Way back in the way back days when I was a preschool teacher I loved the seasonal, holiday, specialty lessons. Somehow the kids enjoy learning about colors so much more when you’re taking them on a fall nature walk collecting different colored leaves than being stuck in a classroom looking at them on a chart.
Earth day was always one of my favorite special subjects to teach because there are so many great crafts you can use with recycled items, super fun water recycling activities, and these cupcakes.
I started making these cupcakes my first year teaching and they were such a hit that I’ve made them every year since. Even when I left my job as a teacher to be a nanny. And then what I left that job to be a substitute teacher. And now that I’m moving on from being a substitute teacher I STILL have the urge to make these! And what’s even better is that I’ve finally perfected a frosting technique.
One that doesn’t involve two piping bags and lots of frosting all over my fingers and the counter and, that one time, the cabinets. The best part is that this is totally a recipe that gets the kids in the kitchen! Which might result in frosting all over the cabinets no matter how easy this awesome technique is 😉
Use your favorite boxed cake or from scratch recipe. I used a box mix here because we have a bunch in the pantry I’m trying to get rid of. Go for gel food coloring over liquid for truer, brighter colors and use a long straw, skewer, or paint brush to draw the food coloring up the side of the bag. Otherwise you’ll end up with it all over your fingers and that’s never very fun to walk around with green fingers for days 😉 But it would give a whole new meaning to the term ‘green thumb’!
What’s your favorite way to incorporate different lessons in the kitchen?
- 1 box chocolate cake mix
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2-3 Tbs heavy cream
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- Blue and green gel food coloring, to decorate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Mix cake according to package directions and fill each tin 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Whip butter with the whisk attachment on medium high speed until very pale yellow and fluffy.
- Add in powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended.
- Increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy.
- To create the swirl effect with your frosting use a skewer and paint a small amount of green and blue gel food coloring up the side of a piping bag.*
- Spoon frosting into the bag and squeeze out a few tester spots until frosting is desired color.
- Pipe onto cupcakes and enjoy!
- *One stripe of each color will produce what you see in the photos. You will have less white if you do two stripes of each, alternating around the bag. Apply the gel food coloring in thin lines. Using too much will cause the colors to run together and leave you with no white at all.