So here is an idea for some really cute cupcakes you can make and bring to any Valentine's party for your kiddos, even at the last minute! In fact, they're so easy to decorate that you can even let the kids do it!
These can be made as regular cupcakes, but the cupcakes in the picture are actually mini size. I'm really into baking the miniature version of cupcakes for events these days for several reasons.
- Pretty much everything is just cuter in its tiny form. Think humans. Think dogs. I love tiny things and so do kids.
- It also keeps teachers and the other moms for throwing shade your way for getting their kids all revved up on an absurdly large amount of sugar. In fact, every time I send mini cupcakes, SOMEONE thanks me for going small. The little haters just eat extra.
- Also, You can use less ingredients to make them, because you're producing (obviously) less volume, that is if you are keeping the number of treats per person the same.
- Are you using a boxed mix or baking from a recipe that yields the standard amount anyway? That's okay. You now have enough to send with all of the kids, while making the same amount. Hey, while you're at it, have one (or 2) with your coffee, leave a few behind to surprise the family with dessert later, send some home with other moms who want free dessert without the work, or just be generous let the teachers share them with the rest of the faculty and staff. Again, just a built in opportunity to wake up empty handed and go from zero to hero in a few minutes. Play Supermom and pretend it fits whenever you can!
- You don't need as much fondant to decorate them either, which is REALLY awesome if you are coloring your own batch of red. You could even just grab one of those single use premade packages they are selling in craft stores and grocery stores these days on the cheap.
- Decorating with fondant is easier for little hands, as well as big ones, when they are making smaller objects. Tiny hearts are much easier to keep clean and straight, whereas larger pieces of fondant get warped easily when handled.
- Perhaps the greatest benefit to making minis though, is time savings. Who doesn't love that?!! I have a double oven and multiple mini cupcake pans, so I can knock out nearly 100 minis in under 10 minutes in the ovens and have another set loaded and ready if needed. Check this out:
I know, I know, time spent in the kitchen with your children shouldn't necessarily be rushed, but we're talking about class parties. That means your under a deadline that dictates that they must be ready when you leave for school, and you know how it goes... You felt super ambitious when you signed up to bring a treat, but it's party day before you know it. If all that's true, then that means you have kids, and by default, you're probably running behind schedule already! Baking minis means you can procrastinate and try to be Supermom at the last second, and you can keep your kids busy by making them cut out shapes while you get ready to run out the door!
So are you ready to downsize for a quick and easy fix? Okay. When you get ready to bake, make your batter and frosting with whatever flavor combinations you love, or just happen to have the ingredients on hand to make them in a pinch. Then, try a couple of my secret hacks that will get your cupcakes coming out easy, quick, and cute, even if you let the kids make them!
****Use a pancake batter dispenser to fill the wrappers. It keeps things clean and you can just squeeze and release while moving right down the line. Here's what this looks like, instead of the scoop/drip method:
Don't have one of these pancake thingies? Try a large squeeze bottle or piping bag, but if you're letting the kids use it, be sure to close it off with a rubber band or one of those that they make especially for the job.
****To decorate with frosting, use the largest plain ole round tip you have (probably a Wilton #1A) in a piping bag. With that, the difference in size between the minis and the large cupcakes will give you that nice smooth top, instead of the swirly look that can sometimes, well let's just be honest... look like a pile of poop. Maybe I'm just too picky, but I don't like that look. If you are left with a peak or swirl on top that you don't like, you get to cover it with a red fondant heart anyway!
Okay, those are the tips I have right off the top of my head, for making Valentine's treats the fast and easy way. Happy Valentine's Day!