Tag Archives: smash cake

Shark-Themed Party and Mini Shortcakes

Baby A turned 1. O. N. E…ONE! And just like every mom when her precious baby’s first birthday looms, I found myself wondering how it was even possible that he joined our little family almost a year ago?!?! After recovering from the shock, I turned my attention to planning a first birthday. How could we celebrate baby A and his first year of life?

I began thinking through what we could do to celebrate. Here is a summation of my thought process. I started by asking myself how we could host friends in our little apartment? We could have the party outdoors! How could we do something outdoors in the July desert? We could have it in the morning at the pool! What theme goes well with a pool party? An underwater theme! And it just so happened that A just got a new pair of shark swimming trunks. Sharks.  And just like that it was decided. An early-morning, shark-themed birthday party.

Next was the menu planning. Early morning party = breakfast food. Breakfast is easy, affordable, and has so much presentation potential. I focused on strawberry shortcake in different forms and added in fresh fruit and an egg casserole to complete the menu. Easy to prep the day before or morning of and so good!

One sheet cake of strawberry shortcake is all I needed to make the smash cake, mini cakes, and trifle. I simply baked a sheet cake of strawberry shortcake. I “cheated” and used the gluten free bisquick mix and recipe right on the box. So easy and delicious! 

I used round cookie cutters to cut out A’s smash cake and the mini shortcakes. 

The mini shortcakes were topped with a dollop of jam and then cream cheese frosting, a fresh strawberry slice, and shark fin cupcake topper made by the awesome Sonora Handmade

A’s smash cake was simply outline in piped cream cheese frosting and filled in with jam on top both layers and then lightly frosted on the outside to get a naked cake look (and also lock in the moisture). And topped with a laser cut number “1” also made by Sonora Handmade.

I crumbled up the leftover shortcake and topped with the leftover strawberry jam, strawberries, and whipped cream in a glass bowl to get a quick and easy trifle.

Three different presentations out of one recipe.

The decor was a mix of things I had and a few things I picked up. I used galvanized buckets, linens, and severware I already had. I purchased sharks (which doubled as party favors), plates, napkins, forks, and straws from the Dollar Tree. I also picked up some balloons for the backdrop from Party City. Cut out a few shark sillouhettes from blue bags. And, lastly, I added in fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are always such a nice touch for any party and I scored all the greenery and flowers for this party for $10 total from Trader Joe’s!

What do you think? I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out and how budget friendly it ended up being. It was such a precious time with friends celebrating our sweet boy.

Any ideas or traditions for celebrating first birthdays? Please share them in the comments below! If you haven’t already, feel free to subscribe to get all my latest DIY and money saving ideas. And, if you enjoyed this post, give it a like so I know to do more like this one. Up next week is an easy decor set-up for your next dinner party. 

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