For Jane’s first birthday last year we had a Hello Kitty themed party, with a cute fondant cake from Sugar Butter Flour. This year, Jane wanted an “Oso birthday party!” Here’s how we did it.
We mailed out these homemade invitations – download your free printable!
Although my own mother made all of our birthday cakes when we were kids – in addition to all of our elaborate Halloween costumes every year – I rang up the bakery again this year to see if I could get a 3-D cake like this or cupcakes like this made for Jane’s party. Turns out that this would cost more than both my arms and legs combined, plus a few of my vital organs as well.
So, with great determination, I set out to make a Special Agent Oso birthday cake on my own.
Second, I made my first e-Bay purchase: an edible image of Special Agent Oso with the text, “Happy Birthday Jane” from Cakes for Cures. The image stores for up to a year and is very simple to peel off and apply to your cake.
Two days before the party, I pre-made the frosting using my favorite buttercream frosting recipe. I mixed the colors using the Wilton 12 Icing Colors Set, which includes Aqua – the perfect color for Oso’s ears, eyes and paw prints.
Since I wouldn’t be using the frosting right away, I mixed the colors right into tupperware containers so I could pull them straight out of the fridge, re-whip, and use them immediately. (You can re-whip with a fork instead of the mixer because the quantities are relatively small). I mixed a generous amount of Yellow, equal amounts of Aqua and Black, a small amount of No-Taste Red and saved a small portion of uncolored frosting.
I also made the fondant cutouts two days in advance. First I colored three pre-made fondant balls with the Wilton Icing Colors in Aqua, Yellow and pink (using No-Taste Red). I rolled out the pink ball and used a fondant cutter to make 20 little number “2”s for the sides of the white sheet cake base. Then I rolled out the yellow and shaped it into the base of the paw print image. Last, I rolled and flattened smaller balls of the aqua and placed them onto the yellow base for the Oso paw print.
*Tip: use a little bit of water to adhere the fondant pieces together. Be careful not to use too much water or the fondant pieces will slide off of each other and the colors will bleed. Finally, I created a few free form “2”s in green and aqua to use as accents.
A day before the party, I bought a white sheet cake from Costco which would serve as the base for the 3-D cake bear and feature the edible image and other decorative elements.
The evening before the party, I baked and decorated the 3-D bear. The baking part was a little tricky because you need to pour the cake batter into an upright cake pan, but I enlisted the help of Grandpa to do this. After letting the cake cool for two hours and with Jane’s figurine as my guide, I decorated Special Agent Oso free hand with the largest closed star decorating tip I had.
*Tip: The larger the tip, the more time you’ll save because it will cover more surface area with each star. And, the star tip is great if you’re short for time because you can easily disguise your mistakes and less than perfect handiwork is less noticeable.
After Special Agent Oso was finished, I covered him with plastic wrap and set him aside for the big day.
On the day of the party, I anchored Special Agent Oso to the sheet cake, piping extra frosting around his base to blend him into the cake and secure him well. I placed the edible image on the remaining surface area of the sheet cake and used the fondant “2”s and multi-colored candy accents to finish the design.
Here’s the final result:
I love balloons, so any opportunity to go overboard, I take it. Since Oso’s colors are turquoise and yellow, I ordered about 3 dozen balloons in yellow, blue and turquoise and hung them in two bunched columns. We also had a giant mylar “2” balloon to mark the occasion. We followed the same color scheme for the streamers and spread a blue plastic table cloth over our kitchen table for a little punch of color.
As a nod to Special Agent Dotty – the one female special agent – I hung these homemade Martha Stewart pom poms in bright pink and orange tissue from our ceiling. (I’d love to take credit for putting these together, but actually got them from a friend who had put them together for her party).
Since there are no Special Agent Oso party supplies commercially available, I made do with the printable decorations from the Disney website’s Celebration Center, like this pinwheel.
One great idea is to cutout the different characters and paste them on to foam flowers in the Oso colors. Here’s an example of one taped to our wall above the “Happy Birthday” banner:
I also made Digi-Medals for each of the children by cutting out the printable medals from the Disney website, writing each child’s name in permanent marker on the medals, laminating them, punching a hole in the top, and then attaching the medals to the neon-colored nametag necklaces I found at Diddam’s.
For the finishing touch, I decorated with lime green and yellow flowers in monochromatic bunches.
I knew I didn’t want to be in the kitchen cooking the entire time the 30 guests were here, so we came up with a simple, finger food menu that would be easy for the kids to eat and quick to prepare:
- 3 dozen bagels (1/2 mini bagels) + assorted cream cheeses from Posh Bagel
- frozen mini-quiches
- cheese slices (cheddar, havarti, swiss, american)
- crudites and ranch dip (try Costco‘s readymade vegetable platter with organic dip)
- watermelon (sliced into “smiles” with the rinds on, rather than cubed)
- coffee (Peet’s has great to-go containers and provides the stir stix, creamer, sugar, paper cups and lids)
- apple juice and water
The bagels and coffee were the most popular; and next to the cake, the kids loved the watermelon slices the best.
The Jumpolene Uncle B gave us was the hit of the party!
All in all, a great day.