Cupcake Themed Birthday Party: from cupcake party decorations, cupcake party games and activities, to a cupcake dessert table!
We had the best time celebrating Maddie’s 5th birthday with a cupcake themed birthday party. For weeks we’ve been planning and decorating and I’m so excited to share all the fun details.
Bakers and Cupcake Decorators Wanted
We greeted our party guests with our “Help Wanted” sign on the front door -cute and easy.
The Cupcake Party Decorations
The dining room was set up for cupcake decorating -more on that to come, and the living room was our pretend play bakeshop and cafe.
We used 3M hooks that come off with no damage to the paint, to string up a combination of tissue paper pom poms and paper lanterns.
I made this sweet little “Hello Cupcake” banner on my Cricut machine with some cupcake scrapbook paper, and added in the felted sweater heart garland I made for Valentine’s day.
The entrance way got dressed up with pink, and sweet little cupcake candles that I bought years ago for another cupcake event and went with our cupcake theme perfectly.
I decorated the fireplace mantel for the party too. I love putting out some baby pictures of the birthday girl -my how she’s grown! The cupcakes are more candles. I also used this reusable cupcake banner. We made the cupcake banners with simple felt flags stitched to some seam binding. I made it several years ago, and add different felt pictures depending on the birthday theme. Love these sweet cupcakes with sprinkles and cherries on top to match our party theme!
There was also a Happy Birthday banner, with the same cupcakes.
And, another banner decorated the front of the pretend bakeshop.
Cupcake Flower Arrangements
One of my very favourite details were the sweet little cupcake flower arrangements. I was inspired by How Does She, but wasn’t able to get the containers here in Canada. One day, while in my favourite store (Dollarama) I came across cupcake liner shaped little ice cream bowls and spoons -angels sang.
They came in bright summer colours, but me and my BBF -spray paint, we fixed them right up! We left the one bright pink, and painted the yellow, green, and blue ones light pink. I sent them to my sister, and she filled them with a little floral foam and white mums -thanks Auntie Heather! I had some candles in just the right size, which were the finishing touch. Aren’t they the sweetest? I heart them -a lot.
In the kitchen, I also used one of Maddie’s sweet, and tiny bakery toys and arranged it on this beautiful cake plate.
It looked so cute, and was a great way to share it with little friends, without losing any of the teeny, tiny little pieces in a house full of people. I always love incorporating some of my kids toys into their birthday party decor.
Cupcake Soap and Towel
It’s always fun to put a little unexpected themed decor in the powder room for a party.
For her cupcake bakery themed birthday party, I decided to make a cupcake towel for Maddie that she could use after the party. It was really simple, and inexpensive. I started with a nice white towel, and appliqued a cupcake I cut out of felt, and a little pink ric rac trim.
Before sewing on the bottom, I used the sewing machine to create the signature cupcake paper lines.
I found this sweet cupcake soap. The special towel and soap looked really “sweet” in the powder room on the day of the cupcake bakery birthday party.
Cupcake Party Dress
I really am not great at sewing, but I can handle a few straight seams. We found some cute cupcake fabric at Walmart, but they only had small squares of it available. I decided to try a simple pillowcase dress, and went searching for instructions on-line. This tutorial from The Mother Huddle, including a great sizing chart was great. Her instructions are really good and easy to follow. If I can do it, you can do it. I had to cheat the sizing slightly, since the pieces of cupcake fabric weren’t quite wide enough, but it still turned out really well, and just wasn’t as full as the pattern called for.
I used a sweet polka dot fabric at the bottom, and a polka dot ribbon to match. The dress isn’t perfect, but Maddie loved it, and that was what was important. 😉 It was a cool day so we paired it with white capri leggings and a white t-shirt underneath. What a cutie, and sweet as a cupcake too.
Cupcake Themed Party Games and Activities
I always like to start a party with a little craft that everyone can join in with as they arrive.
Cupcake Painting Craft
We started out with the kids decorating some cute little paper mache cupcakes, I found at Walmart. I put out pink and white paint, and an assortment of jewel, and pearl stickers, along with red pom poms and glitter glue. The kids had a great time decorating the top of a cupcake and they all took them home at the end of the party.
Real Cupcake Decorating
After the craft it was time to decorate the real cupcakes.
