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Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars

This post is sponsored by OXO, however all opinions are mine.  

The marriage of crisp almonds and chewy cake bring these Swedish Visiting Cake Bars to life making them a classically delicious dessert!

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

I’m thrilled to be participating in Cookies for Kid’s Cancer again this year!  

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by two OXOnians (OXO employees) who were inspired by their son Liam’s battle with pediatric cancer, a disease which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer provides inspiration and support to allow anyone to easily get involved in fundraising to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

OXOnians regard each other as family. The news of Liam’s diagnosis hit them hard and they have been personally involved with this worthy organization from the beginning.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

As part of Cookies for Kid’s Cancer this year, OXO selected group exclusive group of bloggers to to receive an exclusive recipe and a set of coordinating baking products and tools to make that recipe.

For each blog post and recipe shared, OXO will donate $100 to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer (up to their $100,000 commitment).

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

How incredibly awesome is that!

The recipe I was given to recreate is Dorie Greenspan’s Swedish Visiting Cake Bars.

Dorie shared her thoughts on particiapting in Cookies for Kid’s Cancer saying,

I have been a supporter of Cookies For Kids Cancer from before Day 1 and with good reason: It’s a targeted source of funding for research into pediatric cancer treatments. That pediatric cancer is so prevalent and so poorly funded is a terrible paradox. Cookies for Kids Cancer is changing this and I love helping them reach their goals.

These are a mash-up of two recipes I love: almond-meringue topping, which I usually use on fruit tarts and (a variation of the) Swedish Visiting Cake, which is usually unadorned. I can no longer remember when or why I married these two, but once I did, the knot was tied for life — the crisp almonds and chewy cake make a perfect couple.

The cake is supremely satisfying and the topping is unusual in that it bakes to a meringue finish, but there’s no whipping involved. You just mix egg whites and confectioners’ sugar together — I do it with my fingers — swish sliced almonds around in the mix and spread it over the batter. The oven does all the work.

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

Since 2011, JavaCupcake has participated in raising awareness and money for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. 

We started with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and now we’re working with OXO!

Thanks to OXO for providing me the following products: 

Swedish Visiting Cake Bars | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com #OXO #sponsored

It’s a fantastic way to give back to the community with my fellow bloggers. 

OXO and it’s chef-supporters of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer hope this inspires people to host their own Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales! 

Join in the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer challenge by registering your event online.  If you mark that you were inspired by OXO when you register, we’ll match proceeds from your bake sale up to our annual commitment.

Check out these cookie recipes from past Cookies for Kid’s Cancer fundraisers! 

Apple Snickerdoodles - freshly shredded apples add another layer of deliciousness to these classic cookies! | JavaCupcake.com
2013 – Apple Snickerdoodles

This is a sponsored post on behalf of OXO. 

chocolate cake on a cake stand in a kitchen

Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake

This post has been sponsored by Coffee-mate® Creamer. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

mocha cookies and cream cake on a stand in a kitchen

Rich layers of espresso filled chocolate cake topped with whipped cookies and cream buttercream, a drizzle of chocolate ganache and more buttercream make this Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake a decadent dessert sure to please the chocolate lovers in your life!

mocha cookies and cream cake with espresso beans, buttercream, and cookies

Imagine a quiet afternoon with no kids, no distractions and and hour to yourself.  Now, imagine holding a big cup of steaming, hot coffee topped off with Coffee-mate® Cookies & Cream creamer while seated comfortably on the couch under a cozy blanket with a big slice of cake to indulge in.

Sounds like heaven right?

mocha cookies and cream cake on a cake stand with a bowl of cookies

Let me tell you… it was.  This was me about two weeks ago, right before my kids were home for 13 days (snow days and spring break) enjoying a few cherished moments of silence.

Feeling inspired by my new favorite Coffee-mate Dessert Creamer in the Cookies & Cream flavor, I decided to recreate the magic of that afternoon in cake form.

mocha cookies and cream cake on a stand with a bowl of cookies

However in order to make this Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake I needed a recipe!  I knew I’d start with my chocolate cake recipe, but I needed to kick it up a big notch by adding more espresso to the batter to really bring out the coffee flavor.

Two tablespoons of espresso powder to be exact!

chocolate ganache drips on a mocha cookies and cream cake

Two tablespoons of espresso in one cake means there will truly be a strong coffee flavor to the chocolate cake making it mocha-licious!

