Friday, October 2, 2009

Birthday Cupcakes!

So yesterday was my daughter's first birthday. We're celebrating with our family this weekend, but I wanted to do something special for her at daycare. I remembered Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures had posted a recipe for Martha Stewart's one bowl chocolate cupcakes and thought they would be perfect- less bowls to clean after baking! As I was looking for the recipe on her site, I also came across these adorable oreo cupcakes and thought they would be perfect for kids!

Now, we're talking about one year olds, so these were definitely going to have to get scaled down a bit. I thought I remembered seeing the 100 calorie snack packs of oreos in the store, so I figured I could make mini cupcakes and top them with the snack size cookies. When I went to the store, I found out they make whole bags of the bite size cookies which was great because the snack packs tend to be a little expensive. Even better, they now have golden oreo bite size cookies too, so I picked up a bag of those and bag of the chocolate figuring I could make a chocolate and vanilla version. You never know what kids are going to want!

After sorting through all the cupcake recipes on Tracey's site and reading that she wasn't thrilled with the cake in the oreo cupcakes, I settled on the MS chocolate cupcakes and a yellow cupcake recipe while using the theory behind the oreo cupcakes. Both recipes were one bowl cupcakes and I have to say I LOVED them. They were so easy to throw together and there was not a lot of clean-up. The only problem was I had 72 mini cupcakes in the oven and a ton of cake batter leftover! More on this later...

The cupcakes smelled sooooo good in the oven- since they were minis, they only took about 12-15 minutes. After they had cooled and the kids went to bed, I whipped the cream for the topping and piped away. And if I may say so, I think they turned out super cute! My only suggestion here is wait to put the cookies on until the last minute. Obviously, I wasn't too keen on finishing the cupcakes in the morning (I am at least 15 minutes late for work everyday), so I went ahead and assembled everything the night before. When I checked on them this morning, the cookies were a little soft as they must have absorbed some of the moisture from the whipped cream. I don't think the little ones will mind though! I ended up sending in two dozen to the one year old classroom and two dozen to my other daughter's three year old classroom. Certainly too many for both, but figured the staff could have a nice treat this afternoon!

So now for the leftover batter... I remembered seeing a recipe for a zebra cake on The Food Librarian's site and thought what better way to use up the rest of the batter! This way we would have some sort of dessert for my daughter's actual birthday. The zebra cake is assembled by making concentric circles with vanilla and chocolate cake batter. I double checked the baking times on each cake and they were very similar, so I decided to give it a try. Defeinitely check out Mary's post about this because she has detailed photographs about how to pour the batter I didn't have time to take.

When I poured the batter, it kind of favored one side of the pan, but I thought the final pre-baked product looked pretty good anyway. Unfortunately, I didn't preheat the bottom oven, so I had to put the cake on the bottom rack until the cupcakes were done. I think because the heat was uneven at the bottom, the chocolate and vanilla layers on the edge of the cake kind of melted togother. I also should have poured smaller amounts of the batter each time (the original recipe states to pour 1/4 cup at at time but I think I grabbed the 1/2 cup instead). Regardless, the cake was awesome. We served the zebra cake with vanilla ice cream and our kids loved it! I would highly recommend both recipes.

Stay tuned for my daughter's real birthday cake. Hopefully it will turn out the way I envision it! And be sure to check out Tracey's and Mary's sites if you would like the recipes from above.


Eliana said...

Both you Zebra cake and cupcakes look fantastic. Awesome job.

Tracey said...

I'm so glad you were able to adapt the idea for the Oreo cupcakes to work for you! All of the cupcakes look amazing! I'm sure the folks at daycare were very appreciative :)

Jeannette said...

holy heart attack!!! those cupcakes look awesome! so moist and delicious!!! the fiance would go nuts over the golden ones. that's his faaaaaavorite oreo. double stuft of course ;)

Jaime said...

oooh i am dying for some oreo cupcakes now!

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