Cupcakes & Candy -17yr- Sherbert Cupcakes
Stephanie in Palm Beach, FL USA
I am having an out-of town cupcake-themed party for my 17th birthday party in a few days. The main idea was supposed to have lots of cupcake-y things, but the party got kind of turned into a candyshop/bakery theme--like Sloan's Ice Cream stores,if you've ever been there.I did a lot of the stuff (like some of the decorating and rimming the glasses ahead of time,and just left it in the freezer of the house where the party will be held.)
INVITATIONS:If you're good at cake decorating and working with fondant,you can buy fondant and either make tiny cakes,covered in colored fondant,or you can just put it on top of a cupcake.Then,write Invited" or "Seventeen" (or w/e age you're turning). Put the mini cake or cupcake in a small cupcake gift box (available at craft stores or Wal-Mart) and attach the invitation.This is recommended only if you're having a small party.If notbig cupcake-shaped invitations you can purchase at Party City for $6-7 for an 8-pack.
DECORATIONS:I love bright colorsand bright colors come to mind when I think of sugar-y stuff so I bought lots of bright-colored streamers in colors like aqua bluedeep yelloworangehot pinklime green and purple.If the party is going to be in the eveningyou could get colorful little paper bags (available pretty much anywhere for a dollar or so ea.)cut a small shape (or use a shape-puncher for lots of little shapes) on the front and back of the bagput a cupcake-scented tealight candle in each bagand then line the bags up on the walkway to the front door.When the sun starts to go downthe candle will shine through the shape(s)and the guests will be greeted w/ the scent of cupcakes as soon as they get out of their vehicles.I did this for my pink&green-themed sweet 16 party last yearand it was really pretty.
The table (w/ a hot pink tablecloth) was set for 6 with 6 green placematsand at each placethere's a plain white saucerdecorated around the edges w/ pink icing;a napkin and a spoon;a cocktail glass w/ pink sparkling sugar and a colorful candy lemon slice on the rims filled w/ pink watermelon soda(from Publix);and sherbet from Target.(If you can find ityou could get different flavors of Jolly Ranchers sodasince it's colorful and tastes like candy.)If it's going to be little kidsyou might just want to get milklemonadeor some kind of colorfullow-sugar drink (like Kool-Aide or Crystal Light).
To keep w/ the themeI bought silicon cupcake holders from Wal-Mart and filled them w/ the sherbet.Thenwith a ladleI shaped the sherbet to get the raised-top look of cupcakes.The sherbet will definitely start to melt while you're shaping itbut that's fine.Just shape them on a big plate and then refreeze them.Later onclean off the sides of the cupcake holders and put fun sprinkles on top of the "cupcake".I got two different flavors--raspberry and rainbow.I put rainbow sherbet on the bottom half of the raspberry ones and vice versaso I could have a variation in the appearances of the "cupcakes"but everyone would get to try both flavors.
I also bought a cupcake stand (from Wal-Martalthough you can them at Target and other stores) for the centerpiece.Each cupcake on the cupcake stand will have a candle.I bought a small cupcake standwith only 13 holdersso I'll just put 4 extra cupcakes around the base of the stand.I put a small table off the to the side of the roomwhich the guests will see as soon as they enter the room.The centerpiece of this small side table is a medium-small vase w/ gummy bears at the base (although you could use any colorful candylike M&Ms) and candy flower lollipopswhich I bought at Party City3 for a dollar or something.
Thenaround the the vaseI put icecream-shaped cookieswhich I bought from the checkout counter at BedBath&Beyond for about $3 each.Thenaround the tableyou can put candy jars or other small-medium vases w/ M&Msskittles gumballs large swirly lollipopsor other colorful candies.If you think there's too much sweet stuffyou can get the 100 Calorie Packs of Cheetos Asteroids to put in one of the jars.The Asteroids are small and cutelike gumballsso they're perfect for display.Thenaway from the snacksI put a large vanilla cupcake-scented candleso the whole room will smell like a bakery.
Then around the room and behind the side tablethere will be lots of colorfulhelium balloons in bunches.If you really want to go all out w/ this theme you can order (or make) cupcake and/or ice cream-shaped chocolate lollipops from sweetlucindas.com or cupcake-shaped/-scented candles from http://www.everafterstore.com/candle_cupcake_sprinkles_4.html. Of coursethere are lots of other websites and stores that sell these thingsbut I really liked the ones on these websites.In addition to the decorationsI made a playlist of lightfungirly songs for my iPod to get a girls' night out feel.
