Milk + Cookies Birthday Party
March 18, 2021
A sweet party idea for a guest of honor who loves milk + cookies! (and maybe even the Cookie Monster)
Focus on One Primary Party Detail
For my son Ollie’s second birthday I threw a birthday bash celebrating two of his favorite things – milk & cookies! He was also a big fan of Elmo and Cookie Monster at the time, so this was an attempt to do something that he really loved, but that didn’t have an overly pronounced character theme. After throwing a big party for his 1st birthday where I made all of the food (and ran myself ragged during the process), I decided to just focus on a fun cake this year and not worry about feeding all of the guests an entire meal. By scheduling the casual party later in the afternoon at the park, this worked really well. No one showed up super hungry, yet they were all happy to have a little something fun to eat.
Perfecting the Cookie Dough
Once I decided to focus on the cake, I knew immediately that I wanted to do a chocolate chip cookie layer cake. I’d never made a “cookie cake” before, but felt like it seemed simple enough to tackle. I altered my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe slightly to make it more of a bar cookie – meaning that it was a bit thicker and more soft on the inside with crispy edges.
I used a springform pan to make the layers the exact same shape, but you could do the same thing with a standard cake pan as well. For the layers of frosting I used a cream cheese based recipe that wasn’t too sweet. I was worried that the weight of the cookies would be too much for the frosting, but it ended up working out just fine and the tart flavor of the cream cheese layers was a great compliment to the sweet cookies. I assembled the cake the day before since I had to work the morning of the party and ended up storing the cake loosely covered in the refrigerator. I didn’t want the frosting to become too soft causing the layers to shift, but I also didn’t want the refrigerator to dry out the cookie. It ended up working out perfectly, and if I were to make the cake again, I’d follow the same method of completing it the day before and storing it in the refrigerator until party time. I sliced the cake with a serrated knife to make sure that I could easily get through the layers.
Cake as a Conversation Starter
The cake looked as good as it tasted and ended up being a great conversation piece for the adults throughout the party – I think everyone went home with a verbal tutorial! And I was totally motivated to make more cookie cakes. For the full recipe for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, head to this post!
When it came to the decorating details, I used many of the same decorations that we had used at his 1st birthday party. We kept the same color scheme and reused a darling garland that felt fun and festive with blues and greens. I’m a big fan of Shop Sweet Lulu and think that they do a great job of curating party decorations. I was able to find some additional details like this number 2 balloon, mini milk jugs and adorable paper goods that helped bring our simple theme to life and made the get together feel celebratory. I used Cookie Crisp cereal to fill the mini milk jugs for favors and also used the crispy cereal pieces to decorate the straws that everyone enjoyed with their milk. I also had some fresh fruit as an option to balance out all the sweets. We used this small picnic table to set up a few details and it was awesome. One of my favorite family purchases for summer!
Interests Influencing Party Themes
One thing I’ve consistently done with my kid’s birthday celebrations is to focus on whatever it is that they’re most interested in at that point in time. Because Ollie was Sesame Street and cookie obsessed at age two, this felt perfect. For his 5th birthday, it was Star Wars! It’s a great way to hang onto some of those memories from those particular ages. Oh what I’d give to squeeze two year old Ollie on a summer afternoon in Central Park!