Saturday, October 22, 2011

Birthday cupcakes, Zombie style!

Happy Birthday?

  My little man turns 7 next weekend.  And I was so lucky to have an almost Halloween baby.  It is my favorite holiday, which really isn't a holiday in the total sense of the word, but you know what I mean.  So I knew from the day he was born that I would be having all these Halloween themed birthdays for him.  Up until this date I have had 0 Halloween themed parties for him.  Darn kid has his own ideas, I will have to work on that.

  Anyway, this is to be the first year since he turned 1 that we are having an at home family only party.  The first year we did it at home with family and friends and I said never again.  I had to clean, and when I say clean, I mean tidy up, because I never really clean.  Not even for family.  So every year since I have rented out a play place, a community centre or what ever.  Anything not to have to clean.

  Then this year, I thought I would ask my son if he would like to go to Great Wolf Lodge instead of a big party.  I thought, less hassle, no planning and I get to wear a bathing suit.  That last part was really a con to the whole thing, but you have to do what you have to do to get out of cleaning.  So that is what we are doing, going away and having just a small family party at home.  So there will be some cleaning.  Oh and baking, lot's of baking!

  So since his birthday is the weekend of Halloween I thought we would make treats for his hockey team the weekend before.  I found this really cute zombie cupcake set at winners.  Because nothing screams happy birthday like zombies. 
Zombie cupcake kit.

  So I made regular old chocolate cupcakes from a mix, because I like the taste, and it was easy.  Most kids don't know the difference between a mix and scratch, or at least mine can't so that is how we are going to do it.

  I made the cupcakes smaller, so I got a full 24 out of the mix and then made my own frosting.  I love butter cream to decorate cupcakes with. It is simple and it requires very few ingredients.  Also I never measure, I just know what I am looking for. So I will tell you approximately how I do it and you can go from there.

My super easy butter cream icing.

Approx 1 cup butter
Approx 3/4 cup shortening
2 TBS of vanilla *
Approx 5 cups of icing sugar
milk as needed

So I start by creaming the butter and shortening.  Once they are mixed I add my vanilla* and some milk, maybe 1/4 cup of milk to start. Then I add the icing sugar a cup at a time until it gets too thick to mix, then I alternate milk and icing sugar until I get the amount of icing I want and it is the consistency I like.  I like it thicker so I can pipe it on and it will hold a nice shape.  Thin it out a little if you are using it for a cake or filling.

*if you want to be fancy you can use vanilla bean paste instead, it adds a stronger flavour I think, and it makes white icing look neat with all the bean flecks.  Since I usually colour my icing I don't use it, only for white icing.  Just my preference.

All set to decorate.  If you have these cupcake wraps, put them on before you ice the cupcake, less mess.

  I coloured mine green with Americolor soft gel food paste in electric green. ( this is the store where I usually order mine from.) Then I used a large fluted tip in a disposable piping bag.  I use disposable bags so I don't have to wash the real bags and couplers.  It is just to save time, and I am all about the time saving.  I start on the outside of the cupcake and make a spiral towards the middle.  You sort of overlap the icing to get it to look like it is rising.  Hope that makes sense.  Then I took these cute Wilton bone sprinkles I found at winners and sprinkled those on.
From the Wall O' Sprinkles.

  The kit had all these zombie parts, I waited for the icing to crust a little so if the paper parts touched they would not get too greasy.  My kid put the parts in and I made up the cupcake sleeves.  And there you go.

A simple swirl and sprinkles.

My son putting the body parts.  He complained there were not enough heads.

  Since I had to hand them out at hockey I packed them in these little boxes I got at the warehouse.  They are a little pricey, about 75 cents each for the box and insert, but it makes for an easy delivery.   I think the kids really liked them and it was easy to make for him. 

  Next week for his actual party I have cookies, cake pops, cupcakes and a mini cake to make.  So I will share those after it is all said and done.

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