An Excuse for Cupcakes

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on June 20, 2010

in Baking, family

I’ll use anything as an excuse to cook or bake. Last day of school? YAY! I’ll cook! It’s Thursday at 3 p.m.! HOORAY! Cupcake time! It’s Father’s Day! Time to bake…

I really wish I could figure out a way to ship cupcakes across the country to my dad, but since I can’t, he’ll have to settle for a picture of what he would’ve gotten…sorry Dad!

I saw a picture somewhere during the week that sparked an idea… that’s usually how things work with me! Combine this idea with the fact that I now have 7 colors of gel food coloring, I knew I had to go for it. Go for what? You’ll see…

I started with a basic white cake recipe I found online at Cupcake Ideas Now!, a great website if you haven’t seen it yet:

Basic White Cake


* 1/2 cup butter or shortening at room temperature

* 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

* 1 cup sugar

* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1 egg

* 3/4 cup milk

* 1 teaspoon vanilla OR 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put shortening in a mixing bowl.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together in separate bowl.
  4. With a mixer, mix the dry ingredients in slowly with the shortening.
  5. Add 1/2 cup milk and the egg to the dry ingredients and beat until flour is fully moistened.
  6. Add the remaining milk and the vanilla and/or almond flavoring and beat for about another minute.
  7. Place paper liners in muffin pan and fill halfway full with the batter.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Makes about 18 cupcakes.


What? Plain white cupcakes?? I think not. I divided the batter into two bowls, 1/3 and 2/3. I left the 1/3 alone. The 2/3 bowl got an addition of 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips and hot pink food coloring. Do you know where I’m going with this yet? I layered the batter in the cupcake tins, about 1/2 full with the pink mixture and topped with the white. Then, once baked and cooled, I made a white glaze out of 2/3 c. powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. water, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and dipped each cupcake top.

I know, I’ll get to the pictures in a minute, just bear with me.

Then, I made the same icing I made for Skylar’s birthday cupcakes (remember the rainbow ones?) and dyed it a lovely light green. Are you ready for this?

Watermelon cupcake

Can you tell what that’s supposed to be?? Maybe this will help:

Watermelon cupcake

It’s a watermelon cupcake!! Now, they’re not watermelon flavored, they’re a lovely almond-vanilla flavor. I gave them as a gift to my stepdad and his dad for Father’s Day, and one was sampled at the table after dinner. They were quite a hit! I wish you could see the “seed” speckles more in this picture, but alas, my one sample cupcake didn’t get a good seed batch. I’d recommend this cake recipe with ONE suggestion. DON’T overfill your cupcakes. The recipe said half full. I went more like two-thirds full and they expanded over the top of the tin and were hard to decorate and remove from the pan. Next time, I’ll follow directions.

They’re cute though, right?

I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Wei-Wei June 20, 2010 at 10:08 PM

This is so so so incredibly cute! I think I saw Watermelon Cupcakes somewhere on CutestFood, too! I also like to take every excuse to bake, to pawn off all my baked goods ;) Happy Father’s Day!



MarathonVal June 20, 2010 at 10:44 PM

I, too, use any excuse to bake but somehow mine NEVER look even half as cute as your do! ;)


Kristina June 21, 2010 at 12:00 AM

these are amazing! I LOVE the bright colors.

…I’m going to that website now…
Kristina´s last blog post ..peanut butter brownie minis


Mama Pea June 21, 2010 at 12:28 AM

Those are so flipping cute!!! You are really a talented cook, my dear. Now next year, you must come out here for Father’s Day!
Mama Pea´s last blog post ..Strudel Therapy


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is June 21, 2010 at 5:14 AM

AHHH!H!!! My favorite colors. You are so talented!
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog post ..Happy Father’s Day!


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg June 21, 2010 at 5:17 AM

Ahhh, that is so cute! I make some watermelon cookies in the summer that have the same concept…but these look very tasty!

And hey– I love plain white cupcakes! :-)
Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg´s last blog post ..Home Again, Home Again


Lauren June 21, 2010 at 5:53 AM

ANy excuse for a cupcake is a darn good excuse! I just had a carrot cake cupcake this weekend and I think that may be a new favorite. Would you be up for putting this one in the cupcake rotation? :)
Lauren´s last blog post ..Secret Weekend


shelly June 21, 2010 at 6:02 AM

The cupcakes are soo cute!
shelly´s last blog post ..Sunday Dinner and Weekday Lunch


Biz June 21, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Love the colors!! Great job Mara!


Melissa(MelissaLikesToEat) June 21, 2010 at 9:15 AM

THat may be the cutest cupcake I’ve ever seen!
Melissa(MelissaLikesToEat)´s last blog post ..139.6


living_insanity June 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM

These are beautiful :) I may try them for July 4th
living_insanity´s last blog post ..Half and Half Cookies


Lele June 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

THOSE ARE SO CUTE! I used to live those watermelon cookies (that also tasted nothing like watermelon) you’d get at the grocery store in the summer- your recipe looks a lot more NATURAL!


Autumn June 21, 2010 at 8:46 PM

These are too cute!! I am going to have to make these this summer for something! I love them!!!
Autumn´s last blog post ..Stuffed Chicken Breast and Sauteed Vegetables…


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