The Coffee-mate® Cookies & Cream Creamer reminds me of what it tastes like when I eat a chocolate cream sandwich cookie and dunk it in milk.  I like my cookie extra soaked in milk so it gets mushy and melts in my mouth and the Coffee-mate Cookies & Cream creamer tastes exactly like that… but with coffee!

mocha cookies and cream cake on a stand with a slice of cake and a glass of milk

To replicate the cookies and cream flavor for the frosting in the Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake, I decided to start with a basic vanilla buttercream recipe.

I would whip the vanilla buttercream until it was light and fluffy and then fold in 16 crushed chocolate cream sandwich cookies!  The cookies would need to be a little chunky so when I bite into the frosting, I get a piece of cookie in several bites.

inside of a mocha cookies and cream cake

To add some pizzazz to the cake, I knew it needed to not only taste good, but it needed to look spectacular!

Drip cake! Yes! Chocolate ganache dripping down the sides of the cake would take this mocha cookies and cream cake over the top!  Swirls of cookies and cream buttercream and a few whole coffee beans on top make the cake perfects!

slice of mocha cookies and cream cake and a cup of coffee

For supplies, I knew I only had one choice of stores to stock up on supplies for this sinfully delicious Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake… Walmart!

What I love about Walmart is that the location in my neighborhood is so close to me making shopping incredibly convenient!  Walmart is my go-to place for easy shopping trips,  especially when I’m on a budget.

mocha cookies and cream cake

 

Did you know that you can get Coffee-mate Dessert Creamers in three different flavors at Walmart?  They’re super easy to find at the store… located with the rest of the coffee creamers in the cold dairy section.  These creamers are NEW and only available seasonally so if you want to try them, you have to act fast!

mocha cookies and cream cake with frosting in a bowl

You already know I’m sold on the Cookies & Cream flavor but there’s also Toasted Marshmallow Mocha and Coconut Caramel Latte that you won’t want to miss out on either.

And on May 10-13th you might even be lucky enough to try Coffee-mate Dessert Creamers in your local Walmart store!

Find your local Walmart store here: https://www.walmart.com/store/finder

slice of mocha cookies and cream cake

So, the next time you’re sitting down to enjoy a quiet afternoon with your cup of coffee, make sure you’re using Coffee-mate Dessert Creamers… you never know what kind of dessert you’ll be inspired to make next!

Check here for more inspiration and details on the new Coffee-mate Dessert Creamers at Walmart!

slice of mocha cookies and cream cake

I really hope you enjoy this Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake as much as I did, my photographer did and everyone we shared it with!

Happy Baking!

Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake

Mocha Cookies and Cream Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
  • 2 Tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup, (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2lbs powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions

Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease, line with parchment paper and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the 2 prepared pans. Each pan should get 3 cups of batter.
  7. Bake 26-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Once the cakes have cooled, but are still warm, use a cake leveler to cut off the round mound on the top of the cake. Make sure both layers are the same height.
Cookies n' Cream Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and half the cream until smooth.
  2. Mix in the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.  Scrape the bowl.
  3. With the mixer on low, add the remaining cream.  Whip on high speed for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Crush the sandwich cookies until coarse.  Add to the buttercream and mix until just combined.
Chocolate Ganache
  1. In a small pan, heat heavy cream to a simmer.  Do not boil.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl.  Let sit for 3 minutes without stirring.
  3. With a spatula, stir slowly until all the chocolate has melted.
  4. Add butter and stir to combine.
  5. Pour into a squeeze bottle.
Assembly
  1. Place the first cooled cake layer on your cake stand/plate, cut side up.  Spread a layer of frosting onto of that layer evenly.
  2. Place the second layer on top, cut side down.  Fill in the sides where the layers come together so that the frosting in the center extends all the way to the edge.
  3. Spread a very thin coat of frosting over the entire cake.  Chill for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Fill a 12in piping bag fitted with an open start tip with frosting.  Use the remaining frosting to completely cover the cake.
  5. Use a straight edge to smooth out the top and edges of the cake.
  6. Using the squeeze bottle, start in the center of the top of the cake and squeeze the ganache in an circular pattern until it just reaches the edge of the cake.  Use a flat edge (spatula or knife) to press the chocolate over the edges causing a drip.  If necessary, squeeze more chocolate on the edges in places that need more dripped chocolate. Allow to set for 10 minutes to set.
  7. Pipe swirls of frosting on top of the cake equally around the edge of the cake.
  8. Garnish with coffee beans.

