Traditional recipes

DIY Wedding Piñatas

DIY Wedding Piñatas

The childhood party favorite is now a hit at weddings

Nothing makes a party like a piñata. When I was a kid, I begged my parents for a piñata for my birthday party. I couldn’t imagine anything more fun: an awesome cartoon-like character you get to smash with a bat until candy flies out. It’s every kid’s dream. Scratch that: it’s every human being’s dream!

My parents came through. They brought me to a party store and let me have my pick. There were piñatas of every size and shape, from giant ice cream cones to Daffy Duck. I chose spider man (I was a comic book nerd even then) and delighted in helping my dad hang him from the tree in our front yard.

Last year I went to my best friend’s wedding expecting something stuffy and serious. Instead, she had a homemade moose piñata! She said it was my gigantic spider man piñata birthday party twenty years ago that gave her the idea. Making your own piñata may take a bit of time, but it’s a detail your guests will never forget. If you’re inviting kids to your wedding, they’ll see it as the highlight of the event (kids don’t bother with all that lovey dovey stuff, they’re in it for the candy.)

The Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • recycled cardboard
  • tissue paper
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • a glue stick
  • thick twine (pipe cleaners will also work).

Create the Three-Dimensional Shape Out of Cardboard and Tape

You’ll start by cutting the cardboard into the shape of your piñata. The number one pictured above was easy since it has straight edges. If you’re going for something curved, you can bend the cardboard but remember that you’ll need identical pieces for both sides. Use plenty of tape to make sure your shape holds. Cut a flap on the top of your piñata and use the twine or pipe cleaners to secure it (pictured below). This will be where you add the candy.

Cover Your Creation in Fringed Tissue Paper

Cut your tissue paper into strips and fold it. Then cut fringe about halfway up. When you unfold them, the fringe will extend the length of each strip. Glue these to your cardboard shape, being careful to overlap the strips so only the fringe is showing (glue the uncut tops). You can also add sequins, ribbon, googly eyes, and feathers to give your piñata more character.

If you want to create round shapes without struggling with cardboard, you can try papier-mâché. Use a balloon as your mold and cover it with strips of newspaper soaked in papier-mâché paste being careful to leave a hole at the bottom large enough for candy.

DIY Day Of The Dead Sugar Skull Piñata Garland

If you are looking for festive Day of Dead decorations this sugar skull piñata garland is easy to make and so much fun. It’s bright colors will brighten any party and the fact that these mini pull piñatas can be filled with candy or small toys also makes this a great activity for kids and adults. We will be using these sugar skull piñata garland for our Day of the Dead themed Halloween party but these would be fun to use for any fiesta and on their own they make wonderful treat boxes and they are cute enough to use as Day of the Dead themed wedding favors.

Jenn and Julian were both new to the city of San Francisco when they first met at a house party, so they decided to explore the city together, and that soon turned into numerous dinner dates. The pair are big foodies and wanted to have a fun and laid-back wedding — almost like a relaxed Summer BBQ vibe. "We picked tablecloths that felt like picnic tables, opted for a pie bar instead of a wedding cake, and provided outdoor games like cornhole and bocce ball," Jenn said. This created a delightful atmosphere for a wedding full of fun, laughter, and joy at Depot Park in Sonoma, CA. However, the standout feature of this wedding was the centerpieces of the tables, which were food-themed piñatas that the bride made herself.

"This was a true labor of love, and once I made around 6-7, I quickly regretted committing to making 20 piñatas, but by then I was in too deep and had to power through!" Jenn said. All the blood, sweat, and tears paid off when it came to the DIY piñatas, because the end results were amazing and the wedding guests loved them. You could even say the piñatas were a big hit with the guests. Make sure to check out the photos, and see how Jenn's incredible piñatas turned out!

To assemble your Pinata cakes you will need to

Arrange a plate over the cake and flip over so that the cracked side faces up (the smooth side should be on the bottom). With a sharp knife, cut evenly all around the top of the cake to remove the dome. Repeat with other cake.

Lay a cake with the exposed side up (the side in which the dome has been removed). Using a knife, make an outline of a smaller circle within the cake, leaving about 2-3 inches from the edges. Gently scoop out the inside with a spoon, going down a few inches (credit Brian at dh inc ). Be careful not to puncture the cake on the sides or bottom. Place the crumbled cake pieces in a separate bowl and save (they can be used to make cake pops later). Repeat with other cake.

