Rainbows and Pandas and Birthdays, Oh My!

It’s been a full week of birthday festivities here at Casa Stacie: pop-up dinner parties; panda cupcakes for school; rainbow cake and games at the park with pals; nibbles, big kid margaritas and yes… more cake at home with family. We’re taking the phrase “eat, drink and be merry” to new heights. And why not? We love a good party, especially when it involves rainbows, pandas and….cake! Along the way, we came across some recipes and tips that might just come in handy at your next fiesta. Enjoy!

A Clever Rainbow Cake

Check out this groovy rainbow cake. Finally a chance to test out a cool technique for baking an arched rainbow right into a cake from the blog, “Not Martha“. Genius, right? Okay, so I got more of a color explosion than a perfect rainbow, but the kids went crazy for it anyway. We’re definitely going to give the rainbow trick another try when we recover from this week’s dessert binge. I have a few ideas, so we’ll report back with the results.

An Easy, Not-Too Sweet Frosting That Really Holds Up

This rainbow cake project also gave me a chance to try a new, not-too-sweet buttercream-type frosting that I discovered on the blog “The Fat Bottomed Girl“. It spreads beautifully, holds up extremely well (it survived all morning at the park no problem) and most importantly dials the sweetness way, way back. Say hello to my new go-to, basic white frosting. We added both vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract with nice results.

An Easy Boxed Cake Makeover

I didn’t have time to bake from scratch, but I did use a handy trick from the book “Hello Cupcake” to gussy up boxed cake. Substitute a cup of buttermilk for the water called for, use 4 eggs instead of the number called for, and stick with the amount of oil called for. It does improve upon the flavor and texture, but could it have contributed to my crazy looking rainbow explosion?

Pandas!

These panda cupcakes were fun to put together and awfully cute if I do say so myself. I can take no credit for the design, the kudos for that go to “Hello Cupcake” once again. I liked this project because these little guys are adorable and because all you need besides basic cake and frosting are oreos, chocolate covered raisins (sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds or even mini M&M’s), toothpicks and a couple of ziplock bags. Instead of using a mini cupcake for the panda head, we just used half of an oreo cookie propped up by a toothpick in back. As much as we love cake, the addition of the mini cupcake seemed like overkill.

Forget the Fancy Party Games, All You Need is a Bucket

We were reminded that the best games are the ones kids invent themselves. A few balls and a bucket and you’ve got hours of entertainment. Throw in a few Stomp Rockets and you might just be in the running for the best party ever.

Fabulous Vintage Cake Carrier

No matter your baking expertise, grab some style points by transporting your cake creation in a fab vintage carrier. We picked this one up on eBay and it’s one of my very favorite kitchen things. If we had more square footage, I guarantee I’d be collecting these things like crazy.

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