Hazelnut Fig Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Hazelnut Fig Cake

This sophisticated Hazelnut Fig Cake is gently spiced, full of flavors including dried figs, fresh figs and dark brown muscovado sugar, and is finished with a decadent fig cream cheese icing. You don’t want to miss out on this cake!

cake topped with figs and hazelnuts on a white background with a bowl of figs

It was last fall when I was first introduced to dried figs.   I was enjoying an evening at my friend Fanette’s house and she had a charcuterie with delicious cheese, bread, nuts and dried figs.

sliced figs and hazelnuts

I knew I would enjoy the cheese and bread, but what in the world were these dried little fruits!?

At first, I was scared to take a bite… but let me tell you as soon as I did… I WAS HOOKED.  I loved these dried figs! A slice of cheese, chuck of bread and half a dried fig together and I was in heaven!

fig and hazelnut cake on a stand with a slice of cake on a plate and a bowl of figs

It was then that I decided that I MUST come up with a recipe that included figs and this Hazelnut Fig Cake was born!

I did a bit of research to find a fig based cake on Google and Pinterest, but didn’t find many cakes that were the style I was looking for.  Most had fresh figs in the cake similar to how you make a pineapple upside down cake and I wanted to make a layer cake.

hazelnut and fig cake on a cake stand with a white background

Finally, I found a recipe from BBC Good Food for a spiced fig, hazelnut and coffee cake that not only looked delicious, but the recipe looked amazing!

 

Let me tell you about my Hazelnut Fig Cake.

slice of hazelnut and fig cake on a blue plate with a hazelnut and fig cake on a cake stand

First, not only is my Hazelnut Fig Cake is packed full of figgy flavor, nutty undertones a touch of sweetness from the cream cheese fig frosting, it is flavored with coffee.

Yes, you read that right… I said coffee!  Coffee adds such a rich balance to the sweet fig and the roasted hazelnuts that’s undeniably delicious!

slice of hazelnut and fig cake on a blue plate with a hazelnut and fig cake on a marble stand

The fresh figs and roasted hazelnuts that top the cake add another dimension of flavor and texture that is sure to please your palate!

From the first bite of this Hazelnut Fig Cake, you will seriously feel like you have died and gone to Heaven.

slice of hazelnut and fig cake on a blue plate with fresh sliced fig and chopped hazelnuts

So if you love fig… you are going to LOVE this Hazelnut Fig Cake!

Photography by Frenchly Photography. 

Hazelnut Fig Cake

Hazelnut Fig Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 6 dried figs, chopped into small pieces
  • 75ml hot strong coffee
  • 200g blanched hazelnuts
  • 200g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 225g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 50g greek yogurt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling

  • 100ml strong coffee
  • 15 dried figs, chopped into small pieces

Frosting

  • 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1lb powdered sugar
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp fig filling
  • 1/2 tsp sald
  • 10 fresh figs
  • roasted hazlenuts

Instructions

Cake

  1. Put the 6 dried figs and hot coffee in a cup together and let sit while preparing the batter.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F degrees.
  3. Grease and flour two 8in round cake pans.
  4. Once the oven has heated, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 7-8 minutes or until they begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and pulse 75g of the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside the rest to garnish the cake with later.
  5. Add the 75ml of coffee and figs and whizz the food processor until combined.
  6. Add the butter, brown sugar, yogurt, eggs and vanilla bean paste and turn the food processor on for 10-15 seconds. Take the blade out, scrape the bowl down and whizz for 10 more seconds.
  7. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  8. Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl. Fold together until combined.
  9. Pour half into each prepared baking pan.
  10. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Filling

  1. Chop the 15 dried figs and combine with the strong coffee. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. After the figs have soaked in the coffee, pulse them in a food processor with the coffee until it becomes a paste. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the mixture for the frosting.

Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, vanilla extract and cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  2. Add half the sugar and mix until combined.
  3. Add the reserved 3 tablespoons of fig paste and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl down and mix again.
  4. Add the salt and mix to combine.
  5. You may not need all the sugar, so start slowly adding the remaining sugar. Add a few tablespoons at a time and mix gently until combined, checking the consistency of the frosting. More sugar makes cream cheese frosting softer, so be gently with adding it and beating.

