Invite with Alexandra

Faking fabulous - create a birthday celebration in a snap

Candy Glass: Dip the rim of a glass in grenadine then into candy sprinkles for a swanky, sweet glass rim! Photos by Brooke Clark

Every birthday should be celebrated — but sometimes planning a party is tough due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But it’s easy to “fake” a fabulous birthday party in no time at all. All you need is a great cake and a fabulous cocktail.


Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting



  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of three 8-inch cake pans. Line each pan with a round of parchment paper and butter the parchment paper. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add cocoa powder and whip until creamy. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Equally divide batter among three prepared pans and bake about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.


  • cup sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups butter

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat. When edges begin to turn brown, stir gently (only once or twice) with a wooden spoon. Let the sugar continue to heat until all of it has turned into an amber syrup. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in one tablespoon of cream. The mixture will sputter and steam. Be careful. Continue whisking cream in a slow steady stream until completely incorporated. Pour into a heatproof dish and let cool to room temperature.


In the bottom of the heat-proof bowl from a stand mixer, heat egg whites and remaining sugar to 160 degrees on a candy thermometer, whisking often. When the mixture reaches 160 degrees, attach the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on medium high speed until the egg whites form a stiff peak. Switch out to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. When all butter is incorporated, beat on high for 3-5 minutes. Stir in room temperature caramel and beat on low until fully combined. Use immediately on cooled cake.

Champagne Birthday Punch

  • 1 bottle of champagne
  • 1 liter fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup St. Germain

Pour all ingredients into a chilled punch bowl. Garnish with rounds of grapefruit.

Alexandra Hedin shares her love of food, design and good living in every issue of 425 magazine. You can get her book, “Entertaining at Home,” at, as well as more recipes, crafts and inspiration.

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