A Where the Wild Things Are Birthday

Where the Wild Things Are Chocolate Cupcakes

Yesterday we celebrated my nephew’s 1st birthday!  My sister held an adorable themed party – Where the Wild Things Are.   Growing up, I remember reading that book over and over again as a child, thinking how imaginative his mind was. To have a forest grow within his room, go to another land with beasts,  become their king, only to realize that he DID miss his dinner and decided to calm down and come back to reality.  Funny thing about this story is I don’t see this in my nephew at all, yet. But, he IS only one year old!  Perhaps one day he will be parading around in a wild outfit, aggravating my sister while she is cooking.  I look forward to hearing stories of her wild and wonderful adventure with her beautiful son.  🙂

For the party, I made cupcakes with crazy looking hair similar to the creatures in the book.  At least I tried.  It helped that there were toppers and wraps to outfit the cakes making a nice finish.  The recipe I used was Add a Pinch, and then I added my own spices to the mix to jazz it up.  The cupcakes were a hit!

Jazzed Up Chocolate Cupcakes -makes 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of All-Spice
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon bourbon vanilla
  • ½ cup boiling water

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Add liners to muffin pan and spray cooking oil on the liners. Don’t overspray. Combine in a stand mixer all dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and mix again.  This will create a wet mixture, so I poured it into a large measuring cup to pour into the liners without making a mess.  Bake for roughly 20 minutes depending on your oven.  Once cool, add your favorite frosting to top.  I used my own which is a little of this a little of that. I really don’t have it measured out, but I do use salted butter to balance out the heavy sugar load.  Also a splash of milk helps the texture smooth out.

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cupcakechocolate cupcake

Dressed Up (Box) Birthday Cake

Hannah's cake

This past June, my daughter, Hannah had her 8th birthday party.  I didn’t have a group of kids over this year, rather just invited my family and left it at that.  I don’t recall year after year my family having all of my friends over for a big party bash, so one year without a big gig is a good thing.  When DID it become necessary that we parents host something big or have an outing somewhere?  Oy. 🙂

Alas, when I have birthday parties, I don’t make cake from scratch.  Why?  Who am I showing the cake off to?  Well, Hannah’s friends, and my family, but we all know who eats the cake.  The kids.  And then the parents will grab a bite without anyone watching.  (Come now… you know what I’m talking about!)  So, why go into the hassle of creating a cake from scratch when that’s not the main concern?  I don’t, I use box cake.  BUT, I do like to jazz up the cake. 

This year, I dressed up the cake, using chocolate cake mix from a box, then taking vanilla frosting, tinting it pink, and slathering it on the cake.  No, I didn’t get fancy with the dress up there…  but then the fun began with a chocolate ganache.  It doesn’t take long to make ganache.  Look up any simple recipe for it, and you will find it’s dark chocolate, heavy cream, maybe butter, and a little vanilla.  Done.

Add decor? Yea, my daughter loves horses, so we had a cowgirl party for her, and bought some little mini toy horses from our local Horse and Farm feed store (they have toys!) and placed them on the cake. Done and done.

How did it taste?  Better than box cake, and no one knew. 🙂

Birthday time!

Yes, we all wonder, “why did I buy all of those silly party favors??” Well, these favors surely won’t get tossed into the trash! This was a Blue’s Clues themed party to which I made these fun party pops and decorated the tins for an added bonus!!