November 21, 2010

Tailgate Football Cupcakes

Are you all familiar with Movember? It happens every November; many guys start growing a mo' (moustache = symbol of manliness) and keep it for the whole month in the name of prostate cancer.

In honor of Movember, C&C Cakery is holding The Manly Cupcake Challenge (and has started a donation team), to bring awareness of prostate cancer to the blogosphere. It's a great way for gals like myself to contribute, despite our inability to grow a mo'. The challenge: make a manly cupcake, in flavor or in decoration.

Here's how this cupcake is manly: 1) Beer (flavor), 2) Football, 3) BBQ Grill (meat!), 4) Lack of frilly liners, 5) Matcha (bitterness to tamper down on frosting sweetness), 6) Nature colors, and 7) Fire (the closest I could get to an explosion).

Cool right? I think the grill cookies would also be great for a BBQ or a 4th of July party. And, of course, these cupcakes would be great for the Superbowl, with the footballs decorated with your team's colors. So now that you're acquainted with Movember, if you have to time, read up more about it and donate.
The Manly Cupcake Contest Prize Sponsors: Blush Printables, Hello Hanna, Elise Steven’s Illustration and Design, Taraduff, Miss Kitty Creations, Bella Cupcake Couture, Drama Llama, & My Creative Side.

P.S. My friend mentioned that I should do something school spirit-y in this post, so I made some Cal football cake bites as well :) (see below).

Tailgate Football Cupcakes
brown or tan colored cupcakes (ex. Beer Spice Cupcake recipe below or chocolate cupcakes)
green colored frosting (ex. matcha frosting recipe below or vanilla frosting tinted with green food coloring)
BBQ grill cookies (recipe below)
football cake bites (recipe below)
white chocolate
black sesame powder
piping bag
parchment paper

Melt white chocolate. Add a bit of black sesame powder until it is desired shade of gray. Place the chocolate in a piping bag. On a sheet of parchment paper, pipe out 3 cm lines of chocolate for the grill legs.

Pipe out thinner, smaller 1-2cm lines for the bottom rungs of the grill. While waiting for them to dry, add the handles to the grill bowl cookies by piping 2 small lines on opposite sides of the cookies. Spread a thin layer of the green frosting on each of your cupcakes.

Once the chocolate is dry, take three of the chocolate legs and stick them into the icing of a cupcake. Squeeze some chocolate onto the cookie and the legs and balance the cookie on the grill legs, waiting for it to dry. Then, with chocolate, "glue" on the smaller grill rungs.

To make the grill top, on a piece of parchment paper, pipe circles of the sesame white chocolate with the same diameter as the tops of your grill cookie bowls. Then pipe lines going across the circle. Once dry, place them onto the cookie grills. To finish, stick a football cake bite on each cupcake.

How to Light on Fire
inspired by Learning the Art of Flambeing

sugar cubes
lemon extract
matches or a lighter

Soak the sugar cube in a little bit of lemon extract (only a few seconds or else it will dissolve, btw, vanilla extract does not work :(, I tried). Trim down the sugar cube with a knife until it can fit in the cookie grill bowl. Take the white chocolate grill top off the cookies and place the sugar cube in the grill. Light the sugar cube on fire with a lighter or matches. When done, blow on the cube to put the flame out. Remove the sugar cube and enjoy.

If the sugar cube has melted onto the cookie, I'd advise you not to eat the cookie anymore. And be careful, do not do this on a flammable surface or near explosive substances.

BBQ Grill Cookies
1/2 batch stained sunglasses cookie dough
black food coloring
round cookie cutter (1 3/4-2 inches)
nonstick spray

Take 3x3 inch pieces of foil and scrunch them into small balls (not too tightly or they'll be impossible to remove later). Spray them with nonstick spray and set aside. Make the dough, tinting it with black food coloring. Roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/16-1/8" thick and use a round cookie cutter to cut out the dough.

Scrunch and shaped the dough circles it into domes, smoothing out the folds. Lightly place the dough domes on the foil balls. Place on a baking sheet. Bake the cookies in the oven for 12 minutes. Take them out and let them cool on the sheet. Once cool, carefully remove the foil balls from the dome shaped cookies so you have hollow "bowls."

Football Cake Bites
inspired by Bakerella

favorite cake recipe
favorite frosting recipe
semisweet chocolate
white chocolate

Make a cake of your choice (or just double the beer cupcake recipe). When the cake is cool, crumble it up in a large bowl. Add the frosting of your choice to the cake crumbs, a little at a time, mixing until the cake and frosting form a "dough," not too wet but still moldable.

Pinch off bits of the "dough" and shape into football shapes. Place on a parchment or plastic wrap lined baking sheet or plate. Then place in freezer for 10 minutes. Melt the semisweet chocolate. Place a cake football in the chocolate and make sure it's entirely covered with chocolate. Pull it out with a fork and tap off the excess chocolate.

Place on a piece of parchment to dry. Repeat with the rest. Let dry. Melt white chocolate. Use a toothpick to draw on the stripes (above).

