making table so the kids can watch and then go at it.

Just get a plastic tablecloth to contain the mess and let them have some creative fun. I’d suggest you have plenty of the ready made icing as each child will need a bag with both the vanilla and chocolate.

Adorable animal cupcakes that you can turn into a game for the older kids gives you a two-for-one activity.

Harry Potter Cupcakes

Harry Potter Cupcakes

Photo courtesy of and with permission from kidscooking.guide@about.com

If you can make 2 circles, a half a circle, dots, a couple of straight lines, and one zigzag line with store bought frosting in a tube, you’ve got Harry Potter on your cupcakes. Chocolate sprinkles for his hair. That’s all there is to it!

Here are the full instructions from the kids cooking section at about.com.

This is an artist’s trick that us mom’s who aren’t artists  can use when we want something special on our birthday cakes and/or cupcakes. A few simple shapes and colors can convey the impression of a familiar object. In the case of our young wizard, it’s the glasses and the lightening bolt scar that do the trick.

When you stick to simple shapes that suggest as much as define your image, it all becomes very easy to do.

Remember- your audience here is kids. They just want to have fun and be entertained. They’re not at your party to critique your cake decorating skills. And neither do they require an expensive, professionally done cake. It’s all a matter of K.I.S.S. – my favorite acronym.

So if you’re having a Harry Potter party this year, be sure to include these cute cupcakes in your menu.

Hello Kitty Bags

Hello Kitty Favor Bags

Hello Kitty Bags When the packaging is this cute and simple to make, whats inside the bag can be kept really simple and inexpensive.

The Hello Kitty theme is so popular with today’s girls – my  high school daughter even chose a Hello Kitty planner this year! So even if your party theme isn’t Hello Kitty, these kids party favor bags will be a big hit with the girls.

Thanks to the Cool Party Blog for the instructions and template for making these bags quickly and easily. All it takes are white lunch bags, pink or other colored crepe paper type streamers for the bows, yellow and black paper, glue or glue sticks and your black Sharpie for the whiskers. You can reinforce some of the stick-ons with cardboard from an empty cereal box.

Since they love Hello Kitty, it would make sense to include some Hello Kitty themed goodies in your favor bags- tattoos, stickers, pencils and such. Check out the selection at this online party retailer.

And do you see how simple a Hello Kitty face on your birthday cupcakes would be to make? Just white icing with a pink icing bow, mini M&M’s for the eyes and nose, with black icing piped on for the whiskers. All you need is black food coloring for your buttercream frosting and cut the corner out of a plastic food storage bag to make your piping bag. Voila! Hello Kitty cupcakes for your Hello Kitty party!

When you’re dealing with kids beyond preschool age, they really do notice and appreciate it when you’ve bothered to make them something rather than giving them the ‘same-old’ from the party store.

Blues Clues Cupcake

Doggy Print Cupcakes

 Blues Clues Cupcake Decorating cupcakes for your kids’ birthday parties is far easier than decorating a cake- mainly because a simple (and hence easier to execute) design works so well in the small space of a cupcake and not so well on the larger surface of a cake.

Simple designs based on easy to make geometric shapes can project many a different party theme. The simplistic 5 blue circles you see here very definitely project your theme as based on the popular TV show Blues Clues.

Given that Blues Clues is pretty much a preschool show and hence party theme, something as simple as this doggy print will delight your guests. Scrunch the paw print either up or down a bit to make room for each child’s name, if you’re so inclined. They love anything with their own name on it!

These are little kids- let them have fun and give them all a candle to blow out.

Change the blue to an orangey-brown, and you’ve got a ScoobyDoo pawprint. Make your icing black or dark brown, and the pawprint could be from any of the animals at your safari or jungle or animal themed party.

Keeping your party food simple works just fine for kids and makes the prep work that much easier on you.

Animal Puzzle Cupcakes

Bear Cupcake PuzzleThe perfect complement to your jungle party, safari party, or zoo party – a teddy bear cupcake puzzle. If you prefer, it can also be configured as a fish or a turtle, and instructions for doing so are included.

Basically, these are silicone cupcake cups, washable and reusable, in various shapes that can be configured to make these three animals. There’s also a transportation set that makes up into a train, rocket or dump truck cupcake puzzle.

Given that these silicone cupcake cups are totally reusable, these are a good value at the $14.99 price tag as of this writing.

