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.
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
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.
- 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)
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.
- 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)
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
And professional marshmallow eaters
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!