Cupcake Hero #5 [Celebrating Earth Day]

April 22, 2008 at 1:26 AM | Posted in Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 50 Comments
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<— You all know what that image means right?


This month was a little bit of a doozy b/c it wasn’t really an ingredient. Our sneaky hostesses with the mostesses, Quirky Cupcake and Tempered Woman decided to throw us aspiring cupcake heroes a curveball by promoting some cupcake creativity in honor of April’s “green” holiday. (See how genius I am? Posting on the actual holiday date! LOL)

“Earth Day is a name used for two different observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. The United Nations celebrates Earth Day, which was founded by John McConnell in 1969, each year on the March equinox, while a global observance originated by Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, and since January 1970 also called Earth Day, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22, including the U.S.” ~Wikipedia

Now I know what you are thinking… What makes *my* cupcakes earth friendly?

Let me count the ways…

1. The “veggies” are pesticide free ;)
2. They promote organic fruits and veggies. Support your local farmers.
3. My edible play dough of choice is fondant but I decided to go more whimsical. The “veggies” are made of leftover easter candy (recycle/reuse)
4. When I went to the grocery store to buy a couple cupcake ingredients I brought my TJ insulated neoprene bag to avoid using the plastic bags. Did you know it takes more than 1000 years for a disposable plastic bag to break down in a landfill? (reduce)
5. I used rechargeable batteries in my digital camera to take all the pictures. Batteries contain heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium, which have become a major source of contamination in dump sites. (recycle/reuse)

There you have it!

Five earth friendly reasons why I should win Cupcake Hero.

Wish me luck! ::crossing fingers::


My Veggie Garden Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop & WomansDay | photos from me!)

Makes about 15 cupcakes


For chocolate cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs

Vanilla buttercream frosting

small daisy fondant cutter

For “veggies”
6 small gum balls (2 yellow, 2 green, 2 red)
3-4 green fruit chews (I used sour apple laffy taffy)
1 yellow fruit chews (I used starburst)
2-3 orange fruit chews (I used starburst)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
green M&M or skittles

[NOTES: I used about 10 oreos, white filling removed and crushed in my food processor. Its ok if its not totally powder. I think it looks more like dirt if there are little bits and pieces too.]


To make cupcakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.

Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.

Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3 full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

To assemble cupcakes
Frost cupcakes with vanilla buttercream. Place crushed chocolate cookie crumbs in a medium bowl. Roll tops of cupcakes in crumbs to cover frosting (to look like dirt).

Click image to enlarge

Carrot: Cut 2 of the orange fruit chews in half; shape each piece into a small carrot. Score the sides of carrots with a knife and rub with cinnamon for “dirt.” Use a toothpick to make a small hole in the large end of each carrot. Cut green fruit chews into thin strips and roll each strip between fingers to look like carrot tops. Press 2-4 strips into the hole in the top of each carrot.

Click image to enlarge

Peas: Roll out green fruit chews into a 3 x 1-in. oval 1/8-in. thick. Press 3-4 green skittles onto one side of each oval. Fold the other side over to cover the candies slightly. Pinch the ends. Cut thin strips from green and yellow fruit chews and arrange around the pea pods as vines.

Tomato: Roll out green fruit chew and cut out shape with daisy fondant cutter to resemble leaves for top of tomato. Glue leaves with a little vanilla extract. Cut thin strips from green fruit chew and arrange around the tomatoes as stem/vine.

Click image to enlarge


Husband rating: A+
This is his favorite chocolate cupcake recipe. He was really impressed with my little garden veggies too. His favorite are the pea pods. “They really look like pea pods, Clara!” haha.

Wifey rating: A+
Ditto hubs. This is my go-to chocolate cupcake and buttercream recipe. The crushed oreos on top were very yummy! My favorite are the tomatoes. They are so cute!



  1. Very, very cute~!!!

  2. APRIL, thanky! It was definitely a labor of love.

  3. I love them! They are adorable… I just love them! Super creative!

  4. SWEETSINS, thank you! They took forever but when you have fun time flies right? :)

  5. I don’t even know what to say …

  6. NIKKI, I know I deserve to win now! I have made the blog babbler speechless! LOL.

  7. OMG, these are so freaking cute! I’m with T, I adore the pea pods! To think that a year ago you barely knew how to use a microwave. I’m so proud of what you’ve become ::tear:: ::sniff::


  8. Those are adorable! I love all the little veggies!

  9. MRSABYBABY, I know right!? I can tell you that T is much happier that the majority of his food doesn’t from from delivery or microwave now. LOL

    CAITLIN, thanky chica! I love them too!

