Airplane Birthday Party
Airplane theme for first birthday
My youngest son turned ONE! This called for a big party, and the theme was “Airplane.”
Theme Colours: sky blue, white with red as an accent.
Airplane birthday cake
I opted to make a small, simple, vanilla cake frosted in vanilla buttercream icing. I added Wilton’s Colorburst Batter Bits (in blue) to the cake batter before baking for a nice surprise inside when the cake is cut into. For toppers I made a chubby fondant airplane and a paper cloud.
Sugar cookies in airplane cutouts
My favourite sugar cookie recipe is from Sweetopia, and it’s perfect for cut-outs. Some spread near the end because I was in rush and didn’t chill some of my cut-outs in the freezer (about 15 minutes) before popping in the oven, so make sure to do this if you want perfect cookies! I make one small substitution in that I use half almond extract and half vanilla extract in place of using just vanilla. Then I decorated the planes in royal icing. My preference is to outline the cookie and then immediately flood it, let dry 24 hours, then add the remaining icing details, let dry another 24 hours.
Friendly Skies Cookies
You can use any chocolate chip cookie recipe (I tinted the dough blue and then added white chocolate chips to match the theme).
Cream Cheese Candies
These were pretty and matched the theme colours, but the recipe I found didn’t quite work and everyone found them too sweet (like eating a blob of icing). Instead of flavouring with mint extract, I used vanilla.
Cloud Cake Pops
I used a very white cake recipe with clear vanilla and egg whites only, so that the blue food colouring added would be very vibrant. You can also use a bright white boxed cake mix.
There are many cake pop tutorials online, Bakerella is a great place to start. Basically after you have baked your cake, let it cool, crumble with your hands. Add just enough icing (prepared or use your own) so that you can form a ball and it holds its shape, making sure it’s not still crumbly but not overly moist.
I got the idea for shaping the clouds from Bubble and Sweet by bending a flower cookie cutter and packing the cake ball dough into the cutter. I used a fondant tool to gently ease it out of the cutter. The pops were coated in white candy melts; and I gave them two coats since white doesn’t cover darker cake colours as well. Once set, I decorated their faces with Americolour edible food markers and brushed on some Wilton’s Pearl Dust (Orchid Pink) for cheeks.
Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes
Another outstanding recipe, found on JoyofBaking.com, the cake is chocolatey and moist, and the marshmallow frosting is to die for. For cupcake toppers, I added red fondant planes cut out with a small cookie cutter. I baked them in these pretty stand-up (straight sides) paper baking cups, but then I was dumb and froze the cupcakes ahead, and of course the paper went soggy so I replaced them with pretty foil cups.
Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni
So yummy and easy! I doubled the recipe and added extra cheese, and it was a big hit. Another kid and adult-friendly dish. Found on MarthaStewart.com
Meatball Stuffed Buns
I was looking for kid and adult-friendly recipes and scored with this one…great for little hands! Very addictive, and would be good as an everyday recipe as well. Found on Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom
Chips, pop, cold cuts, sandwiches, salads
One Hunt – We cut out four-inch number ones out of card-stock (about 5 per player). Just like an Easter egg hunt, we hid them around the house for the guests to search, and later exchange their “ones” for candy. We even decorated one of the numbers as a “special one” to be traded in for a bigger prize.
Around the World – We used a hula hoop as a target and made several paper planes for players to fly through the target. A distance away from the target, we taped a destination card on the floor nearest to our home city (Toronto was chosen as this is Mommy’s hometown). A distance away from that one, we taped another destination card on the floor, of a city that is farther away (Los Angeles as an in-between point). And farthest from this card, we taped a final destination card on the floor that is of a city that is the farthest away (San Salvador was chosen because my son is half Salvadoran). You can set any number of distance spots (we chose three). Have each player try to fly their plane through the target from the nearest spot, if he makes it through the hoop, he gets another try in the second closest spot, and so on. If he misses the target, the turn goes to the next player.
Similar to the egg-spoon race game, we divided our party guests into two teams. We gave each team a silver serving tray and 5 plastic cups (the more cups, the harder it gets) to put on top of the tray. We put each team in a single file line, and set a turnaround point for the race. The first player on each team needs to walk to the turnaround point while holding their tray, being careful not to drop any cups. When they return to their starting place they hand the tray to the next person in line. If a player drops any cups, they have to go back to the starting line and go again. The first team to have all players give a try is the winning team!
Extras & Decor
For printables, I designed the labels for the sweet buffet, made red banner signs for the party areas (e.g. “Baggage Claim” for guests to place gifts), made a high chair banner, and a milestone banner (a photo for every month). Instead of the usual birthday banner I used two blue poster boards and placed card-stock paper airplanes on each one, using white stickers as the plane trails and cardboard letters for my son’s name. I made blue and white tissue pompoms for decorations (see my tutorial on how to make these here). For these pompoms I cut the edges in a scallop to make them look like clouds. I made two balloon bouquets, each made up of 3 balloons tied together to look like a cloud and weighted with a plastic toy airplane. The party table was turned into a runway using a grey table cloth with file folder stickers I had on hand to make the runway guides with plastic toy planes and a bigger toy plane hanging above.
Credits & Resources
Sugar Cookie recipe by Sweetopia
Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes from JoyofBaking.com
Tutorial tips for the cloud cake pops from Thought Bubble Cake Pops by Bubble and Sweet
Meatball Stuffed Buns recipe by Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom
Emeril’s Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni recipe from MarthaStewart.com
*Click any thumbnail below to view larger photos.