My kids love to cook… Mama doesn’t always like the mess and I often think, “I can do this so much faster by myself“. That said, I’m trying to get better about bringing the kids into the kitchen with me. A recent fun food project we created were Natural Soda (pop) cupcakes.
The resulting treats are very springy in texture, similar to a sponge cake with a light flavor from the soda choice. We use chicken eggs but go sans dairy and gluten due to Celiac and allergies.
Warning: these are not low in sugar or fat, so bake at your discretion. Soda Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Gather the supplies:
- Cupcake pans and liners (if desired)
- Mixing bowl & spoons (we need four so each kid can help)
- Measuring spoons and cups
Cupcake ingredients: (Yields 24-26 cupcakes)
- 1 boxed cake mix (we use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)
- 1 can (12oz) Hansen’s Natural soda (we like raspberry or orange/lime)
- 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant pudding mix (or use 1/2 cup of this homemade version from Miserly Mom).
- 5/6 cup olive oil
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten (haven’t tried egg replacer yet, so if you do please let me know how it goes!)
- India Tree and Let’s Do Sprinzelz decorating sugars
- India Tree Nature’s Color food colorant
- 6 oz cream cheese at room temp (I’ve successfully used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
- 4 oz butter at room temp (I’ve used Earth Balance)
- 5 cups powdered sugar (more or less for desired consistency)
- 1 Tbs vanilla
- A couple tablespoons vanilla almond milk
If your children are old enough, divide them into two groups. One set of children can mix up the frosting while the other works on the cupcakes. In my case, we just have each kid pour in an ingredient, mix it up for a minute and then the next child gets a turn.
The cake is simple, dump all the ingredients together and mix well to remove any lumps. Pour into muffin cups about 2/3 full (I’ve found that using a 1/4 or 1/2 cup measuring cup with a slight spot works well to prevent spillage). The kids can also pipe the batter into muffin pans using icing bags and tips.
Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes or until cupcakes are slightly golden, springy to the touch and a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 mins then move to a cooling rack. Frost once they are cool to the touch.
The frosting works great with the whisk attachment in my Kitchenaid, but a hand blender should work also. Beat together the cream cheese and butter (or subs) until smooth and creamy. This should take about a minute. Begin adding the powder sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Continue beating as you add sugar. Add the vanilla and a scant tablespoon of almond milk, beat well. Add more almond milk if needed, one teaspoon at a time. If things get too thin, add a bit more powder sugar.
Separate into bowls and color as desired. For ours, we used white, yellow and orange (because those are the natural food dyes I had available). The kids enjoyed piping the frosting onto the cupcakes using assorted tips. To keep things simple, I gave each child a bag of one color with a fun tip on it. They each did their cupcakes with the same frosting and tip and then used sprinkles to personalize.