Assembly

  1. Place the first cake layer, top up, on the cake stand. Spread a thin, even layer of frosting over the top to the edges.
  2. Spoon the fig mixture onto the frosting and spread out leaving about one inch of the edge with no fig.
  3. Place the second cake layer top down on top of the frosting. Press down gently.
  4. Place a thin layer of frosting around the outside of the cake. This is called the crumb coat. Chill the cake for 20-30 minutes allowing the crumb coat to firm.
  5. Use the remaining frosting and cover the entire cake with an even layer.
  6. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Once ready to serve, take the cake out for 10 minutes and prepare the fresh figs and remaining hazelnuts.
  7. Slice the fresh figs and top the cake with them. Gently chop the remaining roasted hazelnuts and add them to the top of the cake.

Notes

Adapted from BBC Good Food

 

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Hummingbird Cake

This nut-free recipe for Hummingbird Cake is full of pineapple, banana, and sunflower seeds!  There’s so much flavor you won’t miss the nuts! Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I’m allergic to nuts.  I mean, I can have peanuts because technically they’re a legume, but almonds, walnuts, cashews… they make me swell up and honestly I don’t want to know what happens after that.

Since Hummingbird Cake traditionally has nuts in it, I’ve never tried it because of that.

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I was recently at an event where the Hummingbird Cake was made by Dog Tag Bakery.  DTB is a nut-free bakery and when I realized that the cake would have no nuts I jumped at the chance to try it!

This recipe actually is the same recipe they use at Dog Tag Bakery!  I’m so blessed to know the pastry chef there and she was so gracious to share it with me!  Thank you, Rebecca!

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Holy cow… I’ve been missing out in my life!!  The combination of the banana and pineapple together make the Hummingbird cake incredibly moist and flavorful.

Add the crunch of sunflower seeds and the richness of the cream cheese frosting and  OH MY this cake is out of this world!

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Making this cake was fun too.  It was the first cake I assembled at my photographers studio so it was a challenge to decorate it without all my tools at home.

Fanette of Frenchly Photography did an amazing job capturing the beauty of this Hummingbird Cake!

Hummingbird Cake | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The recipe that Rebecca gave me didn’t include a recipe for frosting.  So, I used my pipeable cream cheese frosting recipe and doubled it to have enough to finish off the cake.

Happy Baking!

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake

Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1005g cake flour
  • 1065g sugar
  • 14g salt
  • 14g baking soda
  • 8g ground cinnamon
  • 366g eggs
  • 511g vegetable oil
  • 560g crushed pineapple, drained before weighing
  • 32g vanilla extract
  • 1136g banana, mashed
  • 295g sunflower seeds

Frosting

  • 16oz full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp for 30 minutes before using
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp heavy cream, as needed
  • Sunflower Seeds, for decoration

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line, grease and flour 3 8in round cake pans.
  2. Weigh the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the eggs and oil.
  4. Sift the dry mixture into the bowl with the eggs/oil. Mix on low for 1 minute, making sure the bottoms and sides of the bowl have been scraped so all the dry is combined into the wet. Do not over mix!
  5. Fold in the banana and pineapple. Mix on low for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the sunflower seeds and mix an additional 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl.
  7. Measure 1660g of batter for each prepared pan.
  8. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a tooth pic comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  9. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes until removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the slightly room temperature butter and cream cheese just until combined.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar then measure out 5 cups. One cup at a time, add the sugar and slowly mix to combine. Do not mixer longer than it takes to combine.
  3. Pour the vanilla evenly over the frosting and mix slowly to combine.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on high for 5-7 seconds. STOP MIXING!
  5. Test the consistency of the frosting, if it is too thick add a teaspoon of heavy cream and mix only until incorporated. If the frosting is too soft, chill for 20 minutes before frosting.

Assembly

  1. Trip the hump/top of each cake so they are relatively level.
  2. Place the first layer of cake on the cake stand and spread frosting evenly over the top. Add the second layer and repeat. Finish by placing the their layer, cut site down, on top.
  3. Frost a very thin crumb coat over the outside of the cake. Chill cake for 30 minutes. (Leave frosting in cool place while the cake chills).
  4. Once the crumb coat is chilled firm, frost the sides and top of the cake.
  5. Using a star tip, pipe swirl dollops of frosting around the outside top edge of the cake.
  6. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on each swirl to garnish.
  7. Chill until ready to serve. When ready to serve, remove from fridge for 20 minutes before cutting.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of Dog Tag Bakery.

 

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

How to Host a Paw Patrol Party at School

Have you ever hosted a child’s birthday party at home? Have you ever wondered how to stop 15 sugar-filled children running around your kitchen and climbing on your gloss dining table and chairs? Instead of hosting your child’s next birthday at home, why not bring the party to their school?! Use this How to Host a Paw Patrol Party at School guide for inspiration and recipes!

