Invite with Alexandra

Outdoor kids' parties - easy as one, two, ice cream

Photos by Alexandra Hedin

A first birthday party is a pretty big deal. When my third child, Jud turned 1, it called for a big celebration. Summer birthdays are easier, because you can host a group outdoors and let the kids run around like crazy. I created an ice cream social — it’s simple! All you need is a cooler of ice cream and a table of toppings. Whether you’re hosting a birthday or just having friends over, an ice cream social is a fabulously fun way to entertain a crowd.

Personalized Pops

It’s fun to personalize party favors. I bought round sticky labels from the office-supply store and personalized lollipops. So simple!

Ice Scream, You Scream!

I stocked our ice cream bar with our favorite flavors from Molly Moon Ice Cream, including Melted Chocolate (for the kids) and Honey Lavender (for me). If you’re really ambitious, you can make your own using the Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream book. I knew we would eat more ice cream than I could make in a reasonable amount of time — so a quick trip to the Molly Moon store in Seattle was in order.

Raspberry Iced Tea

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 6 tea bags
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 cups cold water

In a medium bowl, smash together berries and sugar. Pour boiling water over top and add tea bags. Let steep one hour at room temperature. Strain mixture through a colander or cheese cloth into a large pitcher. Add cold water and serve.

Toppings, Please!

Having an array of toppings is extraordinarily important when entertaining the younger set. I chose a rainbow of sprinkles, cookies, crushed candies, fresh fruit and chocolate chips. Almost anything is good on ice cream, so use your imagination when stocking your ice cream bar.

1Confetti Cupcake Cones

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup rainbow colored sprinkles and more for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add milk. Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients. Fold in assorted sprinkles.

If baking in flat-bottom cones, fill cones ½ inch from the bottom of the cone and bake 18-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted all the way through the center of the cone.

If baking in pointed-bottom cones; fill a metal bowl with uncooked rice and nestle cones into the rice to hold cones in place. Fill with cake batter to ½ inch below rim. Position oven rack in the lower third of the oven and lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake about 20 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center of the cone comes out clean. You may need to cover the tops of the cone-cakes with foil halfway through baking if they are browning too quick.

 Vanilla Buttercream

  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of milk, if needed

Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixture until completely smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar slowly. Gradually increase mixer speed and add vanilla, then beat for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl. If frosting is too thick, add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it’s too thin, add sugar gradually until it thickens. Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

Makes 12 cupcake cones.

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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