cupcake & icing 911
i would like to make 24 chocolate cupcakes, plus a couple variations of icing (vanilla and maybe one more?) for my son's first grade class with the goal of having the kids decorate their own individual cupcakes -- for my son's b-day.
now, i know perfectly well that kids aren't exactly the most discerning, and yet in their own perverse ways, they are: i think in general they prefer cupcakes that are chocolatey, but not overly so--easy on any bittersweet undertones in other words--and that they prefer sugary icings to anything too buttercreamy, so with that in mind, i'd love some simple recipes/ideas. ideas for fun decorations to top the cupcakes would be great as well.
thanks in advance
I would do a simple chocolate cupcake plus a simple white icing.
I just made this for a friends kids birthday, they wanted simple chocolate cake, so I did this and it was great.
Icing: 1/2 cup butter softened; 3 cups powdered sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 2 to 3 Tablespoons milk
It was simple and great flavor. Kids loved it. Icing was soft enough to decorate and fun to color or put sprinkles on.
There are some great pre cut icing flowers and simple symbols, flowers, stars, moons, circles in all colors at a local party store. They comes in packs of twelve or more and they are easy, just press and they you can use either candies or the tube icing to further decorate. Licorice is a great idea, and so many of the standards, gum drops, coco drops are great. Mini chocolate resees are fun to add. Simple drops of color on the cupcakes are cool and then they can swirl it around with a toothpick to add a swirly colored design on the frosting. Really neat. Also when I make these cupcakes. Right before I bake them. I put a hersheys kiss right down the middle. In melts and makes it gooey for the kids to bite in to. They love it.
I'd stick to an American buttercream like the Magnolia cupcake recipe for frosting. You can put some frosting in little zip loc bags and cut a little top off the end so they can frost their own. Just make sure they squeeze all the frosting to the end and twist the bag so it comes out. As topping goes, just buy little candies and they'll love it. If you really want to go all out, you could have them make baskets by coloring coconut (kids don't eat it, though) green for grass. Use twizzlers cut in half and looped around like a handle and use jelly beans for eggs. They have a little basket. Even simpler, just buy little candies and let them top the cupcakes. I wouldn't do variations. It could be a pain to separate and kids will want both.
Especially doing this in the classroom, I agree with chowser that you should make one kind of cupcake with one kind of frosting; that you should frost the cupcakes yourself and take them rather than involving the kids in a frosting mess; and that you should buy a variety of colorful sprinkles and candies for the kids to use to decorate the cupcakes.
I also agree with chowser that the Magnolia Bakery vanilla buttercream recipe, which is the sweet butter/powdered sugar/milk one, would be appropriate. My stepmother has used the Magnolia cupcake recipes for end-of-year parties for the elementary-age kids in the after-school program she runs, and they love it. You can find it by googling.
Good luck on this one. My recomendation would be to use packaged frosting, sprinkles in a shaker. They even have a frosting in can like cheeze whiz. the can idea cuts down on the need to provide the kid with knives or speaders.
Remember... the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It will be messy. I hope the teacher is prepared to help with the clean-up.