Fire-breathing Cake

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine

With trusty forks in hand, your guests will happily slay this dragon. This delightful cake recipe is sure to be a hit at your Medieval Birthday celebration or for anyone who loves friendly dragons!

What you’ll need

  • 2 9-inch round cakes, baked according to the package directions
  • 2 16-ounce cans of white frosting, tinted green with food coloring
  • 9 chocolate-covered graham crackers
  • 12 orange gumdrop slices
  • 1 marshmallow
  • 2 chocolate chips
  • 2 green gumdrop slices
  • 2 Hershey’s Kisses®
  • Marker cap
  • 2 pieces of fruit leather (we found that Fruit Roll-Ups® work best)
  • 2 (10-inch) bamboo skewers
  • 2 toothpicks
  • Scissors

How to make it

  1. 1
    To form the dragon’s body, cut one cake in half. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the bottom of one half. Place the pieces cut side down and gently press them together as shown above.
  2. 2
    Cut the second cake using the diagram above as a guide (the pieces don’t have to be exact). Assemble those pieces as shown above and frost the cake.
  3. To create the pointy spinal ridge, use a serrated knife to gently cut the graham crackers in half diagonally. Push them into the frosting along the dragon’s back, cutting a few smaller triangles for the end of the tail.
  4. For claws, place 3 orange gumdrop slices in front of each leg.
  5. Next, make eyes by cutting the marshmallow in half. For pupils, poke a hole in the center of each marshmallow slice with a toothpick, then press a chocolate chip into each hole. Gently press the marshmallows in place on top of the dragon’s head. For each brow, poke a toothpick into a green gumdrop slice and stick it into the cake just behind an eye.
  6. For nostrils, place the Hershey’s Kisses® point-side in on the end of the dragon’s snout.
  7. To make scales, use a clean marker cap as a stamp and press half of it into the frosting.
  8. 3
    To make each wing, trim a 1-1/2-inch piece off a corner of a Fruit Roll-Up®, as shown at right (cutting off the corner keeps the wings from looking too bulky). Beginning at that edge, roll the Roll-Up partway onto a skewer and press to secure it. With scissors, make scalloped edges. Because the wings are heavy and can sag over time, don’t insert them in the dragon’s body until right before serving.
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Edible Excavator Cake

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine

Assembled from a pound cake and Twinkies, this no-bake treat will please the crew at a celebration with a truck or vehicle theme.

What you’ll need

  • 9 1/2-by 4-inch pound cake
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow frosting
  • 1/2 cup light-brown frosting (white and chocolate mixed together)
  • Chocolate decorators’ frosting
  • 4 mini chocolate-covered doughnuts
  • Blue and green M&M’s candies
  • Red and yellow gumdrops
  • 4 Twix
  • 2 Twinkies
  • 4 (8-inch) wooden skewers, trimmed into two 4 1/2-inch and
  • two 6-inch pieces
  • 4 yellow Twizzlers Rainbow Twists, cut to the same size as the skewers
  • 12 chocolate cookies (we used Oreo cookies)

How to make it

  1. 1
    Cut a 2 1/2-inch-long section from one end of the cake. Frost the section’s cut end and place it on top of the cake for the cab, as shown. Cover the entire cake with yellow frosting, saving about 1/3 cup for the loader and bucket.
  2. Spoon the light-brown frosting into a resealable sandwich bag, snip off a corner, and pipe a window onto each side of the cab. Outline the windows with chocolate decorators’ frosting, then press the doughnut tires in place. Add M&M’s and gumdrops for lights and hubcaps.
  3. Use Twix to add a smokestack and loader arms. Frost one of the Twinkies yellow, set it on the loader arms, and add chocolate decorators’ frosting details. Cut a 2-inch section from the other Twinkie, place it behind the truck for the bucket, and frost it yellow. Add pieces of yellow gumdrop for teeth.
  4. Slide the skewers inside the Twizzlers. Press them into the cake and bucket as shown, using dabs of chocolate decorators’ frosting to join them. With a rolling pin or food processor, crush the chocolate cookies into “dirt” and sprinkle it around the cake. Serves 8.
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Castle Cake

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine

Celebrate with a cake shaped like a castle on your princess’ next birthday.

