Monday, October 8th, 2012
Calling all bakers! Dream up your own cupcake creation for a chance to win drool-worthy goodies including a high-end stand mixer. Visit Reynolds Wrap on Facebook to design your own cupcake liner, and pair it with the virtual cake and icing of your choice. (And next time you’re in the kitchen, try the foil-lined StayBrite Baking Cups, which help prevent your batter from seeping out into a goopy mess.)
Submit your masterpiece by October 19, 2012, then check back on October 22 to vote for your fave. The winner will be selected by cupcake wizards Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of the book Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My! (This duo really can make baking magic–just check out the wild cake Karen designed for our zoo-themed birthday bash.) Good luck!
Image: Many cupcakes via Shutterstock
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
The creative force is strong with Tammy Bertrand. She hosted an out-of-this-world Star Wars birthday for her six-year-old son, Joey. The Jedis-in-training earned light sabers by playing games, such as docking Darth Vader with a water balloon. Defeating the Empire works up an appetite, and the party guests loved to refuel with Tammy’s homemade Yoda cupcakes.
Tammy shared her tips for making her yummy Yoda. Whip up a batch of your favorite cupcakes, then follow our instructions to make the face.
- Candy eyeballs (find them in the baking section)
- Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
- Food Coloring
- Add a few drops of green food coloring to vanilla frosting. Mix until even.
- Once cupcakes are cooled, frost with green frosting using a knife or spatula.
- Fill a pastry bag or Ziploc with green frosting and make two round dots where the eyes will go. Add a wriggly line above the eyes for character, and below the eyes for the mouth.
- Press eyeballs onto small rounds of frosting so that frosting comes up around the edges.
- Cut gum pieces in half and snip one corner from each to create a point. Stick to the sides of the cupcakes.
Monday, October 3rd, 2011
I’m finding it hard to focus at the moment. Not just because it’s Monday morning but because I’ve just spent some time on Nicole Friday’s site, The Cupcake Craze, and all I can think right now is Must…have…chocolate souffle cupcake…)
Like me, Nicole is a mom of two children, ages 6 and 3, who lives in New Jersey. (Those are her boys, Ellis and Edison, at right.) But unlike me, she’s a fabulous baker with her own catering business–just check out the slideshow of scrumptious desserts she’s created. I asked her to share some of her best baking-with-kids tips, and she happily obliged:
1. What’s a home-run flavor combo for kids?
Oreo Cookies & Cream is definitely a hit! Anything chocolate works with kids, especially a supersize cupcake—chocolate cake with cookies & cream frosting and topped with an Oreo cookie. Simply irresistible!
2. How old were your boys when you started baking with them?
Ellis was 2 (he’s now 3 ½) ; Edison was 3 (now 6).
3. Any fun kitchen missteps you can share?
Oh yeah. Edison added a bowl of eggs–including the shells–to the batter and turned on the mixer. There was no picking out those shells—another batch into the garbage! Another time, I had cupcakes for an event resting on the counter and Ellis, who was 2 at the time, stuck his fingers in all the cupcakes. (Luckily I made it to the event with a new batch of “hole-less” cupcakes.)
4. What’s the best task for little ones brand-new to the kitchen?
The key is to start off small, doing pretty much anything that doesn’t involve fire or hot or sharp things. So you can try beating eggs, adding and mixing pre-measured ingredients, licking the bowls clean. That’s a popular one.
5. Do you have favorite gadgets for kids?
Use a mini ice-cream scooper to fill the liners and a plastic spoon to spread the frosting (though fingers work too!). The picture above shows my boys doing just that.
6. Is there any such thing as a “healthy cupcake” that kids will love?
Yes. It’s all about the ingredients and the size: I choose mini-cupcakes and sneak veggies and “good stuff” into my cupcakes all the time, especially when my kids are on a veggie strike. Some ideas and healthier choices include: applesauce, carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, raisins, cranberries, apples, blueberries, strawberries, bananas. Instead of butter, use canola oil; opt for white-whole wheat flour or whole-wheat flour; use non-fat ingredients such as sour cream, buttermilk, and cream cheese. You can even skip the frosting and dust with powdered sugar.
7. Care to share a recipe?
Here you go!
Candied-Yamberry Cupcakes by Nicole Friday
Yield: 24 mini cupcakes
1 pound (2 medium) sweet potatoes
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup canola oil
¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ teaspoon orange zest
- Boil sweet potatoes over medium-high heat until the center is soft and the skin begins to peel. Remove from water, set aside and let cool. When cool enough to handle, scrape skin from the potatoes and mash until smooth.
- Preheat oven 350°F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, applesauce and sweet potatoes. Reduce speed: add flour mixture. Stir in cranberries by hand, until combined.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups filling three-quarters full. Bake approximately 25-30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer pans to rack or counter to cool before removing cupcakes.
- To finish, top cupcakes with mini-marshmallows mounds. Using a small kitchen torch, brown marshmallows all over and enjoy!
(Note from Nicole: If you don’t have a torch, use the broiler. Works magically–just keep a close watch, otherwise you’ll have super-toasted marshmallows. Or take the no-frosting route and just dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar. Still yummy!)
Categories: Birthdays, Food, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Time for Fun, Your Child | Tags: cooking with kids, cupcakes, healthy desserts, Nicole Friday, sweets, The Cupcake Craze
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Need a do-good activity for the week? Here’s a sweet idea: Decorate and send virtual cupcakes to friends and family to help raise money for CancerCare for Kids, an organization that provides free counseling, support and financial assistance for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Your tot will get a kick out of decorating the mess-free e-cupcake with sprinkles, piping and other goodies, but we can’t promise you won’t become addicted to playing with the faux frostings either. But it’s not all just fun and games– haircare product company got2b will donate $1 to CancerCare for each cupcake sent in September, up to $10,000… so get decorating!
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Calling all budding bakers out there, just a quick reminder that it’s not too late to enter the Parents cupcake contest on mixingbowl.com, which ends Dec. 30th. Share your cutest cupcake recipes and photo with us and compete for a chance to win $250 (and some seriously sweet bragging rights!). For a little inspiration, check out the November issue of Parents to see what delightful delicacies we cooked up ourselves. Then get cooking!
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
We know you have awesome cupcake recipes. Why not share them with us on Mixing Bowl? Log on from now through Dec. 30 and enter for a chance to win our Parents Magazine Kids' Cupcake Contest (and the $250 prize money)!
Share the cutest, most scrumptious cupcake recipe you've created by entering the original recipe and photo, or log on just to vote for your favorite. Click here for full contest rules and details.
Need a little inspiration? Check out our November issue to see some super fun ideas, like our 'Monkey Around' creations at right.
Thursday, September 4th, 2008
You know how much we love cupcakes. Well, prepare yourself. Amazingly, cupcakes and onesies have united to form the absurdly cute Cupcake Onesie. You can get them from Baby Bunch, a company that started out delivering baby clothes disguised as bouquets. They’ll expertly bundle up onesies to look like yummy pastries in the color of your choice and send them in a bakery-style box. A bonus: inspiration for a DIY project, anyone?