Sometimes hosting a party for your kids can be stressful! Figuring out where and when to host the party to get the greatest number of children to attend can be a chore! If your child’s school allows it, have their next party at their school. You can speak to the school about what the party will involve. If you suggest the idea of having inflatables for the kids to play on in the playground and the school agrees with it, you could get in touch with that family friend who is a kids party planner and speak to them and see if you can use the inflatables that they purchased through companies like JungleJumps. The earlier you plan this party, the more you can do to make this party so much fun for the kids! School parties mean that all your child’s friends will be there, plenty of tables and chairs, plus teachers to help! For Matty’s 5th birthday this year, we had his Paw Patrol Party at his school! It was one of the most fun parties I’ve ever hosted for him so I wanted to create a guide so that you can host a Paw Patrol Party at school too!

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

In this guide, you’ll get ideas for…

  • Party Shirts
  • Table Settings & Party Decor
  • Snack Ideas
  • Dessert Table w/ Recipes
  • Party Games & Favors
  • Thank you Note/Group Photo

Let’s get started!

Party Shirts

Having your child wear a shirt in the theme of the party just adds another simple dimension of fun to the entire look at feel of the event.

In the past, I’ve done matching shirts for my entire immediate family, but this year I decided to just get the birthday boy one shirt of his own to wear.

A few weeks before the party, I searched on ETSY for a birthday shirt in the Paw Patrol theme that Matty could wear to his party. I contacted Mending Life Together and asked if they could make Matty’s shirt and get it to me in time.

They worked with me to get it done and I had the shirt in time for the party!

Table Settings & Party Decor

I’m a firm believer in saving myself time, energy and stress. Which is exactly why I don’t stress about buying out Party City of plates, napkins, cups, balloons, and confetti in the theme of my party!

Supplies

At the party store save yourself the hassle and buy the following on theme:

  • Plates and napkins*
  • Table covers*
  • Silverware & cups*
  • Balloons
  • Cake/cupcake stand
  • Tissue paper tassels
  • Confetti

*disposable

Get creative with the items you choose. They all don’t have to be on theme exactly, however they should all be in the same color family.

Table Settings

At the Paw Patrol Party, I set the table with a red table cover so that the plates and napkins would stand out against it. I choose blue cups to offset the red add another color to the table.

Simple and perfect for 5 year olds!

Party Decor

Planning the decor for a party for 5-year-old kids is pretty easy. They are really only impressed if their favorite characters are plastered everywhere! I only care how easy it is to clean up after the party!

Two balloon bouquets lined each side of the table to add height to the overall look and feel of the party. I also sprinkled Paw Patrol themed confetti across the center of the table & dessert table to add a little more fun!

Snack Ideas

Since this party was happening during snack time at school, I knew that my snack should be fun but also have a healthy component.

For this party, I served:

  • Paw Patrol fruit snacks
  • Paw shaped Cheetos
  • Mini apples
  • Blue juice

Dessert Table

Every party I host always has some type of dessert table display. For this Paw Patrol Party, I kept it simple since we were at school.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.comI improvised with shelving and furniture that was already in the classroom to create my Dessert Table! I cut a Paw Patrol plastic table cover to fit the shelving and sprinkles confetti over the top.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

To add height and dimension to the table, I placed a small box under the table cover in the center in turn creating a higher focal point for the cake which was the centerpiece of the display.

The Cake

The cake is always the star of the party. Candles are put on top and the first slice is always for the birthday boy. Since I don’t work a lot with fondant or modeling chocolate, I decided to buy a Paw Patrol toy to top the cake.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Frosting the cake in a solid color and adding simple piping embellishments allowed the topper of the cake to shine and still look clean and professional!

RECIPE

The cake is a funfetti box cake mix with a homemade chocolate frosting and whipped vanilla buttercream tinted blue on the outside. The red balls on top are gum balls I got at in the bulk section at the party store.

The Cupcakes

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

RECIPE

The same funfetti box cake mix was used for the cupcakes. I baked the cupcakes in Paw Patrol liners I found at the party store. The cupcakes are topped with the same chocolate frosting used on the cake and cookies.

