This past weekend we had a dirt themed party for my little guy who turned two. A dirt theme means lots of brown which translates to blah, boring, bland for party decorations. Are brown plates, balloons, cake and food going to excite the two year old set? I didn’t think so. Sure we had some brown stuff going on, but I threw in splashes of fun bright colors here and there. My best splash of color was the cake! We’ve all seen a dirt cake, but when you cut into this one you get eye popping polka dots with some ‘grass’ covered cupcakes spread about. Sure did put an exciting twist on the cake! I can still hear the ooohs and ahhhs and excitement from the kiddos. Get this super fun spice up your cake how to after the jump…
Batter pour with buddy watching 1 of 6
Plop the cooked mini cupcakes into the chocolate cake batter 2 of 6
Grass mini cupcakes with worms 3 of 6
Dump truck cake 4 of 6
Dump truck dig in 5 of 6
Surprise! There’s colorful polka dots in the cake! 6 of 6
Polka Dot Dirt Cake Recipe
For the polka dots I used a white cake mix from the store that doesn’t contain any really bad stuff (hydrogenated oils). I divided the batter into bowls and added AmeriColor gel food coloring in electric colors. Then we pour then into mini muffin pans and baked for 10 minutes, removed from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the chocolate cake I used the Hershey’s ‘perfectly chocolate’ chocolate cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an extra deep 10 inch cake pan. combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer. Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and mix on medium for 2 minutes. While the batter is mixing microwave 1 cup of water for 2 minutes. Carefully and slowly stir in the water. The batter will be thin. Pour into pan and put the already cooked mini cupcakes into the batter. They will float and they will not burn or dry out while cooking. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan after 10 minutes and allow to cool on a cooling rack, but leave cake right side up – the top will be lumpy with cupcakes.
Chocolate buttercream Frosting – no I do not use shortening
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
Mix all the ingredients until creamy.
When the cake has cooled frost and sprinkle with chocolate cookies and add some gummy bears. I made extra chocolate cake batter so I made mini cupcakes and another cake which I then crumbled up and put in the back of a clean dump truck, slapped some frosting on and stuck some gummy worms here and there. This was just for fun and the kid got a kick out of it and some of the adults had to give it a try. Yes, it was a lot of baking, but so worth it for the dirt party and my kids and I had a blast cooking together.