Eco-Friendly Birthday Party Tips and Vegan Fondant Birthday Cake

So my vegan, eco-friendly birthday party is over. We had 15 kids all together, which was a little crazy, but I think that it went really well.

We had delicious healthy snacks on hand and it was beautiful enough that the kids got to play outside.

All-in-all it was a pretty perfect day!

Here are my tips for a more Eco-friendly birthday party.

1. E-vite your guests or make your own invitations on recycled paper. Choose to e-mail your guests or make your own invitations on recycled paper. We e-mailed some of the kids, but still sent out invitations at school too. This is a great idea to cut back on paper consumption.

2. Ditch the disposables. Use a cloth table cloth instead of a plastic one, or go without it. We didn’t have one at all. Think about all the little things that are supposed to make a birthday party that you don’t really need, but are just made with toxins and end up in the landfill anyways. Balloons, decorations, table cloths, disposable plates, cups and cutlery. Decide whether or not you really need the balloons and streamers. This year we went without them, they just get trashed anyway. Use your own plates, cups, forks and spoons instead of buying the disposable ones. It really doesn’t take too long to wash the dishes. We used our kids plates and cups and picked up a few extra from Value Village so we would have enough. It all cost under $9, the same price or cheaper than buying the disposable ones, and creates zero waste. I like that! :)

3. Make your own decorations. For the decorations, we just hung up some pictures of Strawberry Shortcake that Autumn had colored and used some ribbon and tissue from her gifts that we had. There are lot’s of things you can do to decorate with what you already have on hand. This will also be fun for your kids and is a good way to involve them in making their party unique.

4. Make your own party favors or buy second-hand. Kids are happy to get anything at the end of a party. There are so many toys and books that you can get second-hand that are just like new. You could also bake your own cookies or treats for the kids to take home afterward. This year, we bought a whole bunch of books from Value Village that were like new and each kid got to take a book home with them.

5. Request that your gifts be second-hand or Eco-friendly. If you want to eliminate waste all together or are afraid of harmful toxins, maybe you could request for more Eco-friendly gifts or even second-hand gifts. Many people may even appreciate this idea. Also you could suggest that the gifts be wrapped in newspaper or fabric to save on waste.

6. Buy snacks that come in recyclable packaging or make your own. We bought a bunch of fruit and cut it up. We also had some organic corn chips and pretzels too. You can buy snacks in bulk or always cut up some fruits or veggies.

7. Get Baking. Make your child’s birthday cake yourself. Choose whole natural ingredients to save on packaged food waste. This is a great idea and something I always do. There is something about making your child’s cake that is so special. Every year, my daughter picks her theme and is always so excited for the cake that I am going to surprise her with. This can also save you money and cut back on sugar, plus your kids will love to help you in the kitchen and you’ll be making memories that you can share for a lifetime.

Those are my tips for a more Eco-friendly birthday! Now on to my vegan fondant cake recipe!

This year Autumn wanted Strawberry Shortcake, so I decided to bake a strawberry cake and banana cake as well for the bottom layer. For the top layer, I just made a classic vanilla cake. In between the two cake layers I used organic strawberry jam and as per usual I decorated the cake with marshmallow fondant. Since we are vegan now, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do the marshmallow fondant, then I lucked out a week before the party and found vegan marshmallows!

So without further ado, I give you my vegan cake recipe and how to vegan marshmallow fondant.

Banana Cake

Makes one 9 inch cake

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 mashed bananas (over-ripe)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mash the 3 bananas. Add the cane sugar to the banana mixture along with the rest of the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Place the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. It is ready when poked with a toothpick and it comes out clean.

I had also tried to make a strawberry cake, but the recipe I found didn’t rise very well so I did not include it on the blog. I ended up making two of the thinner strawberry cakes and putting them together under the banana cake layer, with a bit of strawberry jam in between.

To fill in any gaps on the side of the cake, I used strawberry icing that I made from scratch as well.

Berry Icing

  • 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 3 cups Wholesome Sweeteners organic icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mashed berries (whatever you like)

Directions

Mix the icing sugar and melted margarine together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the milk, vanilla and berries and mix until smooth.

Then I made the smaller vanilla cake. I used a recipe that was originally for cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World.

For this cake I also used strawberry jam in between the two cakes.