What you’ll need

  • 2 baked 9-inch square cakes
  • Pink frosting
  • 4 baked cupcakes
  • 4 ice-cream cones
  • Pink frosting
  • Green colored sugar
  • 4 Hershey’s Kisses
  • Necco Wafers
  • M&M candies
  • 2 cups Jell-O
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, tinted with green food coloring
  • 1 graham cracker

How to make it

  1. Place one of the square cakes on a large platter. Frost, then layer with the second square cake.
  2. Place the cupcakes on top of the cake in each of the four corners. Top each cupcake with an inverted ice-cream cone. Frost the cupcakes and cones. Score the frosting with a fork to make the textured castle siding.
  3. Now, add candies. First, sprinkle the green sugar on the cones, then top each cone with a Hershey’s Kiss. Outline the top of the cake with Necco Wafers. Create a castle door with more Necco wafers and M&M’s.
  4. Surround the cake with the blue Jell-O and a ring of the green shredded coconut.
  5. Finally, place a graham cracker drawbridge over the moat, and invite the party guests to dig in. Serves 8 to 10.

Bowling Lane Cake

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine

You’re sure to strike everyone’s sweet tooth with this clever party cake.

What you’ll need

  • 2 baked 13-by-9-inch cakes, any flavor
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 1/4 cup of white frosting
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 1 cup of brown chocolate frosting
  • 2 strips of Fruit by the Foot fruit leather, each about 20 inches long
  • Gumballs in different colors
  • 1 strip of black shoestring licorice, about 9 inches long 7 chocolate chips
  • 10 bowling pin candles (available at party stores)

How to make it

  1. 1
    On a large platter or cake cardboard measuring at least 26 inches long, line up the cakes end to end to form a long rectangle. Trim the cakes as shown.
  2. 2
    Trim 2 big cake scraps to 4 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide and stack them on the sides of the wide end of the cake to make the bowling ball rack. Use a little frosting to adhere them if necessary. If the small pieces are crumbly and therefore difficult to frost, apply a light coating of frosting and chill the pieces until it sets. Stick the pieces in place and frost again.
  3. 3
    To create a varnished wood look for the lane’s flooring, mix the 1 3/4 cups of white frosting with 12 drops of yellow food coloring and 1 cup of chocolate frosting. The overall color should resemble peanut butter. Frost the entire cake, except for the tops of the racks; frost those with the 1/4 cup of white.
  4. Trim 2 strips of fruit leather to fit along the edges for the gutters. Place the gumballs in the rack, add shoestring licorice for the foul line, and arrange the chocolate chip lane arrows about a third of the way up the lane. Set up the bowling pin candles at the narrow end of the cake. Light as many as the birthday child’s age. Serves about 20.
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Fanciful Fairy Village Cake

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine

 

This elfin hideaway is more than a treat — it’s a fun activity for a fairy-themed birthday party, or for a nature- or garden-themed gathering. Give each guest a bare structure assembled from a cupcake or a store-bought pound cake, then provide a variety of frostings, candies, and cookies and let kids go to town.

Make it easy! Before the party, assemble a variety of unadorned houses for guests to decorate later. We used two store-bought pound cakes — a 16-ounce loaf and a 10-3/4-ounce loaf — and one large cupcake for the five structures here.

What you’ll need

  • 2 pound cakes (16-ounce loaf and a 10-3/4-ounce loaf) and one large cupcake
  • Butter biscuit cookies (we used Lu Le Petit Beurre brand)
  • White frosting and chocolate frosting
  • Jelly beans
  • White bark chocolate
  • Green and yellow Tootsie Rolls
  • Chocolate-covered cookies and graham crackers (we used Keebler brand)
  • Nonpareils
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Sugar wafers
  • Pretzels
  • Starburst candies
  • Flower-shaped decorator candies
  • Biscotto-like cookies (we used Stella D’oro brand)
  • Leaf-shaped butter cookies (we used Bahlsen brand)
  • Miniature vanilla wafers
  • Chocolate and peanut butter chips
  • Green food coloring
  • Waffle cones
  • Chocolate wafers (we used Keebler brand)

How to make it

  1. Butter Biscuit Bungalow: Butter biscuit cookies (we used Lu Le Petit Beurre brand) make great roofing. Working from the lower edge, gently press the cookies onto the frosted cake, then pipe on a line of frosting and add a jelly bean peak.White bark chocolate windows stand out nicely against dark frosting. For shutters, we used green Tootsie Rolls, quartered lengthwise. The door is a chocolate-covered cookie (we used Keebler brand).

    Use jelly beans to give your cottage an earthy foundation.

  2. Cozy Cupcake Hut: Chocolate-covered cookies and graham crackers make appealing chimneys and doors (we used Keebler brand).Is it snowing in your fairy village? Try a roof of nonpareils! A foundation of mini marshmallows might be in order too.
  3. Sugar Wafer Chalet: We used sugar wafers and a pretzel rod for this simple peaked roof.To make the doors and windows, warm Starburst candies in the microwave until they’re just pliable, about 5 seconds, then use a rolling pin to flatten them. Cut out the desired shapes and press them in place.

    We pressed on a pretzel window box, then filled it with flower-shaped decorator candies.

