By Max Wilker, Style Director for Better Homes and Gardens/Meredith Corp.
With the 10th anniversary of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate upon us, it’s time to celebrate this great milestone with a spectacular event! And who doesn’t like a good party? We’ve been planning, creating ideas, and have the ball rolling with you in mind. You just need to set a date and make the invitation list.
Bake the Cake
Yes, we’ve got cake! The Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen staffers created a special celebratory cake and frosting, The BHGRE® Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake. You’ll find this buttermilk and vanilla bean cake delicious and easy to make. Plus, the creamy Salted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting is heavenly. Success is easy as we even created a quick and easy-to-follow video to show you (or your favorite baker) how to make the cake and decorate it, BHGRE Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake How to Video. Make sure to let us see your version of this incredible cake by sharing photos.
Test Kitchen Tip: To make cupcakes instead of the layer cake, start by lining four standard muffin pans with paper cups. (We love silver metallic liners for a touch of bling and tradition has it that the 10th year anniversary gift is tin/aluminum.) Follow the recipe through step 2 except use prepared muffin pans. Bake 18-20 minutes. Makes 45-48 cupcakes. If you do not have 4 muffin pans, refrigerate remaining batter until ready to use.
For the sprinkles, we purchased single containers of the “PAIGE colors” and custom mixed them together. Check out Michael’s Crafts or your local grocery store for similar colored sprinkles or buy a container of the rainbow sprinkles to make the finishing touch quick and easy.
Make the Topper
For the cake topper, we found green and white striped straws for the poles at Michael’s Crafts. (Tip: To keep the full length of the straw above the frosting level, tape a wooden stick or kabab skewer to an end of the straw to lengthen it.) For the flags, we took the pendants in the online BHGRE 10th Anniversary Party in a Box found in the BHGRE Greenhouse and reduced the color copy down to be 1.25” wide. Cut and glue them to a 15” white 1/8” wide ribbon or string. (Tip: To help the ribbon hang in a smoother curve, use the tip of a fabric scissors and snip 1/16” of the ribbon between each of the pendants.) Then tie or tape the ends of the ribbon to the straws.
Set up a pretty table with a solid colored tablecloth. This will contrast nicely with the white cake. Make your cake the center of attention by elevating it on a cake stand. Paper napkins can be festive in multi-colored stripes or dots, otherwise pick up packs of napkins in the PAIGE colors to match the sprinkles on the cake.
Check out the BHGRE Greenhouse for more printables and templates, such as invitations, postcards, 10-year anniversary logos, and the BHGRE Party in a Box tools.
Just having cake and champagne to celebrate is great, but if you want more ideas to make the event special…
- Summer Ice Cream Social—perfect for a summer weekend afternoon
- Have ice cream options such as vanilla bean and strawberry from your favorite local creamery
- Create a topping table to personalize sundaes: small candies, fruits, caramel sauce, hot fudge, nuts, and whipped cream
- Cake and Coffee—sweet treats and steamy coffee for a morning event
- Flavored coffees, creamers, dipped stir sticks
- Summer Grilling—any time the weather’s sunny and warm
- Locate a few Better Homes and Gardens recipes from bhg.com for steaks, burgers, chops, and grilled fruits or corn
- Garden Party—make it a fun flower arranging event
- Gather dozens of fresh cut flowers, plenty of greenery, and vases from a local wholesaler and have a flower arranging party. See bhg.com for tips.
- Charitable Birthdays
- What’s a birthday party without gifts? Encourage a children’s gift drive
- Serve cupcakes but raffle off a perfectly decorated cake to support New Story or your own local charity
A great party always ends with a simple remembrance from the event. Here are a few ideas:
- Preprinted BHGRE Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake recipe cards
- Cupcakes in green takeout boxes with BHGRE anniversary tags attached
- Granny Smith apples half dipped in white chocolate with matching sprinkles or green sugar. Wrap in cellophane bag and add a BHGRE anniversary tag
- Garden party favors: seed packets or flowers/plants in white pots
Check out bhg.com for more recipes, party ideas and favors to make your party extra special. We’re excited to hear all about how you celebrated 10 years of BHGRE. Share your party with us on our All Things Real Estate Facebook page or by hashtagging #Powerof10 and #BHGRE!