halloween cakes on 3 round tables with balloon garland in the background
Sweet Sixteen Halloween Party Ideas

Sweet Sixteen and Halloween aren’t the typical party ideas that come together for one theme! Ha! But…I went for it for our Supper Club because we had to skip September’s Supper Club. Our dog had surgery and needed constant care, and so we postponed the Sweet 16 theme and rolled it into the next month. That is how Sweet Sixteen Halloween came to be! It was actually really fun to plan. I had so many ideas of what I wanted to do, and I feel like this theme could be expanded in so many ways.

halloween cakes in pink orange yellow

I wanted to do a grouping of 16 somewhere at the party. I thought about doing 16 candles down the center of a really long table, but I always get a little worried about flames and lots of teens around one table. Even though they are old enough to drive, I still feel like too many candles could be a problem. 🙂 Maybe I just still think of them as 6 instead of 16? I don’t know, but I picture long hair inadvertently ending up too close to a flame.

pink halloween cake with black spiders

Instead of candles, I decided to go with 16 cakes. I wanted the colors to reflect the “sweet” and then I wanted to add in Halloween decorations to the cakes. Originally, I wanted to have only 4-inch cakes but then changed to a mixture of 6-inch and 4-inch. I liked the variety of sizes, but I really loved the size of the 4-inch. The girls liked the smaller cakes, too. They were really cute and miniature.

orange halloween cake with candy bones and candy eyes
sweet sixteen halloween cake with gold letters
halloween cakes in a grouping on a round table

I ordered the cakes from Emilee Hain, of Keelime Culinary. Emilee used to own a restaurant in town and now she is a personal chef and baker. I was so happy when she agreed to give this idea a try- I knew I needed help to pull off 16 cakes all at one time. Emilee baked and frosted the cakes- I sent her photos of the colors that I wanted to use. I also wanted to use separate tables for the cakes. I used 3 round tables and set them all out before I decorated them.

pink yellow orange peach colored cakes in a group on round tables

And, then I just started decorating based on height and colors. It was fun trying to make each one a little different.

halloween-cake-ideas-witch-spiders

I added a balloon garland to the wall before I set up the cakes. The colors were a unique twist for Halloween, but I like how the black touches bring out the holiday vibe.

halloween cakes on 3 round tables with balloon garland in the background

I have mentioned on Instagram that watching your daughter learn to drive (and being in the car while that learning takes place), can be a little nerve-racking. For me, it has been the hardest milestone yet. It is tough not to be the one driving her and to trust that she is ready for so much responsibility. Because of that, I jokingly nicknamed this party, “Driving me Batty”. I had a little drawing at the party to commemorate this phase of parenting. 🙂

illustration of a pink car with blonde teen girl driver with pumpkins and bats

For the “supper” part of Supper Club, I set the tables with 9 girls at each table. I used Halloween napkins, cups, and straws and put fresh flowers in the center.

halloween party table set with flowers plates cups and napkins

I also added Sweet Sixteen headbands and candy sticks to the table.

Halloween party table setting with headbands and flowers

My daughter chose the menu and asked for Chicken Enchiladas. My husband made the enchiladas, and then I added a veggie tray, a bowl of fruit, chips, salsa, and avacados.

front porch halloween decorations with blue door and clay jack o lanterns

I set up the front porch with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns for a warm welcome. The jack-o-lanterns are made of clay and are from a shop in northeast Georgia called Craven Pottery. They doubled as party favors for the girls to take home at the end of the night…

halloween front porch with jack o lanterns glowing on each step
group of teen girls sitting on front porch steps holdling jack o lanterns

One of the most fun parts of the night was that Supper Club happen to hit on the date of one of the girls’ actual 16th birthday! It was so fun to be able to celebrate it with her! It was a fun time and I enjoy hosting with my daughter each time! Feel free to ask me any questions about our Supper Clubs- or anything else that you see that you would like to know! To see last year’s Halloween Supper Club click here. You can find other Supper Club ideas here and here. Thanks for being here!

sweet sixteen party with 16 cakes

Cheers xo,

Lydia

blue sculpted camera cake with fondant strap with name on it
Celebrate with Cake~ Ideas from “For Heaven Bakes”

If you are looking for cake ideas for a birthday, wedding, graduation, baby shower, or any celebration, then I have the baker for you!! Julie McAllister is the owner of For Heaven Bakes and is such an amazing cake artist. I have always been drawn to all things art, but make it edible (and add in a celebration) and I am doubly all in!!! Julie’s cakes are jaw-dropping and inspiring! Take a look! I feel like “Matt” had to be pretty impressed with this. What do you think?

