Cupcake-a-Palooza

This past weekend, I had my birthday party, and in true birthday fashion, we celebrated it with a big, cake-fueled bash. I was so thrilled to be planning the party! I made invitations and handed them out to all of our guests. The cards themselves were pre-cut, but I did the embossing myself.

Then it was time to start planning a menu.

One of my favorite things about throwing a party is finding a fun theme to unify the whole shindig. This year I’ve been digging the do-it-yourself type party foods, so I decided to go with a cupcake bar. I set up a table that was completely dedicated to the desserts and invited guests to top their cupcake with a frosting of their choice. And, of course, I had to have sprinkles and two types of nuts.

Normally I like to use cupcakes as a way to experiment with different flavors, mostly because they’re small, single-serving sized treats, which is nice if you’re not sure how things are going to taste. But since I wanted people to make their own, I decided not to get too fancy with the flavors and made a batch of vanilla cupcakes and a batch of chocolate. Then, just for fun, I threw in a batch of green tea cupcakes as well, mostly to celebrate the fact that both my parents and Andrew gave me some matcha (green tea) powder so that I could start cooking up my own batches of tea-flavored treats. To keep things simple, I made frostings in the same three flavors so that people could mix and match as they wanted. Don’t worry, recipes will be coming your way soon!

The chocolate cupcakes were by far the most popular, and we found that topping a green tea cupcake with green tea frosting was a bit too much. They definitely worked better when mixed with either chocolate or vanilla, whether it was a green tea cupcake with chocolate or vanilla frosting or vice versa.

But much as I would love for parties to be fueled by baked goods alone, too much sugar mixed with beer doesn’t always end well. Unless, of course, you combine the two into amazing, cake-flavored shooters like these from Rosie at Sweetapolita. Beyond that, though, Andrew and I thought it would be a good idea to have a few other nibblers. We went with a lovely cheese platter (our old standby–how easy is it to unwrap a wedge and lay it out on a platter?!), the best of which was a mango-ginger stilton that I bought on a whim at the grocery store, and a layered hummus dip that I adapted based on this one at Annie’s Eats.

 

Plus, Andrew and I got to try out the new skull shot glasses that I bought for us (filled with a chai liquor that was just scrumptious to sip on!). Check them out:

All in all, we had a lovely evening. It was so wonderful to celebrate my birthday with good friends and good food. Look for recipes in the coming weeks!

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