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Party like a 5 year old

As a product of a super busy, immensely judgmental, material driven lifestyle in San Diego, we ALWAYS had birthday parties at a fun (ahem, expensive) birthday venue.  (To have it at your house was atypical, unless your home was large, beautifully furnished, spotless, and setup to accommodate parties) [which ours was not. I'd rather raise my kiddos, lead them to a love of learning and give them character qualities that this world is sorely lacking, than work endless hours to accumulate STUFF]).  ANYWAY...this year, we had my littlest turning FIVE!  (sniff)  and I wanted to do something extra special for him.

Of course, I turned to the idea that we'd need to have some venue. I searched for a long time to find something that was reasonable and offered value and fun but wasn't too far away.  Well, that just didn't happen (one bouncy house indoor facility was nice but only allowed 2 hours for the full party, including setup time!). I grew very frustrated and considered renting a bouncy house or two, so we could do a party at home but outside, with all the bells and whistles of a venue.

Well one of my girlfriends suggested that I just do a party at home, make a special cake, have games and make it fun at home. No bouncy, no venue, no extra crazy expenditures.  And here's the funny thing; it never dawned upon me that I  COULD do that!

I brainstormed quite a bit and with the help of friends, pinterest, and my Mom, we brought the concept together.  I have never been happier!  We didn't spend $300-$400 on a single party (no including gifts) and everyone had a wonderful time!

[Image: BG]
I made the Wubbzy cake in the center of the table.  He's white cake AND chocolate cake (alternating layers) because Mason couldn't make up his mind which one he wanted. There is a chocolate mousse for filling. 

This was my first time making and using marshmallow fondant.  It was easy to make but I found it somewhat difficult to work with; the fondant dried out easy, was more difficult to roll and it required heating to get it workable (often).  On the brighter side of things, it cracked less as it settled, tasted decent, and can be rolled super thin, so its awesome for making sculptures or sugar flowers.  It'll definitely be in my recipe collection, but perhaps, not as my main cake covering like traditional fondant.

Closer of the cake and marshmallow pops I made...
[Image: BG]

I had to really try to source ingredients here since I am used to professional bakery supply. For the buttercream I didn't have 10x powdered sugar nor did I have high ratio shortening. The high butterfat whipped cream I typically use wasn't available and I had to make my mousse quite a bit differently. One very cool change to my buttercream though was that I used 1 cup of real butter, 1 cup of coconut oil, and 1/2 cup of Crisco.  The butter and the coconut oil made the buttercream melt in your mouth! Oh it was delightful.  I only wish I could use it when its hot outside. (coconut oil is solid in temps under 75 degrees, anything higher and it begins to liquify).

Here is a closeup of the cake, the marshmallow pops and the chocolate dipped pretzels...
[Image: BG]

We played a cotton ball game, pin the tail on the wubbzy, a cup stacked "bowling" game,  and pop the balloons game.  Mason had a BLAST and we were complimented repeatedly for a success day!

Overall, I spent about $180.00 on the party since I had NOTHING to start with and because we supplied hot dogs and hamburgers for the guests.  Our next birthday celebration should be even more affordable because now I have things I didn't have before. (Bags, streamers, balloons, banners, bowls, candles, etc.).  Zander is beside himself for his turn to "party at home". Yay! 

A great recipe for marshmallow fondant.


  • the recipe
    • 16 ounces mini marshmallows
    • 2 pounds powdered sugar
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • shortening for greasing the bowl etc.
    • (This makes 3 lbs)


    the method
    This method uses a strong stand mixer, like a kitchen-aid, but you can also knead the fondant by hand.1. Put the marshmallows and water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 1 minute, until the marshmallows are all melted. The mixture will expand. Stir to incorporate.
    2. Grease the dough hook and bowl of your mixer really well with shortening.
    3. Put about 3/4 of the powdered sugar to the mixer bowl and add all of the melted marshmallows.
    4. Mix on low speed for a few minutes then check the consistency of the fondant. It will probably still be a little sticky at this point. If it is, add some of the remaining powdered sugar and mix again for a minute or so. repeat this step until the fondant is firm and neither dry or sticky.
5.Turn out on to a clean, firm work surface and knead by hand just for a minute until there are no flecks of dry powdered sugar remaining. Wrap in cling wrap and let the fondant rest for at least 30 minutes before using.


Erica said...

That looks great, and sound like lots of fun! I just recently made a cake with fondant for the first time, and I like the look of it but I think I need more practice.

Birthday parties are actually things I kind of dread right now. So far we haven't had any "big" parties for the girls since they didn't have too many friends to invite anyways, just the one family. But I would like to try something more than just cake, presents and random playing. We'll see.

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