Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carnival Party

Next month, my beautiful little girl, Myra, will be turning three years old!! Time certainly does fly. Since this is her last birthday as an only child, I want to give her a real treat.

Yesterday, I met with one of my members who happened to be an event planner. While we were on hold with another department, she started telling me about an collaboration party that seemed nearly impossible. Her plan of tying it all together was to have a carnival themed party. Ding! It clicked that I could "borrow" her idea for Myra's party.

I want to have a big bash full of handmade carnival games, popcorn, cotton candy, face painting, and tons of other fun things! Here are some of the games I hope to recreate, courtesy of Will post pictures as I make them over the next few weeks.


A carnival-booth invitation is made with striped wrapping paper, construction paper, round stickers, tiny clothespins, and tickets. Party details are written on the back.

Fish Out of Water

Kids fish with a homemade pole: Tie a magnet to one end of a piece of string, and a yardstick to the other. The magnet catches construction paper fish fitted with metal paper clips. The challenge? Kids are blindfolded. They get three turns to win: three tickets for a shark, two for a red fish, one for a boot. For a splash of color, add blue pieces of paper "water."

  • Unsalted butter, for pans
  • 2 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Swiss-Meringue Buttercream
  • Yellow and red food coloring
  • 6 to 8 ounces white candy-coated chocolate pieces, for decorating
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Cut 2 rounds of parchment paper to line bottoms of 2 (10-by-2-inch) round cake pans. Butter pans; line with parchment. Butter parchment. Dust pans with cocoa; tap out excess.
  2. Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into bowl of an electric mixer. With mixer on low, add eggs, buttermilk, the hot water, oil and vanilla; mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake, switching positions of pans halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  4. Let cool in pans on wire racks 20 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes; unmold. Let cool completely on racks.
  5. Place 3 cups buttercream in each of 2 bowls; stir yellow food coloring into one, and red food coloring into the other. Transfer each to a pastry bag fitted with a ribbed tip (such as Ateco #48).
  6. Trim tops of cakes to be level. Spread a thick layer of white buttercream evenly on top of one layer. Add second layer, cut side down. Frost top and sides of assembled cake with a thin layer of white buttercream. Refrigerate cake 30 minutes. Smooth final layer of white buttercream on top of cake. With the ribbed side of tip, pipe alternating lines of red and yellow buttercream on sides of cake, and press candies around top and bottom edges.

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