Hired out our residence's barbecue court, and some rental bouncy castle and ride-on cars:
As for the boy's cake, it was a no-brainer decision to do a Star Wars themed cake as that is his current obsession (thanks to hubby). In the week before the party, I found out that one of his little friends has allergies to eggs, dairy and gluten, and along with my boy's nut allergy, I had the gargantuan task of making a cake that would suit them. Hubby said from the beginning that I should to stick to my plan to bake the usual cake and make some gluten-free cupcakes for the little friend, but I hate excluding anyone with special requirements (having dealt with it myself for almost six years), at least not without giving it a go first. So I tried making a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free cake, but unfortunately the cake mix I used wasn't suitable for a large cake - it was fudgy and moist in the centre even after two hours of baking (hence the standard toothpick test indicated the cake was not cooked) but the edges had baked rock hard. With so little time, I ditched the idea of making a gluten-free Darth Vader cake, and made gluten-free cupcakes instead. Instead of building the cake from scratch, I ordered a Darth Vader cake pan from the US to help make my life a bit easier. The decorating instructions that came with the cake pan proved too fiddly, so I decorated it the way I felt comfortable with. For the cake, I used the tried-and-true Chocolate Butter Cake recipe from joyofbaking that I've successfully used for previous birthday cakes, and it baked beautifully in the cake pan (much to my relief, as the party was on the next day!). For the frosting, I started off with a chocolate buttercream (using 1 cup butter, 3 cups icing sugar, 3/4 cup cocoa powder and 4-5 tablespoons milk) and tinted it with about eight drops of black Americolor food colouring. This gave a dark enough colour without affecting the flavour nor give people coloured teeth. Then I frosted the cake with a frosting spatula and piped the details on with a piping bag and tips. For a rushed job, it didn't turn out too badly. The boy was pleased with the cake, and there wasn't much leftover - success!
Darth Vader cake, decorated my way:
The gluten-free cupcakes were a hit with the little boy who is allergic to gluten, eggs and dairy! His mum said she had never seen him polish off anything so quickly before: