The kiddos I teach are 4 and 5. In the early spring, we do a "body unit", where we learn about our bodies. We start with emotions, then go into learning about our five senses, then germs, and then finally muscles, nerves, bones, etc. It's always my favorite unit of the year.... And of course, we needed to make cupcakes themed with the body (see Valentines Day cookies, Eric Carle cupcakes for environmental awareness/learning about our world unit). I thought about it, and realized that cupcakes lend their shape perfectly to EYEBALLS. We got to talk about why our eyes are different colors (genes="messages" from our moms and dads), what the different parts of the eyeballs are (iris, pupil, etc.), as well as remembering how our eyes help us see!
The cupcakes are the same, reliable Lauren Chattman Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe (see Eric Carle Cupcakes). I made them with the kids, letting them do the adding and the stirring (and the reading of the recipe, if they were able to). I helped them spread on the white frosting, and we piped the irises and pupils on together.Here is my (very minimal) adaptation of her recipe, from Mom's Big Book of Baking (a much loved cookbook, I highly recommend it!).
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 c milk
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 c cake flour (though I use regular all-purpose sometimes and it's fine...)
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 sticks butter (I used salted butter for the frosting this last time and it was AWESOME.)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- dash lemon extract (this keeps it from being too sweet--around 1/8 to 1/4 of a tsp)
- 1 16 oz. box confectioners' sugar
- 1 tbsp milk