  4. Birch Bark Abode: The marbling technique on this birch house is marvelously easy. Just frost the base white, then dip the tip of a table knife in chocolate and drag it across the cake, gently swirling the colors.The roof is made of a biscotto-like cookie (we used Stella D’oro brand), and the chimney, a yellow Tootsie Roll.
  5. Leaf Cookie Lodge: Butter cookie leaves (we used Bahlsen brand) are always popular with fairies. The door is the unfrosted side of a half-dipped fudge graham.To round out your cabin, press on a pair of miniature vanilla wafer windows.

    For a quick and easy foundation, alternate chocolate and peanut butter chips.

  6. Waffle Cone Trees: Use food coloring to tint white frosting green. Generously frost a waffle cone, then use a fork to pull the icing into boughlike peaks.
  7. Delicious Dirt: We used crushed Keebler-brand chocolate wafers for our forest floor.
  8. Tiny Toadstools: Microwave a red Starburst candy until just pliable, then roll it into a ball. Flatten one side, then use a dab of frosting to attach a marshmallow base. Pipe on frosting dots.
  9. 1
    Make it easy! Before the party, assemble a variety of unadorned houses for guests to decorate later. We used two store-bought pound cakes — a 16-ounce loaf and a 10-3/4-ounce loaf — and one large cupcake for the five structures here.
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Towering Sand Castle Cake

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine
This crumb-covered cake is “shore” to make a splash at any beach- or sea-themed birthday bash. Scatter some candy seashells and rocks around the base and prepare for a wave of compliments.

What you’ll need

  • 8-inch round yellow cake
  • 9-inch square yellow cake
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans whipped vanilla frosting
  • Vanilla wafers, 12-ounce box
  • 4 jumbo ice-cream cups
  • 2 small ice-cream cups
  • 6 sugar cones
  • Graham cracker sticks (we used Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams Honey Sticks)
  • Candy seashells and rocks

How to make it

  1. 1
    Use a long serrated knife to trim the top of the round cake flat, if needed. Cut a 5 1/2-inch and a 3 1/2-inch circle from the square cake, then stack all three pieces, spreading vanilla frosting between the layers. Frost the stack.
  2. Use a rolling pin or food processor to crumble the wafers. With your hands, press the crumbs into the frosting, completely coating the cake. Spread frosting on the bottom of each ice-cream cup, then set them around the cake. With a serrated knife, carefully trim 1 1/2 inches from the top of 2 of the sugar cones. Set all 6 cones into the cups to complete the turrets, spreading a bit of frosting around the rims to hold them if needed.
  3. Press 2 graham cracker-stick doors into the middle cake layer and rim the rest of the cake with graham cracker-stick halves. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs around the base and add a scattering of candy seashells and rocks. Serves 12.
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Campfire Cake

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This photo originally appeared in FamilyFun Magazine

 

Warm up your backyard summer birthday party with a fire kids can actually eat. Built with frosted pound cake logs, doughnut hole embers, and fruit leather flames, it’s sure to be the tastiest — and easiest — campfire you’ll ever make.

What you’ll need

  • 2 pound cakes
  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate frosting
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white frosting
  • 12 to 15 glazed chocolate doughnut holes
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Red and orange decorators’ gel
  • Red, orange, and yellow fruit leather
  • Scissors

How to make it

  1. 1
    With a knife, shave the square edges off the cakes to give them a log shape. Next, mix 1/4 cup of chocolate frosting into 1 cup of white to make a light tan. Place one log on a platter (a dab of frosting on the bottom will help hold it in place). Frost it with the chocolate and tan frostings as shown. To create bark and tree rings, scrape the tines of a fork across the chocolate frosting, then scratch a spiral into each tan end.
  2. Pour the doughnut holes into a bowl and sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar. Arrange 10 doughnut-hole embers in a single layer next to the frosted log, sticking them in place with frosting.
  3. For the branch stub, cut a 1-inch slice from one end of the second log and trim it into a 2-inch circle; set the piece aside. Frost the bottom of the log and set it in place as shown. Use frosting to stick the stub to the second log. Create bark and rings again.
  4. 2
    For flames, take a piece of fruit leather and, with the backing still in place, lightly wet half (lengthwise) of the fruit side with water. Fold it in half lengthwise and press to seal. Cut out flame shapes with scissors as shown, then remove the backing.
  5. 3
    Slice 2 doughnut holes in half. Put a dollop of the remaining white frosting onto the cut surface, then set a flame on top. Squeeze decorators’ gel over the decorated doughnut holes, then set them on the platter. Use any remaining doughnut holes to fill in the gaps between the logs. Decorate them with more flames and gel, if desired.
Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine