What do you do for your Dad when he turns sixty?
Throw him a party. And not just any party. A party with a theme. And what better theme than his favorite board game?
As long as I can remember, playing board games has always been something I’ve done with my Dad. Usually it would be me and my brother playing Monopoly or Stock Ticker with him. My sister was never big on board games, so she usually tried to avoid them.
But now my sister is married, and my brother in-law brought Settlers of Catan into their lives, and then they brought it into our lives, and it has become a board game that we can all play together.
Dad liked Settlers so much, he gave his sisters their own game last Christmas, and now my aunts, uncles, and cousins all play it too.
Settlers of Catan games for everybody!
Anyway, so when my sister and I were trying to think of something extra special to do for Dad’s big six-oh because he definitely deserves it after all he does, we thought about throwing him a Settlers of Catan themed party. Actually, I think it was my idea.
My sister was on decoration duty. She’s crafty like that. And dessert was up to me, because, well, cupcakes are my thing.
I already had it in my mind that cupcakes would work great to recreate the game board. All you’d need to do is decorate them to represent the different resources, then arrange them in a hexagon, just like the tiles of the game. Pinterest and Google provided lots of examples for inspiration, and a stroll through Bulk Barn gave me some more ideas.
Start by baking a yourself a double batch of cupcakes. You’ll need 19 to make your own edible Settlers of Catan game board. If you’ve got a larger crowd, you can bake more, frost them blue like water, and use them to make the game board frame. I didn’t need that many cupcakes, so I used the actual pieces from the game for my frame.
Settlers of Catan Cupcakes
Inspired from Pinterest searches and Shower of Roses
19 cupcakes of your choosing. Dad wanted vanilla, so I used this recipe minus the sprinkles, and doubled it.
Double batch frosting (I used buttercream), divided. I didn’t measure how much I ended up using for each color. I just kind of eyeballed it. You’ll need about twice as much for the green as the other colors (red, yellow, black) and only a smidge for blue.
Red, yellow, green, blue, black, and brown food coloring. I used paste. They give a more vibrant color than the liquid drops
Dye one lot of your divided frosting brick red. I ended up using mostly red with some brown and a little bit of black food coloring to get the color I wanted. Frost your cupcakes. Arrange nibs on top of the cupcakes to resemble bricks. I started by laying a line across the middle and then staggering the other rows.
Black candy rocks – You can find multi-colored candy rocks at most bulk candy stores. Bulk Barn is where I got mine. I just had to fish out the black ones.
Dye another lot of your divided frosting black. Frost your cupcakes. Put the candy rocks in a shallow dish. Dip the tops of the frosted cupcakes in the dish of candy rocks, kind of rolling it around until the top of the cupcake is covered.
Mini marshmallows – you’ll only need eight
A few pieces of thick black licorice. I think the Bulk Barn called the ones I used licorice pandas (although they were not panda shaped at all)
Dye the larger amount of divided frosting green. Put half of that in a zip top bag and cut one of the corners off, creating a small hole. This is your make shift piping bag. Use a “squeeze and pull” technique to pipe grass onto the tops of the cupcakes. If you’ve got a real piping bag and a grass tip, go for it! That was what I planned on doing, but then I realized I didn’t actually have a grass tip, so I had to improvise.
Build your sheep. Slice your licorice into rounds to make the sheep’s faces. Also, slice some circles into eighths to use for legs. Dip one of the flat ends of the marshmallow into water and then stick a licorice round to it. Insert a toothpick into the bottom of the marshmallow sheep and stick one of the pointy ends of the smaller licorice pieces in to make the sheep’s legs. Let the sheep dry so their faces will stay on. Put two sheep on each cupcake.
Use the other half of your green frosting to frost the cupcakes. Then stick some pretzel sticks on top like a lumber pile.
Dye the last remaining large lot of frosting a wheat color. I used yellow with some brown and little black food coloring to get the color I wanted. Frost your cupcakes (and the one for the desert), saving some frosting for piping the wheat detail. Add a bit more brown coloring to the remaining frosting and spoon it into a zip top bag. Cut the corner off, creating a small hole. I used a serrated knife (as that’s what happened to be handy) and it actually ended up giving the wheat grains a bit of texture that I liked, Start at the bottom of a cupcake, and pipe the wheat detail on top, using the “squeeze and pull” technique to create the wheat grains.
1 black licorice baby (or in my case, it was a liquorice mummy)
Crushed graham crackers
Put the graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish. Use the fifth wheat colored frosted cupcake and roll it in the crumbs to cover the top and make it look like sand. Stick the licorice baby in the cupcake for the robber. Dye the last smidge of frosting blue and use it to add a small oasis to the top of the cupcake.
Now that you have all your cupcakes decorated, arrange them randomly into a hexagon. There will be a row of five in the middle, four on either side of that, and three on either side of that. Set them up with either the frame pieces from the game around them, or a row of blue frosted cupcakes.
We played a game of Settlers after the party, and yours truly was victorious.
Cupcakes and ten victory points for the win!