Are you ready for Spring and Summer desserts? This Glazed Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake is just the thing for your next picnic, potluck, or barbecue. A thick, moist lemon cake is studded with bursting berries and coated in a sweet glaze for a picture perfect dessert.
This silky sweet Nutella cheesecake is sandwiched in between a crispy, crunchy hazelnut crust and a rich layer of Ferrero Rocher-style ganache. This Ferrero Rocher Nutella Cheesecake is a confectionery miracle.
This moist and spongy Vanilla Pudding Pumpkin Cake Bread lives up to it’s name. Your favorite Fall flavors in an easy, no fuss loaf recipe that tastes just like cake. It’s hands down our favorite dessert for the season.
A fluffy whipped cream filling sandwiched between two soft yellow cakes and covered in a luscious layer of white chocolate. This Copy Cat Hostess Zebra Cake is topped off with a chocolate drizzle before being sliced and served. This cake is a fun, delicious homage to one of your favorite childhood treats and an easy way to usher it in for a new generation.
The youngest son turned 6 a few weeks ago. And gone are the days of Mommy’s-pic, cute, cuddly party themes. We’ve finally graduated into picking our own, from last year’s Minecraft Party to this year’s choice of The TMNT.
Cowabunga Dudes (and Dude-ettes) !
Let’s take a look at our totally radical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Birthday Party theme.
First, the cornerstone of any good party: The Cake.
We opted for an actual turtle to grace our cake, and the sons favorite it had to be. I thought our little Mikey (Michelangelo) turned out pretty well.
I frosted it completely with green, left it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then used a toothpick to lightly draw the outlines of the face into the frosting. I recommend starting with the nose line. If you get that right, everything else is *ahem* a piece of cake. Then we piped in frosting of various colors to fill in the lines, and used a spatula to gently smooth them out. We finished it off by piping a line of orange rosettes around the bottom edge.
The Turtles, Mikey especially, have a thing for pizza– so naturally we had to have some at the party. We picked up a few pizzas from Little Caesar’s for ‘eats’ and had pizza, and more pizza for dessert with these cute cookies. They’re sugar cookies I frosted red. The ‘cheese’ is finely grated white chocolate, with red M & M ‘pepperonis’. SOn # 2 works at a local pizzeria and snagged me a few pizza boxes for presentation, but I’m sure most local Mom & Pop joints wouldn’t mind giving you one or two upon request.
We had Oreo cookie ‘Sewer Lids’ to munch on too. And in a nod to our anthropomorphic friends radio-active origins, we had some Toxic ‘Ooze’ to wash it all down with.
We tend to keep the deocrations simple, using things we already have on hand. In this case? Nunchucks on the table (another nod to our beloved Mike) and talking turtle figurines. We used plastic bowls that happened to coordinate and red solo cups for untensil holders. I did splurge on coordinating plates and napkins ( each about $1 at Walmart) and a table cloth to keep clean up easy.
Another thing we don’t do? Goody bags. You get cake and ice cream. Copious amounts of sugar are my gift/ thank you to you. On the other hand, we all know how much I love a good diy, or any kind of imaginitive play the keeps them away from outlets and batteries. When I saw an idea to make your own wearable turtle shells? Every kid was gonna get one! And they were adorable 🙂 I’ll have a how-to up next week so you can out fit your own Ninja Turtles in proper DIY-couture.
And here’s my gorgeous sister so kindly modeling a shell for the birthday boy, and also using some of the photo props from a kit we found on clearance (again at Walmart) in the party planning section.
Simple. Straightforward. And the birthday boy and his friends thought it was all totally gnarly. Even the one boy who looked at my like I’d grown two heads when I asked him to eat over a plate as he was on his third bite of pizz-ookie, sprinkling my carpet with ‘cheese’.
Son # 1 is a walking, talking teenage garbage disposal. He loves food. He’s obsessed with food. He’s a growing boy, for sure. I get that. There are certain foods he prefers to eat, like poptarts and hotpockets and generally anything that’s heavily processed or full of caloric garbage, but in a pinch will grab whatever is closest to his face in the refrigerator and just work his way down through the shelves and drawers. I’ve witnessed him eat droopy, on it’s last leg, I personally probably would have tossed it and sucked up the loss, celery, slathered in peanut butter, shoving it in his mouth while making a face and asking me why I buy such awful tasting stuff. Last weekend we went out for burgers; I stood there awestruck, and mildly horrified as he ordered two full-size meals, while the hubs and I issued the standard rule the sons are all familiar with, “if you order it, you have to eat it. ALL of it.” This didn’t deter him in the least and he smiled as he said he’d be good. We watched him scarf down his own food and then immediately begin eyeing his brother’s plates to see if there were any stragglers who’d need help cleaning their plates. To his disappointment, their weren’t.
