Happy Earth Day everyone! I'm not one that makes sure everything I do is green, but I like to think I do take care of my space on the globe. Honestly, the only reason I began recycling before it was mandatory in our area was because I had a dream I needed a new heart, and they were made out of plastic. I was told I couldn't have one because I didn't do my share of recycling. I have recycled ever since. True story.
Earth Day is also my husbands birthday. He claims he's "too old" to be bringing a birthday treat to work so I snuck around that by saying they were Earth Day treats. I saw the pin on Pinterest for some Earth Day cupcakes and cake pops. I decided to go with cupcakes since there are all men and only one woman at his work. For some reason I just don't really see men chowing down on cake pops LOL.
Aren't they cute? The pin from Bird on A Cake has directions saying to cut off the cupcake tops, and take a small heart cookie cutter and hollow out a heart, fill it with red frosting and put the top back on. Cute idea, but I'd rather have more frosting on my cupcake than that. And I know frosting them takes away the good view of the "earth" look of the cupcake, but I just decided to frost them anyway and stay a bit away from the edges so you could see the earth still. I also remembered that I had some edible heart cookie decorations so I would put those on to represent the "love" of the earth.
Start out with whatever your favorite vanilla cupcake recipe is. I have yet to find the perfect vanilla cake recipe, which is why I won't recommend one here. It's OK, but nothing that knocks my socks off (like my chocolate one does!) I'd love to hear if you have a tried and true one though. Divide your batter in half and add your green and blue coloring. Scoop a spoonful of each color in each liner, one side blue, one side green and then add small dab of opposite color on each side.This is not an exact science, whatever you get in there is fine.
Bake per your recipe and when done you have little mini "earths"!
Let the cakes cool and frost with your favorite vanilla frosting. Now, that I do have, and I've tweaked it so that I think it's perfect. If you have your favorite, go with yours! This batch made 24 regular cupcakes and about 15 minis, so I doubled my recipe (I like to add lots of frosting and didn't want to run out.)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
this original recipe yields about 2 1/2 cups
2 sticks softened butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed with a paddle attachment in your mixer. Really beating it for a few minutes makes a difference. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, until 3 are added, with mixer on slow to avoid blowing it all over. Reserve your 4th cup for if you need to even out the consistency. With mixer on medium, add vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of milk or cream and beat for 2-3 minutes. Use more sugar and/or liquid until desired consistency. I like to add a little more vanilla than the 1 tablespoon. :)
I used a large round tip (Wilton 2A) to frost and gently added an edible heart decoration.
Go in peace, enjoy the earth... and a cupcake!
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY honey, I love you!