Place one cake on a cake plate/stand (feel free to use a cake board), hollowed out center facing up. Apply frosting to the lip of the cake all around this will allow the other cake piece to adhere when placed on top.

Fill the hole with assorted candies. When done, carefully place the other cake on top of the candy-filled cake, making sure to line up the edges.

With an offset spatula, apply a crumb coat of frosting to the pinata cake (tip: put strips of parchment underneath the cake for an easy clean-up!). This initial frosting secures stray crumbs and allows for a neater, finished look when the second frosting is applied. Place cake in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.

Remove cake from the fridge. Apply a second coat of frosting. Decorate the pinata cake as desired (we used confetti sprinkles).

The first cut of the cake will reveal the surprise of candies and treats inside! After the initial piece is taken out, the rest of the cake must be cut or it will cave in. Enjoy!

**The leftover cake that was removed earlier can be used to make cake pops.

P.S Use this same cake recipe to start on other birthday cake ideas a 3 tier Smorgasbord cake or an an editble balloon birthday cake. Plus a pumpkin cake would be something really easy and fun to fill with sweets!

Photography and styling by Athena Plichta under the creative direction of Victoria Hudgins.

A Wedding Cake So Easy You Can Actually Make It Yourself

My sister got married a few months ago, and on the day of her wedding, I was tasked with various last-minute, maid of honor duties. For the wedding cake, she and her fiancé had ordered a lovely 12-inch vanilla buttercream number, a showpiece cake to go along with the myriad pies that were the fried chicken meal's true dessert. But as I placed the vintage cake topper on the cake, one of my last tasks before the ceremony, I couldn't help but think I could have done a better job.

Just a few weeks later, I found myself with the opportunity, putting together my first-ever wedding cake in the Epi test kitchen. I've made tons and tons of layer cakes before, but this was my first two-tiered, swooshed and decorated, all-out wedding cake. It was exhilarating to say the least (so much so, that I couldn't help but give a premature sneak peek of the cake on Instagram weeks before our #CakeWeek content was published).

Was is tough? Honestly, no. I've streamlined every step—the cake recipe, frosting, assembly, and decoration—to make this the most approachable wedding cake possible, while still keeping it packed with flavor and, of course, beautiful. (I actually got into a bike accident a week before making it for the first time, and still managed to assemble the cake, fractured pinky finger and all. That's how easy it is.)

Is it time-consuming? Sure. But you can bake the cakes weeks in advance and freeze them, which means the only work that needs to be done the day of the event is assembling and frosting the cake. This can be done in a couple of hours.

Is this a project for everyone? No, certainly not. But if you love to bake, and you want to share that love on your/your sister's/your best friend's special day, you can. I promise.

Wedding cakes can be complicated to shape. Often the cake is baked in rectangular sheets, which are then divided into multiple layers, or in round cake pans, and then trimmed and cut in half. Unless you have an extremely long serrated knife, and a very steady hand, it's not easy to evenly trim a 10-inch cake. To make it super easy, I've created a cake that bakes pretty perfectly (i.e. flat) in the round pans, so no trimming is necessary. Simply make the recipe twice in two 10-inch pans, then divide 3 cups of the batter into two 6-inch pans for the smaller layer.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: simple syrup is a cake's best friend. Do not make a layered cake without it. Not only does the syrup add moisture and extend the shelf life of the cake, but it also adds flavor. I've used a vanilla-spiked syrup for this cake, but you can add any spice, liquor, or herb to the syrup for a touch of extra flavor.

Whipped cream may be the easiest frosting to make, but for a wedding cake you need something that can sit around for a while. Usually, that means buttercream, but traditional buttercream—with its whipped-egg base—is not the easiest thing to make.

Nothing says summer like a tropical drink on the patio or by the pool, and this giant tropical drink pinata would be a fun surprise at your next summer party. Just make sure you have plenty of candy on hand, as there is a lot of space inside this huge pinata. Everyone can get handfuls of loot once it has been opened!

