Bake It in a Cake

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Baby Shower Surprise Cupcakes

Bake your baby into a cake! Okay, don’t really do that. That’s horrible. But you can bake your baby’s gender into a cake.

If you’re pregnant (or know someone who is) a fun idea is to reveal the gender of the baby at the baby shower, and what better way to do that than to bake it into a cake? When your guests bite into the cupcakes, they’ll find out if the new addition is a boy or a girl. Cute, right? 

While I used pink and blue as an example, don’t be afraid to be a rebel. Don’t follow the gender stereotypes—do orange for a girl or green for a boy. Break the rules, you’re the boss.

Makes about 20 cupcakes.

For the cake balls you’ll need:

1 box white cake mix (and its required ingredients)
food coloring
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 

For the cupcakes you’ll need:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar 
3 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 t. vanilla 
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/3 c. whole milk 

For the buttercream you’ll need:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla extract 
2 T. milk 


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Combine the box mix and its ingredients according to the box’s directions. Add food coloring, a few drops at a time, until you reach the desired shade. Pour into a 13x9 cake pan and bake according to directions (the cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean).

Allow the cake to cool, then crumble the cake into find crumbs. Next, use a fork or spatula (or your hands—it’s fun and messy!) to combine the cake crumbs with the cream cheese. Mix until well combined. It will end up feeling like cake Play-Doh.

Use a 1” cookie scoop to roll the cake dough into balls. Place them on a plate or cookie sheet and refrigerate them while you make the cupcake batter.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir until combined. Then add the baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix for about a minute, until creamy (be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice, to ensure everything is getting worked in). Then add the milk and flour, alternating between the two ingredients (to avoid lumps) until the batter is smooth and everything is well combined. 

Scoop a heaping tablespoon of batter into paper-lined cupcake tins. Place one cake ball in each tin, then scoop another heaping tablespoon of batter on top, so the cake ball is completely covered and the tins are 3/4 of the way full. 

Bake for about 22-25 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and set (it will bounce back when you gently press your finger into a cupcake). 

Allow the cupcakes to cool, while you make the buttercream.

For the buttercream, whip up the butter to get it good and creamy. Then add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions (to make sure everything is getting incorporated). Drizzle in some vanilla, mix some more, and give it a taste to make sure you have enough vanilla and sugar. You can also add milk, about a tablespoon at a time, to make the frosting a little more fluffy. Once you have the desired texture and taste, pipe a mound onto all the cupcakes.

My cookbook, Bake It in a Cupcake: 50 Treats With a Surprise Inside, is available now at: Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and!

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