I set up the dining room table for the best cupcake decorating ever. Everyone had a cute little cupcake apron waiting for them on their chair, see how I made them here out of tea towels. These were a really cute addition to the party, and everyone took theirs home as party of their party favor.
I bought cupcake bakery boxes for everyone to be able to bring their own cupcakes home in and feel like they worked in a real bake shop. The cupcake boxes worked really well, so everyone knew exactly which cupcakes were their. They all took their boxes of cupcakes home with them at the end of the party.
The Cupcakes and Decorations
- vanilla cupcakes
- chocolate cupcakes
- chocolate chip cupcakes
- coconut cupcakes
- vanilla frosting
- dark pink frosting
- light pink frosting
- chocolate frosting
- sugar roses
- chocolate 5s
- pink smarties
- chocolate sprinkles
- white sprinkles
- pink sprinkles
- white sanding sugar
- pink sanding sugar
- mini marshmallows
- maraschino cherries
- silver dragees balls
- gold dragees balls
- chocolate chips
- mini heart cookies
I baked four different flavors of cupcakes before the party for decorating. We had chocolate chip, coconut, vanilla and chocolate. Mini cupcakes would be a great option too.
I made vanilla frosting, and tinted it dark and light pink. We also made chocolate frosting. I had grand visions of putting each of the icings in a piping bag for all the kids, but forgot to take the icing out of the fridge on the morning of the party in all the rush, so…we stirred it into submission and set out bowls and knives. Of course the highlight to the decorating was all the fun sprinkles and toppings. I was collecting for weeks finding every pink decoration I could.
The sugar roses from the bulk barn were a real hit with the little girls. They all had a good time adding them to their cupcakes. I also used some pink chocolate to make some 5’s. I just melted it and put it in a ziplock with the corner snipped off to pipe them onto wax paper.
The kids loved their decorating with their own birthday cupcake ideas, and took it very seriously. They worked on paper plates, and when they were done we transferred the finished cupcake designs to the bakery boxes. This was a good idea, and the easiest way because the plates gave them room to work on each delicious cupcake, but also caught any stray rainbow sprinkles. Cupcake decorating was an obvious choice for a cupcake themed birthday, but I think it’s a great option at any birthday parties.
Here’s a few of the finished products…someone likes cherries. ;). They loved decorating their cupcakes with all the different colors, and toppings, and options. The birthday child was truly living her best life.
The cupcake decorating was a real hit, everyone enjoyed it, and loved taking their little aprons, and finished cupcake masterpieces home in their “real” bakery boxes.
The Pretend Bake Shop Pretend Play Centre
We thought it would be really fun for the kids to turn our living room into a pretend bakeshop for the kids to play in for our cupcake themed birthday party. So we moved out some of our living room furniture in brought in the toys!
Play Kitchen and Pretend Bakery Food
We started out with Maddie’s sweet pink kitchen, bought at Target a few years ago.
I cleared off some of the book shelves, and we stocked them with bakery supplies. I used an old egg carton and some plastic Easter eggs, as well as some empty packages from sugar, flour and cream. Kids love using the “real” stuff, just like Mom and Dad, so save those empty containers.
I also found these cute little fabric bags and used stamps to add the words “flour” and “sugar”, and then filled the bags with some white cotton balls for the kids to bake with.
Along with these I shopped the house for all the baking and cooking toys I could find, and made a little work area for the bakers. I also added a few of my real cookbooks.
The Pretend Store
We used the toy box as the store counter, complete with cash register, phone, little bakery boxes and brown paper bags decorated with cupcake stickers, and paper and pencils to write down orders.
My sister even made little business cards.
We used the chalk board as a menu for customers.
On the other side of the counter we set up some tables and chairs for the customers. We bought Maddie the IKEA dish sets for her birthday and used them in the cafe.
I found the little wall decals at Dollarama, and they added a fun touch to our little cafe. Maddie added a little dandelion bouquet, to “make it look like a real cafe”. 😉
The kids really enjoyed playing in our little pretend bakery and cafe and had such a fun time. It was really pretty easy to put together. Almost everything we used were things we already had. Of course they loved decorating real cupcakes and eating them! But the next best thing was being able to play as long as they wanted at the pretend bake shop. For a younger age group like our guests, this was the perfect activity.
The Cupcake Party Drinks
The drinks for the party were pink lemonade and bottled water, I found the mini bottles which were the perfect kid size and wrapped them in cupcake scrapbook paper. Love is in the details.
