Strawberries and Cream Naked Cake + Birthday Party Cart
ditch the fussy in favor of a fun and fancy birthday party cart and cake.
A show stopper like a Strawberries and Cream Naked cake, personalized glass Coke bottles, pretty wrapped gifts and a few balloons and decorations and you’ve got yourself a party in no time!! Simple…..just the way I like it. 😉
Hosting a small birthday celebration? A small gathering doesn’t mean you have to give up all the fun of a big party! Big parties can be really stressful, but a birthday party cart is a great way to have a big celebration on a smaller scale = less stress.
Have you noticed that bar carts are all the rage in home decor right now, but they are also perfect for throwing a little party. I teamed up with Coca Cola again, and created a styled birthday party cart including personalized 8-ounce glass bottles of Coca-Cola®! My mom and Allison have birthdays just a month apart, this was a fun way to make ‘cake and gifts’ feel like a party. There is just something so fun about a cart that rolls the party wherever it wants to go.
Every birthday starts with a fabulous birthday cake, right? I’m always looking for an excuse to make a cake. Now, you could buy a cake if you really want to keep it simple, but this Strawberries and Cream Naked Cake was pretty darn simple to make. If you like pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream, you are going to love this cake recipe.
I made the cake layers the day before the party, wrapped them in plastic wrap and placed the cakes in the refrigerator overnight. The morning of the party I chopped up strawberries and made a dreamy whipped cream cheese frosting with just a little vanilla pudding mix added for flavor and to stabilize the whipped cream. Since a naked cake — the trendy cakes that are mostly unfrosted — are great for warmer weather and super easy to make, I waited to assemble the cake right before serving. You could certainly assemble earlier, but I would make sure to do it the day of. This Strawberries and Cream Naked Cake will keep a few days (in the refrigerator) but it will look it’s best right after you layer the cakes and frosting and top with a pile of juicy strawberries. (get the full recipe below)
Nothing makes a party more fun than something with your name on it. I mentioned in the past that Coke is a staple in our house. To make it a little more special I ordered personalized Coke bottles with the birthday girls names on them, and a few for everyone else as well. The bottles are the perfect size for parties, and, if you drink right out of the bottle, there are no issues with figuring out which drink belongs to who.
This year, Coca-Cola is offering consumers the ability to personalize and purchase iconic eight-ounce glass “Share a Coke” bottles on SharaCoke.com Select or request a name up to 18 characters on the label, and then have them delivered within 7 to 10 business days!
Setting up a birthday party cart is super easy! You can use any bar cart, tea cart or a small side table to recreate the bar effect.
Decorating a Birthday Party Cart!
Bar carts make a wonderful alternative to a dessert table for a small party. I simply decorated my cart and wall with festive tassel garlands and a little confetti. Lots of balloons and curly ribbon add party flair. Balloon cups and sticks allow you to decorate with latex balloons without the expense of helium. I also made the gifts part of the decor by using gift wrap and ribbons that matched the party theme. Who doesn’t like to receive a beautifully wrapped gift, right?
Since the birthday party cart is small, you want to keep decor all about the food and drinks! Add in polka dot straws, colorful plates, napkins, and forks. Place the cake on a cake stand for added height and decoration!
Set a bowl near the cart for ice, or ice up the drinks in a tub full of ice. Don’t forget a bottle opener and pretty glasses.
I love how it all turned out! I had more ideas that I didn’t have room for, but I love that the size kept me from going overboard. The birthday girls felt special and enjoyed the ‘party’
Hope you feel inspired for your own birthday celebrations!
UPDATE: Summer Sweepstakes has ended.
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For the Cake
- 4½ cups cake flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
- 1½ tablespoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1¼ cups milk (anything but skim)
For the Strawberry Frosting (See note below)
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Vanilla Instant Pudding mix
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 pints strawberries
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour three 9” round cake pans; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the cake flour, then add baking powder, and salt and whisk 20 seconds; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon extract and mix until well combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add about half of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl again and slowly stir in the milk.
- Add the remaining flour, and mix on low just until the flour is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully mixed.
- Evenly divide batter among prepared baking pans. Bake in preheated oven for 34-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool cakes in pans for about 5 minutes, run knife around edges between the cake and the pan to ensure they are loosened, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Chop about 3/4 of the strawberries into small cubes (you want about 2 to 2½ cups of chopped strawberries), set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks are formed. Place in another bowl at set aside in the refrigerator. Clean the mixing bowl.
- Using clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat cream cheese on high until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the sides a few times. Add sugar, pudding mix and vanilla and beat on medium until well combined.
- Add chopped strawberries and mix on low. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the whipped cream. Stir until well combined. Keep frosting in refrigerator until cake is completely cool or ready to frost.
- Place one layer of cake on cardboard cake round or a large plate. Frost the top of the layer with Strawberry Frosting. Place the second layer of cake on top. Insert 3-4 toothpicks around the circumference of the cake about 1-2 inches from the edge. Push toothpicks into the cake as far as they will go. This will prevent your cake layers from sliding off each other. Frost the top of the second layer. Repeat with third layer. (since this is a naked cake, you will not add frosting to the sides of the cake)
- Garnish top of cake with remaining strawberries.
*the instant pudding mix not only gives the frosting flavor, but stability as well, making it easier to frost the cake.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” 2.0. This prize was provided by The Coca-Cola Company. The Coca-Cola Company is not a sponsor, administrator or connected in any other way with this sweepstakes.