SWEET SUCCESS: Elise Strachan has released her first book.
SWEET SUCCESS: Elise Strachan has released her first book.

Plan the perfect party

ARE you a crafty cook? I don't mean clever at economising in the kitchen, or skilled at hiding vegies in your kids' dinners. Rather, someone who enjoys both craft and cooking. If so, Sweet! Celebrations is made just for you. And as someone who loves any excuse to throw a themed party and make special food for the event (such as caramel fudge wrapped up in brown paper packages tied up with string for my Sound of Music party, and my Terminator 2 movie night - Skynet Pavlova, anyone?), I've struck chapter after chapter of party planning gold with this cookbook.

The author, Elise Strachan, is a social media phenomenon, with millions around the world following MyCupcakeAddiction on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Now, with her first book, Elise has created a wonderful, thoughtfully planned out and beautifully illustrated guide to all manner of sweet treats for a wide range of occasions.

Whether it's a high tea, a wedding, a birthday party, or an intimate date with your special someone, Elise has got you covered. Ideas for major holidays such as Easter and Christmas also feature, and there's even an amazing barbecue-themed dessert spread for the dad in your life, including a hot dog cake and taco cookies.

Recipes range from "small bakes” to no bakes as well as an array of whimsical drinks such as ice-cream soda floats in ice-cream cone cups, moustachio milkshakes and the super cute hot chocolate gingerbread men (recipe featured inside).

If you're looking for that extra wow factor for your party, try the impressive confetti layer cake with the illusion of pouring sprinkles or the naked flower cake. And it's not all dainty elegance. Halloween is taken care of with recipes for zombie brain cupcakes, axe murderer cookies and slime-filled spiders.

There are also plenty of DIY craft ideas such as confetti balloons and paper rosettes. You can even learn how to make your own beautiful cake stand.

There are step-by-step photographs to guide you along, recipes for essentials like buttercreams, frostings and ganaches, instructions for working with chocolate, templates and much more.

This would make an ideal gift for the entertainer in your life, or if that's you, ask Santa nicely and he might pop a copy of Sweet! Celebrations in your stocking (that you handcrafted yourself, of course!).

Images from Sweet! Celebrations by Elise Strachan (Murdoch Books), RRP $39.99.

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