  10. oh my goodness! (who says goodness haha) those baby veggies are amazing!!! I love it! I would not have the patience to make them, so tasty!! Good luck I hope we both win too hehe :D

  11. STEPH, I totally say goodness. LOL. Thanks for your compliments. I didn’t think I had the patience either but when you see then come together its too much fun! Kinda like your adorable polar bears right? :)

  12. So stinkin’ cute CB! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.

  13. NINA, aawww thanks Neeners. That means alot. ::sniff::

  14. See? I KNEW you’d come up with something both beautiful and creative. I can be creative, but not beautiful. And I totally love the peas too! (And the tomatoes are super cute too!)

  15. MARY, aawwww you’re too sweet to me! You are oodles of creative. I still can’t get over your compost cupcakes. Fuggen fabulous!

  16. I was JUST looking at these in my MIL’s Women’s Day magazine. They came out just like in the pictures in the magazine. Great job Clarabell!

  17. ANDREA, ::twilight zone music:: Thanks chica! I got the inspiration from Women’s day who got it from Hello Cupcake. I totally want that book now! Such cute ideas…

  18. aaaaaahh so adorable!!!!
    the topping of oreo+buttercream is making me soo hungry. and I LOVE how you rolled out those starburst – I would have never thought to do that!
    aaahhh now I want cupcakes and a garden.

  19. ALLISON, thank you! Trust me. The cupcake was SO good! I can’t take too much credit for the starburst. I got the idea from Woman’s Day Magazine’s article on Hello Cupcake book. I totally want that book now!

  20. Those are amazing! You’ve done a really great job!

  21. TANYA, thank you! aren’t they adorable? Mini veggies made of candy. Now thats my kind of veggie! LOL

  22. adorable!! i love the little sweetpea ones especially! :)

  23. STEPH, aawww thanks! It seems the peas are the favorite by a landslide :)

  24. WHAAATT?!! That is some serious talent. I’m uber impressed :) You are a shoo in for CH!

  25. BETH, aaawwww thanks! I think you should email the hostesses and tell them so. LOL.

  26. very cute veggies!

  27. CHOCKYLIT, thanky! It means alot coming from one of my cupcake idols! ;)

  28. Too cute and green! Woo hoo! :)

  29. GIGI, w00t! Thats what I was going for! haha.

  30. Veeery cute!! After doing all the little gardening tools for my sister’s cake, I can only imagine how long these probably took!

  31. ZEBE, thanks!! I was totally thinking you would understand the labor of love seeing as you did something similar for your sister. :)

  32. These are so freakin’ adorable. And earth friendly! Win-win!

  33. CAKESPY, hopefully its adorable-win, earth friendly-win and CUPCAKE HERO-win! haha

  34. How seriously cute are those cupcakes?! Nice going.

  35. HOLLY, aawww thanks so much! ps. Have I told you how much I freaking LOVE your blog name. So genius! ;)

  36. they look amazing!!! I love the fondant vegetables!!! You are so clever

  37. TAMMY, aaawwww you’re so sweet! I don’t know about clever but I appreciate the sentiment :)

  38. These are adorable! Love the mini veggies!

  39. GRETCHEN, thanks so much! I think mini versions of anything makes things cuter… even veggies ;)

  40. These have got to be some of the most adorable cupcakes I have ever seen! I really really mean that. I can think of about a million events/people who would pay for these guys. Just too durn cute. And I love that you used leftover Easter candy~ very cool hotstuff!

  41. TW, aaawww making me blush. Thanks for hosting. This was alot of fun! :)

  42. those are so cute!! i plan to do mine this week, i have the plan and idea all worked, but just have to do it. i think i have til the 30th.

  43. MARA, thanky! ooohhh I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Get to it woman. You only have 4 days left! LOL

  44. Too cute for words! How creative! (and tasty-looking!)

  45. CARACAKES, thanks. trust me. they were darn tasty! haha

  46. […] of I Heart Cuppycakes baked Veggie Garden Cupcakes.  Y’all are trying to do me in with the adorable! Who cares about back breaking gardening in the […]

  47. Help Me find those cupcake wrappers!!! I have looked everywhere and I am dying to make these. I have only been able to find the tiny “nut cup” size. These are so sweet and I want to make them NOW. :)

  48. ORGANICMOM, They are called party nut cups or souffle cups depending on where you buy them. I buy mine at Smart&Final, $5/250. They have them in the 3-1/4oz and the 2oz. I use the bigger ones for regular cupcakes and the smaller ones for mini cupcakes. HTH!

  49. Those veggies are absolutely adorable. I am making my mom a garden cake for her birthday and these will be absolutely perfect. Thank you so much for your inspiration!

  50. I found this post when searching for “garden” themed cupcakes for my daughters 1st birthday party. These were so cute, and such simple instructions! Mine turned out so well, and were the hit of the party! I cant decide if I liked the peas or carrots the best, but I just wanted to Thank you for such a wonderful idea!!

    You helped make my daughters 1st birthday party huge hit!

    Now…. do you have any ideas for next years party? :-D

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