Forget the Cake: Make Birthday Cupcakes!
Having a birthday cake can either make your wallet a lot lighter or create a big mess; birthday cupcakes will both save you the mess, and in some cases it can even save you the preparation! Unless you go to a grocery store for your birthday cake—if you can even call it a cake, it’s mostly just flavorless sugar—you’re bound to spend quite a few dollars on this dessert, scaling up with the number of guests. On the other hand, if you choose to bake it yourself, it’ll also scale up in difficulty depending on how many guests you invite. Not to mention all of the different dishes that are made dirty from preparation and then the dozens of plates and forks you’ll need to wash!
Cupcakes are easy: if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to use several dishes to prepare it, start with the wet ingredients and gradually add the dry ones to ensure that it’s mixed well. (Baking experts will probably heavily shun me for saying that, but it honestly makes no difference.) From there, if you decide to use cupcake baking cups, then you won’t need to wash any plates or forks. If you decide against cupcake baking cups, then make sure that you first spray the tins with non-stick cooking spray for easy cupcake removal and easy cleanup. Additionally, most grocery stores and even some dollar stores have aluminum cupcake trays that you can dispose of after baking.
Birthday Cupcakes Can Be Part of the Entertainment
As a very customizable baked good, cupcakes can be fun for both kids and adults. For kids, a fun twist to cupcakes could be to bake them in ice cream cones (just follow the birthday cupcake recipes and bake it directly in the cone). Top it with frosting and sprinkles and you’re sure to fool all your guests. On the other hand, kids birthday cupcakes are special because they can serve as part of the entertainment—or at the very least, they will keep the kids busy for a while. For cute birthday cupcakes, you could divide the batter and add food coloring to the separate batters and then layer them in the cupcake cups; afterwards, you’ll have rainbow cupcakes which the kids will definitely love!
There are a variety of birthday cupcake ideas for setting up a decorating station, but all of them require you to bake the cupcakes beforehand. If you want to go the extra mile, though, you could have different flavored batters and let each child pick a flavor and possibly add chocolate chips or fruits to their cupcake before baking. To differentiate between the cupcakes, have each child mark a toothpick and stick it in the cupcake before baking—if you spray it with non-stick spray, then it should slip right out after it’s baked. Designate one of your tables as the “decorating station”, complete with different candies, toppings, fondant, and berries. After the cupcake has been baked, you can either frost the cupcake yourself or let each child frost their own cupcake, and send them off to have fun decorating the cupcakes they will later eat. (You could even hand out prizes for the best decorated cupcakes.)
Birthday Cupcakes Are Adult-Friendly, Too!
Although you could incorporate a decorating station into your grown-up party, a more elegant alternative is to bake your cupcakes in mini-cupcake tins so that each adult would have a few, rather than one. Then, alongside your decorating station with your toppings, have a cupcake fondue station complete with fondue forks (or wooden skewers) for the dipping. It’s fun and classy twist! When preparing the birthday cupcake recipes, you could even add chocolate-hinted stout or rum to the batter to give it a kick. (If you’re going to be baking for three hours, then most of the alcohol will evaporate.)
For the fondue station, the fondue doesn’t need to be hot for the dipping—it can be if you want it to, though—feel free to have several different frostings or icings to dip into and to add Bailey’s or white chocolate liqueur to them or any other flavor you’re enticed by. If nothing else, then these cupcakes will at least make your happy birthday cupcakes a little happier—at least in terms of you smiling after devouring one.
The drawback with these mini-cupcakes will be that you won’t have any room for candles; if you really want a candle, then you can add the alcoholic beverages to regular sized cupcakes, too, and skip out on the fondue station. Either way, this dessert will go well with milk, coffee, alcohol, juice, or most other drinks you’ll want to serve them with; they’ll serve as a nice surprise for your guests who might have been expecting the traditional cake, too! The real question is: why wouldn’t you want to serve birthday cupcakes that will bring you and your guests a few laughs along with scrumptious bites?
written by Rebecca, birthday December 3rd