You crawl into bed on a Friday night at the end of a crazy work week, knowing it's your daughter's seventh birthday tomorrow, and you've got everything planned. Great job!
You booked the local roller rink for three hours of nonstop action and laughs for tomorrow morning. You have all your RSVPs, so you know exactly who is coming to the party. You bought little toys and candy to put in your very own homemade goodie bags. The skating rink is serving a lunch of pizza, hot dogs and soda for the kids. They will be ready to eat after burning off all those calories.
Lights out, you are about to fall asleep until one four-letter word jolts you awake.
How on earth, you ask yourself, did you forget to order the cake from the bakery?
No cake? No problem. Your daughter doesn’t need a bakery-decorated cake. Have you been to a wedding recently and seen the desserts that have replaced the typical three-tiered cake? The same thing has happened with birthday parties, where a Hello Kitty- or New York Yankees-themed cake is no longer mandatory.
Here are nine alternative sure to cap off a fabulous party.
1. Cupcakes. Your best friend. Easy preparation and easy cleanup, even if a child drops it on the ground.
2. Cookie cake. Make one yourself or buy one at your local supermarket on the way. It's one giant chocolate chip cookie. Who can't get behind that?
3. Munchkins. Really strapped for time? Grab a few boxes of different flavors of the bite-sized Dunkin' Donuts staple on your way to the party. We have a few hundred Dunkin’ Donuts in the Capital Region, after all.
4. Frosted sugar cookies. You know the ones we’re talking about. The ones at the front of every Walmart in America. What are they called? Who knows. But we've never met a child who doesn't love them.
5. Brownies. Like cupcakes, brownies are another ol' reliable. Remember to always leave some batter so you can lick the spoon. Take some vanilla ice cream to the rink because nothing is better than brownies and ice cream.
6. Ice cream cake. Supermarkets always have a Carvel cake ready to go. It's ice cream in cake form -- the best of both worlds! Just be sure to ask the party hosts to find a freezer for it ASAP.
7. Ice cream sundae bar. Take a gallon of vanilla ice cream, a jar of hot fudge, sprinkles, maraschino cherries and some whipped cream and let the kids make their own. Forget the nut topping because of nut allergies your guests might have. Or, for a healthier treat, grab fresh fruit for the toppings.
8. Decorated donuts. Cupcakes and brownies aren't the only things kids like nowadays. Buy a couple of dozen donuts along with some frosting and sprinkles and let the children customize their own dessert. Beware a giant mess.
9. A fresh-fruit platter. What kids don’t like strawberries, blueberries and pineapple? The kids’ parents will appreciate this one.