Sunday, January 22, 2012

Camouflage Cupcake Sandwiches


After Amy and I made the neon rainbow cupcakes and whoopie pies a few days ago, I started thinking about making a camouflage version of a cupcake sandwich instead of a true Whoopie Pie.  The problem with Whoopie Pies, for me, is that I just can't stomach the idea of using a cup of shortening in a frosting/filling.  At some point I guess I will have to get over it, as it really is necessary sometimes, but for now I'm just going to avoid it and make cupcake sandwiches with buttercream icing.  There is such a difference in the taste to me when using shortening.  Do people really like it??  Until I get with the program and make proper Whoopie Pie filling I'll call these Cupcake Sandwiches.

Anyway, my Sister's boyfriend is going to Kuwait for a year.  He is in the National Guard (as is my sister  Sandy, who completed a tour in the Guard in Iraq) and has been given his orders to leave soon.  They have a 5 month old daughter, my incredibly beautiful niece Ellie.  She is the smiliest baby I've ever met!  Needless to say, they are quite unhappy about being separated for so long.  I feel terribly for Sister, Nate, and Ellie.  I wish there was something I could do to help, but there really isn't.  I can only bake.  So I dedicate this post and made these cupcake sandwiches in honor of them:  Army Camouflage for Nate and Sandy (who is also in the guard and served in Iraq), pink Camouflage for Ellie.


Here's how I made them:  I used a french vanilla boxed cake and split half of the batter into four equal parts in four separate bowls.  Put the other half of the batter aside.  I then dyed one of the four bowl black (using black gel dye), one army green (using kelly green gel mixed with some brown gel dye), brown (using brown gel), and, lastly, beige (using just a touch of brown gel added with a toothpick to control the amount added).  

Next, I spooned very small amounts of each color at a time into a whoopie pie pan.  After filling each cavity, I baked them for 8 minutes on 350 degrees.  

Before Baking
After Baking
Remove each cake and let cool on a wire rack.  With the other half of the cake batter, I again separated it into four separate bowls and dyed them varying colors of pink.  I baked them the same way.  While the cakes were cooling I made the icing.


Vanilla Buttercream Icing

2 sticks of butter
4 cups of confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons half and half

Using a mixer, beat butter until it is fluffy.  Add 3 cups of sugar - one cup at a time - mixing until it's completely incorporated.  Add vanilla and half and half along with last cup of sugar and mix, adding more half and half until the icing is the desired consistency.


For the army Camo cakes I dyed the icing light army green (a small amount of both kelly green gel and brown gel dye). 


 The pink Camo cakes I iced with pink buttercream.


I think they turned out quite nicely and would be great for birthday parties or a Soldiers' "Welcome Home".  I look forward to making them for Nate again a year from now!  I hope you like them....that is, if you can see them...because they are camouflage, ha ha ha....get it?!  This has been my Husband's favorite on-going joke.  And I miss it every time.  Maybe it will make you laugh, ha ha ha.

Thank you, as always, to our Armed Forces (especially my many family members) for all you do to protect and serve our country.


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59 comments:

  1. These are adorable. I love anything camo since we live and work in a military community but who doesn't now a days? I feel your pain with shortening. For me it's really just a consistancy difference. You can just put in half the shortening along with the butter to make the frosting stiffer. That way you maintain the buttery flavor.

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    1. Hi, Sunny! For how long are you and your family to be in Germany? My Sister, her boyfriend, my Brother-in-Law and several cousins are all active military, so camo is popular with our family, too! I have tried using a mixture of butter and shortening, but I don't like it! I need to get over this because I've been avoiding recipes that require shortening, LOL. Maybe butter flavored Crisco would help? Thanks for the tip!

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  2. I love these cookies, We are a family of hunters we all wear a lot of camo, i think i will make them for our fathers day dinner. Thanks for the ideal, what a great mind.Please tell your sister and her boy friend thanks for serving our country, If i wasn't for people like them we would not be able to hunt like we do. Great Job for the cookie and the service.

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    1. These would be so cute for Father's Day! What a great idea. :) I will pass along your appreciation to my Sister and her boyfriend. It does make them feel good to receive such comments from people! Thanks for your very nice comments!!

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  3. My grandson would love the camo cakes. What a fun idea.

