Saturday, July 24, 2010

Surf's Up, Barbie!

This weekend I had the pleasure of making a surfing Barbie cake for a 7-year-old girl's birthday party. The toughest part was figuring out how to get Barbie to stand up on her surfboard. I ended up creating a "harness" for her out of a wire coat hanger, then I stuck the wires into a styrofoam "wave" behind her. I frosted the wave and airbrushed it blue, then pushed the wires into the cake. It worked like a charm! I also sculpted Zuma, the sparkly pink dolphin, out of fondant and made her sticking up out of the waves. After all, what's a "Barbie in a Mermaid Tale" cake without Zuma???

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Latest Cakes

This weekend I made a cake for a 7-year-old boy who was celebrating his birthday at a laser tag place. I thought it would be neat to have a black cake with neon glowsticks (i.e. lasers) sticking out of the top. I think it turned out really well! The best part was that the birthday boy himself told me that he liked the cake. :)

Today I attended a reunion of JMU music alumni at a local park, and of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to bake some cupcakes! They had yellow buttercream frosting with purple sprinkles around the edges, and were topped with purple fondant music notes and dog bones. (For JMU's mascot, the Duke Dog.) YUM.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fondant Alternative

Fondant is a wonderful thing. It is bendable, shapeable, and cuttable, can be colored, painted, and drawn on, and it gives a smooth, flawless finish to a cake. However, not everyone likes the taste of fondant. Upon receiving a piece of cake with fondant, most people peel it off and set it to the side, where it becomes destined for the trash can. So, for all you fondant-haters, there is another decorating option that may be more appealing....shapes made from melted candy wafers! I used this technique on my "Methodist cupcakes," seen in a previous post. I got the idea from the "Whimsical Bakehouse" cookbook. They don't use much fondant - their cakes are mainly frosted with colored buttercream and then decorated with all manner of things created out of melted candy. Flowers, dots, animals, candles, stars, etc. I decided to try out a few of the bugs I saw on one of the cakes in the book. Here are my finished products. Pretty neat, huh? (And they taste good, too - my daughters and I gobbled these fellas up right after this photo was taken!)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Feature: Reader's Query!!

I am adding a new feature to my Party Fairy blog - a weekly "Reader's Query" entry in which I answer my reader's frequently asked questions. If you have a question about something party or cake-related, email it to me and I'll try to answer it on my blog. kick things off, I will go ahead and answer one of the most common questions I get from people:

"How do I keep my guest list from getting out of control?"

When planning a party, people often have trouble figuring out how to invite the guests they want without offending anyone or hurting anyone's feelings. So, they end up inviting their daughter's entire preschool class (even the kids their daughter doesn't play with), or all the neighbor kids (even the obnoxious, overly aggressive ones), or the entire swim team (even though the parents have never met some of the kids.) You get the picture.

The bottom line is that it's YOUR party, and you only have to invite the people that you really want to invite. Easier said than done, right?

Your heart may be in the right place, and it's honorable and sensitive to want to avoid hurting people's feelings. (Especially children's feelings!) But it is possible to create your ideal guest list without inviting everyone within a 2-mile radius of your house.

Here are some tips:

1. DON'T hand out invitations at school. (Or church, or soccer practice, or scout meetings, etc.) If possible, mail them to your guests, or send out an evite over email.

2. Invite only the kids that your children really enjoy playing with and are actually friends with. If you invite the whole class, and then your child doesn't play with or talk to some of the guests at the party, then you're going to end up with hurt feelings anyway. (Which is what you're trying to avoid in the first place!)

3. Ask your child not to talk about his or her party openly at places like school or church, where uninvited guests might hear about it and get upset.

4. If a parent approaches you and asks why her child wasn't invited to the party, kindly and gently give her a reason. ("I'm having the party at my townhouse and I could only invite a small number of kids" or "We did a big party last year and wanted to tone it down this year," etc.) If you handle the situation with care and respect, you can diffuse any anger or disappointment that the person may be feeling about not being invited.

Good luck! And remember to send any other questions you have to me at Thanks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

For all my Methodist friends out there...

Question: How do you decorate cupcakes for a party to celebrate your pastor's recent ordination?

Answer: With Methodist crosses made out of melted candy wafers, of course!

These were so fun to make and they turned out great. As you can see, Pastor Beth loved them too!