If you plan to follow tradition, you'll likely send your wedding guests home with a favor at the end of the night. The tokens express gratitude and let attendees know that you recognize their presence and financial contributions. While you can stick with season-neutral presents, many couples choose favors that reflect their wedding date. For winter weddings, that means selecting trinkets that embrace wintertime holidays, colors, motifs, or the chilly weather. If you're worried that the pool of possibilities is as barren as a winter landscape, fear not. The days may be shorter, but they're filled with many ideas to inspire your big-day favors.

Send along some season's greetings with the goodies you give away on your special day. You can do so by incorporating seasonal motifs (like evergreen trees) and themes (like Christmas or New Year's Eve) inspired by the colder months. Or, borrow from the seasonal palette, focusing on holiday shades (red and green) or hues inspired by nature (like sparkling white, for snow). Alternatively, make coziness a priority, and give guests comfort foods or accessories that'll help them stay toasty.

Winter is the season of giving, which is reason enough for making your guests' gifts even more meaningful. Ahead, one-of-a-kind ideas for winter wedding favors, sourced straight from real celebrations. Whether these presents offered warmth, spread festive cheer, or did something else entirely, they were all memorable, fun, cool, or creative. Check them out here before planning your own winter guests' gifts.

Beer Rice with Cilantro and Lime Recipe

What do you think of when Cinco de Mayo rolls around? Around here, it is just another reason for a Corona to get its lime! So, we are throwing a fiesta with great food and some festive decorations. Saber Vivir (knowing how to live) and making the most of every moment.

In the spirit of keeping things light-hearted and easy, I’ve got a couple of things to share with you. The first is a super simple and tasty recipe — Beer Rice with Cilantro and Lime. Oh, YUM! Then, I’ll show you how to make the cutest mini piñatas that can be used in several different ways.

Beer Rice with Cilantro and Lime Recipe


  • 2 Cups – Rice (I used a quick or instant rice)
  • 1 Bottle – Corona or Modelo Beer
  • Water
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1-2 Lime
  • Salt

  1. Pour the bottle of Corona Beer into a 2-cup measuring cup
  2. Add enough water to the beer to bring the measurement to 2-cups
  3. Place the liquid into a medium pot
  4. Toss in several full sprigs of Cilantro (I used about 6-8 sprigs)
  5. Squeeze the juice from the Lime into the pot
  6. Bring to a boil
  7. Add Rice and salt to taste, mix well
  8. Remove from heat
  9. Cover the pot
  10. Let stand for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice (or follow directions on your box of rice)
  11. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges
  • Corona Extra or Corona Light will add a light refreshing taste
  • Modelo Especial or Modelo Negro will provide a richer full-flavored taste

This unique rice recipe is perfect as a side dish or used as an ingredient for tacos and burritos — ¡delicioso!

DIY Crafting

There are two methods you can use to make your own pinatas at home. The first is by using paper mache techniques. While this method is messy and the process takes a few days to complete, the result will be a more traditional, sturdy, and likely, a better-looking pinata. For this method, you will need a balloon, newspaper, and paste to make the base of the pinata. Then, you will need items to decorate the outside of it.

The other method is to create a simple pinata using a paper bag. This method is quicker and less messy. If you are pressed for time, then this would be the way to go. One downfall with this method is that a paper bag pinata might not break as nicely as a paper mache one. You can make a small one with a lunch-sized brown paper bag or you can use a supermarket brown paper bag. Other items you need include tissue paper to stuff inside the bag to help keep the bag's shape and decorations for the outside.

For both of these methods make sure you do not forget the goodies for filling the inside of the pinata.

Mini Stick Horse Piñatas

If you live an hour from Churchill Downs (the location for the Kentucky Derby), you are absolutely obligated to create something fun in its honor! Last year, the races were postponed, but we are counting on a May 1 race day for 2021, and we are prepping for the big day with these adorable stick horse piñatas! Kids can participate in a silly race with these mini stick horses, and then bust them open for some fun treats and toys. They are the perfect party favor for your Derby celebration, but would be adorable for any pony or horse-themed event for kids. Let’s be honest – adults would probably love them just as much!

You could also add a horn and turn them into unicorns. I remember participating in a stick horse contest at the county fair back in the 80’s, and although I did not win the grand prize (or any prize…boo-hoo!), I am hoping to win BIG with the kids at our Derby party when I pass out these piñatas!