Wednesday, May 20, 2009

birthday cupcake

Birthday Cake Fears Assuaged with Cupcakes

By Sara Mercer

"I want Elmo's eye!"

"Can I have the other one?"

"I want an eye, too!"

Sound familiar? I promise, it is not a Sesame Street cannibal picnic, it is just a birthday party, full of five and six year-olds. Cutting the cake seems to be the hardest part of any party, and of course it has to happen after all the kids are gathered together and have been staring at the cake for the duration of singing "Happy Birthday." Why does tradition do this to us?

I remember having a Muppet Babies cake in 1st grade, and of course, I wanted my piece to have Kermit's face on it. He was located in the center of the cake. Why do we put ourselves in this position? Wouldn't cupcakes be easier? No longer do cupcakes have to be boring with just sprinkles. Here are three ideas to help you throw a themed party for your child without the headache of a cake-cutting ceremony.

Sports Cupcakes

The idea is to make a football or soccer field, complete with players, out of cupcakes. After decorating your cupcakes with white icing, spray with a green food coloring spray (like Wilton's Color Mist). You can also color the icing green with regular coloring, if you prefer. On top of each cupcake, place a pick with a sports team member on it. Arrange the cupcakes to make a field, and on each end set up goals made from pipe cleaners.

Cupcake Kits

These come in different themes, from Superman to CareBears. Included in these kits are the picks to decorate the cupcakes with, as well as a cardboard display stand for the cupcakes to sit on. This is nice because it offers a colorful display with fairly little work.

Cupcake Tree

Also known as a dessert stand, this is a great item to have in your cabinet for various occasions. They come in at least three different sizes, with 3-5 tiers. Decorate the cupcakes for any theme, and all you have to do is arrange them in the stand. Another easy idea is to use pudding cups, whether you use store bought or make your own, topped with whipped cream. Pull out the stand at any party and fill some clear plastic punch cups with nuts, mints, and colorful candy for a useful decorations on your buffet or snack table.

Cupcakes are a great way to cut down on stress during a hectic birthday party. No cutting, no "I wants," and, most importantly, quicker distribution, so your kids can "Party On!"

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