Entertaining with Abby: Cake Party
November 13, 2015
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Here's the thing with entertaining—it's often WAY easier to pull together a successful gathering if you have a bit of a "theme." Whether it's as simple as "black and white" to help make decor buying a cinch OR something like this cake decorating party where the activity takes center stage, a theme just makes things easier. And if you want something even easier than easy? We've laid out everything you need to host a cake party of your very own with a film from Elysium Creative Studios and pretty pictures from Victor Sizemore.

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How to Host a Cake Decorating Party

WHAT YOU'LL NEED
(for a party of 8)


Recipe for Chocolate Fudge Cake (we just bought boxed cake mix)
Recipe for Chocolate Frosting
Recipe for Chocolate Ganache
Recipe for Yellow or White Cake (you'll need 2 batches)
Recipe for Vanilla Buttercream
Topping Frosting: Either Chocolate or Vanilla
Fresh Flowers + Flower Tape
8" Cake Rounds
Pastry Bags + Tips (tips are optional—you can just snip a hole at the end of the bag)
Twine
Small bud vases
5-8 cake stands, cupcake stands or tall glass candle holders
5-8 pretty bowls to hold toppings
8 Offset Spatula's
8 Bakery Boxes
1 roll of parchment paper
Toppings: Crystalized Ginger, Dark Chocolate Shavings, Blackberries, Raspberries, or anything else you can imagine!
Really good playlist
Something yummy to drink...champagne usually does the trick! Don't forget glasses!


**ps...we totally cheated and bought boxed cake mixes!

1-2 WEEKS AHEAD


1. Order any supplies you don't havealready like baking boxes, twine, parchment paper, etc.
2. Invite your girlfriends (ideally two weeks ahead and since this is a casual get together, an e-invite, a phone call or a text is totally appropriate)

TWO DAYS AHEAD


1. Make your playlist!
2. Hit up the grocery and the craft store for the rest of your supplies and ingredients. Make sure to check your pantry first as you probably have quite a few of the must haves like eggs, butter, etc. And don't forget to look around the house for other ways to achieve a similar look. All wooden cake stands and candle holders make for a really pretty centerpieces.

ONE DAY AHEAD


1. Make the chocolate cakeletts. We used a mini cake pan, cutting each 3" cake in half and filling the center with chocolate frosting, then topping each with a spoonful or two of chocolate ganache (optional). These will keep overnight in the fridge. Just pull out about one hour before your party. And you can also use a cupcake pan!
2. Make your 6" cakes + buttercream. Let cool completely. Then cut each cake in half with a serrated knife.
3. Assemble your cakes by stacking one 6" layer on your cake round, followed by a layer of buttercream, followed by the top cake placed upside down on the frosting (so that the flat part of the cake is on top). These can be refrigerated if you have room or covered in saran wrap at room temp.
4. Assemble your bakery boxes and cut your pieces of twine so that they are ready to hold the cakes that your guests create!

DAY OF PARTY


1. Pick up fresh flowers and store in water. Depending on how large your table is, you'll likely need two bouquets.
2. Set four large pieces of parchment paper width wise across the table at each placesetting.
3. Cut your flowers to the height of your cakeletts, wrap them with floral tape and insert one or two blooms into each cake.
4. Fill your pastry bags with frosting.
5. Place your toppings into pretty bowls.
6. Place any extra flowers into bud vases.

1-2 HOURS BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE


1. Chill your cocktails.
2. Set your table. Start with the parchment paper set horizontally across the table. Then your glass cake stands. Place your cakeletts out on the glass stands and fill in with your bud vases filled with flowers. You can add candles if you want!
3. Set the individual placesettings: one cake, one offset spatula and one pastry bag filled with frosting
4. Sprinkle in the bowls of toppings around the table. Guests can share and pass the bowls...that's part of the fun!

30 MINUTES BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE


1. Wipe down bathroom counters, add a fresh hand towel and light some candles.
2. Turn your music on.
3. Take a deep breath and get ready to have some fun!

CHEATS + SHORTCUTS


• Skip the homemade cakes! Go with a boxed mix and you'll save yourself time in the kitchen. Make the buttercream though because homemade buttercream is SO worth it.

• Cakes can all be made and frozen a week ahead of time. Just wrap in a double saran wrap layer and remember to defrost in the fridge the night before.

• Tag team the party with a friend—and cut your baking time in half!

• Don't forget to have an easy trash solution for guests, a clean hand-washing station and plenty of cocktails and you'll have a FAIL FREE party on your hands!