I am new to this whole food blogging thing so be patient! I’m not an English teacher (that’s my sister), so my grammer and punctuation won’t be perfectly proper. I can guarantee that! I am a model after all, so my brain is only about half the size of a normal person’s right? That will be my excuse.
With that being said, my twin nieces just entered into the terrible twos…I mean…they just turned two. They had a safari themed party, and can I just say that I never realized how much pressure goes into picking out a hip and trendy theme for your child’s birthday party until I finally had a child of my own! With Pinterest filled with cute party favors, crafty food and beverage tables, detailed theme-oriented decorations, witty personalized invitations, AND thank you cards; birthday parties are no longer just a box of cheap pizza at the community swimming pool… But hey, there is NOTHING wrong with a box of pizza at the pool, just saying.
Creating the perfect birthday party is no longer just about making your child happy. Many times it’s about impressing the other parents and making their children wish you were their parent. RIGHT?! Sorry, it’s the truth, but lucky for you, I’m here to show you how to make the cutest little safari themed cupcakes that are so easy and delicious that all the other parents AND their children will be wishing YOU were their mom! Oh and your kid will be happy too…
First, we have to make the zebra stripped cupcakes. Similar to marble cupcakes, but when you bite into them, it will actually look like zebra stripes! No it’s not sorcery; all you have to do is layer your two flavors of batter on top of each other, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you have about 6 layers.
Marble cakes are great for kids because we all know how indecisive they are. Having to choose between chocolate and vanilla can be seriously mentally draining. I get it. That’s why marble cake was invented! Top these babies with green “grass” buttercream and it’s as simple as that. I used a #233 Wilton piping tip to achieve the grass-like appearance for the frosting, but if you don’t feel like using a piping bag, you can just spread on some frosting, and using the back of a fork or spoon, just dab on the tops up and down to get the frosting to stand up a bit (if that makes any sense.)
Aww like little cupcake mugshots. I know the frosting is supposed to look like grass, but it sort of looks more like bird turd. That’s what happens when you have a toddler clinging to your leg the whole time…
My sister gave me these animal print candles to top them with, but mini plastic safari animals would also be super cute and leave the guests with a little party favor that you can just get from the dollar store!
And here’s a little tip: I just happen to live in hell, I mean… Arizona. The party was outside, and it was like 110 degrees that day (which is sudden death for buttercream frosting), BUT how I prevented the grass from turning into a pond, was by placing the finished cupcakes in the freezer for about an hour before delivering them to the party. It hardens the frosting so that it’s easier to transport and it doesn’t melt as quickly. You could also just leave the cupcakes in the fridge for a few hours and take them out just before you need to leave. But even after keeping them nice and cold, a few of them still suffered from heat exhaustion… to the point where the butter actually separated from the frosting!
My son didn’t seem to mind much…
NOTE: You could use regular cocoa powder for the chocolate portion of the batter, but I was given strict instructions to keep the stripes looking as dark as possible, so I opted for the special dark cocoa powder. Alternatively, you could just add a bit of black food coloring to the regular cocoa powder, OR you could use this zebra stripes technique with any color you like and just divide the plain vanilla batter in half and add in a few drops of food coloring to one of the batters.
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