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Novelty Cakes and Birthday Ideas in Philadelphia Area

Custom cakes — or novelty cakes — can be as unique as you. These days with fondant — that sugary, stretchy material on cakes — cakes can be a lot more innovative. Just about any shape you can dream up, from a volcano to a dinosaur, can be done.

Here are a few ideas for a birthday that’s uniquely you. There are also some ideas that are just for those who love Philly.

1. Movies

Everyone has a favorite movie. These favorite movies or popular movies often make great ideas for cakes and your party! From a boulder next to a Mayan temple to an ark next to an Egyptian pyramid (a la Indiana Jones), or a Hobbit house in a shire (like in Lord of the Rings), to a Captain America shield (for the Avengers), you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious cake that is so you!

If you do choose a favorite movie for your novelty cake, you can also choose invitations, party favors, and more that have your special flair. Not only can you make your own invitations using programs like LucidPress or Canva, you can also use e-invites. And party favors can have that same special flair. For example, wouldn’t it be cool to have party favors for your guests of the Death Star if you love Star Wars?

And as a finishing touch, you can even show this favorite movie at your party — sharing it with your friends. You’d be surprised how fun having a giant worm for a cake is while you watch Tremors. (Hey, that’s some people’s favorite movie!)

2. Books

Here’s a novel idea (snare, cymbal) — leverage a favorite book! For kids, they may love Dr. Seuss or Harry Potter. (Some adults love these, too!) The sorting hat or a wizarding book could put a spell on children. So could Horton, the Cat in the Hat, or Sam I Am.

But adults shouldn’t rule out favorite books, either. A Jane Austen book (Oh, Mr. Darcy!) could make a fine cake. Or you could show your love of H.P. Lovecraft; a flying spaghetti monster may be just what your party needs!

Invitations or party favors can be books. Maybe as part of the party, you have a book club where everyone discusses your favorite book or includes trivia with prizes. Not everyone can remember the name of the Vogon commander from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Besides, kids will love guessing the meaning of idioms that Amelia Bedelia can’t quite get right.  

birthday cake - star trek wrath of khan
Star Trek Wrath of Khan cake! Defying gravity this cake made everyone gasp!

3. Television show

If you like Dr. Who or American Idol, share it with your friends. The TARDIS would make a fantastic cake — it’s probably bigger on the inside. And who wouldn’t want to eat a sweet microphone?

Again, the theme can be incorporated into your party from invitations to party favors and beyond. Maybe, for example, if you love Game of Thrones, you encourage your guests to come dressed as their favorite character, with awards given.

Baby shower cakes to fit your special themes all in the Philadelphia area

4. Sports and sports teams

Go Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, or whomever your favorite sports team is. As long as it’s rooting for Philadelphia, you’re all right. (Pennsylvania team are all okay, too!) A basketball, football, baseball, soccer, or hockey cake can show off your favorite sport or for your favorite team.

Don’t forget to ask people to attend wearing your team’s colors, jersey, or hats. Cardboard cutouts of your favorite player may be available. And wouldn’t it be cool to take everyone to the game — or watch it on t.v. — as part of your party?  

Spongebob Squarepants cakes are available in the Philly area
Special cake for specing Icing Smiles little boy!

5. Animals

Many have favorite animals — wolves, cats, dogs, panda bears, red pandas, foxes, narwhals, etc. These critters make lovely and delicious cakes.

And you can take that care you have for those animals and even make that part of your party. For example, as part of the party, consider trekking to the Wolf Sanctuary and donate to bring the wolves back to Pennsylvania. Just about every animal has a place you can donate. And for more domestic animals, consider donating time and money to the SPCA.

6. Colors

Some people really love a color, so much their entire house is coated in the color and wardrobe features only that color. Different types of cakes are available in that hue — no matter if it’s aquamarine or amethyst.

guitar birthday cake

7. Outdooring

Nature lovers, this one is for you! Your favorite outdoor spot can be the focal point of a party. Whether you love Franklin Square or Valley Forge National Historic Park, there’s something for you and plenty of cakes to show off your love of nature. Leaves, trees, birds — these make wonderful cakes and confectionaries.

basketball cake

8. Activism

You love the environment. (Thank you!) Show it in your earth-friendly cake and party. Want to support LGBTQ? Rainbows make beautiful and delicious cakes. Need people to help with breast cancer awareness? Pink is definitely in.

Though you may think it’s too early to get your kiddos involved, consider showing them how important it is to share. After all, does your child need one more unused toy? Some great ideas include bringing gently-used books in for local book drives or cans of food for a local food drive. Whatever your favorite cause, ask for donations as your gifts.

