Children's Parties · Party Recipes · Tea Parties

Malteser Chocolate Cake Recipe

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We welcomed family into our home for dinner today, and I decided that it was the perfect opportunity for some chocolate cake recipe testing! I absolutely love chocolate cake, and think it’s the perfect kind of cake for any special social gathering or party. It’s simple to make, it’s a crowd pleaser and it is super versatile in the way that it can be modified or decorated to suit different tastes and requirements. Place it on top of a beautiful cake stand, polkadot doily and tablecloth, and you have yourself something absolutely delightful!

Obviously it’s fairly clear that chocolate cake is not groundbreaking stuff, and certainly hasn’t been invented by me (sadly), but there are so many variations of it and so many different recipes out there. My bookshelf is overflowing with baking books, so I’m guessing I probably have about 30 different chocolate cake recipes. Over time, I’ve tried and tested many of them, often sprawling hand drawn notes all over the pages. This recipe has derived from all of those little notes, alongside all of the baking mishaps I’ve suffered along the way to get to this point! (I’ll spare you the details!) If you feel like having a try, or you are baking for a special occasion, pop some music on, grab an apron and some pretty spatulas and have some fun with my recipe.

Ingredients

For the Cake

230g soft butter, plus extra for greasing

230g caster sugar

3 large eggs

180g self raising flour

60g cocoa powder

1 level teaspoon baking powder

For the Filling and Topping

350g icing sugar

80g cocoa powder

100g soft butter

4 tablespoons milk, to mix

To Decorate

Chocolate balls such as maltesers, if you’re looking for something similar to my cake. If not, you can use simple sprinkles or other cake decoration.

You will need:

Two 20cm round sandwich cake tins, greased with butter and lined with baking parchment

Makes 1 medium-large cake (serves 8-10)

Method

1) Pre heat the oven to 180c (gas mark 4)

2) Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. With an electric mix or a wooden spoon, cream them together until they are fluffy and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Do not mix for anything over 2 minutes, as the sponge needs to be airy when baked.

3) Measure the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and sift into the bowl. Fold this in gently, preferably with a large metal spoon, until all of the ingredients are evenly combined.

4) Divide the mixture between your 2 prepared tins. At this point, you may want to use some weighing scales to ensure even dividing. Bake in a pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until fully cooked through. (Inserting a cake tester or knife into the centre of the cake is a good indication on whether it is cooked through. The cake tester/knife should come out completely clean if it is cooked)

5) Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes. After this time, turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely for approximately 30 minutes or longer. Do not ice the cake until fully cooled, or a baking disaster may strike!

6) Mix all of the filling and topping ingredients (apart from the milk) together in a large bowl and mix until smooth. The milk should be added 1 tablespoon at a time, should the icing need loosening.

7) Spread half of the icing on one layer of the cake, which will make the buttercream centre. Take the remaining cake and place on top of this layer. Carefully spread the remaining icing on the top of the cake. Decorate with maltesers, or other chocolate/sprinkles of your choice.

The cake can be made the day before and will still taste delightful if stored in airtight containers or tins, but if possible, ice on the day of the event for added freshness.

Enjoy!

Children's Parties · Decorations · DIY Party Crafts · Party Craft Tutorials · Weddings

Wool Felt Ball Garland Tutorial

I just love wool felt ball garlands and thought I would share a quick and easy tutorial with you. If you have a party coming up and you are feeling creative, then you must try making one. They do a wonderful job of transforming party spaces, particularly when used on or near dessert tables or hanging from feature walls.

Felt balls are relatively cheap and readily available online. A quick google search will provide you with plenty of choice, particularly in size and colour. For this tutorial, I used 14, 2cm x 2cm felt balls in a variety of vibrant colours.

If you’re feeling inspired, then go and grab your supplies along with a lovely mug of tea (and some biscuits), quick!

