Cupcake Wars Birthday Party

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Olivia loves to bake and she loves cupcakes! She also loves the show DC Cupcakes, but had never seen Cupcake Wars. When trying to think of a fun birthday party theme for her I found a couple of Cupcake Wars birthday parties and knew right away that it would be perfect for her. I found an episode on Youtube and we watched it and she was hooked and excited about the party right away!

This party took a whole lot of planning and a TON of clean  up after, but cost wise it came in under budget! If you have been reading the blog you know that I have been trying to give our household a realistic budget to follow. One of the things that I always go overboard on is birthday parties, but this year I gave myself $200 for each party and with this party I nailed it! Take a look!

Invitations $1.00
Decorations (including plates/napkins and tablecloths) $16.32
Cupcake supplies (mixes, frostings, candy, liners, etc.) $80.46
Aprons/hats/cupcake boxes (favors) - $34.78
Prizes and Trophies - $21.50
Food (Pizza) - $30.00
Total -  $184.06

For invitations I had found cupcake bordered printer paper at the Dollar Store and we used that to print the invites. Super simple and cheap!

To get ready for the party we bought aprons and chef hats at Hobby Lobby. Then we used iron on letters to put their names on the aprons and their team name on the hats. (More on the teams later). They got to take these home so they doubled as favors as well as protection for their clothes during the party!
For decorations we stayed pretty basic. A few balloons, one cupcake piƱata that we just used as a decoration and not a pinata, I think everyone had quite enough sugar at this party we didn't need to add to it with more! We had some tablecloths for ease of clean up and that's it!
I searched Pinterest of course for Cupcake Wars birthday party ideas and I took some ideas from a few different blogs Nothing But Country, Mom of 6 and Our Life in a Click but, I really made the game part my own. We decided what would work for us in our space and I have to say it went so much smoother than I ever expected. The girls were super into it, were efficient and we followed the schedule the whole time! Here is how the party went down....

Sorry for the horrible picture! Olivia made this schedule, she loves using the computer and did a great job, but I clearly need to work on centering pictures :)
The girls arrived at 4pm, put on their aprons and hats and began watching an episode of Cupcake Wars. Not everyone had seen the show, so I thought this would be good to do so everyone had an idea of what we were doing. And I figured it would be good to put something other than sugar in their bellies! At 4:30 I served Pizza and drinks while they finished watching.
When the show was over we went over the rules.

 Upon arrival they had been put into two teams by the name on their chef hat, Sweets or Treats. We just alternated the hats and as each girl arrived they got the next hat in the pile. Each team received a bag filled with supplies. Team Treats had one less person so they were able to choose if they wanted Bag 1 or Bag 2. Inside each bag were their cupcake wrappers and all the supplies they needed to make a cupcake stand (more on that later).

The first step was to make their cupcakes.
Each team chose either a white or chocolate cake mix (surprisingly they both chose chocolate) and were given all the supplies they needed to stir up the mix.
They had to use at least 2 "pantry items" either in or on their cupcakes. Pantry items included, mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, crumbled Oreos and mini marshmallows. Once they had stirred up the cupcakes they brought them to me and I poured it in the Kitchenaid and did the mixing. Then I poured it back in their bowl and they filled the cupcake liners. Each team had a helper. I helped Team Treats and my mom helped Team Sweets. We were their for questions only and could not do anything for them. They didn't have a ton of questions, but did need a little help with the baking instructions. They had to have them ready for the oven in 30 minutes and they finished with plenty of time to spare!
While the cupcakes were baking we did two activities. The first was cupcake decorating. We had made a batch of blue velvet cupcakes before the party and left them undecorated. We put them in plastic holders that carried 4 cupcakes. We put three undecorated in each.

Then we had three rounds. The first round was to decorate a cupcake using their favorite color. We had tons of supplies and frostings of all different colors.
The second round was to make a face with the cupcakes using the edible eyes I gave them! These were really cute! I was so surprised by how creative the girls were!

The third round was open and they could do whatever they wanted!

