From creative surprises to clever time-savers, here are fifteen tips and tricks designed to up your birthday party game.
1. Edible Cake Cups
To add a bit of extra decadence to dessert, coat the inside of a plastic cup with candy melt and let freeze, then strip off the cup. While you could use your new edible cup for a variety of sweet ideas, might we recommend cake crumble and frosting? Have fun with colors and flavor combinations!
2. Pre-Scooped Ice Cream
Scooping ice cream for a large group of guests comes with a few annoyances: aside from the time used up and possible mess, it’s a given that the ice cream will begin to soften scoop by scoop. Save yourself some hassle and prepare your scoops in muffin tins and a muffin tray, popping the whole arrangement in a freezer to wait for the right time to serve.
3. Party Punch Ice Ring
Keep your punch cooler and more flavorful longer using this trick. Fill a bundt cake pan or a similar mold with water or even more punch, decorating with flavorful garnishes like mint, lemons, and other fresh fruits. Pop the pan in the freezer and you have an elegant upgrade to plain old ice.
4. More Slices from Round Cakes
If you’re trying to get more slices out of a round cake, chances are your first thought is to go thinner. Here’s an alternative that will get you thicker slices while preserving that classic shape: cut a circle out of the center of the cake, then slice as you would up to the circle’s edge. Of course, you can then divide the center for a few more chunky pieces.
5. Toothpick Tracings Decorations
Sure, freehanding your cake decorations is cool and all, but what if you’re not blessed with such skill? Take the design of your choice printed or drawn on plain paper, then lay it gently on top of your cake. Poke some intermittent holes along the lines of the design with a simple toothpick to get yourself an unobtrusive yet clear guide to follow as you decorate.
6. Quick Cake Frosting
Need to save some time or frost multiple cakes in a hurry? Try melting some icing then pour over a cake elevated on a rack in a tray. Melting the icing also gives you a good opportunity to add some color. Once the icing sets, you can keep the cake on the rack to further sprinkle and decorate without the mess on your counter.
7. Upgrade Your Cupcakes
Add a little more flair and fun to plain grocery-store cupcakes by filling some cups with a variety of candies and treats, then nesting the unwrapped cupcakes on top. Guests can dig in with a spoon. A simple, easy way to add some color and flavor to simple desserts.
8. DIY Cupcake Holder
Whether you want to get cupcakes from one place to another or hand them out to kids on the go, try these do-it-yourself containers. Simply take two plastic cups, cut a slit at opposite ends of each cup near their lips, and use the holes to tie the cups together with ribbon or string.
9. Powdering Cakes with Lace
Everyday crafting lace doilies make a great stencil for decorating dark cakes. Simply place the lace gently on top of your iced cake and fill in the gaps by sifting powdered sugar. A quick and easy way to add some elegance to your cakes.
10. Cupcake Decorating Stations
Looking for a fun activity for kids (or grown-ups, you do you) at your next birthday party? Get yourself some round paint palettes and fill the various wells with an assortment of colorful decorations with a plain cupcake in the center. Guests can decorate their cupcakes as they like!
11. Edible Cake Toppers
For custom, do-it-yourself cake toppers, fill a piping bag with some melted candy melt or chocolate, and create the design of your choice on a parchment sheet-lined tray. Sprinkle and decorate as you see fit, then freeze to set. With this method, you can create all sorts of numbers and shapes, whatever suits your needs!
12. Paper Plate Cookie Basket
For a quick and simple solution to holding handfuls of cookies, take a paper plate and cut out flaps a little more than one inch-by-one inch at opposite ends of the plates. Then, take note of where your scissor cuts end and fold and unfold along four lines: folding to form ninety-degree angles with each set of cuts, then along with each cut on a side to its opposite cut. Fold the whole plate inwards and tape shut.
13. Balloon Cupcakes
With a combination of some store-bought vanilla cupcakes, white frosting, and food coloring, you can create a simple but adorable birthday arrangement. Mix your frosting with the coloring of your choice, such as a red-yellow-blue primary-color set, and cover your cupcakes. Then, with white icing through a piping bag. Add a little apostrophe of icing to each cupcake to evoke light reflecting off each “balloon”. Arrange in clusters and decorate with ribbon or string.
14. Brownie Pop Ice Cream Cones
There’s nothing quite as quirky as dessert disguised as another dessert. Take some store-bought brownie bites, crumble them into a bowl, then re-form them as little spheres. Coat the brownies with colorful candy melt and place them onto a tray with parchment paper to sprinkle and set. Freeze for a bit, then pop 'em out and stick them into little cones and serve.