Happy Sunday! This week brought a 4 year olds Baseball themed Birthday Party! Matt loves baseball, everything about it so his mom wanted to throw him a party with all the trimmings including these baseball themed cupcakes.
A quick word about cupcakes. These are perfect for the younger child's party since kids still have an issue with using utensils and they are usually sitting on the ground or walking around with the cake making eating it even more of a challenge. Yes, there is always the mess of frosting on the hands but that's the same even if they use a fork at the age of 4! LOL!
Matt is a vanilla cake sort of kid and so that is what these cupcakes were for his party. Now I'm not a vanilla cake with vanilla icing sort of person but I sure know lots who say this is their favorite combination! In fact my own son, Jack, who is 11, would pick this as well. And, yes, I always ask the preference of the birthday kid to make sure I'm getting the flavors right. In this particular situation I made all of the cupcakes the same flavor but in large orders like this one I could have made them 3 or 4 different flavors.
Once the cupcakes were totally cool I "flat frosted" them. This just means I used an offset spatula to smooth on the icing. I then used a round cookie cutter the same size as the cupcake top to make light line impressions on the top of the icing. I just moved in from one side and pressed lightly and then moved in from the other side and pressed lightly.
I have made these cupcakes before without the red center line, trying to make them look more like a real baseball and they didn't get the same response as when I use the red center line. I have no idea why but have learned that if that's what the crowd wants then that is what the crowd gets!
Red icing is really really hard to get right. And usually you have to use SO much red gel coloring that it ends up being a rather expensive thing to do as well. This is one of those occasions where I buy the red tube of icing instead. One tube will easily do this pattern on 48 cupcakes with some left over. I just squirted the tube icing into a piping bag in order to use the tip I wanted. Then I piped the center line and followed that line with little V's. I have found that, for me, piping right side up V's down one side and then turning the cupcake around and piping more V's seems to work for me. However you choose to do it, just take your time. By the 12th cupcake you will have it down and will be able to go much faster but up till that point take your time or your V's will start to look uneven and messy. And you can not lift off red. It stains the white so wherever you place it, it stains.
And speaking of stains...while this little bit of red won't stain your mouth...any time you use a dark or vibrant color you will be guaranteeing your guests a weirdly colored mouth after eating their cupcakes. Now, kids LOVE this effect but the parents are less than thrilled to end up with purple teeth and lips so make sure to have some uncolored frosted cupcakes for those adults who don't want the "fun" of the dyed ones.
So, in answer to the inevitable question of "does this take a lot of time to do", yes, it does. But it's not terribly hard, it just takes time and patience. In the end the kids were thrilled. One said it was like he had his own baseball on his plate! Ok, high praise from a 4 year old! LOL!
I didn't get to see the whole party set up when I delivered the cupcakes but she certainly had enough fun looking party supplies to get the look right. Happy Birthday Matt!
I decided to make up a Party Plan over at the Cherry Party Blog to match the cupcakes so look for that party tomorrow when I post that blog! Lot's of fun for anyone in your family who loves the game!
And we have one more week of fun St. Patrick's Day tips over on our Facebook Fan Site so we hope you drop on by there and take a look as well!