16 Easy Summer Party Ideas

Gather inspiration for a casual outdoor gathering from one of our easy summer party ideas. From dinner on the deck to a festive taco buffet, your options are endless for a no-fuss summer party.

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11 Fun Ideas for Decorating a Cake with Candy

Make a birthday cake or other special day cake oh-so-adorable with candies! Cookbook author and stylist Libbie Summers shares 11 super-simple ways that cinnamon candies, jellybeans, maltballs, and other sweet favorites can make you look like a professional cake decorator in minutes.

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Coconut Cream Island Punch, The Cutest 5-Ingredient Cocktail Ever!

Make our DIY party cocktail -- that includes just a few tasty ingredients -- for an adults-only drink everyone can agree on. Cut-up star fruit provides a gorgeous base inside your drink pitcher.

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Sugar-Coated Ice Cream Social

I scream, you scream … You know the drill. Host a sugar-coated ice cream social the kiddos will love -- with cereal necklaces, paper crowns, candy truffles, and a whimsical ice cream truck. Go on and get celebrating!

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Pitcher Cocktail Recipes

Where there's a pitcher, there's a party. Whether you're brunching, dinner partying, or hosting a (very) happy hour, these fun pitcher cocktail recipes are sure to hit the spot. Find icy margaritas, fruity sangria cocktails, spiked punch, and more!

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Popular in Entertaining

White Champagne Wedding Cake

Even without serving the top tier, this statuesque cake serves 100.

What You Need

Happily Ever After White Champagne Wedding Cake
  • 2 12-x-1-inch round baking pans
  • 2 10-x-2-inch round baking pans
  • 2 8-x-2-inch round baking pans
  • 2 6-x-2-inch round baking pans
  • 10 white cake mixes (each mix would fill a 13-x-9-inch pan)
  • Champagne
  • 2 1/2 recipes Royal Icing (see below)
  • 13 1/2-inch round wooden board
  • 10-, 8-, and 6-inch round pieces of 1/4-inch-thick clear Plexiglas
  • 1 recipe Hazelnut Buttercream (see below)
  • 6 recipes Creamy White Frosting (see below)
  • 6 24-ounce packages fondant
  • Large decorating bag fitted with coupler, #18 and #21 star tips, and #2 writing tip
  • Edible pearl dragees
  • 12 white plastic dowels
  • Swan cake topper

Recipe: Hazelnut Buttercream

Recipe: Creamy White Frosting

Instructions

  1. Prepare cake mixes one or two at a time, according to package directions, substituting champagne for the water. For bottom tier, divide 4 mixes between two 12-inch baking pans. For next tier, divide 2 1/2 mixes between two 10-inch baking pans (use remaining batter for cupcakes). For next tier, divide 2 mixes between two 8-inch pans. For top tier, divide 1 mix between two 6-inch pans.
  2. Bake 12- and 10-inch cakes in a 325 degree F oven for 55 to 65 minutes. Bake 8-inch cakes for 50 to 60 minutes and 6-inch cakes for 45 to 55 minutes.
  3. Cool, wrap, and freeze each layer.
  4. At least two days before decorating the cake, prepare the letters H, E, and A. Make a computer printout of an Old English or script font in letters 1 1/4 inches tall. Place waxed paper over the prints and pipe the letters onto the waxed paper using Royal Icing and a #2 writing tip. Let dry.
  5. To assemble tiers, stack 12-inch cakes on the wooden board, lightly spreading Hazelnut Buttercream between cakes. Repeat with remaining tiers, stacking on Plexiglas pieces. Frost sides and tops of all tiers with Creamy White Frosting. Apply fondant to top and sides of each tier.
  6. All decorative piping is done with Royal Icing. To decorate, divide the 12-inch tier into eight sections and the 6-inch tier into four sections. Pipe a C-scroll in each section using a #18 star tip. While the icing is still soft, add pearl dragees. Decorate other layers with a shell border and pearl dragees.
  7. Insert plastic dowels into the bottom three tiers to support the stacks. Stack tiers on-site. Apply "Happily Ever After" to the top three tiers with Royal Icing using premade H, E, and A letters.
  8. Pipe the remaining letters with the writing tip. Pipe a border at the base of each tier using Royal Icing and a #21 star tip; add pearl dragees as desired. Place the swan on top of the cake.
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