You’ll need:

A selection of Wool Felt Balls (Mine are 100% Wool Felt)

Yarn

Scissors

Tape Measure or Extra Long Ruler

Thick Sharp Needle

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Step 1:

Decide which felt balls you intend on using and choose your yarn. The yarn will be used to assemble the garland and will be visible, so choose a complimentary colour. Grab a tape measure and scissors and cut a piece of yarn to your desired garland length. Add approximately 10 centimetres to this length to allow for the hanging loops at each end of the garland. My yarn measured 127 centimetres. Take your needle, and thread the yarn through it like so:

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Step 2:

At this point, I position my felt balls in the order I would like them to appear on the garland. Take your first felt ball and carefully thread the needle through the centre of it. If your needle is big and sharp enough, it should easily thread through the felt balls, but may need a little tug! Continue threading each felt ball onto your garland, until each one is attached:

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Step 3:

Once all of your felt balls are threaded through the yarn, lay the garland out and position your felt balls exactly where you would like them. (If you’re anything like me, you’ll like to ensure that the felt balls are fairly evenly spaced at this point!) There should be an extra 5 centimetres of yarn at each end of the garland (or more if you’ve accounted for it) to enable you to make 2 equally sized hanging loops. Thread each of the yarn tail ends into the two end felt balls at either side of the garland. Cut the excess yarn, and voila, you have a loop. Your garland should now be looking similar to this:

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I adore the colour yellow. and you’ll see below that I used some beautiful yellow flowers as a cake centrepiece. The great thing about felt ball garlands, is that there are so many colour combinations to choose from. This means they can be made to perfectly suit your party decor. Enjoy, and please share the results if you decide to make a garland.

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A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. 

Children's Parties · Decorations · Themes

Easter Gift Wrapping

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I am so excited to share my Easter gift wrapping with you in preparation for the Easter holiday. It’s such a wonderful time of year for me. I love the lighter evenings, the beautiful flowers and crisp sunny mornings. I also very much enjoy decorating my Easter tree and being able to give friends and family sweet little packages, made with love.

There are so many delicious Easter chocolates out there at the moment, but the packaging is often a little standardised. I like to be unique and prefer my gifts to stand out from the rest. I purchased some little plain cardboard boxes and filled them with sweet treats, ready to be opened with excitement! I then purchased some tissue paper for the outer packaging. The little patterned fabric strips I used, had been hanging around in my craft room for some time and they seemed perfect for these little presents.

I have several large sweet jars left over from our wedding in April last year, which are used for buttons, ribbon, twine and all sorts of wonderfully useful crafty bits! I had a good look through the jar and managed to find the twine, ribbon and buttons which give the presents that extra special finish.

These little presents take no time at all to prepare and make. They would be perfect for party favours, birthday gifts or special treats for any other occasion in need of some mini tokens of love. They do not have to be filled with sweet treats either. You can fill them with toys, crayons, jewellery, tea lights, soap, party games or anything else you can think of.

You’ll notice my rather large bowl of mini eggs. Mini eggs are one of my weaknesses this time of year. They are just far too tasty. As a treat, I like to use them to fill up pretty bowls. The colours are just delightful and they taste wonderful!

Happy Easter crafting, I do hope I have inspired you!

Children's Parties · Party Recipes · Tea Parties · Weddings

Sugar Hearts

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Today at Paper Doily it is all about quintessentially English tea parties. Before I elaborate, you will notice the emptiness of the beautiful cake stand. I’ve been browsing through my cookery books planning special tea party bakes and will be posting more about that shortly, so do keep your eyes peeled for more tea party related posts.

For now, this post is all about the cheerful sugar hearts, pictured above. I think they are a wonderful addition to the table and definitely add a rather unique touch. With Valentines Day approaching they also offer plenty of inspiration.

These sugar shapes are a creative twist on standard sugar lumps, which can sometimes look a little plain. They are extremely easy to make, take very little effort and can be made in advance of any occasion. They can be used in a variety of ways. If you aren’t hosting a tea party, they will be wonderful as small wedding favours with ‘love is sweet’ stickers, placed in little jars or clear wrappers. They also make lovely gifts and can be packaged creatively in a variety of ways to make them look even more special.

If this is something you would like to try, do feel free to use the recipe below. I would love to hear from you if you are intending to or have made them.