The cupcake holders were closed up and their names put on them and then they moved on to making the cupcake stand. Each team had received cake circles of different sizes, toilet paper rolls, a couple of different colors of paint, paint brushes and ribbon. I had put each bag together to coordinate with the cupcake liners. So the paint colors and ribbon coordinated with the colors from the liners. They were free to do whatever they wanted with the supplies in the bag. They were very serious about it and made some unique stands!

This was the one activity that took the longest but they were ready right at 6:30, remember I said how smooth it all went!!
At 6:30 they were given enough of their cooked and cooled cupcakes for 3 judges cupcakes and 2 cupcakes for each girl on the team. They only had to worry about that many, but could come and get more if they wanted after they finished with the required ones. They had to decorate the cupcakes however they wanted, but had to have 3 identical ones for the judges, the rest could be decorated differently and then put on the cupcake stand they created. They had 30 minutes to complete this.
One team had a good plan and each girl decorated a cupcake and they chose which one they liked best to make for the judges. The other team just quickly made three cupcakes for the judges and went on to make their cupcakes for the stand. About 10 minutes before the time was up they fell in love with one of the girls cupcake she decorated and decided they wanted that for the judges so they quickly made 2 more! We were laughing at how differently the teams were working!  

At 7:00 they had to present their cupcake to the judges. They just needed to tell them which pantry items they used in their cupcake. After that we sent them outside. I took some group pictures and then went back in with the judges. The official judges were my dad, Mike and Owen. We didn't think it would be fair if my mom and I were official judges since we had been helpers. But we did taste test and help out a bit! We chose the winning team based on taste and creativity of the decorating and the cupcake stand.
Team Sweets Cupcake
Team Sweets Stand

Team Treats Cupcake

Team Treats Stand
 (this one made me nervous it was going to fall, can you imagine how disappointed they would have been??)
Then each girl was going to win a trophy based on her individual cupcake decorating. All of the judges went through their individually decorated cupcakes in their cupcake holders to think of a winning reason. For example. This was Olivia's.... she won for "BEST USE OF EAR DECORATING" One of her cupcakes has ear muffs on and the other is wearing headphones!
 We obviously just made these up as we went along. This proved more difficult than I expected, some of the others were "best use of candy" "best favorite color cupcake" "best use of nerds candy" "best use of frosting" etc. Once we were done with this, we called the girls in. They were dying to know who won, but first I handed out a trophy to each girl for their individual cupcakes and this had them laughing at some of the reasons they won!
Then we announced the winner! Team Sweets! Of course the other team was bummed, but took it really well!

 Each team got a prize. I had a prize box with 3 different prizes in it.

A cupcake notebook and glitter pencil.

A cupcake dry erase board.

And a cup filled with a chapstick, nailpolish, hair elastics, headbands and a pack of gum topped with a shower sponge and wrapped up to look like a cupcake (or so I hoped it did!)

The winning team got to choose from the bucket first and then the other team got to choose as well. So everyone left with something, but the benefit of the winning team was they got first choice!
After we did prizes, they chose a cupcake from their stand and we sang happy birthday to the Birthday girl and opened presents!
Then each girl got to choose another cupcake from their stand to add to their cupcake boxes to bring home.
Everyone seemed to love the party and they left with quite a bit of stuff. They brought home their apron and hat, their cupcake holder with 4 cupcakes, their trophy and their prize!
Like I said before, it took some planning and so much clean up. It probably took me 3 hours total to get my house back to normal! It was a ton of work, but not a lot of money for a bunch of fun! I would say it was worth it!
Want to check out all the ideas I used and pin some of mine? Either click on the pictures above or check out my Pinterest board by clicking below...
Follow Sandy Litcher's board Cupcake Wars Party on Pinterest.
Didn't read about Owen's Star Wars party? Check it out here.

 Thanks for stopping by!!


  1. Sandy, so cute!!!! I will need to know what you used for the blue cupcakes, I want those for Grace's party :)

  2. Wow! This must have been so much fun! I love it when I come across such posts. I was looking for some cool ideas for my daughter’s birthday celebration and I really liked this one. I don’t know how I will be able to manage this though, because I have booked one of the prettiest venues in Chicago for the day.

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