Cupcake Party Lunch
Our kid friendly fare was hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls, veggies and dip, a fruit tray and a favourite around here “Paula Deen’s crock pot Mac and cheese“. I tripled the batch and put it in the crock pot in the morning, by lunch it was ready and delicious, and left-overs were great too.
Adults Panini Bar
For the adults (and any kids who wanted one) we made a nice salad and created a panini bar, with lots of different meats and cheeses, grilled veggies, and fun condiments like pesto, tapenade and sun dried tomatoes, along with all kinds of fresh breads from the bakery. Guests were invited to create their own sandwiches and then grill them on one of three panini grills we had set up. They were a great success.
The Cupcake Dessert Table
Lunch was lovely, but it was the sweets table that we were all waiting for!
I think I set a new all-time record preparing for this party I used 3 dozen eggs and 5 lbs of butter! That’s a lot of baking!
The Sweet Stand
The sweet stand inspired the whole party. My sister and brother-in-law made this great stand for my girls for Christmas. They had their eye on the Melissa and Doug market/lemonade stand in the catalogue, but Uncle Shaun decided to create his own version. My sister had the “Sweet Shop” banner created just for Maddie, and printed at a sign shop.
I wanted to fill all the fun baskets with treats so I baked three kinds of cookies, and marshmallow pops, and wrapped them individually so it would look like a real bakery. It was a lot of work, but everyone absolutely loved it. And since everything was individually wrapped it was really easy for guests to take some of the extras home with them.
Cupcake Marshmallow Pops
These cupcake marshmallow are easy to make. I put the marshmallow on a stick and dipped the whole thing in melted milk chocolate. After it dried, I dipped the top in melted pink chocolate, and while it was wet added sprinkles and red smartie cherry-on-top. We wrapped them in little cello bags and tied them with simple ribbon.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
I also baked chocolate chip cookies -see our favourite recipe here and just leave out the toffee for plain chocolate chip cookies. These are one of the birthday girl’s favourites, and we tied the bags with pretty pink bakers twine.
I also made a family favourite, jam jams. Find the recipe here. Don’t they look delicious with their raspberry jam filling!
Cupcake Sugar Cookies
The prettiest cookies were the cupcake sugar cookies. I iced them all in dark pink, light pink and white icing, with white and pink sprinkles. I love how they turned out and they were so delicious.
Up on top of our sweet stand were birthday cupcakes, and few other sweet treats. Of course we had to had cupcakes instead of a birthday cake.
I made the Barefoot Contessa’s Coconut with Cream Cheese Frosting, always a big hit with the coconut fans. Also I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. I tried a new recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cupcake book for chocolate chip cupcakes. I frosted some with vanilla and some with chocolate chips and sprinkled with white or chocolate chips. For the vanilla cupcakes I also used the Barefoot Contessa Coconut cupcake recipe, just leave out the coconut, and they are my very favourite vanilla cupcakes. These are the best cupcakes, and have become my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe.
I made some sweet little cupcake picks for the party, using scrapbook paper, cupcake wrappers and some scrapbook embellishments. I love how they turned out and thought they were so much fun for our theme.
Along with all the cupcakes I served some pink cotton candy in plastic shot glasses, served on sweet pink gingham paper boxes.
Also made homemade chocolate pudding with vanilla whipped cream. I saw the recipe at Whipperberry a few weeks ago, and knew the party was the perfect occasion to try it out. I served it in sweet little mason jars, and it was delicious and very, very chocolaty!
After hours and hours of baking for the party, it was great fun to enjoy all the sweets with friends and family! On Friday morning, feeling a little overwhelmed with all the baking I had to do, I asked Maddie if she thought I was making too many sweets for the party. And her response, “there’s no such thing as too many sweets”! And that is why this was the perfect party for our little sweetie!
Admittedly I want a little overboard on the sweets. I wanted to fill the whole sweet stand and put a different sweet treat in each section, but it really was so beautiful, and everyone loved all the great homemade options.
This was such a fun party, and worth all the effort . Happy Birthday Miss Maddie, you make our lives so much sweeter!
With a cupcake themed birthday party, life really is a party.
You might also like our Cupcakes In A Jar Recipe here.
You might also like our Strawberry Cupcake Recipe here.
Also check out our Cupcake Aprons from Tea Towels Tutorial here.