Easy to make- just place the cups on a cookie sheet in the proper configuration as per the directions, fill with your batter and bake. Frost as  shown when cool and VOILA- ready to party!

When served, the kids get to pull the cupcake puzzle apart. You know they’ll enjoy choosing which piece they want and extracting it.

It will look like a professional designer cake but the cost will be as for homemade. That’s a good deal.

So for your next animal themed party, keep the [cup]cake right on track with your party theme with this easy cupcake set.

Double the Cupcake Fun

CupcakeBirthday Cupcakes are the easy alternative to birthday cake, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be just as decorative and fun to look at as a cake. Leave it to Martha Stewart to show us how to make them stand-out cute yet so very simple.

I’ve already showed you how to make your own cupcake toppers in a snap just using graphics from the web,  a white drinking straw and a little glue. And I’ve given you a printable template for making scalloped edged paper cupcake holders. Make these even more decorative by adding graphics to the template before printing- be they polka dots or superhero images. Alternatively, cut out the wrappers from colored paper and then add glitter for your festive look.

What Martha has added to these two birthday cupcake tricks, very simple and lovely, is to add a small colorful ribbon to the cupcake topper stick. Pick ribbon that reflects your party colors and theme. You won’t need much to add to a whole lot of toppers, so the expense is minimal. Just tie the ribbon around the stick- no need to fool around with a bow as it’s too small a space anyways.

One last embellishment for presenting your beautiful cupcakes. Make a great big round version of your cupcake topper and glue it to a round piece of cardboard to function as your serving plate for the cupcakes. You could even add a big topper to the center of this serving tray.

Great chefs all know that presentation is almost as important as taste, and these are very easy ideas for making your birthday cupcake presentation as much fun as your party.

Easy Pirate Cupcakes

Pirate CupcakesYou don’t always have the time or energy to come up with a designer birthday cake. But you can always find the the time to whip up a batch of cupcakes from a box mix for your children’s party and then create really simple images for the top decoration- like these Pirate Cupcakes.

Using simple buttercream frosting, food coloring and a small plastic bag with the corner cut out as your piping tool, you’re good to go.

I couldn’t manage a wavy line with my rinky-dink graphics software, but instead of a solid black beard, you can use your baggie with the black frosting in a zig-zag pattern to create a better looking beard than I could.

This Pirate is an example: simple geometric shapes (easy to make with your frosting) often combine to create images for your children’s party food that will complement your party theme.

You could serve up your Pirate Cupcakes on a platter covered with ‘pirate plunder’- chocolate gold coins and jewel-like candies that they also get to eat.

Use the same simple pirate design for some of your pirate birthday party decorations. Draw this fellow on white balloons with sharpie markers and then tack them up to the ceiling (or draw on helium filled ones that stay up there by themselves). Copy my graphic above and use it on your invitations or invitation envelopes. Print the graphic and cut them out to glue onto plain white paper cups to create themed party cups (without going to the party store).

Your children’s party food needn’t be professional, designer grade for the kids to enjoy both the eye candy and the actual treat.  Kids aren’t that sophisticated- they just want to have a good time.

DIY Cupcake Toppers

CupcakeCupcakes are an easy alternative to hours in the kitchen decorating a designer cake. They’re kid-sized and kid friendly too. And you can fancy them up to match any party theme with cupcake toppers you make yourself in very little time.

Once again, we turn to the internet to make a D-I-Y chore as easy as possible.

Find a cute graphic that projects your party’s theme. I always say a great place to start is Microsoft’s Image Gallery. You want to choose an image that will size to under 2″ across so as not to overwhelm your cupcakes. Print 2 copies of each image for each cupcake onto cardstock and cut them out into either circles or squares, 2″ across.

Using either plain white or transparent drinking straws or plain white paper rolled up tight to make sticks. Cut your topper sticks to be about 3 1/2″ or 4″ long. Put your images back to back with the stick in the middle and glue the two sides together so they are securely attached to the stick.

Make sure your cupcakes have icing that’s good and thick ( which the kids will love for all that sugary goodness) so it can support your cupcake topper when you stick them into your cupcakes.

For the cost of a little printer ink, you’ve got yourself custom cupcake toppers for whatever theme you choose for your birthday party. And it took you very little time to make them. That’s a Win-Win.

With cute toppers, your party food joins in the fun as a birthday party decoration too.