Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, Hershey's Chocolate Cake and THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!

My daughter's 9th birthday party last Saturday was a true success! She just won't stop saying "Thanks for the party Mom" so I guess she really had so much fun! 

Just like what I've said last Friday, the party was just a simple one...but I made sure that the food and games will make Clarise's 9th birthday party fun and memorable for her and her friends.


I cooked her favorite Macaroni & Cheese and Filipino Style Spaghetti. I baked some Cookies & Cream Cupcakes (which Kate of A Spoonful of Thyme shared on her blog two weeks ago). I topped some with mini-oreos and oreo crumbs, and some with halved mini oreos and m&m's to make them look like owls.

I wanted to add something wizard related so I made some Pretzel Wands (the idea of which I got from Kaboose). Clarise and her friends really like them!

Clarise requested me to bake and decorate her birthday even though I'm really not into cake decorating, I did it for her. I made a chocolate birthday cake with  a combination of chocolate  and Buttercream frosting (the recipe of which I got from hersheys website). It wasn't perfect I know...but she really liked it which is what's really important.

We also served Foster Farms Chicken Nuggets and Pepperoni and Cheese pizza from Papa John's. For the games, we had Cast The Best Magic Spell, Pass Around The Wand, Pin the Wand on Alex's Hand and Piñata Busting. I also prepared a wand making activity for them.  

From the sweet smiles I saw on their faces, I can really say that they all had a great time...and I'm so happy and proud! 

It's true that the party preparation was kinda exhausting for me...but it was all worth it. Nothing compares to the joy of seeing Clarise so happy...and knowing that I made her 9th birthday celebration worth remembering!

Now, let me share with you the recipes for Cookies & Cream Cupcakes and Hershey's Chocolate Cake.

* I'm linking up these recipes on Mouthwatering MondaysMelt in Your Mouth Monday, Mangia Mondays, Hearth and Soul Hop, Delectable Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays At The Table, Tasty Tuesdays, Made From Scratch Tuesday and Two Maids a Baking.

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes (adapted from Kate of A Spoonful of Thyme)

Yield: 24 cupcakes

24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup half and half
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I used the remaining cookie half.)
For garnish:
Oreo cookie crumbs (Made with the remaining four cookie halves.)
24 Mini Oreo cookies

1. Preheat the oven to 350? F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. 
2. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. 

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract.
4. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the half and half and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the coarsely chopped Oreos until evenly incorporated, be careful not to over-mix.

5. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with mini Oreos.
Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp half and half (Use additional to get the right consistency to pipe the frosting, about 3-4 total.)

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add half and half and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
* Makes about 3 cups of frosting.



Hershey?s Perfectly Chocolate Cake
Source: Hershey?s Kitchens

2 cups sugar
1 ¾  cups all-purpose flour
¾  cup HERSHEY?S Cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost cake. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.


Hershey?s Perfectly Chocolate Frosting

½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY?S Cocoa
3cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 4 cups frosting.

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