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    1. Hi, Cindy! It can be difficult to make boy-appropriate desserts, I find, so I'm happy these fit the bill! I hope your Grandson enjoys them. :)

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    2. These look great! My son is having a "capture the flag/nerf" party next month. I think I'll make individual cupcakes, frost beige with a nerf dart topper!

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  4. These are soooooooo beautiful
    I love playing with colors and I really like what you did.
    It's beautiful

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    1. Hi, Winnie! Thank you so much for the compliment. I was excited to to try these when I thought of them and I'm very happy with the way they turned out. :) Playing with colors is fun and you never know what you'll end up with!

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  5. Ok those are absolutely adorable! Love the pink camo one for sure. I have to ask...does the whoopie pan have that fun grid design in the bottom? I love it!!!!!

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    1. Hi, Jocelyn! Yes, the grid is on the pan! The Whoopie Pie pan was a holiday gift from my mother. I like it because you can use the cakes either grid side up or rounded side up! You should be able to find the pan pretty easily at craft stores. Thanks, also, for including me on your FB page!! It really made my day. I'm your newest follower on your blog....and I do love thrift shopping, too!!! :)

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  6. My kids would love these! I found you through Chef in Training. Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I had fun making them and hope you will, too! Thanks for stopping by Life Is Sweets! :)

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  7. How fun! Kids would love these!
    You should join me for handmade 52! http://www.raisingoranges.blogspot.com
    Katie

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    1. Hi, Katie! Thanks for the invitation to your party. I posted my Raspberry Cupcakes. Love your blog! Have a great weekend! :)

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  8. This is such a cool idea.. Oh my gosh!! I love this... I am your newest follower. I found you on a link party!!! If you would like to check out my blog too. And follow me back. That would be wonderful!! I am kind of new to blogging, but excited to share ideas and recipes. And doing giveaways for Mineral makeup.

    -Brooke
    for-the-luv-of.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi, Brooke! Thank you so much....these were really fun to make. :) I am now following your blog, too! Thanks so much for joining mine. I am pretty new to blogging myself (six months) but I have been really enjoying it! Thanks again, Deb.

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  9. SO creative! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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    1. Thanks, Denise! I was very happy with the way these turned out. I appreciate you leaving a comment...they really make my day! Deb

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  10. wow!!They are so lovely!!Thanks for sharing with Midweek Fiesta...If you get a chance,pl link with my other event too Decorating Challenge- Valentine’s Day Ideas

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I missed your Midweek Fiesta while you were gone, glad you are back. :) I have linked these and a few other treats to your challenge. Thanks for the invite! Deb

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    2. These pretty & lovely cakes are in my to do list now!!will try them once i get a chance..... Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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  11. Thanks for sharing the idea! They are special cakes. I will try the recipe too.

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    1. Thank you, Selena! These are really fun....and delicious, too! I hope you do give them a try and enjoy them. :)

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  12. I have two boys, and they love camouflage anything. I will so be making a camo cake for my oldest on his b-day. Thanks for the wonderful idea. I am following you on Pinterest now. I would love for you to join my weekly Friday -Monday anything goes linky at Bacon Time.

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    1. Hi, Mindie! I'm so glad you found something perfect for your son's birthday! I will definitely join your party, thanks for the invite!! :)

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  13. Simply Superb!! You are definitely no beginner!! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Rosh...I assure you I am a beginner! Some things turn out better than others, but I keep trying. Thanks so much for the compliment, I really appreciate it! I hope you'll check out Life Is Sweets again soon. :) Debbie

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  14. Great idea, and I'm loving that pan- where did you find it? :D

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    1. Hello! These are pans by Wilton. They are Ice Cream Sandwich pans, rather than Whoopie Pie Pans. You can find them on Amazon.com. :) Have fun making these!!

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  16. These are really amazing, something different than you average "cupcake sandwich". I love the different colors too! Thanks for posting :)

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  17. Thank you very much! I had a lot of fun making them. :) Thank you so much for stopping by Life Is Sweets - hope to see you again soon!!

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  18. OMG...I love these!!! My husband & I are both hunters and I am always trying to think of things to make for him & his buddies for hunting camp. I just found it thanks to you!!! They are going to LOVE them!!! Great idea!!!

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  19. Is it OK to call camo "cute"? I need to make them soon ... and I love the texture from the pan!

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  20. These are awesome!!! But i was wondering where did you get the black, green, and brown color gels?

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  21. These are great! Awesome idea!

