The invitation is the first glimpse guests will see of the party’s vibe and can set the tone for the rest of the celebration. When hosts use their invitation as a starting point for thoughtful, imaginative details throughout the celebration it’s the icing on the cake (we had to).
To get you inspired for your next virtual or socially distanced party, we sat down with cake decorator Melissa Torres of Brooklyn’s Cake Hero to learn how she turned several Paperless Post invitation designs—including illustrations from Anthropologie and Happy Menocal—into memorable cakes for baby showers and birthday celebrations.
On Cake Hero and where she finds inspiration
“As a self taught cake decorator and owner of a Fair Trade and organic custom cake business, I pull inspiration from many places, including Paperless Post. Between the edible art that brings everyone at the celebration together, and the photos that help that special treat live on, the work at Cake Hero is truly a family business and a labor of love.”
On the special request behind her Dino Fest cake
“Dino Fest” birthday invitation by Happy Menocal for Paperless Post; Cake by Melissa Torres of Cake Hero.
“The directive from the birthday boy was to only include ‘nice dinosaurs’, so Dino Fest from Happy Menocal was a perfect fit for the party. From the invite, I hand-painted a watercolor rendition of the jungle. Then, used fondant to create 3D ivy to help the jungle come alive on the cake.”
“I finished the cake with hand-cut ‘nice’ dinosaurs, wearing jolly little hats. My photographer is also my husband. So having him bring his artistic eye to the capture all of the details I put so much time and thought into is such a gift.”
On creating sweet forest creatures for her Folk Tails cake
“Folk Tails” birthday invitation by Anthropologie for Paperless Post; Cake by Melissa Torres of Cake Hero.
“This was one a labor of love. The time consuming process that really shows you the time that goes into the original art! Painting a pattern straight onto a cake with edible paints takes a lot more time than you’d think. And the fact that the canvas is vertical rather than laying flat in front of you certainly presents its own challenges. The sweetness of this Folk Tails design from Anthropologie was just too good to not use, though, and the handmade pink sugar dahlia on top really brings the cake to life. It was the perfect accent for a baby shower for a little girl.”
On the genius update she made to the Vine Print design
Cake by Melissa Torres of Cake Hero; “The Vine Print” birthday invitation by Paperless Post.
“This is a favorite of mine. I love the juxtaposition of the jungle behind the animals, made with hand textured buttercream, and the 2D fondant hand-painted animals hanging on vines. It was fun to take the design and make it into a mommy-and-me theme, giving each animal a baby counterpart.”
How to coordinate your cake and your invite
It can be hard to make a custom cake anytime, much less during a pandemic. We surely encourage you to try your hand at a custom cake if you have the time of your hands, but supporting a local bakery goes a long way, especially now.
If you’re going the professional route, share your invite with your local baker for inspiration, and they’ll be able to take the design and run with it in a way that works for your party.
If you’re going the DIY route, simplify your cake design by referencing the invitation’s color palette or shapes. (Rather than taking on an illustration in fondant.) Add a finishing touch with coordinating cake or cupcake toppers. Some of our design partners, like Meri Meri make it especially easy to tie everything together.
More matching desserts we love
Why should cakes have all the fun? If you’re looking for the perfect COVID-friendly party favor, custom cookies to match your invitations are the answer! Cookies are great for any kind of party but they’re especially convenient for drive-by baby showers and car parade birthdays.
If guests are simply swinging through to say hello from a distance, festive cookies in individually-wrapped bags are an easy way to send guests off with something sweet.
These forest-filled cookies are perfect for woodland-themed baby showers. Already picked out a name for your little one on the way? Take your customization one step further by adding your baby-to-be’s monogram to your sweet assortment.
A creative play on baby apps that compare the size of your growing little one to fruit, these cookies are sure to make a splash at any baby shower. Pair these cookies with the matching invite, and complete your theme with a sweet phrase like “Something sweet is on the way.”
To find even more inspiration for your next celebration check out ideas for planning a baby shower during Covid, virtual bar and bat mitzvah ideas we love, and our latest kids’ birthday party invitations. Or browse even more kids’ birthday and baby shower invitations to start planning your matching dessert.