One of the things I really love about living in Utah is Pioneer Day! It’s celebrated on the 24th of July every year. It is a celebration of everyone, regardless of faith and nationality, who emigrated to the Salt Lake Valley during the pioneer era, which is generally considered to have ended with the 1869 arrival of the transcontinental railroad. Utahan’s take a day off to celebrate and remember those that came before.
This day is special to me because many of my ancestors were among the pioneers that crossed the plains in covered wagons looking for a better life in the west. I learned that one set of my Great Grandparents, Nils and Engelika Thuesen, left Denmark and immigrated to the United States. They crossed the plains in a wagon train and were in the same wagon company as my husband’s Great Grandpa Jacob Fuhriman, who was from Switzerland. That is so amazing to me!
When my grandparents arrived in southern Utah, Engelika was killed when a dugout home fell on her. My husbands grandpa settled in northern Utah. They both endured many hardships and experienced things I can’t even imagine!
I like to take the 24th of July to celebrate and honor them and remember the sacrifices they made that have allowed me to be here today! This year, we decided to do a Pie-oneer day celebration! Pioneer Day is almost like another Fourth of July in Utah so I like to go all out! Another excuse to have a party and celebrate! I teamed up for this event with Ashley and asked her if she could make a cake. She’s the master of dessert tables! She was happy to help me out and she even made three incredible cakes instead of one! She was so creative too! Instead of me making pies, she made cakes with pie themes to keep in line with our PIE-oneer Day elements. Hence Pioneer Day Pie!
Cherry Pie cake:
Vanilla almond cake with layers of cherry pie filling. Cinnamon cream cheese frosting and topped with a pie crust topper.
Mixed Mini Pie Cake:
Vanilla cake with alternating blueberry and cherry fillings. Vanilla buttercream and mini pies and crumble on top.
Blueberry Crumble Cake:
Cinnamon blueberry cake with layers of blueberry filling with a brown sugar crumble. Cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
The pioneers would often make fry bread with honey, so I decided to make scones and honey butter! Mix up a batch or these and smother them in homemade honey butter and you won’t know what hit you! I grew up calling them scones and if you are from Utah or Idaho, fried bread is called a scone! They are nothing like the english biscuit scone. I also made my famous party punch and cut up different types of melon with star shaped cookie cutters. I love inviting friends and family over to celebrate with a BBQ and having festive food to enjoy!
For the decor, I used things that look old and rustic. I found the old crates at Pottery Barn, the milk can and cream jug were Homegoods finds. I’ve linked everything that I could find for you at the bottom of the post! I used a mix of wooden serving bowls and cake stands to keep within our theme too. I brought out mini pie dishes to serve the honey butter out of and mixed everything in with these cute checkered napkins and floral dessert plates that looked old for color and contrast. The drink dispenser is one of my favorites for events! You can find it at Pottery Barn.
I was so happy that Ashley also introduced me to her friend Cara, Livingbeautafully’s other half. Cara is an amazing photographer and offered to come take Pioneer Day pie photos for us! Cara and Ashley are the perfect duo. They are both so talented and creative! The cakes were as amazing as they look and Cara captured everything so perfectly for me to share with you all!
Holly’s Helpful Tips:
*You can find all sorts of things that look old at different craft stores without having to spend a fortune. This helps for events that you’re wanting a more rustic or antique feel!
*I always try to use things I already have, just to keep things even more simple. Look around your home for decorations or items you typically wouldn’t use, like a wood crate or an older vase.
* Don’t be scared to create different heights to showcase your different desserts and food items. This will help everything to be showcased well, and create that variety for your serving table. Plus, it always looks so cute!
* Use baskets, bowls, and different serving dishes to bring in color, texture, and add that variety! Venture into different areas to create the bigger picture!
*I’ve said it before, but ask for help! Focus on what you’re good at for your event, and invite others to use their talents and bring something to share. The cakes Ashley brought really helped make this event turn out perfectly, and they were incredibly delicious!
We had such a fun time creating this fun Pioneer Day pie themed dessert table and it is always so fun collaborating with such talented ladies! I hope you enjoy seeing all that we created too!