Then it was time to make the fondant.

Marshmallow Fondant

  • 16 oz vegan mini marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 lbs Wholesome Sweeteners organic icing sugar or regular icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or other flavored extract of your choice)

Directions

Place the marshmallows and the water together in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 90 seconds. They will come out looking the same, but should be gooey when you stir them. If they aren’t completely melted, microwave another 20 seconds.

In a  large bowl, combine the icing sugar, shortening and vanilla extract. Add the marshmallows and stir until well combined. You may have to get your hands in there to work in all the icing sugar. The mixture should form a large ball of ‘dough.’

Place a bit of icing sugar on the counter and knead the icing until smooth. You want the icing to be soft and not sticky. If it feels hard that is okay, you can always microwave it for a few seconds to soften it and make it usable.

Add whatever color you want to the icing. I divided mine up and made 4 different colors.

Wrap in plastic wrap until you are ready to use. This icing should keep well for a few days if wrapped tightly and stored on the counter or in the fridge. When ready to use, microwave it for 15 seconds to soften it.

When ready to use your fondant, roll it out onto a clean, dry surface using a fondant rolling pin. Make sure that the icing rolled out bigger that the size of your cake and is not rolled out too thin. You want it to be about 1/4 inch thick. Roll the edge of the icing over the rolling pin and carefully place it over top of the cake. Smooth the fondant out and trim off the excess.

*If the icing has been refrigerated or feels too had to roll out, place it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds until it softens a bit.

(To cover up the rough edges, I used a bit of pink icing around the cake for a nice trim)

For the strawberry shapes, I used a fondant cutter that was the shape of a heart and for the stem of the strawberries, I used a small flower fondant cutter.

To get the shapes to stick to the side of the cake, wet the back of the shape with a few drops of water and stick them to the cake. You can also use your fondant cutter to cut out the shape on the side of the fondant overlay and place your shape in the cutout (or so I have seen done before).

Decorate the cake however you want to. After I was finished with the second layer, I placed Strawberry Shortcake, Custard and Lemon Meringue toys on top with her number 6 candle.

My tips for making your own birthday cake are these:

Don’t worry about the huge mess that you will create

Enlist helpers…

And professional marshmallow eaters

Be creative

and most importantly have fun!!

As you can see, making a fondant cake is very time-consuming, but also very fun and rewarding. I love the challenge and am always so pleased with the end result and the smile I put on my daughters face. If you are thinking “I could never do that,” change your attitude and give it a try! I always wished I could decorate a cake really nice, but never actually knew I could until I tried. :)

My first fondant cake was fairly simple and looked like this.

I made it chocolate by adding cocoa powder to the fondant.

Since it turned out so great and was so delicious, I decided to make another one for her family birthday get together.

I also made one for my other daughters birthday as well. A simple strawberry shortcake fondant cake.

I realized that it wasn’t as hard as I thought, but it sure is messy!

Remember, “If you only do what you know you can do- you never do very much.”

Well, I am beat! I really hope that you enjoyed this post and that some of you will try out these recipes! Baking really is so much fun, fondant is amazing and birthday parties can be made a little more Eco-friendly!

Have a good night! :)

See my more recent fondant birthday cakes in the following post links below!

Watermelon Fondant Cake (Autumn’s 8th Birthday)

Rainbow Fondant Cake (Autumn’s 7th Birthday)

Strawberry Shortcake Fondant Cake (Kesa’s 3rd Birthday)

My Little Pony Fondant Cake (Kesa’s 4th Birthday)

78 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Birthday Party Tips and Vegan Fondant Birthday Cake

  1. That is one magnificent-looking cake! Looks great on the table with all the healthy snacks. And I loved the baby in the icing sugar. You guys do know how to have fun.
    xoN.

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  2. Those look amazing! I have a question though – I don’t think I’ll manage to get to vegan marshmallows too soon (unless I order or get out of the city), are there any vegan recipes for fondant that don’t require them? I’ve found some, but they don’t seem to work as well as the ones that you’ve made.

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    • Thanks! I have only ever tried making the fondant with marshmallows before, so I can’t really help you there. I guess what I would do is just look online for some ideas, but the marshmallows seem to work really well. Good luck!

