Craft Create Life In General

The Cupcake Quandary: A Tween Birthday Party

Every year at the beginning of summer, I ask the girls if they have any ideas about what kind of birthday party they want to have. This year Abby wanted a murder mystery and Bella wanted Cupcake Wars, so I smashed those ideas together and came up with The Cupcake Quandary, a tween murder mystery.

Writing the Script & Character Creation

While the girls were at camp this summer I sat down to create the script, characters and party supply list for this shindig.  I was grateful to find inspiration at the website Chicken Babies and twisted it to fit our theme. 

The plot started with Ms. Patty Cakes who discovers that her families chickens produced magical eggs that when she used them to bake she could make unbelievable creations. She becomes a famous international baker and develops a wide circle of eccentric friends. Her unexpected death brings her friends together to celebrate her life and find out their inheritance from their good friend.

Download the Cupcake Murder Mystery Script and the Obituary & Character Descriptions below.

Costumes & Decorations

To start with decorating ideas I asked the girls what colors they wanted and they came back with red, teal, black and purple. I wanted the girls to be involved with the decorating so they went a big crazy with the crape paper streamers, but it made our house look more festive.

We spent several hours looking through Amazon and second hand stores for the right props for each guest’s character. We had safari hats, feather boas, fake mustaches, cowboy hats, a stuffed chicken and much more. As the RSVPs came in we started assign parts and giggled each time we put a character to a friend. “This party was going to be epic,” said Bella.

Antidote balloons & Auction item table
Table ready for cupcake decorating
Welcome table with costumes for the guests

Dinner is served

As each guest arrived they were handed their character costume and obituary/character description. The evening started with a welcome from Ms. Patty Cakes Lawyer (me), Celia Fate, and invited to sit down and enjoy dinner before the will was read. We had a spaghetti dinner and each guest had to explain their character and how they knew Ms. Patty Cakes. 

After dinner is where the Cupcake Wars of the party came into play. Our local bakery, DPs Sweet Life, made us plain cupcakes and a bunch of frosting and decorations so our guests could create their own cupcake. There were sixlets candy, sprinkles, even mini hatchets. Watching all of the creativity, laughter and sugar flowing made for a sweet dessert.

The Plot Thickens

My mother was a total sport and dressed up with a big hat and frilly dress to play Ms. Patty Cakes for the obituary video. Before the video we handed out small cups of Ms. Patty Cakes’ favorite candy. We then watched the video and found out that Ms. Cakes didn’t die, she was murdered. She also poisoned all of the candy the guests were eating. In order to find the antidote they had to go on a hunt. One of the guests actually spit out all of the candy and said “I’m okay, I’m good.” I gave the guests the first clue which was a word scramble and they were off. The guests had to complete 6 challenges in order to find the antidote within 30 minutes.

Figuring out the first clue
Putting together the pieces
Minute to Win It marshmallow game

The challenges included:

  1. The guests had to solve a Coded Message that led them outside
  2. Earlier we had hid eggs in our backyard for the guests to find. Each egg had a puzzle piece. The guests went outside and found all the eggs and put together the puzzle to reveal a picture of a drum set.
  3. All the guests ran up to my daughter’s room to her drum kit. At this point the clue said they were running out of time and that six players just lost their voice due to the poison and they had to play charades to figure out “Why did the chicken cross the road.” The kids yell out “to get to the other side” and I said “no, because they wanted some s’mores.”
  4. All the guests ran outside again to our fire pit to find out that four guests lost the use of their legs and we played minute to win it marshmallow game. We divided into 4 groups and they had to throw marshmallows in the baskets. The kids were laughing so hard that this took way longer than a minute. 
  5. I handed out the last clue which told the guests they all have lost the use of their hands and feet and they have to clean up the “chicken coop” and put all the feathers in the bucket. Up to the living room we had scattered a bunch of feathers on the floor with a bucket in the middle of the room. Watching the kiddos use their mouth, elbows, and knees had us in stitches. Some were rolling on the ground laughing so hard.
  6. Now they had all the paper clues to spell out where the antidote was located. The clues spelled out “balloons.” I had several bunches of balloons around the house and they had to find the ones with antidote (mike and ikes.)

Watching the guests run around and decipher the clues was hysterical. Eggs were flying, marshmallows sailing and feathers flying in order for the kiddos to solve the clues in time so they didn’t “die.”


Finding the antidote

After the hunt we gathered back in the living room to find out who killed Ms. Patty Cakes (you’ll have to read the script to find out. I don’t want to spoil the surprise) and that Jeeves was Ms. Patty Cakes’ long lost son. Also all of the guests were left $200 for the auction of Ms. Cakes belongings.

I gathered a bunch of fun items and started the bidding. Auction item ideas: 

  • Golden Wiske

  • Bakers Hat
Patty Cakes favorite socks
  • 4 items sight unseen (candy necklaces, cupcake treats, cupcake bubbles, cupcake squish toys)
Favorite baking pan
  • Cupcake bath bomb
    Cake supplies
Sprinkle supplies
Cupcake puzzle
Mrs. Patty Cakes personal toiletries (bag of soap, tooth brush and crazy straw)
  • Mrs. Patty Cake’s favorite drink (pomegranate izze)

I had enough auction items for each guest to take home one.

Ms. Fluffy Buns admits her crime
Celia Fate holds an auction


Everyone had a wonderful time and each guest was able to take their character costumes, auction items and cupcake home (if they didn’t eat it at dinner.) Sent each guest their mug shot and a thank you for coming to celebrate Abby & Bella’s 12th birthday.

A big thank you to Chicken Babies for the sparking the inspiration for creating this party.

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