You can even discuss how important your activism is, chatting with friends why it matters so much to you or how their gifts impact the lives of others. Now that’s a birthday party that people will remember and it gets to what really matters to you.

Activities can even involve your favorite cause. For example, if you’re worried about climate change, maybe your party includes picking up litter in your city. If you want to wipe out Alzheimer’s, perhaps include the walk as part of the party. They can even be walking for team you!

nintendo controller cake for birthdays

9. Hobbies

If you love archeology, revel in an Egyptian pyramid cake. Is Shakespeare your thing? Then all your world is a cake. Knitting? Ball of yarn or knitting needles. The options are as endless as your hobbies.

Maybe you can even convince friends to enjoy your hobby with you — solving a puzzle or dressing as pirates.

Let your birthday cake imagination run wild

There are so many options. These days, just about anything can be done to a cake. In fact, you should be working with a baker who cares about your special day, has suggestions, and can partner with you to make it happen. That partnership can be found in Bella’s Desserts, and it’s why they’re one of the most-awarded bakeries in the Philadelphia area.

Best Cookies and Ideas – They’re in Philadelphia

The best cookies — most creative, most delicious — in the U.S. are made in the Philadelphia area. At Bella’s Desserts, Lauren Cortesi bakes some of the most innovative, tastiest creations. It’s why so many people in Philadelphia recommend her! (Don’t believe them? Check out the Yelp and Google reviews.)

Bella’s Desserts doesn’t just bake … cookies are painted. Many of the designs are brushed on, with a paint brush, making them look like works of art. The designs are even fun, including Pop Art cookies and trees with tiny birds on them. There are many flavors to choose from including chocolate covered Oreos as well as scrumptious macaroons.

What an awesome gift to give to a special someone!

Best of all, when you contact Bella’s Desserts to get ideas, you have a partner for your party. You’ll get cookie and dessert ideas that are perfect for your gathering … as well as your budget.

Why Cookies?

You may question whether cookies really are perfect, but they have a lot of features that make them not just delicious, but a smart choice.

Cookies are versatile, small, and less expensive than cakes. They come in just about every shape and size. Most of them are biteized. Cookies come in a bunch of different colors and can be tailored to your specific event.

Cookies travel well. They’re easy to transport in the car without fear of being squished! And they can even be shipped all over the country without breaking; Bella’s Desserts wraps them individually to keep them safe!

Cookies supplement parties. You can have them in addition to cakes, adding to your dessert table. Guests can take them home — a reminder of your special event.

Everyone likes cookies! As you talk to people — some folks like icing, others enjoy just the cake. But cookies … everyone has a favorite. Some love chocolate chip, others prefer macaroons.

Cookies adapt to your occassion – every holiday and every special event.

Birthdays

Cookies are also perfect for birthday parties. They’re easy to transport to school or the office. They’ve also perfect for your child’s birthday party favors. Cookies fill up a goody bag quite nicely and help people remember your kiddo’s special day! They’re a fun, unique way to enjoy a birthday long after the delicious cake is gone.

Rose cookies are good for bridal or baby showers, as well as any special occasion.

Bridal Showers

If your friend is getting married, and you’d like her — or the couple — to remember how much you care, you can get cookies for the bridal shower. Not only does Bella’s Desserts have a variety of colors that match your friend’s wedding, but there are options like pretzel rods dipped in chocolate as well as sugar-button cookies.

Cookies that are edible favors are a great parting gift for your wedding guests, and we ship!

Baby Showers

For your baby shower, you have choices that could be used as part of the theme for your party, including for the reveal parties. Blue or pink cookies, baby bottles, babies, storks, and more can be used and enjoyed. Again, it’s a special way to bring everyone involved with the baby — friends and relatives — into the fun.  

Chocolate covered Oreo cookies are a gorgeous and delicious gift! Custom decorated and we ship!

Weddings

You’ve spent so much time on every detail of your wedding. Why not put some finishing touches on it that stand out, too? Cookies can be giveaways at the rehearsal dinner — thanking people for coming. Most couples use cookies as edible party favors for wedding guests. It’s a way to remember the amazing event you had. You can even coordinate it with your wedding cake.

edible favor cookies for a wedding

Easter and Passover

Having relatives over and trying to impress? These Spring-themed cookies are just as satisfying as the season.

Cookies can be tailored to meet your Easter needs — bunnies, eggs, and baskets. (It’s a nice break from chocolate!) You can also send them to younger relatives, such as grandchildren, who need a treat. It’s a great reminder that you’re thinking about them — even when you can’t be there.

Cookies can add to your Passover Seder feast. They can be traditional — a sweet finish to a savory meal of matzo ball soup, brisket, and roast chicken. Or they can be as unique and fun as your family.

