To be the host or hostess with the absolute mostess, you will want to get your basic party planning skills sharpened. Take this short course on becoming an event planner: Getting Started As A Wedding and Event Planner.
A big part of getting the word out for parties these days, even for 60 year olds, is social media, so you can also sharpen your social media skills here: How To Win Friends and Influence People on Social Media. This is very important – there’s no need to go through so much effort to throw a party if invitees aren’t inspired to drop everything to attend! It’s also a great resource for those who claim just “not to get” social media.
Dial in and plan the venue, guest list, decorations, food, and drinks. And, of course, the crowning birthday item: the 60th Birthday Cake.
Now you may be tempted to outsource this part of the party, but baking a homemade cake can really add a special tone to the festivities. Luckily, individual desserts are right on trend and easy to serve. Try one of these recipes – one easy and one with more moving parts – for the perfect 60th Birthday Cake.
Cake pops are the new cupcakes – trendy for birthdays of all ages. However, they add a certain touch of lightness and youth to a 60th Birthday celebration. This is for the fun 60 yr old who is young at heart. These cake pops are easy to make, easy to serve, and easy to enjoy. In fact, these make for great birthday photos and they will definitely add to the memories. Unsure of your photography prowess? Take this course: Basic Food Photography to beautifully document any event. Another benefit to Cake Pops: you can make well ahead of time and store until party time.
This recipe is: Easy
Takes: 1 hr 15 min
Makes: 16 cake pops
Calls For: 16 (6-inch) lollipop sticks for this recipe, Candy Melts (Candy Melts are disks of sugar and oil that, when melted down, are used as a coating for sweets. They can be found in gourmet grocery and cooking stores or sometimes at craft stores), and Sanding sugar (sometimes labeled as pearl or sparkling sugar, can be found in gourmet grocery and cooking stores. It adds awesome sparkle to the cake pops).
- 4 cups cake crumbs (about 14 ounces)
- 1/4 cup frosting (not whipped cream frosting), at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sanding sugar
- 8 ounces Candy Melts
- Vegetable oil, as needed
- 16 (6-inch) lollipop sticks
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Place the cake crumbs and frosting in a large bowl and mash them together with a spoon just until a dense, moist dough forms and the frosting is evenly incorporated with no visible lumps. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 16 (1-1/2-inch) balls (about the size of a ping-pong ball) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cake balls are firm but not frozen, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sanding sugar in a small bowl and set it and the baking sheet aside.
- When the cake balls are ready, place the Candy Melts in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. (The mixture should be the consistency of softly whipped cream.) If it’s too thick, add vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. (Alternatively, fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low so the water is just simmering. Place the Candy Melts in a heatproof bowl large enough to sit over the water without touching it. Stir until melted.)
- Remove 2 of the cake balls from the freezer. Dip 1/2 inch of a lollipop stick into the melted candy, then insert it about 1 inch into a cake ball. (The melted candy coating helps the cake ball stay on the stick.) Immediately dip the cake ball into the melted candy and turn to coat completely. Gently tap and twirl the stick several times on the edge of the bowl to form a thin, even coating, letting the excess drip off.
- Immediately dip the cake pop into the sanding sugar, turn to coat, and sprinkle additional sugar as needed to coat the pop completely. Hold the cake pop upright until the coating starts to set, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Place on the second prepared baking sheet. (Don’t worry, the coating will be set enough that the pops will retain their round shape after you lay them down.) Repeat with the second cake ball, then repeat with the remaining cake balls, coating 2 at a time. (If the melted candy starts to cool and thicken, reheat until it’s melted again.)
- Let the cake pops sit at room temperature until the candy coating is completely set and hardened, about 15 minutes. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Chocolate Lava Cakes
Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes will steal the show. Best for more intimate 60th Birthday Celebrations (as they are intensive and larger parties will be quite a challenge to serve), this is for the swanky 60 yr old chocolate-lover.
This recipe is: medium in difficulty
Takes: 1 hr
Makes: 8 servings
Calls For: Raspberry Coulis (you can make your own quite easily or buy at specialty grocery stores) and parchment paper
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 3/4 teaspoon Cognac
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs, separated
- Pinch fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 cup Raspberry Coulis for serving (optional)
- Powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)
- Vanilla Bean Ice Cream for serving (optional)
- Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Using 1 tablespoon of the butter, coat 8 (6-ounce) ramekins. Cut 8 rounds of parchment paper, each just large enough to fit in the bottom of a ramekin. Place a round in each ramekin. Cut 8 (2-1/2-by-10-inch) rectangle strips of parchment. Form 1 of the rectangles into a circle so its ends touch and place the strip flush along the inside of a ramekin; set aside. Repeat with the remaining rectangle strips and ramekins.
- Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Melt the remaining 15 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour the butter over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and melted. Whisk in the Cognac and vanilla; set aside.
- Place the sugar, egg yolks, and salt in a large bowl and, using a clean whisk, whip until lightened in color and the sugar is nearly dissolved. Pour the mixture over the melted chocolate and fold together using a rubber spatula until just combined; set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a clean whisk and a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to medium-stiff peaks, adding the cream of tartar when the eggs just start to foam. Alternate folding the whipped egg whites and flour, in three additions, into the chocolate mixture until just combined (a few remaining streaks are OK; do not overmix). Divide the batter among the ramekins (each about three-fourths full) and place them on a baking sheet. Bake until the sides of the cakes have set and the tops are no longer wet but the very center (about 1 inch’s worth) still jiggles, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.
- If serving with raspberry coulis, spoon a pool of the sauce on each of 8 plates. Slowly remove the parchment paper collar from each cake, gently pressing on the cake to keep it in place as you remove the collar. Using an oven mitt or dry towel to protect your hands, invert a warm cake onto a pool of raspberry coulis. Remove the parchment paper round from the bottom. Repeat with the remaining cakes. If you choose, dust each cake with powdered sugar and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Did you get overwhelming accolades for these cakes? If you absolutely killed it baking for this party, maybe you are considering starting your own baking business. There are resources to help, including the online course Home Made: How To Start A Home-Based Food Business.
You can also branch out to the other baking trend: gluten free baking. Get the basics by taking Online Pastry School’s Gluten Free Bread Baking Course.
Happy 60th Birthday Cake baking!