1. Spray mini Bundt pans with oil. Fill the pans halfway up with packaged cake batter. (Tip: Use a mini ice cream scoop.) Arrange on a tray and bake according to cake package directions.
2. Melt green Candy Melts in the microwave. Dip the top of a cooled cake into melted candy, then place on parchment paper. Add sprinkles immediately.
3. Use a red licorice string to tie a tiny bow. (Don’t knot the bow too tightly or it will break.) Press bow into Candy Melt and let cakes set, about 30 min.
Stack your food spread with some healthy options, too. These Santa-Claus-on-a-stick fruit snacks feature pieces of banana, strawberry hats, and big and mini marshmallows (for the hat’s pom-pom and trim) on skewers. Add red candies and chocolate sprinkles for the face. Or make a Christmas tree out of broccoli florets arranged flat on a tray, with draping carrot stick garlands, cherry tomato bulbs, and a star topper made from yellow pepper slices.
After ornament making and cake devouring, the kids will need some post-sugar-high quiet time. Build a reindeer pen in the TV room (a blanket-and-chair fort filled with pillows will do) and settle in for a showing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, complete with a bowl of reindeer feed (popcorn or trail mix). Outfit your herd with dollar store antler headbands.
Send the smallest guests home with packets of DIY Snowman Juice. Put a few scoops of hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, a peppermint stick and a few chocolate kisses in a cellophane bag. Write “Snowman Juice” on a sticky holiday gift tag and use it to seal the bag shut.
A version of this article appeared in our December 2016 issue with the headline “Deck the cake,” p. 20.