You will need:

250g of Granulated Sugar

1 tsp of Water

Small drops of Food Colouring in your desired colours

A silicone chocolate mould or ice cube tray

Instructions:

1. If you are intending to have multiple coloured sugar cubes, take some clean bowls and measure out equal amounts of sugar.

2. Add a few tiny drops of water into each bowl of sugar and mix thoroughly. The mixture should not be too wet, neither should it be too dry. The sugar should form small lumps.

3. Dip a cocktail stick or other small instrument into your desired food colouring pots and mix a small amount of food colouring in with the sugar, stirring thoroughly until each sugar bowl contains your desired colour.

4. Take your mould and fill each shape with sugar. Pat each shape down with a clean spoon to ensure you have an adequate amount of sugar.

5. Leave to set overnight.

6. Carefully place a plate under the mould and press out each sugar heart. They should come out easily.

7. Enjoy!

Party Recipes · Themes

Valentines Day Strawberry Milkshake

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It’s that time of year when many of you are thinking about the little tokens of love and appreciation you can share with your loved ones this Valentines Day. I have never thrown any huge Valentines Day celebrations but I do use any excuse to be creative and if my husband benefits from my efforts, then I’m sure he would agree that thats even better!

This Valentines Day Strawberry Milkshake is a wonderful idea if you are looking for something impressive, inexpensive, delicious and easy. It can be styled beautifully in a variety of ways. I have styled it with crocheted hearts and wooden pegs, but the possibilities really are endless. I crafted a heart paper straw in a few seconds to add that extra special touch. Red glitter paper is readily available in many craft stores, along with heart paper cutters. Paper straws are everywhere at the moment and the paper hearts can easily be attached with a small piece of clear sellotape or a small amount of UHU glue. if you aren’t feeling particularly crafty then similar straws are available here at Paper Doily Party Shop.

If I have inspired you to have a try then please do use the recipe below. I would love to hear from you if you decide to make it for yourself as a treat or for a loved one. Here goes..

Valentines Day Strawberry Milkshake Recipe

Makes 2 medium sized milkshakes. Can easily be halved/doubled.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

4 Scoops of Vanilla Ice cream

200g Strawberries roughly sliced

50-100 ml Milk

Whipped Cream

Sprinkles

Method

1. Place the ice cream and strawberries in a blender with half of the milk and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Keep adding milk until you have reached your desired thickness.

2. Pour the milkshake into a medium/tall glass. Leave an adequate gap at the top of the glass for the cream.

3. Squirt some whipped cream on the top, followed by your favourite sprinkles. You could also add fresh strawberries or a chocolate flake. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy!

Children's Parties · Party Recipes · Themes

Chocolate Doughnut Muffins

I decided to make chocolate doughnut muffins this weekend and I cannot stop thinking about how perfect they would be for an American themed party. After browsing the web for American themed parties I am blown away by the creativity and imagination by party organisers across the globe. It would appear many other people have had similar ideas and have thrown the most incredible parties and weddings under this theme, some of which are handpicked below.

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The blues, bright reds and hints of white are the perfect colours for the American theme and are all used in the most effective way possible. The bunting, bakers twine and retro labels, all featured on the Hostess with the Mostess blog add so much to the overall party theme and just look simply perfect. If you are regular reader, you would have already seen my movie party popcorn pops recipe shown above, but I thought they were very appropriate to this post too!

With much excitement, let me share the delectable doughnut muffin recipe with you, pictured above. I think these doughnut muffins would be the perfect addition to any American themed party dessert table.

Chocolate Doughnut Muffin Recipe

Makes 12

Ingredients:

125ml Milk (I used skimmed)

85ml Vegetable Oil

1 Large Egg

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

200g Self Raising Flour

100g Caster Sugar

12 small squares of Dark Belgian Cooking Chocolate

100g Unsalted Butter

150g Granulated Sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 190c (375F, gas mark 5), and oil a muffin tin. You will need a reasonable amount of oil as this will prevent the muffins from sticking to the tin.

Beat together the oil, milk, vanilla extract and egg. Fold this into the flour and caster sugar mixture. This must be done gently to achieve soft muffins and any lumps can be ignored.