3 D golf bag cake in blue standing upright with clubs in the bag and green grass below
Cake by Julie McAllister of For Heaven Bakes

It is hard to believe that the golf bag is made of all cake! The pouches and zippers- and those golf clubs- not to mention that it is 3-dimensional and standing up! Julie is cake baker, artist, and apparently a bit of an engineer, too! Here is Julie with the golf bag cake and a pineapple cake that she made…along with look-alike fruit that she created.

Julie McAllister of For Heaven Bakes Bakery with her sculpted golf bag cake
Cakes by Julie McAllister of For Heaven Bakes

I was lucky enough to meet Julie when I was connected with her at The Southern Coterie (The Southern C) Summit and asked her to make my daughter’s birthday cake. It was really hard to decide what to make because Julie is so talented. My daughter decided on a camera because that was her biggest wish for her birthday- a new camera. After having Julie’s version of her camera, I bet my daughter has a new favorite camera! Here is Julie’s camera masterpiece for Camille’s 16th birthday!

blue sculpted camera cake with fondant strap with name on it
Camera Cake by For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Lydia Menzies

We had a family party to celebrate my daughter’s birthday and this cake was the perfect size. Everyone loved how it had Camille on the camera in place of the brand Canon- and how her name was also on the camera strap. Blue is Camille’s favorite color and so it was fun to add that little twist to her cake.

blue sculpted camera cake with custom name on camera strap with birthday girl in photo

Julie created the back of the cake to be as realistic as the front of the cake! The cake was a show-stopper and was such a fun addition to the day. Even better, the cake and frosting inside were really delicious! Camille requested chocolate cake and chocolate frosting and it was a really great choice! Camille likes fondant, and so she was quite happy that she could have a cake with fondant and buttercream frosting all in one! The details that Julie put onto the camera cake made it hard to believe that there was actual cake inside there!

back of sculpted camera cake in blue
blue camera cake sculpted and decorated in fondant

I am crazy for cakes and so I am excited to share more of For Heaven Bakes cakes with you below. Julie’s talent will blow your mind! I have several favorites, and I would love to hear which ones are your favorites, too!

Look at this Lilly Pulitzer inspired paddle board cake…what a great idea for a Lilly Party! How cute is the fondant beach ball and paddle? The Lilly lobster print is one of my all-time favorite prints- and look how the name resembles the writing of Lilly Pulitzer’s signature that you see on the clothing and merchandise. Allison doesn’t miss a detail!

Lilly pulitzer hand painted lobster print paddle board cake
Lilly Pulitzer Paddle Board Cake by For Heaven Bakes
Lilly Pulitzer paddle board cake with the Lilly Lobster Print pattern and a beach ball and paddle made of fondant

And, then there is this…a “Breakfast in Bed” cake- oh, my goodness! The entire thing is a cake- not just the stack of pancakes…

birthday cake shaped like breakfast on a tray with pancakes eggs fruit and juice
Breakfast Cake by For Heaven Bakes
birthday cake that looks like breakfast served on a tray with eggs fruit and pancakes
Breakfast on a Tray Cake by For Heaven Bakes

It takes a minute for it to sink in that this whole thing is a cake created by For Heaven Bakes. The tray, the eggs, the oranges, the juice glass, the flowers and the stack of pancakes- all made by hand by Allison! I just love it! I am amazed and I wish I had been at the party to see the reaction of the guest of honor!

a cake that looks like breakfast in bed with a stack of pancakes eggs and toast
Pancake Cake by For Heaven Bakes

And, then there’s this little order Allison received to make a cake for Reese Witherspoon’s birthday- I can only imagine how exciting this was to make! The cake is modeled after a handbag that was Reese’s birthday gift from her Draper James family. Allison made it spot-on to look like the actual bag! I think it is gorgeous!

coral colored handbag sculpted cake with draper James tag on it for Reese Witherspoon's birthday
Draper James Handbag Cake by For Heaven Bakes

Fashion accessories seem to be right up Allison’s alley – this cake is made to look like a wide-brimmed sun hat and, well, it does! It looks just like a hat! Notice the detail of each layer that resembles how a straw beach hat would look. And, topped off with a ribbon that literally ties together the look of the hat! For Heaven Bakes wows me!

cake made to look like a straw sunhat with wide brim
Hat Cake by For Heaven Bakes

While we are thinking sandy beaches, look at this Shrimp Boil cake! Allison lives in the low country of South Carolina which is all about a low country boil. This would be a fun birthday or groom’s cake for the guys!

low country boil cake sculpted to look like a pot of seafood corn and potatoes with old bay seasoning and corn on the cob
Low Country Shrimp Boil Cake by For Heaven Bakes

It looks so much like the real thing! It is all cake and fondant. It is like our eyes are playing tricks on us!

low country boil shrimp boil cake with red potatoes and corn on the cob all made of fondant and cake

All of Julie’s cakes deserve to be in glossy magazines- and I am thinking someone needs to sign her to a book deal right away! I could literally post photo after photo of Julie’s cakes. I love each one! I wanted to find out more about the lady behind the incredible talent, and so I asked Julie a few questions to help us know more about her…and at the end I share another of her many amazing cakes!!