NOTE: I used this chocolate cake recipe and frosting recipe.

Beer Spice Cupcake
adapted from

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup beer

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and mix. Pour in the beer and mix. Then add in the dry ingredients and mix till even.

Spray a cupcake tray with nonstick spray. Pour the batter into the cups. Place in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in tray for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cupcake and move the cakes to a cooling rack to cool.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Matcha Frosting
1/2 cup butter
3/4-1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp matcha powder
green food coloring, optional

Mix the matcha and powdered sugar. Cream the butter with the matcha/sugar mixture. Add the milk and mix until incorporated, adding more butter or sugar if too wet. If desired, add a few drops of green food coloring to make the frosting more grass like in color.


  1. Oh my god, cupcakes + fire = awesome. This is so cool. Great post!

  2. Cupcakes set on fire? Now I have officially seen everything. Thank you so much for taking time and creating such an outstanding entry for the Manly Cupcake Contest! Good Luck!

  3. Ariana & Renee: Thank you!

    C&C Cakery: Haha, no prob. These cupcakes were quite fun to make. Thanks!

    Tiffany: ありがとう!

  4. No. Freaking. Way.

    Great choice of beer, btw :)

  5. This is SO CREATIVE. Amazing entry. Hope you win!

  6. go bears! too bad we lost big game. sigh. maybe next year.

  7. Saw this on foodgawker - I am not a big commenter but the BBQ on fire? Holy moly. One of the most ingenious things I have ever seen. If you don't win that will be CRAZY!! :)

  8. Oh wow, these are adorable! I'm definitely making them for my football game this weekend :) Go ducks!

  9. Brilliant. Genius. Fantastic. And a million other such adjectives! These are incredible. I posted a link on Hope that's OK!

  10. Ali: Yes way, hehe.

    Xiaolu: Thanks!

    Anonymous: I know :(. I was quite sad about it.

    Karen: Haha, thanks!

    Chelsea: Yay, I hope you do make them!

    Chic Cookies: Thank you :P. I don't mind the linking :).


  12. I am so impressed!! What an amazing entry! I'm so impressed with the fire!

  13. oh! Cal footballs! This is so cool!

  14. Anonymous: I know right? I had to rewrite my whole post because of the loss :(.

    Ivy: Thanks!

    I heart cupcakes & Stef: Thank you! The fire was definitely a fun addition to the cupcake. It was interesting testing out what substance would make the best fire, or at the least, actually burn.

    Nina: Yup, Cal footballs! Thank you.

  15. That is so clever. I'm not sure I have the patience to make all of the steps, but the footballs are great. I could totally see making those for a Superbowl party dessert.

    I also love the idea for the fire. I'm sure I could use that idea elsewhere, too.

    Go Bears!

  16. oooh good job on winning C&C choice! :D

  17. congrats on becoming one of the finalists!!

  18. Michaela: Thanks! It may look daunting, but if you spread it out, like bake the cupcakes and cookies one day. Then frost and decorate the second day, it isn't as overwhelming. These would indeed be great for a Superbowl party. Yay, go bears :)!

    Tiff & Phoebe: Thank you. And thanks so much for voting.

  19. This is such an amazing idea. It would make for a perfect dessert for the upcoming Superbowl!

  20. How did I miss these?!?! AMAZING!

  21. These are so adorable that I had to feature them on my blog for the Super Bowl:
    I love them!

  22. Most inventive cupcake ever. You are a God.

  23. What a great way to use your creativity to make a difference! Fabulously creative cupcake in both flavor and design! Of course, as a Cal grad, the "Cal" football really caught my eye! Jenn/Rook No. 17

  24. Jara: That's right, definitely Superbowl appropriate.

    Sue & Caro: Thanks!

    Jimmy Trickle: Haha, thanks. But God? I don't think so. Just a mere mortal :P.

    Jenn: Thanks. Ooh, you went to Cal! Go bears :D!

  25. just found your blog (the first recipe I saw was turtle icebox cookies) and you have no idea how happy it makes me that you go to Cal. My baking/food obsession started in college so I have fond memories of food and berkeley!

    go bears! :)


  26. Maggie: Yay, go bears! Great to see Cal alumni reading my blog :).

  27. Hello

    We are very impressed by your photos. We would potentially like to use your image and recipe on our website

    Is this something that you would be interested in ? Is there something you would want from us in return ? Please let me know your thoughts


  28. Anonymous: Sorry for such a late reply! At the moment, I'd prefer if my photos were not used for promotional/advertising purposes. But thanks for offering.

  29. Absolutely darling! I just shared the link on our Facebook from the Movember Manly Challenge and highlighted your photo as our favorite. Sooo cute!

    Can't wait to see what you do for the upcoming contest again.

  30. What great treats for the big game! Thanks for the ideas...and the Sugar Rush!

  31. You continue to inspire! I followed the link from a sweet collection on Sugar Rush. Love, love, love that fire! You are so clever! I'm enjoying the look around! Thanks for sharing your ingenious idea!