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    • You can order the marshmallows from http://www.foodfightgrocery.com. Better get an extra bag – they’re delicious! I brought them on a camping trip last summer…mmmm, melty sugar goodness.

      Thanks for the recipe! I’ve been asked to do a multi-layered vegan birthday cake, and while fondant scares me a little, your recipe sounds totally doable!

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    • I know that this is almost a year later, but I just discovered they sell Dandies at Wegman’s! I was going to order them online but they’re very expensive. The price is much better at the store (if you happen to have one near you)!

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  3. I have a question. First of all, thank you for this recipe! I have been hunting down and researching for a simple vegan fondant recipe. I can’t wait to try it! Now my question is that how do I reduce the quantities of ingredients needed because from the pictures, it seems like a lot of fondant. Right now, I don’t need a lot of fondant. I only need for like a about a simple small cake. I will be making my little brother’s birthday cake for his birthday party in the summer and the amount of ingredients called for in this recipe will come in handy since I plan on going all out, but for now I just want familiarize myself with fondant and experiment and I only need a little bit for a simple small cake. How do I go about doing that? If I reduce all the ingredients by half for example 8oz of vegan marshmallow instead of 16oz, will it be enough? Thank you so much!

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    • Thank you for your comment. The recipe that I posted is for an average (two layer 9 inch) cake. I doubled the recipe for my cake, so that’s why it looks like a lot of fondant. 16oz should do fine, but you could always make half the recipe and if you need more then you could make more. I hope that is helpful!

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  4. Hi,
    This fondant recipe looks great. I can’t wait to try it. I looked on Wholesome Sweetners web site for the Icing Sugar and I can’t seem to find it. Do you know if they discontinued it? I can find the Powdered Sugar in my local grocery store? Will it work the same way? Was the Icing Sugar just powdered sugar? Thanks.

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    • Hi! I checked out the recipe and I did use icing sugar (there is a picture there). I also checked out the website and didn’t see that on there so it could be that they discontinued it or maybe they changed the name of it to powdered sugar. I am not sure. It looks like it could be the same thing as the powdered sugar. Maybe you could ask someone at the store that might know. It looks like the powdered sugar might work to me.

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  6. Your cakes look beautiful! I wanted to know what you used to color the fondant? I am trying to find a way to do it without artificial dyes. Thank you

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  7. Hello,
    I have a questions. I need to make 4 cakes and I was wondering if the fondant will get hard if I leave the cakes in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving? Should I take the cakes out of the refrigerator a few hours before serving?

    Thank you,
    Lesley.

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    • I have never put my cakes in the fridge after making them. I always make the cake the night before and leave it out on the counter and cover it up (if it is not too big) or just leave it out as is. If you do put them in the fridge there is the risk on the icing “sweating” and getting beads of water on it which may possible ruin the fondant on the cake. I hope this was helpful to you!

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  8. Thank you, very much. The only problem I have is that the cakes will have a vegan cream cheese filling, but since there is no animal ingredient I guess it will be fine to leave them out of the fridge, right?
    Thanks again for your help!!

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  9. That cake is so awesome! My kiddo is turning 5 in a few weeks and she’d so love a My Little Pony cake – I’m really not talented in cake decorating, but this tutorial is great and I think I’ll give it a try!

    Strawberry Shortcake would probably be her second choice :D

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  10. Pingback: Fondant cakes to order! | veganpiratecupcakes

  11. There is a marshmallow better than the Dandies ones you list here, I think it’s like Sara Sweet or something like that, you can check them out at veganessentials.com. They are fabulous. They have coconut and plain, and chocolate I think. They are larger and square but sooo good.

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  12. Tiffany, thanks for the recipes and this tutorial. I am going to try it out for my son’s third birthday party. The recipe that I have for vegan fondant is very complicated and yours seem much better than that. I will definitely try it.
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    JK

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  13. excellent idea. ur cake indeed looks yummy. kudos to you. it struck the same to me. my son turns 10 in jan n i thought i will go with eco friendly theme for his bday. will u pl b able to give me some more ideas for vegan finger foods. i m expecting a crowd of 40 kids. thank you.