You are such a talented baker…what led you to focus on sculpted cakes?

I have been a hobby baker for as long as I can remember, and when I was in grad school, I started to teach myself cake sculpting for fun. I continued to bake and try different types of cake decorating over the years, took catering jobs on the side and even had a part time job at a bakery in DC for a period of time—all in an effort to gain as much experience in as many different types of baking as I could. In trying those different avenues, I learned that I loved novelty cake decorating above and beyond anything else, so when I was ready to start my own business here in Charleston, I knew exactly what I wanted my focus to be.

Do you have favorites that you bake other than cakes? Cookies or cupcakes or family recipes?

Even though I only make sculpted, novelty cakes for my business, I still do traditional baking all the time for myself and my family. I think, because I spend so much time making cakes, that when I have free time I tend to make cookies, bars, pies or pastries, just to give myself some variety! 🙂 I usually try to bake my way through each issue of Bake From Scratch, and then I have some family recipe staples that I can pretty much make from muscle memory at this point, so those are my go-to’s when I just need a quick dessert.

Can you estimate how long it took to make the camera cake?  I think it is important for all of us to understand the time it takes to create! 🙂


Sculpted cakes like these almost always take about 15 hours from absolute start (baking the cakes) to finish (the last decorative detail). This camera cake clocked in at 14 hours.

Do you have a long-term goal for your cake business?


My long-term goals are always evolving for me. I think when it’s all said and done, I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded if I’m creating cake art on a large scale. I have such a passion for novelty cake decorating and genuinely view it as a form of art, and my ultimate goal would be to share this love with others. 🙂

What is the biggest challenge of running For Heaven Bakes?


I think a lot of people who create products tend to create the same product or similar products over and over, until they become an absolute expert at those particular designs. Because these cakes are so unique, I rarely make the same cake twice, so sometimes there is a figure-it-out-as-you-go element, which can make it challenging. But the problem solving element is one of the things I love the most about these cakes.

What is the biggest perk?


Aside from the joy I get from owning my own business, there is never not cake or cake scraps in our house, which to me, is the ultimate job perk!

After having Julie’s cake, I would definitely see that as a job perk! I am so happy to get to share Julie and her work at For Heaven Bakes with all of you! I am already excited to get on her schedule for another cake soon!!

Julie McAllister at For Heaven Bakes Bakery holding a tray of sculpted fruit made of cake and fondant
Julie McAllister of For Heaven Bakes

And, I will leave us all with this little beauty to look at as we end. A mint julep sculpted cake! I would love to plan a party around this cake!! Cheers, y’all!

Kentucky Derby Party cake mint julep sculpted cake by For Heaven Bakes Julie McAllister
Mint Julep Cake by For Heaven Bakes

Cheers and XO,

Lydia

LOVELY LITTLE LADYBUG

Ladybugs are one of my favorite party themes!  I love them in different colors, and I love them in their traditional red and black armor.  Rose, of Rose Bakes, recently baked the treats for a Ladybug First Birthday party, and she is sharing them with us today!  Birthdays, Mother’s Days, Picnics, Going Away Parties- they all would be cute in a ladybug theme- just add a few (or all!) of these sweet treats, and alert the aphids!

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CHALKBOARD CAKE BUNTING

I am thrilled to share a BUNTING TUTORIAL with you from Natalie, at Katarina’s Paperie!  This CHALKBOARD BUNTING is just in time for back-to-school as well as being perfect for any occasion!  This party detail works great with boy and girl themes AND celebrations for any age!  Follow along and you will soon have this cute idea gracing your next celebration cake!  (P.S. Read on to find a grand opening special when you shop with Katarina’s Paperie!)

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CAKES CAKES CAKES

Oh MY!  Four very lovely and very talented ladies pooled their amazing cake decorating skills and designed the most fabulous dessert table as a celebration of Mother’s Day!  Using the same color palette of pinks, blues, and whites, each decorated cakes and brought them together for one STUNNING display!  These cakes would be welcomed at any celebration at any time of the year- they are gorgeous!

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TARTAS AND CO

It is always fun to see the creativity that pops up in my inbox from readers who have something to contribute to The Party Wagon!  I was delighted when Tartas and Co. in Madrid sent me these photos of her work!

Cory recently opened her new shop…

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