Delicious and beautiful cookies hand painted topped with a sugar flower, a lovely spring or Easter gift and we ship!

4th of July and Summer

Don’t overlook summer!

The 4th of July is important to everyone in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania — the birthplace of America. (Well, we think so!) And cookies can add a bang to that July 4th celebration. The cookies won’t melt and can show neighbors and friends just how patriotic you are.

If you’re like our block, you’re hosting or attending end-of-summer parties where everyone comes to get in the last summer fun before school starts again. BBQs are grilling. Squirt guns are firing. Pools are splashing! Cookies are even good while wet.

blue cookie

Halloween

Halloween cookies and treats are fantastic for school and block parties. They’re nut-free even. It doesn’t matter what you need — silly bats, friendly witches, smiling ghosts, goofy pumpkins, etc. — Bella’s Desserts can deliver. You can even get Nightmare Before Christmas cookies with a grinning Jack Skellington. (Yes, perfect for the Tim Burton fan.)

Halloween cookies for a school in Denver, CO

Thanksgiving

If you’re traveling, why not have your cookies sent ahead for you? Bella’s Desserts ships across the country — even over the river and through the woods. Available in splendid fall colors and shapes (leaves, turkeys, and more), these cookies are a nice addition to any dessert spread. Because they’re coming from Bella’s Desserts, even your picky-eaters (children or relatives) will be happy. Taking a break from your in-laws pie wouldn’t hurt either. Cookies can be just as elegant, or casual, as your gathering.

Custom decorated chocolate covered Oreos are the perfect gift and we ship
Chocolate covered Oreo cookies are a gorgeous and delicious gift! Custom decorated.

Hanukkah and Christmas

Of course, there’s no time like Hanukkah and Christmas to tell your family and friends you care about them. Bella’s Desserts has the best assortment of cookies, too — snowmen, Santas, reindeer, wreaths, Christmas trees, stockings, golden ornaments, chirping cardinals, and dazzling Star of Davids.

christmas cookies in Philadelphia

Cookies Can Rock Your Party

You may not think of cookies for your celebrations, but cookies are small and easy to transport. They can be shipped. Cookies can even be delicate and fancy or daring and different! Cookies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, colors, and even tastes.

So for your special occasion, even if cakes are on the menu, consider the best cookies U.S., made in the Philadelphia area. Bella’s Desserts!

The Best Weddings Are Meaningful

best weddings in pa

I’m not very traditional when it comes to weddings. My favorite weddings to go to are those meaningful to the couple themselves. I love the ones that are unique. When the couple is having fun, I’m having fun. When the couple has their favorite wedding cake and pizza, it’s a blast. With music. Without music. Flowers. No flowers. Wedding coordinator. No wedding coordinator.

I’ve been to a wedding hosted in Carmel, California at an old mission that was absolutely gorgeous. From there, wedding participants headed to the reception in Pebble Beach, where there was an open bar. The place was packed. The food was divine. And the total price tag on this particular wedding was more than $150,000 — more than most people make in a year. And while it was lovely and fun, it wasn’t meaningful to the couple. Ahead of time, the bride confessed it was what her mom wanted. It was a nearly all-day affair. It was even tedious. Everyone was dressed to the nines. And because there was a flu going around, many people were sick … including the bride.

best weddings are meaningful

My own wedding was on the other end of that spectrum. My husband and I eloped in Las Vegas at a Star Trek theme warehouse … because everyone in Las Vegas does Elvis. My husband and I wanted to spend as little as possible while having fun. When we got back, we hosted a reception and exchanged vows in front of friends and our parents. A family friend re-married us. The buffet was three different types of pizza and a bar open for beer. My stepmom and mother-in-law brought other types of food, including a cake. In fact, the wedding cake was a big sheet cake with a picture of the Enterprise drawn on. (It was delicious!) The total price tag of that party and my Star Trek themed wedding was probably about $5,000 total. Hey, we got a deal on a hotel room and airline tickets! That was my favorite wedding. It was meaningful to us. We drank beer. We were alone to enjoy our marriage, but also partied with friends. We did something fun and silly. We also did something more meaningful with friends who had a good time.

Along the lines of our themed wedding, my cousin hosted a space-oriented wedding party. They encouraged guests to participate in the fun. My husband got a star suit for the occasion. I found a cute space dress for my daughter. I even located a stary skirt for the occasion. It was silly. There were puzzles that everyone had to solve. The couple had a wonderful time, probably for less than $5,000. And all their friends had fun, too. The newlyweds also had fun songs with my uncle, her dad, as the DJ. (He’s a professional DJ and professor in real life.)