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    • Thanks! Some finger foods for the party could be pretzels, chips (just read the ingredients), corn chips, rice cakes or rice chips, ritz crackers, trail mix, veggie tray with catalina dressing or a fruit tray with a soy yogurt dip. You could make wraps like the Cashew Butter Banana Bites that I just posted about or peanut butter (or other nut butter) and jam or apple butter sandwiches. Oreos are also vegan if you were looking for more of a treat, mini ones which are fun for kids. The banana bread on my blog is also delicious, you could make it with or without chocolate chips, or make it into mini muffins. You could also make vegan pizza with soy cheese or pizza toast by spreading sauce and cheese on whole grain bread, topping it with soy cheese and baking it at 350F for a few minutes and broiling until the cheese melts. My kids like pizza toast cut into strips as a fun snack. I am sure there are many ideas out there if you did a google search. I hope that this helps you a bit. Good luck with your party! :)

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  14. This was an absolutely inspiring blog post! I am in my early twenties and I am excited to try out some of the eco-party ideas!! Thank you so much for the fondant recipe- I got some Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, and maraschino cherries and made the best chocolate dipped cherries ever!!
    Thank you thank you!

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  15. hi, !
    your cake looks really cute , your are creative must say
    i’ll be glad if you could tell me how to add food color to the fondant i am confused about if ,do u sprinkle it of the counter top and roll or how ???

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  16. This is a wonderful post! I have 3 bags of dandies sitting in my pantry, don’t have the courage to make the fondant with them. My experiments with trying to get a vegan royal icing went down the drain(literally) multiple times and I am very afraid to start experimenting for the fondant. Your fondant cakes look awesome, makes me think and believe that I could get the fondant to work!

    I will give this recipe a shot.. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. I love the idea of book party favors. My son has all-too-often come home with party favor bags filled with candy and cheap plastic toys that end up broken at the bottom of the toy bin…
    Once for a party activity at his school we did a “cake-walk” for books. The kids loved it (and everyone eventually got a prize or two :)

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  18. I was wondering about a more healthier ingredients for fondant, i didnt even think they existed! Thank you so much for this recipe! Beautiful children, btw!

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    • Hi! Thanks for your comment! You should be able to get the organic icing sugar at any health food store or organics store or in the natural foods section of your grocery store.

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  19. Hi Tiffany! Your cakes looks just as good as I know they tasted! Question, how do I soften up the marshmallows and fondant without using a microwave? I don’t own one. (of course have no intention of getting one) :)

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    • Thanks! I don’t know how you would soften it without a microwave. I don’t think that you would want to put it in the oven because it would definitely melt. Sorry, I can’t help you there. :(

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  20. Im going to try your recipe for the 1st year of my son! Sounds yummy… I was looking for the most tasteful birthday cake and I found your blog… You have an amazing family!
    We’re a vegan family too!
    Greetings from Mexico! :)

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  21. I can’t wait to try your marshmallow fondant recipe! Thank you for posting it. :) could you please tell me how much cake one recipe of fondant will cover? Thx for your time!

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  22. EXCITED TO HAVE FOUND YOUR PAGE!!! I asked my teen as I was making the fondant…. “Want a marshmallow?” “No! Gross! A vegan marshmallow!!?!? Yuck!” “Oh, sorry, next time I’ll get the ones with horse hooves and slimy fish gel, just for you.” He hasn’t been seen since. Lol. But the cake came out AWESOME!!!! Vegan is my life. This just made it extra sweet.

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  23. wow awesome cakes. super happy i found this site! i recently found out gelatin was not a vegetarian item, im new to the whole vegetarina scene.

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  26. Greetings, thank you so much for this recipe. I was wondering, because we don’t use microwaves in our home can I prepare the fondant without it on stove top? Also if I do not refrigerate the fondant will it need to be reheated? Thanks so much
    +Ayida

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    • Thanks! I have never tried making the fondant on the stove top, but I am sure it would work if you warmed the marshmallows over medium-low heat and stirred them consistently, until they are gooey. The fondant will need to be warmed again to make it soft enough to roll out if you are not using it very soon after you make it. It might be tricky to reheat it on the stove top, as you do not want it sticky, but just warm and malleable. Sorry I can’t be of more help from experience.

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  28. Hi!!
    I am teaching a foods class and wondering how many cups of fondant this recipe makes? Just a close guess would do me wonders.
    I would love to use this recipe.

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