I’m a bit late writing this blog post (Rian’s birthday was at the end of January!) but I wanted to share what we did (and what we ate) for Rian’s 4th birthday. (I love birthday party blog posts almost as much as I love throwing vegan birthday parties!)
I love planning all the food to make for parties, it’s an excuse to cook a lot of new things, which I love doing, and I get to eat lots of nice food myself, and show off how nice vegan food can be to all the omni guests! Most importantly I get to treat my kids to nice food, especially a cake, and they can eat every single thing at the party. It’s very important to me that the food is all vegan, because of course I don’t want to buy and prepare non-vegan food, but I also don’t want there to be anything that my kids can’t have. And nobody is ever disappointed or goes home hungry (they at least will like the cake!).
For this party I decided to try a few recipes from the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook, which I use a lot! (It’s a vegetarian cookbook, not vegan, though most of the recipes are vegan or can easily be made vegan.) The main dish was Caponata, which is a sweet and sour Sicilian aubergine stew, traditionally served at room temperature. I had never tried it before, so was really excited to make it and it turned out delicious. I’ll definitely make it again.
I also made two types of houmous, roasted carrot houmous and beetroot and walnut houmous, and oven-dried tomatoes, which are some of my favourite dishes from the River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook.
I served it all with sliced up pitta bread, boiled baby potatoes, baby salad leaves and some crisps!
Then of course I also made some sweet food! I do like my kids to eat healthily most of the time but have no problem with them eating sweet food (and lots of chocolate) on special occasions! As a vegan mother, I always feel like I can’t let them miss out on anything, and they definitely don’t miss out on having cake.
Every year Rian asks for a chocolate cake, because he has this idea that people always have chocolate cake for their birthdays. I’m totally fine with that because I love chocolate too, but have to come up with a different variation every year to make it a bit different. He has had a Turkish delight cake before, an Oreo cake, and this year I decided to make a chocolate Bounty bar cake. It was a chocolate cake with coconut icing and homemade vegan Bounty bars on top! I based the cake recipe on a Ms Cupcake recipe. (I always use the Ms Cupcake cookbook ‘The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town’ and highly recommend it!) The cake was really yummy and the kids loved it.
I also made vegan Jaffa Cakes because I hadn’t had them in a while. They were also from a Ms Cupcake recipe. I really love them. Before I was vegan I used to love Jaffa Cakes and they were really the only thing I still missed, until I made them for myself. They’re really easy to make, and really delicious! The kids really liked them too.
I also served some Foods of Athenry chocolate cookie shots, which are vegan too. Yes, we had a lot of chocolate at this party!
And we had some extra vegan Bounty bars too. The Bounty bars are a recipe from The Happy Pear, and were delicious!
The birthday boy was so happy with his cake, though he mostly ignored all the healthy food I made! I don’t blame him though, and it was his birthday so I didn’t mind.
I can’t believe he’s four now. It seems so grown up! It feels like he’s been here about five minutes, but also like I’ve known him forever and he’s my best friend (along with the other two). He has changed my life and made me happier every day since he was born. I was so glad to give him a fun party and see him this happy!
I can’t wait for more vegan birthday parties every year, and to think of new ideas for how to serve chocolate cake every time! And to have another amazing year with my amazing four year old.