ACTIVITIES:(My party is kind of a special casesince (as I mentioned before) it's going to be out of town.It will be over spring breakso it's going to be a 3-day party. Thereforemost of the activities will be out of the house.)But since this probably won't be what most people are going to doyou could buy cupcakes WITHOUT icing from your supermarket bakery or pre-bake some cupcakesand then have the guests each decorate their own cupcake.If you're a neat freak (like me)you could set up a table (or tables) outside for the guests to work at.If it's a younger age groupyou could buy those foam craft things or just construction paper (from a craft store or Wal-Mart)cut them into cupcake shapesand then get glittermarkersribbonstickersand other fun decorating things and make fake cupcakes.
You could also decorate (or even pillow cases) T-shirts and have a contest for the most creative.Just buy cheap plain white T's (or pillow cases) and decorate them w/ fabric paint and get cupcake or dessert-shaped iron-ons.I've done that for a party onceand it was really fun.Kids get really into itso some of the adults could use this time to clean up or set up something while the kids' attention is being held.If I was doing a contest like this for my friendsI would buy the SPRINKLES Cupcake Mixes from Williams-Sonoma (www.williams-sonoma.com--available in vanillachocolatelemonor red velvet$14 ea.)Hello Kitty jewelry (since there are a lot of Hello Kitty/cupcake things)or the perfumelotionor body wash (mentioned in party favors) as prizes.(My friends and I are going to dress up in colorful party dresses when we go out to dinner and take lots of picturesso that could be another activity for teens or tweens:a "photoshoot".)
PARTY SNACKS:This is more of a snack-y party than a meal party.My friends and I are going out to eat before returning to the house for the party stuff (dessertblowing out the candlesgiftsetc.).If you're going to have so many sweetseither make sure you're having the party right after lunch timeor make sure little kids eat before getting to the partyso they won't be TOO hungry for sweets.Most of the food is also the decorations (candycupcakesCheetossherbet)so that kills two birds with one stone:decorations AND snacks.You could also have different-colored frosted sugar cookiesif there are a lot of people on your guestlistand you need a lot of different foods.
CAKE:My original idea was to bake lots of cupcakes. I was going to bake them all and decorate them differently with different flavors. I went on tons of websitesincluding cupcakefun.com crazyaboutcupcakes.com and bettycrocker.com for some great cupcake recipes and great ideas for decorating but my party is going to be at my other houseout of townso it was too much trouble to think of a way to bake/decorate all those cupcakes and then travel with them.
If you're having a small party or you just love baking/decorating this is definitely do-able.Cupcakes are getting really popularnowso there are tons of books about decorating them and different flavors.Also Target sells Betty Crocker cupcake mix.I've never baked w/ it before but I'd really wanted to use it before I decided to buy the cupcakes for the party from a cupcake bakery.If you don't really want to buy a cake or spend forever decorating lots of cupcakes Wilton sells a giant cupcake cake castso you can have one huge cupcake-shaped cake.That was also a strong option I was leaning towardsbut the cast itself is $30.It's available at Michaels or Target.
FAVORS:Decorating and gift bags really depend on your budget.For gift bags (for teenage girls) you could buy cupcake-scented Body Fantasies perfume which is available at Walgreens for about $6 for each 8oz. Bottle.At Bath&Body Works there's a special bath&shower collection called Temptationsand the collection features Iced Tea TwistMelon CoolerAlluring AppleBanana SmoothieFrosting Foreverand Frozen Daiquiri. Since the theme is cupcakes and dessertsyummyedible-sounding body lotion (namely Frosting Forever) or body wash goes perfectly with the theme.You could also get little vanilla-cupcake-scented tealight candles from yankee candles or Michaels.You don't really have to put candy in the gift bags.It'll be used for the decorations.
There's ice cream cone-shaped scented bubbles at Target that come in different colors.Also at Wal-MartTargetor Michael'sthere's a great selection of stickers.You could put different sticker sheets in the gift bags.There are tons of cupcake or dessert-themed stickers to choose from.If you wantyou could use the same kinds of bags used for the walkway ideaput dessert-themed stickers all over the bags(instead of IN the bags)put the various goodies in the bagand tie it w/ a pretty ribbon.If that sounds like too much workyou could just buy big scrapbooking stickers and stick one on each bag. I haven't had the party yetso I don't know how everything will turn outbut I was just up at the other house last weeksetting some of the stuff upand everything looks really pretty so far."