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Creative birthday treats for sloppy moms

I am a sloppy mom.

I mean that literally. I’m klutzy, I’m messy, and I’m just not very good with artistic details. Most of my kids’ birthday cakes end up looking like a third-grader’s youth fair project.

My daughter Clara turned three this week, and I really wanted to try something new, special, creative…and easy. Armed with the understanding that frosting tips are generally not my friend, I scoured Pinterest for birthday treat ideas that would be fun, pretty, and easy enough for a sloppy mom to make.

Here were the five contenders (click the links on each for tutorials):


  • Chocolate Marshmallow Pops 1 of 5
    Chocolate Marshmallow Pops
    Like a cake pop for cheaters! I love these chocolate marshmallow pops from Just a Taste because 1) nothing is simpler than dipping a marshmallow in chocolate and 2) nothing is tastier than a marshmallow dipped in chocolate. And dunking and dipping are doable even for the seriously artistically impaired (like me).
  • Cupcake Balloons 2 of 5
    Cupcake Balloons
    Y'know what I love about cupcakes? Besides the fact that they're, like, CUPCAKES? It's that just arranging them in a clever way can make it seem like you are super-artistic. These cupcake balloons from Family Fun are the perfect way for a sloppy mom to pull off a special birthday. Smoke and mirrors, people.
  • Rainbow Pompom Cake 3 of 5
    Rainbow Pompom Cake
    The first thing I thought when I saw this cake was "Oooh, pretty!" The second thing I thought was, "Hey, even I could make that!" The little color pompoms in this rainbow cake by I Am Baker are made up from individual dabs of frosting. They're so close together you'd never notice mistakes, and hey - even a sloppy mom can dab, right?
  • Meringue Truffula Tree Cupcakes 4 of 5
    Meringue Truffula Tree Cupcakes
    Sweetney's Lorax cupcakes tutorial breaks this impressive-looking project down into a few simple steps, staring with boxed cake mix (woohoo!).
  • Rainbow Cake in a Jar 5 of 5
    Rainbow Cake in a Jar
    The winner! I'd seen these before, but I liked this rainbow cake tutorial from Amy at MomAdvice because it focuses on having fun and getting it done rather than perfection. We made these for my daughter's 3rd birthday and they were a somewhat messy - but delicious - hit.

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