A couple of years ago, we decided to host our daughter’s birthday party at a local indoor amusement park. A carnival theme fit perfectly with the party venue and there were lots of potential party ideas to explore. Since the venue didn’t require much in terms of decor, I focused my efforts on the treats and loot bag items. In keeping with the carnival theme, I decided to create slider cupcakes and popcorn cupcakes. Of all of the cupcakes that I have created to date, these were the most fun. I baked vanilla cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes to make these mini-sliders. The vanilla cupcakes were cut in half and I used part of the chocolate cupcakes as the burger. The ketchup and lettuce were made of coloured buttercream and I used orange fondant to create the cheese slices. I think the sprinkling of sesame seeds really sells the burger! Watching the delightful reactions of our guests eating sweet sliders was priceless.
The topping on the popcorn cupcakes was made out of fondant and highlighted with edible yellow and brown dust powder. Each individual kernel was formed using the Wilton fondant/gum paste small and large ball tool. A friendly word of warning if you’re thinking about making fondant popcorn at home: this was way more time consuming than I anticipated so be ready to spend hours creating the individual kernels if you want to give these a try! It’s likely easier just to use real popcorn as the topping.
In addition to the cupcakes, I wanted to create a batch of carousel themed cookies. I looked high and low for a small carousel pony to make a fondant mold and eventually used my daughter’s My Little Pony figurine to create the mold. After piping flood consistency royal icing onto the cookies, I placed each fondant pony on the cookie to set. To finish them off, I painted each pony with edible gold dust powder mixed with lemon extract.
While brainstorming other themed treats, I knew I had to include candied apples. It’s such a classic and well-loved carnival treat. Instead of making traditionally sized candied apples, I opted for mini apples and followed a candied apple recipe that I found online. The key to making a bright and shiny hard candy shell is using red food colouring and heating the sugar mixture to 300 to 310 degrees (149 to 154 degrees C) or until a small amount of the syrup turns brittle when dropped into cold water.
I hope these ideas provide some inspiration for your next party. Happy party planning!