The Cookies

One of the easiest ways to create another dessert on theme of your party is to make roll & cut sugar cookies using a themed cookie cutter! For this Paw Patrol Party I used a dog bone shape cutter and frosted the cookies in chocolate frosting.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

I displayed the dog bone cookies on a cake stand with blue ribbon to tie in more colors from the party.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

RECIPE

The cookies were made with my tried and true sugar cookie recipe and topped with chocolate frosting (the same used in the cake & cupcakes). I used a Wilton #4 piping tip to outline and fill the cookies with frosting.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Party Games & Favors

I know how short kid’s attention spans can be so I combined the party favors and games into one activity.

I set up three stations for the kids to go to.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Station 1:

Paw Patrol themed small toys, games, rules, rings, etc from the party store.
Small paper bags and markers.
Each child will write their name on the bag then answer a fun/silly question before getting to pick out 2-3 items from each bowl.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Station 2:

Paw Patrol themed candy plus bulk candy in the colors of the party – all from the party store.
Small paper bags and markers.
Each child will write their name on the bag then answer a fun/silly question before getting to pick out 2-3 items from each bowl.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Station 3:

Paw Patrol temporary tattoos from the party store.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Thank You Note & Group Picture

At the conclusion of the party, arrange the children with the balloons for a fun group picture! This photo can be printed and included in the thank you notes to all the children who attended the party!

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Final Thoughts

Since this party was at school and on a quick timeline (only an hour for the party), I had to be realistic about the activities I had planned. If I would have had another hour to fill, I would have included an arts/crafts project and a group game that got them up and moving.

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

The kids had a great time and the teachers were super happy they had an easy Friday afternoon. Really, the most important thing is that my son Matty felt special.

At the end of the party he hugged me and said, “Mom, you’re the best.” So yeah, I consider this party a success!

Paw Patrol Party | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

Pinnable Image

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My Favorite Birthday Cake - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

My Favorite Birthday Cake

Rich chocolate espresso cake filled with fresh raspberry and topped with whipped vanilla buttercream make this My Favorite Birthday Cake!  And I didn’t even have to make it!

My Favorite Birthday Cake - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.comIt’s been at least 15 years since anyone has made me a cake for my birthday.  My mom used to make me one every year until I became an adult and then I typically made my birthday cake myself.

(Pardon the camera phone pictures… I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe!

This year, however, my husband asked if he and the kids could make me a birthday cake and I immediately answered YES.

With one caveat…

… he had to use my favorite cake recipe from my blog!

My Favorite Birthday Cake - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.comHe said no problem and printed out the recipe from the link I gave him.   Dave has watched and helped me so many times over the lat 7-8 years in the kitchen that I knew he had the skills to bake.

What I didn’t anticipate was how delicious the cake would turn out.  In fact, it was so good that I didn’t share any of the leftovers with my family for the days after my birthday.

Nope!  That cake was all mine!

My Favorite Birthday Cake - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.comMy Favorite Birthday Cake features a dense, rich, chocolate cake flavored with coffee and espresso.

Inside the cake is a compote made with fresh raspberries and citrus.  I could really eat that compote with a spoon… or on toast… or on ice cream… or off my fingers.

On the outside of the cake was a perfectly sweet, whipped, light and fluffy vanilla buttercream.  The secret to this buttercream is the heavy whipping cream.

I don’t make any of my frosting without heavy cream… it truly makes all the difference!

With that said… I hope you make this cake for yourself some day.  It is truly heavenly!

My Favorite Birthday Cake

Yield: 12-16
Prep Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 23 hours
Total Time: 1 days 9 hours

Instructions

Chocolate Espresso Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour 2 8in cake pans.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Each pan should get half of the batter. Bake 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Once the cakes have cooled, but are still warm, using a cake leveler to cut off the round mound on the top of the cake. Make sure all four layers are the same size.
Raspberry Filling
  1. In a large pan, melt the butter.
  2. Add the raspberries, sugar and lime and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir continuously so that the raspberries begin to break down.
  3. Add the corn starch and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the raspberries thicken, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the salt.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling cake.
Whipped Vanilla Buttercream:
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
  4. Add enough heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. You're looking for light and soft but still holds its shape.
  5. Mix on high for about 3-5 minute until light and fluffy.
Assembly
  1. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand/board.  Trim the top until it is flat.
  2. Pipe a small border of frosting around the outside edge of the cake.  Fill the middle with the raspberry mixture.
  3. Trip the top of the second cake layer until flat.  Gently press it trimmed side down onto the raspberry layer.
  4. Pipe or spread the remaining frosting onto the outside edge of the cake and smooth out with a spatula.
  5. Decorate as desired.

 

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