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Even though my husband’s favorite teams didn’t make it into the big game, we’re still excited to throw a home bowl party. My husband loves watching any teams play, as long as it’s an exciting football game. As for me, I’m all about the commercials and half-time show. No matter who we’re rooting for, I make sure to serve lots of good food for our home bowl party.
When I host a party, my goal is to create one showstopper menu item and to keep the other snacks low-key. The football field cake is going to wow everyone at the party! Not only does it look amazing, the cake is made with Coke Zero so it’s super light and moist. Plus, who can resist REESE’S Peanut Butter Footballs?
Keep reading and I’ll show you to throw the ultimate home bowl party.
Pick 2-3 colors and stick with them. It’s tempting to add a ton of colors to your decorations. Everything is so bright and shiny! Since my showstopper would be the cake, I used the football field as inspiration for my decorations. We went with green, white, and black with hints of red. The colors also coordinated with my bottles of Coke Zero and Coca-Cola. Yes, I think about those things.
I nabbed these green pails at Target at only $1 each. Using a white permanent marker, I drew lines to give them some football field flair. Simple and easy. (You can find the buckets in the Target OneSpot, but there’s more color choices in the party supplies section.) Those striped napkins were from the “pirate party” display, but they reminded me of a referee’s uniform.
How much do you love the OneSpot section at Target? That’s where I found the chalkboard and straws. Color streamers and a tablecloth rounded out the decor.
I wanted to add a personalized touch to the straws, so I created foam finger straw toppers. They take a little time to cut out, so it’s a good job to give your husband or kids while you prepare everything else. Download my foam finger straw toppers printable. Print them on some cardstock in your team’s colors. Instructions on how to cut the slit are on the printable.
No Fuss Snacks
My secret tip for throwing stress-free parties: Don’t make everything from scratch. Save that for the showstopper. Buy already made ingredients and assemble them. If you can make them the day before, even better. That way you’re not stuck in the kitchen during the football game.
My Home Bowl Party Menu included:
- pigs in a blanket (see what I did there?) with mustard and ketchup
- mini-meatball subs: I used frozen turkey meatballs and doctored some jarred sauce with grated parmesan cheese. I assembled the mini-subs for my photos, but you can cut the subs and let your guests make them as needed. This will keep the subs from becoming soggy.
- savory snacks: pretzels, chips, cheese puffs, crackers
- veggies and dip: I’m one of those people who actually eats from the veggie platter at parties. So I included carrot, celery, and bell pepper sticks. I stood them up in a mug to make them look more interesting
- candy: REESE’S Peanut Butter Footballs (found exclusively at Target) and miniatures
- Football Field Cake: The star of my party!
How to Make a Football Field Cake
Here’s the football field cake tutorial you’ve been waiting for. I had so much fun making this cake and I hope you will too!
Baking the Cake
Before you make the cake: keep in mind there’s a lot of waiting in between baking and cooling. You can prep other elements while you wait.
If you’ve never made a cake with Coca-Cola or Coke Zero, you’re missing out. Not only does it taste good, the carbonation makes the cake light and fluffy. To bake the cake you’ll need:
- 1 package of chocolate cake mix (devil’s food works too)
- 1 1/4 cups of Coke Zero or Coca-Cola (about one 16.9 oz bottle)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
That’s it. Mix everything together and pour it into a 13×9-inch cake pan that’s lined with parchment. The parchment makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan. You’ll have a little bit of Coke Zero leftover in the 16.9 oz bottle so don’t waste it–drink it!
Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean or with dry crumbs on it, the cake is done. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Allow to cool completely.
Ingredients for decorating the cake:
- 2-16 oz tubs of white frosting
- green food coloring
- 10 pretzel sticks (regular size)
- 1-10 oz bag of REESE’S Footballs
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
While the cake cools, decorate the REESE’S Footballs. Place white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15-second intervals until melted. Make sure you stir in between each interval so the chocolate doesn’t burn. Spoon melted chocolate into a quart sized ziptop bag. Using scissors, cut off a small corner of the bag so you can pipe with the chocolate.
Using the photo above as a guide, pipe four lines to create the “stitches.” If the white chocolate starts to harden, reheat bag in the microwave for 5 seconds at time. Knead the bag to evenly distribute the heat. You’ll need to decorate all the footballs from a 10-oz bag.
Make Goal Posts
To make the goal posts: Place pretzel sticks on parchment or wax paper. Use the melted white chocolate as a glue to assemble the goal posts. Allow the white chocolate to cool and completely harden before removing from parchment. Tip: Make extra goal posts just in case one falls apart. Or your kid or husband eats them before the party. I mean, pretzels and white chocolate are a delicious combo.
Frosting the Cake
If you can find green frosting at the store, definitely buy it. I used white frosting and a ton of green food coloring. Try not to overdo it on the food coloring since it will thin out your frosting. If you can find gel food coloring, use it as it won’t thin out your frosting. I highly recommend buying cake decorating spatula. It will make your job so much easier. I’ve had the one above for over 15 years.
Move your cake to its final display plate. I turned a plastic serving tray upside down for ours. I liked that it had handles, gave the cake some height, and fit into our fridge. Don’t worry if your frosting looks messy on the sides. We will cover them up. Focus on the top of the cake.
Adding Field Lines
Here’s where I warn you that my perfectionist comes out. Since the cake is approximately 12-inch long (from baking in 13×9-inch pan), I pulled out my ruler. Using a bamboo skewer (or any straight stick), I created impressions into my green frosting at 1-inch intervals. Don’t push too hard (like I did). Just enough to mark it. These will be your guide for the field lines.
In a new ziptop bag, add 1/2 tub of white frosting. Close and cut off corner to create piping bag. Using the impressions you just made as a guide, pipe lines onto the cake.
Fill in the endzones by piping frosting close together. Then pipe frosting all around the cake to create a border.
Remember those cute REESE’S Footballs you decorated? Place one in the middle of the cake. Using the rest, make a border with them by sticking them to the side of the cake. Right before you present the cake, insert the pretzel goal posts. If you do it too soon, the pretzels will get soggy and start to lean.
Present your cake to your guests and revel in your awesomeness!
Are you hosting a party for the big football game?
If you can’t tell by now, I’m a regular at my Target. The REESE’S Footballs are available exclusively at Target. Look for the special REESE’S and Coca-Cola display at your store. Make sure you add the Hershey’s and Coca-Cola offers to your Cartwheel app and save on your home bowl party supplies.