I do not think I am going to get much blogging done in between now and the end of summer quarter (August 16th.) Honestly it is kind of all I can do to keep up with my homework and studying. I didn’t realize when I decided to do 12 credits over summer that it was only 6 weeks long rather then 12+ weeks, so it is very intensive.
Doing pretty good with the whole making food in advance and eating out of jars except… I need to find time to grocery shop.
Anyhow back to mathematics and sociology.
Arguably the most important part of a birthday party is the cake, it is also the thing I got the most questions about. Initially I had intended on making a layered rainbow cake with natural dyes (I found a tutorial for that!) but when I saw these cake jars on pinterest and showed them to SpaceFox, the decision was set.
Though my method was more or less the same, I changed a few things about the recipe, most notably using my own whole wheat yellow cupcake recipe (which I will share below.) I also used the full spectrum of rainbow colours. Due to time constraints I opted for bottled natural dyes from India Tree… mostly. Their blue was not blue at all in my opinion (more of a muddled grey) so I used artificial blue (red is the artificial colour I really wanted to avoid anyhow.) I also ran out of natural dyes on my last batch so those were all artificial. If I did it again, I would just adapt the cake tutorial I linked above that uses all those fruit and vegetables juices to make the colours. Bottled natural dyes are not worth their (rather obscene) cost when I can do better on my own.
In other changes, I also used half pint wide mouth canning jars to cook the cake in rather then standard mouth pint canning jars (fyi, they NEED to be canning jars, only they will stand up to the heat in the oven.) It also turned out six jars is the perfect size for one batch of my cupcake recipes and six jars also fit perfectly in my only 9×13 pyrex dish.) I loved this method of cooking cake, it made it really moist and also, once cooled, I could put lids on the jars and stick them in the freezer (which was great for making it all up in advance.) Just thaw them overnight on the counter the day before the party.
My friend Andrea made the icing for me on the day of the party (I don’t like making icing.) I have no idea how she made it beyond it had a block of cream cheese, whipped egg whites and some amount of powdered sugar in some mystic combination, sprinkled with coconut to look like clouds. Any white icing would work though.
A note before I post my cupcake recipe, all my ingredients are organic but I assume you could use any variety of these ingredients. I grind my own wheat which is why practically everything I bake is whole wheat. King Arthur makes a nice white whole wheat flour I have used before. I suppose you could sub some of the sugar for something else, but we have sugar so rarely that I don’t. Organic white sugar does cook a little differently then bleached white sugar though, something to keep in mind.
Jaspenelle’s Yellow Cupcakes
(makes 12 standard cupcakes or 6 half pint cake jars)
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat over to 350°F (175°C). Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners (or set up six half pint canning jars in a 9×13 pyrex dish.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In your standing mixer beat together eggs and sugar for a couple minutes on a medium high setting. Gradually add in butter and vanilla.
- Setting your mixer to a slow setting, add half the dry ingredients and then all of the milk, followed with the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly between your containers. If you are going to colour it, divide the batter evenly between some bowls, dye it, and then divide the batter between your containers. (If you do six rainbow colours, a little less then a tablespoon of each colour is needed per jar.)
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes for standard cupcakes and 35 to 40 minutes fro cake jars. Cook on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing cupcakes from tin (just leave them in the jars until completely cool.) You can get them out of the jars if you like by running a knife around the edge and then easing them out after they are completely cool.
If you end up making these (though I am betting any cake recipe from this to carrot cake would work in jars) do let me know, especially if you take photos! (All these photos were done by the ever talented Andrea Parrish Geyer.)