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Dessert for 2-Year-Old's Birthday/BBQ

I have offered to make dessert for my nephew's birthday party, which will be a BBQ held at a local park. I am hesitant to make cake, cupcakes, or anything with buttercream that will be difficult to transport and likely to melt and get messy. I am looking for something easy, transportable, but more fun and festive than plain old brownies. Any ideas? There will be about 20-25 people, mostly adults but some kids of all ages. Thanks!

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  1. maybe its too close to cake but a PA Dutch favorite for dessert on the go are Whoopie Pies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whoopie_pie

    which is basically a homemade devil dog - the cream being inside allows them to be individually wrapped if desired - and more easily transported

    1. Kids like toppings. Make the brownies and bring whipped cream, mini choco chips, colored sprinkles, etc. and let people make their own brownie sundaes.

      1. Good ideas....I know have a request from the birthday boy's mom to include fresh berries, which are his favorite food--is there a way to make a fun cake or something with berries that is easy to transport?

        1 Reply
        1. re: DevorahL

          berry shortcake or pound cakes. just pack the components separately.

        2. more labor intensive but fruit POPs, like a skewer of fruit, then arrange them in a hollowed out, upside down watermelon 1/2. We uses, strawberry, grapes, watermelon and raspberries. Now that I think of it tho, skeweres might be an issue for 2 year olds, never mind!

          1. Smitten kitchen has a really good berry bundt cake that you could easily make in loaf pans, or as cupcakes.
            It's very moist, you can use any mixture of berries and it has an (optional) lemon glaze that would hold up well too.
            I made this for my neices second birthday dinner as her mother didn't want chocolate or anything too sweet. It's now a house favorite.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rabaja

              So cute! And I love the idea of writing on the glaze. It's a great way to make it feel like a birthday cake without the trickiness of a buttercream frosting.

            2. Will the birthday boy get a cake or cupcakes at home? If so, a fun assortment of cookies would be easy to transport. You could make a cookie cake. If he won't have any other birthday cake, I would make a cake or cupcakes topped with a drizzle of glaze or sprinkle of powdered sugar/sprinkles. Ice cream cone cupcakes are cute.

              1. A trifle would be easy to bring and have berries. You can either make them in plastic cups in advance or scoop when you get there.

                7 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  My sister (the birthday boy's mom) actually mentioned trifle. Is there any way to make it look fancy?

                  1. re: DevorahL

                    Trifle is SUPER impressive looking if you have the right dish for it - you need a deep, wide glass bowl on a pedestal. With all the visible layers of goodies, it's stunning, and you can decorate the top any way you like (you could even pipe Happy Birthday if you wanted).

                    1. re: DevorahL

                      As biondanonima said, it's all about the container If you have the time, individual ones are very pretty:


                      Or you can pick up a glass bowl.


                      I've also done it like this tiramisu in a springform pan. Remove the exterior, tie w/ ribbon.


                      1. re: DevorahL

                        I'm not sure I'd choose to do a trifle if it needs to be pareve/dairy free. You could do something like cake layered with lemon curd (would have to be made with pareve magarine, but you're probably comfortable with that) and berries in order to get the birthday boy's favored food in, or maybe use a coconut milk-based custard.

                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                          trifles look pretty until just a few people get the serving spoon in there. then they just look like a mess. especially if this is dessert for 25 people.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            That's why I like individual servings. OTOH, if you really care what it looks like, you can serve it. I serve large layer cakes, too, because they tend to get destroyed when people serve themselves.

                            1. re: chowser

                              agree that a trifle is fine on a dinner table, but maybe not the thing at a bbq in a public park. :)

                    2. The kid is two and he likes berries.

                      Focus on the fruit.

                      Make (buy?) a great shortbread. Or angel food.

                      I'd ~buy~ a good quality aerosol whipping cream, although if you want to make/chill/transport one...you go!

                      Then I would focus on a really great fruit compote.

                      Relax and enjoy the party. He's two. No one will remember in 2-3 years.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: pedalfaster

                        Fruit for 25 people is a rather expensive commitment. Might be out of reach.

                        1. re: pedalfaster

                          Those sponge cake shells supermarkets sell in packages of 6 would be simple, look nice, and be the right serving size for children. An aerosol made from real cream would be perfect. I'd buy frozen strawberries in syrup, thaw, and add fresh berries to that.

                          It's absolutely correct that no one will remember....it won't take 2-3 years, either! And the birthday boy will never remember. Get disposable bowls, assemble the shells, line them up on a platter, and stick alphabet picks into them, spelling out Happy Birthday + nephew's name.

                        2. It does not have to be complicated at all..for a two year old's birthday, I suggest making these: http://kidscooking.about.com/od/cupca...

                          Using flavor enhancements such as juice or coconut milk instead of water and some flavored extracts, you can jazz up the boxed mix. The whipped cream used for the frosting is a great substitute for buttercream (buy the aerosol cans and keep chilled in a cooler until ready to use).

                          Other frosting suggestions are piped marshmallow cream or use a glaze or if you want to be fancy, whip up a meringue, spoon it into piping bags and store into large zip bags in a cooler until you get to your party location. When ready, pipe onto each serving and use a torch to brown the tops. Quickly adds sprinkles. For a easy stand, use a tall box, cover with decorative paper, turn it over and cut out holes on the bottom large enough to hold the cones. Small (and large) kids love these. Just bring some wet wipes...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Cherylptw

                            I love this idea! Fun and cute looking without being too difficult. I keep kosher, so I will have to use a non-dairy sub for the whipped cream (the BBQ will have meat, and kosher rules mean no dairy and meat at the same meal.)

                            1. re: DevorahL

                              Non dairy coconut whipped cream can be done in advance-keep chilled and you can do a quick re-whisking just before serving if needed.
                              This post has great instructions:

                          2. Broken glass jello

                            Cut in squares, place in a muffin cup and store in a cooler until you are ready to serve. Cheap, easy and looks neat. There are other recipes on her site which include fruit which is also good!

                            1. I saw this photo of a kid's birthday party awhile ago . . . our kids are grown but I thought it was a great idea.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: MrsPatmore

                                My sister did this for my niece's birthday recently - it was adorable and a huge hit with kids and adults. It wasn't cheap, though - even at Costco prices, that many berries adds up.

                                1. re: biondanonima

                                  Agree it would be expensive, but it would give a punch of vitamins avoid giving a bunch of small kids refined sugar.

                              2. What about a poke cake with berries on top? Pinterest has a ton of ideas for them and they're easy and cute.