Melt the chocolate in a microwavable bowl or in a pan over the hob.

Place a spoonful of the doughnut mixture into each cup, followed by a spoonful of melted chocolate and then another spoonful of the doughnut mixture.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Melt the butter and place the granulated sugar on a large plate.

Turn the muffins out of the tin and dip each entire muffin into the butter followed by a good roll in the granulated sugar.

Leave to cool and enjoy!

The muffins will be fairly greasy from the butter, so you can place them in muffin or large cupcake cases. Not only does it make them prettier, it may save a lot of sticky fingers.

I would love to hear from you if I have inspired you to make them or you are thinking of hosting an American inspired party or wedding!

DIY Party Crafts · Party Craft Tutorials · Weddings

Valentines Day Crafting

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I always become very excited about valentines day crafting and usually begin lots of love themed crafts around this time of year, sometimes before Christmas even! I thought I would share some of my favourite makes, some available at Paper Doily and some just for eye candy! All of the items pictured above are simple, enjoyable to make and very effective.

The wooden washi tape pegs are perfect for prettifying gifts, dessert tables or used around the house to hang favourite cards or photographs. Wooden pegs are so easy to find and it’s quite amazing how a simple piece of patterned tape can transform such a plain item! If you’re anything like me and have jars full of washi tapes, this is a great way to use your stash! I’ve also seen patterned fabric tape in a fair few craft shops, which is a lovely alternative.

I could imagine these pegs used on wedding favours/wedding dessert tables. I had several sweet jars on my dessert table at my own wedding in April of last year and I wish I had thought of this idea back then. They are the perfect addition to sweet bags if guests wish to take away sweet treats without getting covered in sugar.

The heart gift tags were also very enjoyable to make. I always seem to have lots of patterned wrapping paper left over from gift wrapping and I thought this was a really good way to use it up. I’m also a sucker for patterned paper packs and have so many floating around my craft room. The glitter paper is my favourite at the moment. I actually had hundreds of beautiful paper straws left over from my wedding and decided to use the glitter paper to add heart embellishments to them. As of yet, I haven’t started any valentines themed crochet projects, but this could be on the pipeline!

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I’ve been browsing the web for lots of crafting inspiration and wow, I certainly found it! I thought this would be a lovely way to end the post. If you’re anything like me and spend hours on pinterest, you’ll know how hard it was to choose such a small selection of favourites! Will you be doing any valentines day crafting this year and do you get as excited as I do?

The beautiful products in the above grid are courtesy of: LaLibeLula, A Field Journal, Annie’s Eats, Sisters Guild

Happy new year and happy crafting!

Children's Parties · Party Recipes · Themes

Caramel Popcorn Pops

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My husband and I decided to throw our own mini new years eve party this year. It consisted of homemade tapas, fruity cocktails and some extremely sweet but truly delicious caramel popcorn pops. Yes you heard it right, caramel popcorn pops! I wanted to make something quick, easy and tasty which was a little out of the norm. As I was photographing them I realised how perfect they would be for a movie party, similar to the fabulous one pictured above. The paper straws I used added such a lovely touch and they were also perfectly adequate for the weight of the popcorn. They would be fabulous served with american style milkshakes and chocolate.

I thought it would be lovely to share the process with you below. If you love the idea and would like to have a try then I do hope you have lots of fun. I would love to see the results if you feel like sharing! Children would absolutely love preparing the ingredients and helping to make this recipe. Please do bear in mind though that the mixture does become very hot and sticky, so parts of it are best left for adults only. Here goes..

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp (42.5g/1/5oz) butter

2 Tbsp (27g/0/97 fl. oz) Vegetable Oil

Salt to taste

50g Light Brown Sugar

100g Popcorn Kernels

30g Small White Marshmallows

For Assembling:

6 Paper Straws or Cake Pop Sticks

Caramel Sauce:

Take a large pan and place it on the hob on a medium heat. Melt the butter. Add the marshmallows and light brown sugar. Continuously stir the mixture until it becomes bubbly and smooth. Remove it from the heat.

