Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Wilton as a member of their Sweet Treat Team. However, all opinions are my own.
On Friday night, I graduated from college!! It still feels so weird to say (or type) that sentence. My college days are officially behind me and it’s time to enter the real world. This past weekend was filled with so many graduation-related activities. The ceremony was late Friday night followed by ice cream and a run to the liquor store for a bottle of champagne. Then, we spent all of Sunday morning baking and getting ready for my graduation party on Sunday afternoon.
I started planning my graduation party early this year and gathered some ideas on Pinterest for colors, what to serve, etc. I knew we were going to keep the guest list small – about 25 friends and family members. I also knew that I wanted to do an afternoon party with my famous punch and of course, a graduation cake. After my trip to Wilton Sweet Up, I left with so much inspiration from the Jenny Cookies session and decided that an entire dessert table would be so much fun and would provide guests with a variety of sweet treats.
Here is a look at the entire dessert table. I chose blue and red (KU colors) and we even found a few Jayhawk items, like the balloons and scrapbook paper under the glass of the Display Your Way Cake Stand. Unfortunately, the cake board was too big to see it but it was there, nonetheless!
On Sunday morning, I baked up a batch of cupcakes using the doctored box cake mix recipe from Jenny’s book – Eat More Dessert. I used a box of white cake mix and a box of white chocolate pudding for these cupcakes and they were fantastic! The box of pudding mix and extra egg make the cupcakes nice and moist and they baked up perfectly, no lopsided ones!
To frost these cupcakes, I used the new Wilton Color Right system which I LOVE! The colors are super concentrated and it didn’t take much red to achieve this color. After I divided my buttercream recipe and colored each half, I placed the blue icing in a decorating bag and the red icing in a separate bag. I cut off about an inch at the bottom of each bag and tied off the top with an icing bag tie (these prevent icing from flying out the top!). I put a 1M tip in a separate decorating bag, placed the two bags in there and piped the swirls! (Watch this tutorial video if you’re confused.) They turned out great and a few guests were surprised that I decorated them!
The pretzel rods were really easy to make and were a huge hit with the kids who came to my party! I dumped one bag of royal blue Candy Melts into the Wilton Candy Melts Melting Pot and turned it on. About five minutes later, it was perfectly melted and ready for dipping. I spooned the candy melts over the pretzel and made sure all sides were coated. Then, I tapped off the excess and laid the pretzel rod on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and Q added sprinkles. After the chocolate had hardened on the pretzel rods, I arranged them in a tall, glass vase so that guests could easily grab one.
Everything on my dessert table was made by Q and I, except for the cream puffs in the dish next to the pretzel rods. Those are straight out of a box from Sam’s Club – it doesn’t get easier than that! Speaking of Sam’s Club, we also had them make my cake because it gave me more time to work on the other desserts. I am so glad I saved myself that time and frustration!
I wanted to offer a non-chocolate dessert so I decided on mini Nilla puddings. I served them in yellow polka dot cups that I found at the dollar store about a year ago (see similar here). I made a crust of Nilla wafers, sugar, and melted butter and pressed it into the bottom of each cup. Then, I placed two banana slices on top of the crust and covered with banana pudding.
A few minutes before the party started, I topped each one off with a dollop of whipped cream but as the party went on, the whipped cream melted. If you make these, I would suggest that you let your guests do the whipped cream themselves right before they eat it.
Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about my famous raspberry sherbet punch! We make this for every big celebration (we had it at my high school graduation party too!) and it’s what people talk about most. It’s super easy to make and feeds a huge crowd – about 20-25 cups. Some of the guests this weekend (myself included) had a few glasses each so we made another batch of punch about halfway through the party.
You can customize this punch using any flavor of sherbet, but raspberry works best. This punch is the perfect combination of sweet and tart and like I said, it’s always a huge hit. I’ve never done it but I suppose you could also make a boozy, adult-only punch by adding vodka or sparkling wine!
My graduation party went off without a hitch! I was also pleased to see that by the end, most of the desserts were devoured! I have to give a HUGE thank you to Q, who helped me in the kitchen all morning long. We made a huge mess (is it possible to make icing without getting powdered sugar everywhere?) but it was so worth it! And although they probably won’t read this – thank you to everyone who attended my party and helped me celebrate. I still can’t believe I did it!!
Do you know anyone graduating this month?
What desserts would you feature on your dessert table?
- 1 can frozen pineapple juice, thawed
- 1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 1 2-liter bottle of Sierra Mist, chilled
- 1 quart raspberry sherbet, frozen
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- Pour both juice cans into a large punch bowl. Add Sierra Mist and stir until combined.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries.
- Just before serving, use a large ice cream scoop to add sherbet scoops to the punch bowl. The sherbet will slowly melt, making the punch frothy and keeping it cold.
If the punch is too sweet, use one of the juice cans to add 1-2 cans of cold water. For a boozy, adult-only punch, add vodka or sparkling wine (no more than 2 cans).