My son has lately been obsessed with the Disney cars movie so I decided on hosting a Lightning McQueen themed party. (If you don’t have a car crazy little boy like I do, Lightning McQueen is the name of the animated car the Disney movie is based on😜)
Some pictures from the two parties I hosted a week ago…
Not everything went according to plan, despite doing tonnes of preparation for the parties, but my guests were quite impressed and were lavish in their kind words for what I was able to put together! Thank you to all who came and made my little boy’s day truly special. I promised a few of my friends who couldn’t make it to the party that I would post pictures of the day and the recipes of food I served up. I thought I would try to do a detailed post of how I managed my son’s Birthday celebration instead of just posting pictures of the day and maybe you can pick up something as inspiration for any upcoming parties you may have to host soon; So here’s the lowdown on how I made the party food, the decorations and the cake.
The Lightning McQueen Cake
Character cakes are a wonderful way to add fun to the party! I wasn’t initially going to make a Car cake for my boy, but seeing the prices cake shops were charging for such cakes, I decided I might give it try anyway! So after watching umpteen YouTube tutorials and with much trepidation, I settled on a fondant covered Lightning McQueen cake with chocolate chiffon base and I took inspiration from here and here
To start with, I made a 9 inch chocolate chiffon cake, halved it horizontally and used chocolate heritage frosting to sandwich the layers. After that, I cut a bit from either side of the cake and used it to make the hood and the slanting rear top bit of the car. Then I carved and carved some more with a sharp serrated bread knife until it resembled the shape of a car. From here on its just a matter of crumb coating and chilling it before covering with red fondant and decorating as much as you like. I used oreo cookies covered in black fondant for the tyres and used white fondant for the other bits. The video links are excellent and provide all the details and instruction. And although it looks really complex, I assure you, if I can make it, so can anyone with basic baking and decorating skills. So I’d highly recommend you to try baking your own character cake and decorating it in instead of buying one, which might end up really expensive. Here’s another Teddy Bear Cake I made for my son’s 2nd Birthday last year
Easy Party Foods
Tortilla Roll Ups
These roll ups were a big hit and I wish I had made some more to go around! Just slather shop bought tortilla wraps with a generous amount of Philly garlic and herbs spread, sprinkle finely chopped onions, roll it up and slice into bite sized rolls. You can also try humous and other fillings for varied flavour combinations.
Puff Pastry Pinwheels
These are easy peasy and I made them half hour before the party. Spread tomato purée onto rolled out puff pastry sheet. Sprinkle chives or coriander. Roll tightly. Slice and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. I used an egg wash for a lovely brown top. You can also try just chopped garlic and herbs or a cheesy one with cheddar and chopped onions.
Pretty basic. The kids loved it though. I just threaded red and green grapes on a skewer topped with a strawberry and put it all in a cup.
Agar Agar Fruit Juice Jelly
Better than a gelatine jelly and can be made with any kind of juice you have. You need to measure out 1.5 tbsp of agar agar powder or flakes and boil it in 1/2 a cup of hot water until it is completely dissolved (Agar Agar/China Grass is available from Chinese/Asian food stores). Then just add 2 cups of your favourite juice to the mixture, stir and pour in mould. I used cranberry and mango juice to create a three-layered jelly. Turned out well.
Besides the above food, I also served some banana bread cupcakes, a mildly spicy pasta dish, Carrot sticks and some lightly salted crisps for the party.
For decorating, I mostly reused a few decorations from last year and stuck with simple streamers and buntings. I also hand painted a few car-themed wall decorations with cardboard boxes I took for free from Aldi and drew my patterns on it before colouring in and cutting it out.
Fancy Ceiling Streamer Web
I also made this really fancy streamer web with the leftover streamers I had and it looked fab on my ceiling! Here’s how to make it. Tie two equal lengths of string crossways and stick the centre and the ends of the string to your carpet or floor with tape so it is easy for you to work with. Then stick one end of a streamer to one of strings and twist as you go taping it to the next string. Work from the centre and outwards. Repeat till you reach the very end of the four strings. You will end up with a giant web of coloured streamers! Gently remove the tapes off the carpet/floor and stick the four string ends and the centre to your ceiling. It does take a bit of time and is a bit fiddly! But well worth the effort. You could try a bigger web by adding more strings. Get your spouse or child to help perhaps!
I had misplaced my gorgeous acrylic cupcake stand that I bought last year and had to resort to making up an emergency one because I just couldn’t find it! But my DIY cupcake stand looked so good at the table that no one could really tell that I made it from scratch. If you are ever stuck in a similar situation, here’s how to make your own
You’ll need 2 empty food tins, 1 unopened food (a can of beans or soup) tin for using as a weighted stand for the third tier, three equal sized cardboard cutouts (square or circle), tape/glue and coloured paper. Now use the unopened tin can as the base and stick a board on top of it making sure it is in the centre. Repeat same steps with the empty tins and cardboard a now. Then just stick coloured paper to cover the tins and you have a cupcake stand!
Thats it. I hope I’ve covered all that I wanted to!
I’ve had the funnest of times with my boy the past three years and it feels like I only gave birth to him yesterday! The toddler years are well and truly behind me, and I feel an ache in my heart for all the things I wont be able to do with him anymore cause he is no longer a helpless baby. I hope we will have as much fun in the coming year and I hope you will be a blessing to everyone around you just by being who you are. God bless you my little munchkin. xx
I’m linking this up with the lovely Claire from The Free range Family who is hosting the Frugal Family Linky! Do check it out for more fun and frugal ideas
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