The point of this story? Son # 1’s birthday was last week. His 16th birthday. The hubs and I don’t buy cakes, we make them. When the sons were younger they would inundate me with all kids of creative possibilities and decorative ideas for their birthday cakes. As they’ve gotten older, they pretty much leave it up to Mom. They just want to know that there will in fact be copious amounts of ice cream and frosting flowing. I always try to come up with something that either says something about them, or represents something they love. With Son # 1, that’s food of any kind, and in desperate times, in any capacity. What better cake for him, especially after his recent burger binge, than a Big Mac Burger birthday cake?!
It’s super easy to make, even for a total beginner at cake decorating. The best part for us? Seeing his eyes light up when he saw the finished product. Those cool Mom moments may come a whole lot less often as he’s gotten older, but they’re still just as special when they do.
Also, have you ever seen a ‘pretty’ Big Mac? Be honest. No, you haven’t, because they’re kinda messy and never look that perfect way that they do in the commercials, relax and know that your cake doesn’t have to look ‘perfect’. In this case, messy is spot on.
2 boxes yellow cake mix
1 box (family size) fudgy brownie mix
frosting, homemade or store-bought
green, yellow, and orange food coloring
1. Cook each box of cake mix according to the package directions to make 2 circular cakes. In the end you should have 4 cakes total, although we’ll only be using 3 here.
2. Mix your brownie batter up and divide between two circular cake pans, the same size as the ones used to make the cakes. Cook according to package instructions.
3. Divide your frosting into 3 separate bowls. Use your food coloring and add into the frosting to make one bowl of each color, green, yellow, and orange.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut the crusty outer edges away from the cakes so they look for hamburger bun-like.
5. The bottom will obviously be a bun. So put one of your cakes down onto whatever surface you’ll be presenting the cake on. Top that with a brownie hamburger patty.
6. Spread/drizzle the different colored frosting’s over the ‘patty’, allowing some to run down the sides, to represent the lettuce, mustard, and secret sauce.
7. Top that with another cake ‘bun’ and another brownie ‘patty’. Repeat the frosting layer.
8. Top this with the last ‘bun’. Voila, you’ve got a cake-mac! I sprinkled on some sesame seeds for added effect, but that’s totally optional.
Sons 1 & 3 have birthdays within a week of each other. Since the dates are so close together they typically have a combined celebration where all of their family and friends can get together at once. We almost always do a cake and coordinating cupcakes. This year, they opted for a combination of comic books (Son # 1 collects them) and some of their favorite Super Heroes (is any boy ever too old for them?). These were the results and they thought they were absolutely fantastic!
Comic Book Birthday
Holy Cupcakes, Batman! I loved, as did Sons 1 & 3, how these turned out! They were a huge hit. The cupcake toppers are from 3 separate printables. The first one, representing some of the boys favorite iconic comic book superheros was from Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss. Batman was present, but isn’t pictured. The Happy Birthday, Bang, Pow, and blank printables I found at Let’s Panic. Finally, the smaller ‘Boom’ & ‘Pow’ came from Simply Designing with Ashley. I just cut out the printed images and hot glued them to lollipop sticks. Last minute I decided to add some Pop Rocks as ‘sprinkles’ so the cupcakes matched their comic book captions.
A few months ago I had found Thor’s hammer on clearance at Target for less than $5. I purchased it immediately with this cake in mind. I used chocolate frosting to cover the cake. I gently pressed the hammer into the cake at an angle creating an indention. I removed the hammer and had my husband cut a rectangle into the indention, in the center, where the hammer would rest to make it stable and ensure it would remain upright. I then stuck the hammer on top and sprinkled crushed oreos around for ‘dirt’.
While the older boys wanted things kept simple party-wise, both loved their cake and cupcakes. Seeing their eyes widen when I presented them with their birthday treats made me feel pretty darn ‘super’ myself. They can just call me Wonder Woman. Just Kidding.
I love my little ‘Supers’.