Simple sweets by Dini Klein for kids’ birthday parties

Author: Dini Klein

As you may have noticed from my simple snacks and meals blogs, I’m all about repurposing ingredients, saving time and getting creative in the kitchen. When my son Solomon turned one, I wanted a special cake, but didn’t feel like spending the time actually baking the cakes. I was just interested in decorating. I went to the bakery and bought a plain rectangular cake and worked my Prep + Rally magic. 

I’ll let you in on my secret which consists of three words: Fondant, cookie cutters, cake toppers. Rolling out your own fondant will take you back to your first pottery class, but boy is it worth it. It makes the smoothest covering base, and you can use cookie cutters to cut out different fondant shapes as toppings alongside fun cake toppers to fit your theme. You can even get two cakes and stack them with a layer of frosting in between and make it tiered. The possibilities are really endless and, to be honest, even as a busy working mom, it's darn fun. 

Solomon’s birthday cake ended up being super cute and was such a fun finale to this delicious spread of bagels and veggies we enjoyed during his party. Whether you’re sprucing up a store-bought one or baking your own like I did in this Reel, you really can’t go wrong with a sheet cake—especially if you bust out the glittery sprinkles!

 

For a breakfasty twist on classic sheet cakes, I came up with this amazing prep-ahead idea that is featured in my new Prep + Rally cookbook: Rainbow Sheet Pancakes! The idea of this was to eliminate the time spent flipping pancakes over a hot stove (my son Solomon begs for pancakes daily, so this was a must!) while also creating a fabulously unique kind of cake! 

You can top the cake however you like and cut it into squares to have fuss-free (pan)cakes! You can also prep them for breakfast and eat them in the morning. This has got to be my favorite recipe in the book and I know you’ll love it too.

These are my favorite sheet pans for all things cooking and baking, but when I meal prep food in bulk, I love the extra large sheet pans to maximize space in the oven. 

 

Rainbow Sheet Pancakes

Serves 6–8 

Ingredients

1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted

butter, for the pan

3 large eggs

2 cups milk of choice

1 cup pure maple syrup

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Toppings

1 cup strawberries, cut into small

dice

1 cup peeled small-diced fresh

mango

1 cup thinly sliced bananas

1 cup thinly sliced kiwi

1 cup blueberries

Pure maple syrup

Directions

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Grease a standard baking sheet with the butter.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and maple syrup. Add the whole wheat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk (use an actual whisk to evenly distribute the ingredients!) until just incorporated. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Place on the middle rack in the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until set and golden on top.

Remove from the oven and top with rows of fruit to create a rainbow. Serve hot, cut into squares, with maple syrup to top!

Everybody loves dessert, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves! If you’re looking for other kids’ birthday party food inspo, check out my ideas for kid-friendly snacks and meals to serve.

 

Dini Klein is a food host, recipe developer, former private chef, creative junkie, wife and mama of three. Her recent cookbook, Prep + Rally, is her solution to getting wholesome dinners on the table throughout those busy weeks when juggling mommy-ing and work life feels almost impossible. 

Her knack for creating innovative food content has led to partnerships with brands such as Walmart, Starbucks, Weight Watchers, Popsugar, Barilla and more. She’s a Tastemaker on Tastemade where she develops food videos and recipes for their social channels and has had her videos featured on Roku, Amazon and Apple TV. 

With recipes published in numerous cookbooks and multiple live TV appearances under her belt, Dini is a culinary force to be reckoned with.

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