Popcorn:

Take another pan and heat the vegetable oil on a medium heat. Add the popcorn kernels and place the lid on the pan. Repeatedly shake the pan until all of the popcorn kernels have popped. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle with salt. Carefully spoon the popcorn into a large mixing bowl leaving any un popped popcorn kernels. Take the caramel sauce and pour it over the popcorn. Take a spoon and mix it to combine. A metal spoon is best as the mixture will be very sticky. It’s best to work as quickly as possible during this stage before the caramel sets! Allow the mixture to cool for 3 minutes. You can then form the caramel popcorn into balls and insert the straws/cake pop sticks. I made 6 medium sized pops, but you can alter the recipe/size to suit.

You can then sit back and enjoy them!

Children's Parties · Decorations · DIY Party Crafts · Party Craft Tutorials · Weddings

Wool Felt Cake Toppers

I’ve really enjoyed browsing and making cake toppers since my wedding in April of this year. So much so, I’ve began making lots of them out of the most colourful and ever so soft wool felt, a new material I have recently discovered and absolutely love! These fluffy little shapes are so versatile and wonderful to work with. There are endless party crafts that they are perfect for, including garlands which I have made a fair amount of and will definitely be posting another tutorial on.

I have put together a very easy and hopefully helpful tutorial on the process behind making wool felt cake toppers. if you have a birthday party, wedding or any other special occasion coming up, these could be the perfect addition to your special bakes.

First of all, I ordered a few bags of wool felt balls and shapes from a company called Blooming Felt. I did a lot of browsing online prior to ordering and this company seemed the most reasonable. Everything arrived in good time and was packaged well, which is always a great bonus. This beautiful glass jar is the perfect storage solution and definitely brightens up my craft room shelf! The other good thing about this storage method is that I can see when supplies are running low!

tutorial

To construct the cake toppers, begin by choosing your favourite wool felt shapes. You will then need to take a small pair of sharp scissors. Embroidery scissors work best but if you don’t have those, then any sharp, reasonably large sewing needle will do the job.

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Pierce a small hole through the bottom of one of your wool felt shapes. The hole does not need to go through the entire shape at this stage, it just needs to be deep and large enough for you to place a thin skewer stick through it as below.

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You should be able to twist and turn the skewer stick most of the way through the wool felt shape until it has reached the top. It should not be visible at the top of the cake topper, so if you have pushed it all the way through, just pull it back out slightly. You can, if you wish add a very small amount of PVA glue into the hole with a small cocktail stick before pushing the skewer stick in. However, this hasn’t been necessary for me as I keep the hole fairly small to ensure it is sturdy.

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Once finished, have fun placing them on your special cake and await the lovely compliments, as they really do look something special. As you can see above, I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with different shapes, colours and materials. The beauty of the wool felt cake toppers are that they are very quick to make, so you can spend time baking and making other beautiful party products!

I would love to hear from you and see your photographs if you have made these! If you love what you see but would prefer a ready made cake topper, there are several cake toppers available to purchase from Paper Doily Parties as pictured above, alongside many other handmade party products.

Happy crafting!

Children's Parties · Decorations · DIY Party Crafts · Party Craft Tutorials · Party Shop · Weddings

Decorative Wooden Pegs

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We’ve been very busy making lots of adorable pegs for our Etsy shop recently and we thought we would share! They are absolutely perfect for prettifying wedding favour bags or wrapped gifts. They would also look lovely in the home, perhaps hanging from a lovely piece of twine with your favourite photographs or artwork attached.

These pegs are just standard clothes pegs and are very easy to find in most hardware stores or supermarkets. I purchased a large pack of these from my local supermarket. I searched online for patterned washi tape and came across such an amazing selection, mainly on Etsy. The great thing about these pegs, is that you only need a very small amount of washi tape to cover them. This means that you will have lots of tape left for coordinating party crafts, should you be having a big DIY session.

I have decided to sell these in lovely packs of 10 here but if you decide to get creative yourself, then let me know. I would love to see!

A very kind reminder: Paper Doily tutorials are for personal use only. Please do not reproduce the above content for resale.