Cake Baking & Decorating Tips
The Crumb Layer is a thin layer of frosting you put on your cake to hold the crumbs in so they don’t show up on the surface of the cake.
For the crumb layer, first make sure the cake is cool before you frost it. Brush all loose crumbs off. Then apply a very thin layer of buttercream frosting, pressing your spatula firmly against the cake. Don’t worry if there are some crumbs in this coating. It is called a crumb coat and is intended to hold the crumbs on the cake.
Put the cake in the refrigerator or freezer until the crumb layer hardens. When it is dry, apply your regular frosting. Don’t let the spatula touch the cake, only the frosting. Once frosting is applied, smooth it out as desired.
While guests arrive, have a game or activity planned that is easy for newcomers to join into. This keeps the party guests occupied and entertained before you begin the main party activities.
One fun idea is to get a roll of banner paper – just a long, narrow roll of plain paper. Unroll a section of it and let the kids draw and color on it as they arrive. You can provide stencils, too, related to your party theme if you can find them. You will need a flat surface (wood or linoleum floors work fine) to do this on. After the activity is over, hang the banner as a party decoration.
For a first birthday party, adult guests can write messages to the birthday child, and you can keep the banner as a special memento of your child’s first birthday party.
I know a lot of people say to save costumes for Halloween, not your child’s birthday party. I disagree! Dress-up is so much fun for kids, and how can you have a Princess Party without princess dresses? The only problem is if not all kids have a costume. The solution to this – provide costume props as party favors. If you are having a Princess Party, supply each guest with a feather boa. For a Harry Potter party, give each partygoer a pair of glasses and a magic wand. This way no one misses out, and everyone goes home happy!
Piñatas are a lot of fun, but you may wonder if it is a safe event for a party at home. When it comes to piñatas, you need space! Piñatas are great at outdoor parties, but if you have a big room in your home – with not many breakables – that works too. You can use the piñata as a table centerpiece until time to break it. Be sure to remember to buy the candy & goodies to go in it, and one final tip – piñatas and blindfolds are not a good mix!
As an alternative, you can buy a pull string pinata. Guests take turns pulling on a string under the pinata, and there is only one string that will pull it open. These are good for small children and/or indoor locations where there isn’t enough room to safely swing at a pinata.