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Everything You Need To Know About

Birthday parties

Get the most fun birthday party ideas, decorating suggestions, cake recipes, favor bag tips, and games all in one place! Whether the next birthday party you throw will be a raucous kid party or a sophisticated grown-up fete, we can help you pick a theme and set the stage for celebrating.

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Blowing the perfect bubble depends on equal parts science and magic. With a few twists of wire, you can make fantastic bubble wands and spend long, lazy days practicing your technique. The best bubble solution is 10 cups water to 4 cups dish-washing liquid, plus 1 cup Karo corn syrup.

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Sheet cakes, long a staple of bake sales and potlucks, are easy to make and even easier to transport. Be sure to let the cake cool completely before you frost it. Once frosted, the cake can be covered with plastic wrap and kept at room temperature up to three days.

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"After baking countless cakes over the past 11 years for our pages, I've come back around to appreciating the versatility of a sponge cake,” says Jennifer Aaronson, editorial director of food and entertaining. See the test kitchen’s step-by-step guide to making sponge cake and discover three ways to use this flexible favorite.

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It's called pie, but let's face it, it's a cake -- with an oozy, luscious pastry cream filling between moist layers and chocolate ganache dripping down the sides. It so gripped the taste buds of nineteenth-century Bostonians at the Parker House Hotel that it became a classic dessert -- in fact, in 1996 it was named the state dessert of Massachusetts. A good way to tackle this cake is to make the cake layers and the pastry cream in advance. When ready to assemble, make the ganache topping.Excerpted from "Mad Hungry Cravings" by Lucinda Scala Quinn, Artisan Books, March 19, 2013.