Sunday, August 26, 2012

Surprise Birthday Party

We had a surprise birthday party for our friend Mark last night. It was a pretty relaxed get together with pizza, cake, ice cream and games. I had a lot of fun and I hope he did too.

I thought I'd share a few recipes with you as well as my latest creative endeavor that were enjoyed by all at the party.

First, the decor:

I made the birthday banner out of scrapbook paper and printed letters on our black/white printer and cut them out. It turned out really well and can totally be used again . . . and again! We picked up some helium balloons too which was totally fun. I loved them. Seriously, I played with them for an hour after everyone went home.

Now, the cake:

Alright, before you laugh at my lettering . . . okay. I'll wait! Let me just say now that you are done laughing, that this is the best cake recipe ever! It's the same cake I made last time. It's Betty Crocker's "Best Chocolate Cake," and it does not disappoint. I have issues with frosting, so I was a bit nervous about this one, but the recipe I found online was really easy and it turned out great.

Here's the recipe for Betty Crocker's Best chocolate Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate (cool)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan (13x9x2 or two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans). Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour evenly into pans. 

Bake oblong 40 to 45 minutes, layers 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

 I also made Butterfinger ice cream! Sorry, no photos of that. But in case you are interested, here is the recipe.

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