We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

So, March means one thing-lots of birthdays!!  (Why so many in March??!!)  And, I guess to some people it means March Madness, but in the Abbey House it’s all about the birthdays! The most important being Madeline’s!  (Laura’s is a VERY close second!)  13!  I can’t believe it! (On an unrelated, but semi-related note, I took her to the dentist for a checkup about a month ago.  She only has one more baby tooth to lose! So sad! My first baby is growing up!) Okay, so she’s turning 13!  That’s a big one!  Definitely must be a great party!

Find a theme and start planning

I’ve always let the kids choose their own theme for their party.  Madeline is definitely type A so she made a list to help her decide what theme she wanted this year.  (She gets that from Kevin). The short list came down to camping, something else I can’t remember and a mad tea party.  Camping was thrown out the window.  We did that last year.  From birth, we have let the kids know that repeats, including the same Halloween costume, are  giant no-no’s.  Finally, she ended up with a Mad Tea Party! She didn’t want an Alice in Wonderland party. Too childish, maybe?  So, we began planning!

Shop Personalized Gifts on Zazzle

Of course, there are tons of ideas out there.  Hello Pinterest!!  Weirdly, both my daughters love Pinterest.  13 and 11 years old. I’m not sure who they get that from…?  My husband calls it Pininterest.  Talk about a dad joke!  After going back and forth with her:  What I thought was cool. What she thought was cool.  The all important budget. And, finally, what I could actually do or figure out how to do at my crafting level.  We went with a topsy-turvy garden party theme!

If you want to see more, check out this link for the food we had at the party.

And for some awesome, budget friendly decorations.

Or if you are interested in a party for older kids, check out this link to learn about the super cute party Laura threw for her daughter’s 16th birthday.

The cake

If I haven’t said it before, it pretty much starts with the cake for us.  I’m pretty sure I’ve said it.  Maybe you just didn’t hear me.  She drew out a sketch for me. A rainbow colored, three tiered topsy-turvy cake with a teapot on top and tea spilling down the cake.  I cringed a little about the tea, but I was pretty sure I could manage it.

One thing that has come with making over thirty cakes for my kids’ birthday parties is knowing that planning is key!  How do i know its 30+?  Ha!  I figured it out while arguing with my husband.  Cringe!!  I usually only do about four big cakes per year.  For my kids and occasionally a very good family friend (that I know won’t hate me if i have some horrible cake accident/disaster requiring me to end up buying a cake to replace the one I made that was super ugly/ looked nothing like what it was supposed to/ fell apart the night before the party etc).

Discover What Everyone Has Been Raving About. Fall Promotions and Sales Only At MermaidSwimtails.com! Act Now.

Do the research.  Watch the tutorials. You can figure it out!  Try! There are professionals out there that can give you a step by step guide on how to do basically ANYTHING with cake!!  But, as an amateur, I will share some of the general tips I have learned through my cake-making struggles:


-It’s okay to use a box mix.  It saves time and tastes great!  Especially if you are doing a really big cake.  I think I bought 5 mixes for Madeline’s cake.  It does need some adjustments to make it more dense: extra eggs, decreased oil and water, and a box of instant pudding.
-List out your steps and make a timeline.  (Not just for the cake but for the whole party.)
-Bake and cool the cakes.  Then wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze them.  They are easier to move around and to carve.
– Always have a cardboard platter to put the cake on.  And, extras, just in case!
– I have never been a huge fan of fondant.  Frosting just tastes SO delicious!  I think it’s a little silly to cover a cake with something that tastes kind of ick.  But, fondant is great for details!
– If you are sculpting anything extra for the cake, I’m a huge fan of Rice Krispy treats.   Like I said, fondant is great for details and also small things but it can get heavy.  Rice Krispy treats are light, delicious and easy to use!  Lots of butter on your hands, mold a semi shape and use the refrigerator to help it solidify. From there, they are easy to carve or just use your hands to warm it up a little and continue to shape until it looks like what you want it to look like.
– Cover the Rice Krispy treat in frosting and then fondant.  The frosting helps the fondant to adhere.
-Making a cake is kind like any unknown project.  Sometimes you doubt yourself in the middle.  Finish and add all the details. I promise you it will come together and look better than you expected!

So, back to Madeline!  I did make the cake and it turned out pretty cute.  Even though the teapot was a Rice Krispy treat, it still weighed a lot.  I put it on right before the party and took a great picture, just in case it decided to fall off right away.  Which it didn’t!!  YAY me!!  I didn’t actually put the tea “fondant” coming out of the pot and flowing down the cake.  Apparently, my timeline was off because I just plain ran out of time.  She didn’t mind!  She was pretty happy with the cake!  I painted the fondant on the teapot and, on a whim, painted a 13 on it and I think that was her favorite part!  Yay me, again!

Try it!

Your kids will love the cake that you make for them!  It won’t look perfect but it will have been made by you, for your child, WITH LOVE!!  I won’t lie to you and say I haven’t cried while baking, icing or putting a cake together.  I have also yelled at my husband.  But, if it is something you think might be cool or fun or you just don’t want to spend the money on a store/ bakery bought cake, DO it!

Back To School         WaltLife.com - It's a way of life!

Please follow and like us: