Monday, June 21, 2010

Cupcake Carnival: Throw a Cupcake Party

I will literally find any reason to have a cupcake.

Had a good doctor's appointment? Cupcake. Had a bad day at work? Cupcake. Going home to see my parents for the weekend? Cupcake. Wearing blue today? Cupcake!

See? Any reason.

So following that logic and adding in a little "I love having people around," I decided I just had to host a Cupcake Exchange.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Beyond the obvious, what do you do at a Cupcake Exchange?"

I'm glad you asked! I'll give you a rundown.

First, you have to invite friends to come to your party. (I'll have a fun invitation for download later this week.) Tell them you'll be doing a Cupcake Exchange, kind of like a cookie exchange; they will need to bring enough cupcakes for every guest to take home one. Also, tell them to bring containers to take home their cupcakes. (A few sly individuals left without all their cupcakes, which left me and my rooms with about 40 extra. Ha!)

Second, before the party, make sure you're asking everyone what kind of cupcake they'll be baking. One can only have so many chocolate with chocolate frosting. Encourage creativity! The week of the party, I just emailed and called everyone to let them know a final head count so they could bring the right number.

Third, when everyone has arrived, circle the table, collecting one of each cupcake (except your own). And if you want, ask your guests to bring copies of their recipe so that others can add it to their collection for the future.

Then decorate, bake, prepare. And enjoy!

See? That was easy!

My friend Lauren from Laurenmakes already blogged about the Cupcake Party right after we had it. (Check out her post here.) Oh - and check out her giveaway she's offering during Cupcake Carnival here!

Here are some pictures, with a little description on how to make your Cupcake Exchange sweet!

Using my Cricut, I made this fun "Hey Cupcake!" banner to hang in the dining room area. [[The letters are made with the Cuttin' Up Cartridge. The cupcake is made with the Sweet Treats Cartridge.]]

When guests arrived, I gave each of them a little baggie. [[Made with the Sweet Treats Cartridge.]] Inside the baggie were 24 individual cupcake flags. You can see these in all the cupcake pictures below and above. I also gave them one (bigger) flag so they could describe their cupcake.

The flags were super easy to make and cute (though nothing touches the ones in this week's giveaway). You don't have to have a Cricut or special machine. I'll have a tutorial on these later this week, too.

I had a little set up on my dining room table for all the cupcakes. I thought we needed a few savory things to help break the sugar rushes we all got, so I had some mini quiches, goat cheese, crackers, and dried fruit, and peanuts. Guests displayed their cupcakes on the platters I provided or the ones they brought.

The flavors were very unique and delicious. This is a Coca-Cola cupcake with Coca-Cola frosting. A similar recipe is here.

Lauren from Laurenmakes made these Faux Hostess Cupcakes. You can get the recipe for this adorable cupcake here. (From Sweetest Kitchen. A huge inspiration to this cupcake maniac.)

Or what about Jell-O cupcakes? These suffered a tragedy of sorts en route to the party, but the idea is great, right? You can get some inspiration here.

We all were gaga over these cuties. Peas & Carrots Carrot Cake Cupcakes. The recipe is from Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack. You can get the decorating info here.

My roommate made these yummy (and precious) strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting. Aren't the flags a perfect match??

This was my contribution - banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. (I forgot to think about incorporating bacon, so for the full tribute to Elvis, add some crumbled bacon on top.)

Banana cupcake recipe here.
Peanut butter frosting recipe here.

Then, for an extra layer of fun, have a cupcake-decorating contest. I asked all my guests to bring one decorating item to the party - M&Ms, icing, sprinkles, anything they wanted. Then, everyone sat around the coffee table and decorated. When we were all done, everyone voted on their favorite, and we announced a "winner." (Though they're all winners in my heart.)

The Cherry Pie was in a close race with the Bird's Nest and Mr. Moustache Man, but in the end, the cherries took it home!

Have you ever been to a Cupcake Exchange?


See something you like? Print it. Share it. Email it. But please, link back here when you do.


Andrea said...

Thanks for hosting the cupcake festivities!! Have a great week!!!

the lovely paper shop said...

those all look so so yummy!!!

i am going to plan a cupcake exchange with my sisters! thanks for the great idea:)

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

This looks like it was a really fun time I have to try to organize one thanks for the information

Jocelyn said...

haha! i love the idea of rewarding yourself with a cupcake for EVERYTHING! the cupcake exchange sounds like so much fun...i wonder if i can find some people around me to do it!

becca said...

i have never been to a cupcake exchange, but now i want to throw one! i am obsessed with cupcakes! the icing to cake ratio is just so much better than with regular cake. thanks for sharing your party!

Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

What a fun idea! Nothing better than sugar & girlfriends!

Melissa said...

I'm with Becca above.....the frosting ratio is much better! this is perfect because my kids and I are already doing "Cupcake Monday" here for the summer. a party would be a fun way to end it in August! Thanks!

Not Just A Mommy! said...

OK, how much do I heart this idea? Done the cookie and dinner exchange, but not a cupcake one!

Oh yes, I need to do a post on this one...thank you for sharing and good luck on the giveaway.

Jessa Irene (Holiday-Haven) said...

This looks so fun, all of the cupcakes are amazing!


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