Friday, June 20, 2014

Cupcake 'Cake' Father's Day Style

Lawn Mower Cupcake 'Cake'

Let me start by saying, I absolutely LOVE my dad! ("Daddy" to me.) So, what better way to show my love and appreciation for him than a cupcake CAKE with tons of posh on Father's Day!? I had so much fun making this cake, and it was the perfect occasion! Now, I can't wait to show you how I did it!
For starters, this was my first creation in my new 'office!' I transformed part of our basement into a posh work station and this 'cake' was baked, frosted, and poshed in cool comfort. Now, there are so many things you can do with cupcakes - and so much posh potential! Of course, this cake only represents one method. I'll go through this cake step-by-step, but I encourage you to try your own flavors and designs! Also, this 'cake' is a great (and much easier) way to serve cupcakes! (Just saying...)

Cupcake Making
STEP 1: You may be thinking "make the cupcakes, duh," but I recommend starting with a plan. What flavor cupcakes will you make? (Remember, it has to taste just as good as it looks!) What kind of frosting? How will you decorate it? Plan it! This cake was inspired by our yard. My dad was mowing the lawn just that morning, and removed our "dandelion farm" (as my mom calls the pretty yellow weeds). Thus, I knew I had to go with this theme!

STEP 2: Now that you have a plan, you can make the cupcakes! My dad likes yellow cake, and in my refusal to make a boxed cake mix for this occasion, I used a Taste of Home Yellow Layer Cake  recipe. It's a fantastic recipe, too! The cupcakes are so moist, and packed with flavor. This recipe makes 24 normal sized cupcakes (and my 'cake' only needed 15, so viola!) Plus, they baked up in 10 minutes using my Baby Cakes Cupcake Maker (more about this device in my Salad & Cupcakes post).

STEP 3: Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled, it's time to make the frosting and prepare the posh! I made up a simple vanilla butter cream frosting recipe and dyed it green (although you could use whatever frosting recipe you like!) Then, in my serving tray, I packed in the cupcakes so they were nice and snug, and frosted it like one big cake.

Get the cupcakes nice and snug!
STEP 4: The green frosting base represents the "cut grass." Next, I assembled the lawnmower. All I needed was half a chocolate bar, 4 M&Ms, 2 tooth picks, a mini candy bar, and melted chocolate. (Keep in mind, there are many ways to build this with candy, so be creative!) For this method, start by attaching the 'wheels' (M&Ms) to the bottom of the chocolate bar with a little melted chocolate. Once the chocolate has set, place the structure on the cake and attach your 'engine' (mini candy bar) with more melted chocolate to hold it in place. Finally, dip the toothpicks in chocolate and make them the handles. (It's pretty easy, don't worry!)

STEP 5: Next - and my mom had fun with this part - put shredded coconut and green food coloring together in a Ziploc bag, and shake like crazy! Coat the coconut with as much coloring as needed until it reaches a nice 'grass' color. And if you're my mom, keep shaking it and shaking it, try hitting it on the counter a few times, and don't forget to laugh the entire time... Finally, once the coconut is green, dizzy and definitely dead, sprinkle it on half of the cake to represent the uncut grass. 

STEP 6: Using dark chocolate crumbs and flower sprinkles, I made small flower beds in the uncut grass, and sprinkled the yellow flowers as dandelions. That's all there is to it! See it broken down, below.

Each step, and every creative touch is well worth it for this cake! The average cupcake is practically a blank canvas just waiting to be poshed! Still wondering exactly what 'posh' is? Well, in this case, it's the extra effort put into making this cake special. It's taking the time to really put yourself into the dish, as well. It's having fun and being creative! (Never forget the flavor, though. Make your posh match the wonderful flavor in each dish!) And I have to say, every ounce of effort was well worth it for my daddy. For all the things he does for me, this was the least I could do to show him how much I love him! This one's for you, Daddy!

With love (for food),
--A dash of posh can make all the difference in your next dish!--