There’s no two ways about it – kids love to bake! With the rise of popular baking shows, it’s no surprise that kids baking birthday parties are on the rise. They also happen to be one of the easiest and cheapest birthday party themes because the cakes also serves as the goody bags and well, the birthday cake too! We also love that they’re great for boys and girls. I mean, who doesn’t like cake?
Here’s how to throw the easiest baking birthday party!
The easiest/cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to send invitations is over email! Best of all, there are many free templates to use. If you like paper invitations go for something with a cute cupcake them and don’t forget to tell guests to wear clothes they can bake in! We recommend a party of no longer than 2 hours- any more than that and you'll want to plan another activity.
There’s no need to go crazy with the decorations as the cakes and candies will add a nice splash of color to the party. Kids love balloons but they’re actually pretty terrible for the environment.
These days it’s easy to find fun (and even reusable) buntings, hanging lanterns, pom poms and streamers instead. Many you can even make yourself! We love to make DIY cupcake wrapper bunting and it’s also a way to get your child involved in the party preparation process. Buy some colorful cupcake wrappers and use a large needle and colorful twine to string together.
Pizza is always a party favorite but to us, nothing goes better with cake than a few tea sandwiches. Sandwiches without wet ingredients (like cucumbers), can be made a day ahead and stored tightly wrapped, uncut in the fridge. Before you party guests arrive trim the crusts and cut into triangles, rectangles or squares. To prevent from drying out cover with damp paper towel.
We think going home with a cake is the best goody bag of all but if you wanted to add an additional element, consider buying boxes and have the kids decorate labels to give to their parents. Or stick a pre-made thank you sticker on the top and it can serve as the thank you card too! If you want to do something really special you can buy mini cake stands or rolling pins to go home with.
- If you’re worried about mess get a roll of kraft paper to cover the work surface. Once the kids are finished decorating, you can easily dispose of it.
- Paper or reusable plates that have a rim are ideal for kids to decorate on
- Mini bowls, paper cups or treat pans for storing frosting and extra candies. We recommend dividing each frosting color into 2 bowls so each child has a 1 color at a time.
Ingredients you'll need to buy
For the 8-cake mini kit.
- 6 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups oil (such as vegetable or canola)
- 1 1/3 cups milk (or milk alternative)
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- optional vanilla extract
- cornstarch to use if the fondant gets too sticky
Kids love to add as much as possible to their cakes so it’s nice to buy some extra candies, chocolate chips and cookies. We love Trader joe's, Surf Sweets, Wholesome and Black Forrest for affordable naturally dyed candy.
How to structure the party
One of the reasons we love kids baking parties is that it's a creative and fun activity that doesn't require the expense of hiring and entertainer. Kids love to bake and a cake kit is a great way to make it super easy.
Party Timeline and Guide
Up to a week ahead
- Make the mini cakes and once cool, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight or freezer for up to a month. The other bonus of planning ahead is that the cakes are less likely to hold crumbs when they are decorated chilled.
- Make the buttercream and tint with naturally dyed food color. Refrigerate in tightly sealed containers, then bring to room temperature an hour or two before the party starts.
- Make or buy and decorations, assemble boxes (if using).
The day before
- If you're making a birthday cake, fill and frost the cake and keep refrigerated overnight.
- Get the house cleaned (or hire some help- you deserve it!).
- Hang decorations and defrost the cakes and buttercream overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen).
- Fill bowls or cups with extra candies and one with cornstarch for dusting sticky fingers and cover overnight.
An hour before the party
- An hour before your guest arrive, bring buttercream to room temperature (if it's cold, you may want to zap in the microwave in 10-second intervals until smooth and spreadable.
- Unwrap the cakes and use a small dab of frosting to glue the cakes to the cake boards and stick each on a plate.
- Welcome your guests to the baking party! They will probably be super excited to get started once they see all the cakes and candies. Have everyone wash their hands and roll up their sleeves.
- Before placing a cake in front of all the kids talk to them about the rules (which, let's face it- they may or may not follow!). We recommend telling them that it's a competition for the best cake so that they take care and don't just slap things on their cake (you can award prizes at the end- most colorful, most unique etc).
- Talk to them about the fondant tips and tricks and that it's like play-doh, only better because you're allowed to mix the colors together! The four colors that come in the mini kit set can be blended to make all the colors of the rainbow. You can use this as an opportunity to get the kids guessing about what colors will make what.
- Lightly dust each child's work surface with cornstarch and have them start rolling (or patting flat), then cutting the fondant shapes. They will have fun doing this for at least 20 minutes.
- Once the fondant fun is done have them wash their hands again while you quickly wipe down the surface (or swap out the kraft paper). Place one cake in front of each station.
- Demonstrate how to frost the sides of the cake first with the craft sticks and then the top. We recommend telling the kids to wipe off the excess frosting on the sides of their plates to avoid crumbs. Check out our inspiration gallery for ideas to show the kids.
- Now they get to start putting their decorations, sprinkles and candies on the cake!
- Once this is done let the kids showcase their cakes and tell you about their creation.
- Now it's time to clean hands again and you can clear off the table and pack the cakes into boxes to go home. If you're serving food now is a great time to do it. Keep the kids busy while you get the food out by giving them labels to put their names on or colorful cupcake print-outs to color in or for older kids you can have them help you set the table for a tea party. You could also set up a quick party game.
- Time to eat cake!! Have the kids gather round the the unfinished cake and let them use the remaining candies to decorate. The birthday boy or girl will love to put the final cake topper or candles on.
- Sing happy birthday, eat cake and send the kids home to share their creations. Sit back, relax and eat a slice of cake- you definitely deserve it now!