Simple Cakewalk Ideas

It’s that time of year again! It’s cakewalk season at many schools! I will admit it – when I see the cakewalk memo in my daughter’s school bag I let out a big ol’ sigh. It’s not because I am opposed to cake walks, but because I am not a talented cake decorator and I hate the idea of disappointing the hundreds of little faces who walk from cake-to-cake trying to decide where to put their tickets. 

Simple Cakewalk Ideas.png

If you’re not familiar with a cakewalk, it’s a school fundraiser where a bunch of cakes and cupcakes (typically bought or baked by parents) are lined up on tables typically in a gymnasium. The kids walk around looking at all of the cakes and cupcakes, and then pay for tickets to deposit in the bags or boxes belonging to the cakes they hope to win. Once all of the kids have done this, tickets are drawn and kids win cakes! Usually it’s one cake/package of cupcakes per kid.

The pressure is on to get the cake with the most tickets!  

Or is it?  

I have learned over the years that most kids don’t really care what the cakes or cupcakes look like – especially the younger kids. What they do care about is the amount of chocolate, candy and sugar the cake has! The more the merrier! 

Having said this, it doesn’t alleviate the pressure as much as it should for me. I would love to be a talented cake decorator, but I am anything but! Every time I see a cake walk memo my mind spins with ideas of what I should create versus what I CAN create. I would love to be that mom who can create a life size minion cake that looks so realistic that you expect it to talk (this cake actually existed at one of my daughter’s cake walks – that mom is one heck of a cake decorator let me tell you!). 

I know some parents purchase baked goods and I believe that is great if that works for them because for me, it’s all about participating. I, however, like to bake (it’s the decorating part I loathe). So, I try and bake something “attractive” for each cake walk. The first couple of years I would bake a cake similar to what you see below from the blog of Mrs Rachel Brady. A simple chocolate cake with chocolate icing and Smarties as polka dots. Perfect.

Easy chocolate birthday cake via  Mrs Rachel Brady

Easy chocolate birthday cake via Mrs Rachel Brady

Then my daughter mentioned that many parents make cupcakes and break them into four containers with six cupcakes each or six containers with four cupcakes each. Genius! This means there are more “cakes” for the kids to win and covers off any parents who may not have contributed. So, now I make cupcakes. 

My standby, “Oh crap, I forgot the cakewalk is tomorrow!” cupcake is ‘worms and dirt.’ It’s the chocolate cupcakes and chocolate icing or crumbled up cookie topping with gummy worms. Quick and simple to make and a hit with the younger kids (so I hear anyway).

This year I wanted to venture out of my comfort zone. I asked on Twitter if anyone had thoughts and made it clear that cake decorating it not my forté. It was recommended that I check out Pinterest, but the only cakes I ever saw on there were way out of my talent-league. But then someone sent me a link to cakewalk cake ideas on Pinterest and right away I spotted something I could do! It was simple, fun and cute!

The little piggies cupcakes were so easy to make and when I dropped them off the students collecting the cakes thought they were adorable! I can see myself making these again for the next cakewalk. 

Simple Cake Walk Ideas - Little Piggie Cupcakes

Suffice to say, I have learned to accept that I will never be the minion cake-making parent. Instead I am proud of myself for contributing something to every cakewalk my daughter has been a part of and that I made something that hopefully made a kid smile. Albeit, sometimes that kid is my own because she notices there are no tickets for my contribution and chooses to put her tickets in to win it. ;)

Are you a talented cake decorator? What are your favourite cake walk ideas?

Valentine's Day Cupcakes

by Carly

Jake loves to help in the kitchen and making cakes or cupcakes is probably one of his favourite things to do. In light of Valentine's Day coming up, we decided to make some cupcakes to bring over to a friend's house.

We decided to make "rainbow" cupcakes, by separating the cake batter into four bowls (after it's been mixed) and colouring one bowl purple, one red and one pink.  We left the fourth bowl white.  I used both paste food colouring (for the red) and liquid food colouring for the pink and purple.  To make it easier for Jake to mix the colours into the X's and O's baking cups we picked up at the Dollar Store, I spooned the batter in freezer baggies and snipped a tiny hole in one corner.  We carefully put a bit of each colour into the baking cups, then baked the cupcakes according to the directions on the mix.

Baked
Baked

When the cupcakes had cooled, we iced them with pink and purple icing, topped with heart shaped sprinkles and tiny coloured dots.  Mmm!

Decorating
Decorating
Finished
Finished
Eating
Eating

Do you make any Valentine's treats with your kids?

Carly has red hair and occasionally the temper to match.  She loves potatoes, rainy nights, photography, her husband, her five year old son, Jacob and her brand spanking new son, Noah. Probably in reverse order. She also blogs

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10 Reasons Why You Should Come To Shopping & Sweets 2011

by Rebecca

10. Charity – Last year’s Shopping & Sweets event was a big success, so we decided that this year, we’d split our proceeds between 2 charities this year. For 2011, our charities are The Caring and Sharing Exchange: Christmas Exchange Program, and the Orleans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre. These organizations helps families in need during the holidays and as we all know, this is the time of year that they need us the most. 100% of the proceeds from our cupcake sales will go directly to our charities and in addition, all proceeds from table sales and bag drops (after expenses) will also be donated. Win win for everyone involved!

9. Support Local businesses – We are happy to say that all of the participating businesses, sponsors and contributors are small local businesses. Small businesses need our support in order to keep doing the wonderful things they do.

8. Holiday Shopping – We have a large variety of vendors participating in our event, so there’s a very good chance you will be able to get many on your shopping list checked off! (and maybe even pick up a few things for yourself!)

7. Learn something new – We bet that by coming out to the Shopping & Sweets event that you will discover a new local business (or two…or more!) that you didn’t even know existed! They may even offer something that you had been looking for. Who knows? So come on out and see who will be there!

6. Goodie bags! – The first 50 shopper to arrive to Shopping & Sweets will receive a bag filled with coupons, promotions, samplers and great info on about all of our participating retailers, service providers and bag drop sponsors!

5. Prizes! – We have had some very generous businesses donate pretty amazing prizes in order to make things a little “sweeter” for you, the shopper. All items will make up our grand door prize worth over $250! All you need to do is show up and fill out a ballot at our welcome table for your chance to win!

4. Baz’Art- This year, we will be running our show at the same time as the annual Baz’Art show, an event designed to showcase local artists and artisans. Baz’Art will be taking place on the lower level of The Shenkman Arts Centre. Read more about Baz’Art.

3. Change of scenery– We all know what the malls and their parking lots are like at this time of year. Yikes. Shopping & Sweets will be taking place at the gorgeous Shenkman Arts Centre. Parking is plentiful and the building is beautiful, spacious and decorated for the holiday season. There will also be a Christmas Choir performing throughout the day. You’ll love the festive atmosphere.

2. Free Coffee – Generously donated by Ten Thousand Villages, all shoppers will get delicious free fair trade coffee…just for showing up!

1. Cupcakes…Julie from Sugar & Spice Bakery is our amazing, talented and generous cupcake sponsor. She will be baking hundreds of cupcakes that will be available for purchase. It’s hard to choose, but some may say that her cupcakes are the “sweetest” part of Shopping & Sweets ;)

Hope to see you on Saturday December 3rd!

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Rebecca blogs about family and motherhood, is a self-professed foodie, and dabbles in online engagement and community giving.  She has a strange love for maple syrup that can possibly only be matched by her love for chocolate and coffee.