Tag Archives: baking

Filled Zebra Cupcakes


(I apologize all of these pictures are kind of blurry taken with my HTC One…only I would stick a full SD card in my DSLR at the last minute and not have time to swap it to take pictures.)

After my huge success (to me) with my Dirt Bike Cake back in July, I planned to do something really awesome for the Mr.’s birthday in September (yesterday)…not sure if it’s because I wanted to focus more on the aestetics, or because I waited til the last minute and was feeling especially lazy, but I committed the culinary sin of using a boxed cake mix. It was tough to do, but I picked up a box of Duff’s Cake Mix. It’s dairy and egg free, dye free, and high fructose corn syrup free, so while it was still a boxed mix, it was missing all of the major things I try to avoid.


Since I’m out of my Ener-g Egg Replacer, I used Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer (that reminds me, I’m almost out of that too).


The concept for the zebra stripes is easy enough, black and white cake layered. I wasn’t sure if it would come out in cupcakes, but I gave it a shot.


I overfilled the cups to make 12 large cupcakes (with my small oven I was *not* waiting around to do two batches), and baked for about 25 minutes.


Sometimes when using egg replacers, things don’t hold together as well, but these came out crispy and firm on the outside and really fluffy on the inside.


I spent WAY too long (I’m embarrassed to admit it was probably hours) searching for what kind of cake/cupcake to make. I really wanted to make a filled cupcake since I never have before. I thought about chocolate with a strawberry or raspberry filling, but I’ve found chocolate cakes don’t seem to hold up as well sans the eggs like the vanilla for some reason. Or a s’mores with a (vegan) marshmallow filling, but again, chocolate would probably be the preferred cake type, and I haven’t been able to find graham crackers without HFCS.

Even though the dude doesn’t really care for Oreos (did he really expect to get what *he* wanted on his birthday?), I read about crushing chocolate sandwich cookies (I used an organic dairy free cookie) and putting them in vanilla batter. I hadn’t really decided on the boxed mix until I saw it at the store, and the black and white made it even easier for me. I skipped the cookies in the inside and just used half of one on the top as garnish.

cake 11

For the filling, I used a sharp steak knife and scooped a little bit of the cupcake out. It was my first time, and it was super simple.


I put a dollop of frosting in the inside.

cake1The cake was so fluffy that I didn’t have to cut any off of the middle insert…I just squished it back on.


I finished with another dollop of vanilla icing and then half a faux Oreo.

cake4I only filled four cupcakes, and I still ran out of icing…so some were a little bare, but they were so sweet that I actually preferred the ones without.


Terrible picture, but delicious, I promise.


Zebra in full effect.

I sent my mom a picture and she told me to freeze her one for the next time I see her. Considering they’re almost gone already, there’s no way that’s going to happen, but since her birthday is in 9 days I guess I will just have to make more cupcakes!

My First Decorated Cake That Looked Like It Was Supposed To


Let me preface this post by saying: I am *the* worst baked good decorator on the planet. I think it’s a lot of fun, but I just don’t have that skill. I can barely icing a cupcake without it looking it like someone smushed it on the floor.

Second disclaimer: This cake is completely egg/dairy free, but there is a LOT of sugar. It’s a special occasion, and we rarely ever have sugary treats in the house, but I still feel guilty for having the center of a birthday celebration be a sugary slice of cake. I stand by that there are way healthier ways to celebrate, and most of the time I try to make a more wholesome “cake” or treat. That being said, I bough a can of pressurized green frosting to create the grass of the cake. Yum, lots of artificial colors and crap. I *hate* using food coloring! Now that I’ve beaten myself up enough about it, let’s move onto the cake!

I like to make a cake a few days ahead of time and freeze it. Mostly, because it’s something I can do ahead of time and not worry about it last minute, but it also makes it easier to ice. Be sure to let it thaw completely before icing it.

I defrosted (organic) strawberries in the fridge, and sliced them up real thin for a middle layer. I was kind of nervous that it would get funky, or ruin it somehow, but it came out really good. I could’ve done a better job slicing more evenly, and then I could’ve probably added more.

I used crushed up (organic, vegan) chocolate sandwich cookies (think Oreos) for the dirt path. I put a thin strip of icing down under it to help it stick.

Then I used a can of Wilton decorating icing for the grass area. I considered dying coconut green, but I’d still be using artificial colors, and not everyone likes coconut, so I stuck with the icing. It was really, really easy to use.

The most enjoyed part of the cake was the BMX toy. The requested cake was supposed to be a “bike” cake, because my (now) 6yo just started riding his bike without training wheels. I could not find a normal bike toy anywhere, but luckily I found this at Target for 6 bucks. Despite loving anything sugary, I think this was his favorite part of the cake.


Frozen cakes, thawed.


Layer of mostly thawed strawberries. The bottom layer was cracking, and I used the strawberries to paste it together a little bit.


I made sure the strawberries were on the cake with no icing underneath them, so the cake would absorb any liquid. This worked out really well. I put a thin layer of icing on top (a little bit more and more evenly then shown here).


I iced the sides and then put a strip to hold the “dirt” on.


Crushed up chocolate sandwich cookies, and the start of the grass.


Finished cake, sans BMX dude.


Super cool BMX dude.


I used tooth picks to hold him in place on the cake. I tried to write “Happy Birthday” but the icing wasn’t as thick as the grass and just kind of dissolved. No one noticed.


Sometimes vegan cakes don’t hold up well, and even with this one, one layer was a little more crumbly than the other, but overall it turned out great.


Do you have any tips for decorating baked goods? Are there any more natural or healthier options out there?