So when thinking about weddings, here’s my advice:

Don’t worry about what others want, worry about what you want. Trust me, your guests will have fun. Doing something unique that’s special to you will ensure everyone has a good time.

Something will go wrong at your wedding. Take everything in stride. Again, the main point of this affair is for you to have fun. If it’s incredibly stressful planning it, maybe it’s time to rethink what you want.

Focus on wedding customization — a cake you love, a photographer you enjoy, a meal you think is awesome, music that is so you, etc.

Avoid going into debt thinking you want a wedding you’ll remember forever. That Carmel wedding, where the couple spent more than $100,000? That couple is now divorced. It’s your wedding. Trust me, it’ll be memorable whether you spend $5,000 or $500,000.

Consider a fun party favor that families can take home, such as an edible party favor. For my wedding, my husband and I made beer with our own personal label as a way to say thanks. A wedding we attended, we all got miniature skateboards. Making something personal for your friends is really all they expect.

Rely on friends, but if you pay them, ask them to meet specific standards before the wedding. My husband and I asked a friend, who’d just started up a DJ business, to play music. He loved techno music and played that …. All. Night. Long. My father-in-law and I headed to him, asking … no begging him to play something else. He didn’t. We still paid him the money we said we would because he was a friend.

You’ll miss a lot of fun moments. Even if you pay a photographer, don’t overlook photo booths and even asking friends to send pictures. You’ll see what you missed that night.

Ask friends and family to help you host the party, if you can. Meaning, people don’t always have to go to you when they need their gluten-free option, they’re still thirsty, they want to know where the bathroom is, etc.

Use a reception line where you thank people and then send them a note after your wedding. Instead of running around your party thanking people, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself more.

Play whatever music you want. I ran into a DJ once and asked, “Don’t you get tired of playing ‘YMCA’ and all the other classics?” He laughed politely and then said he never plays those songs at home. But, he confessed, he loves when people have a good time and even said he likes seeing the older relatives — the one who never get up and dance — throwing their hands up in the air in a big “Y.” What a great DJ!

There are so few times in life when you get to be number one. This is one of them! Relax. Embrace being the center of attention for less than one day. Sure, there will be a relative who’s appalled you chose black as one of your wedding colors or you want a special dress to show off your tattoo, but that relative isn’t getting married. You are! Your wedding coordinator, if you have one, should understand and support that. So should all of your wedding vendors — from your baker providing you a cake to your wedding coordinator making sure everything is running smoothly.

A Frightenly Cute Birthday Celebration

By Tami Matthews, Denver, CO resident and mom

My daughter Millie has a birthday right around Halloween. Although she loves Halloween, she’s 10 — so she’s less inclined to love spooky. Sweet bats, cute kitties, and friendly witches are more her speed. I mean, Hocus Pocus was scary for her.

What’s also challenging about my kiddo’s birthday is that she — like so many these days — has a big class. And yet, she still wants to celebrate her birthday at school. (Hey, who can blame her?!)

Halloween cookies for a birthday celebration in Denver, CO

Luckily, I saw someone posting beautiful cookies. I mean lovely. Really gorgeous. Creative. Delicious-looking. Fun. Thinking I couldn’t afford those cookies, I put off asking her if she 1) could make cookies for me and 2) send them to Denver. 

When I did, Lauren of Bella’s Desserts was so gracious and kind. Not only did she gleefully accept, she sent me ideas. I didn’t just have an experienced baker, ready to make birthday goodies; I had a partner in my daughter’s birthday celebration. In fact, I think she was more involved than my husband, Millie’s dad!

The price was reasonable, especially to be shipped, which amazed me. In fact, overall, it was less expensive to use Bella’s Desserts than buy cookies at a bakery near me.    

Halloween cookies for a school in Denver, CO

More than that, the cookies were better looking than any bakery could create in Denver. They were lovely. Smiling chubby ghosts, kitties with witch hats, friendly bats, and more were included. Lauren sent exactly when she said she would, and she included more cookies than I requested to make sure my husband and I had a chance to eat them. Not a single one was broken either!  

Bellas Desserts make birthday celebrations special and even magical

My mother-in-law and I took them to school to hand out at recess. (Teachers have gotten smarter, thinking the kids can get their wiggles out and have a little sugar.) More than Millie’s class lined up. Teachers gushed and looked longingly at them. Millie’s classmates even tried coming back for more!

Bella’s Desserts didn’t just deliver beautiful, delicious cookies; Lauren delivered a special, custom-made birthday celebration.  

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Contact Us Now Through Phone 484-467-1538 or email Lauren@bellasdesserts.com