    -Carolyn
    www.occasionalcookies.blogspot.com

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  22. I loved the idea. Can you do this and make cupcakes?

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  23. Awesome, these sound great! Tbanks for posting this recipe. :)

    Lee Ann
    Crochetgottaloveit.blogspot.com

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  24. Do you know if these can be turned into cupcakes? I was thinking of doing a hidden type frosting thing where I cut the tops of the cupcakes off and frost between the two layers. That way you still get frosting but you don't lose the effect of the camo cupcakes!

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  25. lovin these! found you on pinterest :) great stuff!

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  26. I love this. :) I had this idea, but to do it as cupcakes for my nephew's birthday so when you bite into them, 'surprise!', it's camo! I'll also be putting green buttercream frosting on them, topped with a little toy army man. It'll be awesome. :)

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  27. Cute idea... saying nothing against that, but this is no whoopie pie, not even close!! Real whoopie pies are very complex to make and dont use any kind of pan and have very good filling that is nothing like you have ever tasted before!

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  28. I don't get how to get the colors into the pan. Because if you just put little globs of each color in at a time would they just spread out and make layers instead of tie-dye?? I'm confused and need help!! Thanks!!

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    1. No, they will not spread out. Just be sure to be careful when you add each blob.

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  29. I made these with red, white, and blue batter thanks for the great idea, they were a hit!

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  30. i was thinking about your comment about whoopie pie filling. I myself think anything with more than about 1/3 cup of powdered sugar or shortening is usually pretty sweet or gross. I found this recipe on pinterest that you might check out and try. its got marshmallow as the primary ingrediant. I'd found using marshmallow for fondant and making my own is soooooo much better than regular fondant from the store. I made a cake using my own chocolate marshmallow fondant and it tastes like less than chewy tootsie roll. my kids love it! Anyway, i just love your blog and your baking. I plan to visit often.

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  31. http://kidsinthesink.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/faith-friday-a-dessert/

    OOPS! the recipe. :)

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  32. just wondering...cakes are usually very light, do these "cookies" come out firm enough to stay together when eating? I envision taking one bite and them falling apart. I want to make for my grandson's birthday, as he is headed for a career in the service. thanks

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  33. ..and so happy , found the Wilton pans half price at Meijer store!!! also ended up with a donut pan for half price. Bring on the baking !!!

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  34. These are SO COOL! My husband's (who is also in Kuwait at the moment) flight does a lot of bake sales - I think these are gonna be my next donation! :) Thanks so much! These are great! (And, my 2 cents - I HATE shortening in icing. I'm a butter cream girl myself. I never use a "traditional" Whoopie Pie filling - I use butter cream.)

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  35. Thanks for taking the time to figure out the camo dynamic. I'll be baking up some cupcakes for a little camo crazed 5 year old and I can't wait to make them for a darling niece when her tour is done -- although she might be tired of all things camo related by then. I'm sure others have passed this icing trick along to you, but you can cut the shortening down to 6 tablespoons (use butter flavored) and add 1/4 tsp. of salt. The salt cuts the "greasy" mouth feel while the small amount of shortening will give you the fluff most people look for. It's an old bakery trick I learned from an old baker LOL. Best of luck and I hope everyone is home safely soon.

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  36. My take on shortening - I'm lactose intolerant & the tiniest bit of butter will keep me 'busy' for a couple of days. So since I already have to skip chocolate, cream cheese, nutella, etc, Crisco is my cuppycake savior.

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  37. In our recipes we substitute the Crisco with a product called "Brite White" I believe you can buy it in 2 pound packages. It's awesome and saves you from the greasy feeling. Good luck!

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  38. HI -- I just found your post as a customer of mine requested camo cupcakes. I like the whoopie pies better because you can see the camo design. Nice job! and oh, by the way I NEVER use crisco in any of my cakes or frostings -- it's never a problem. I have four different frostings which range in texture and taste -- all of them very good. Look up Ermine Frosting and try it out -- you'll love it.

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  39. I love this. Do you have any ideas on what colors would work for a Navy Camo cupcake. I have tried making it a few different times and have failed miserably each time.

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  40. Awesome idea!! Think i will make them for my hubby and his friends who are all former military!! Also like the idea of red white and blue for the 4th of July!! And LOVE the camo joke, we use it in my home all the time lol!

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  41. do you know how many one box of cake mix makes??

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