Kid’s Cupcakes – “The Best Ever” (Organic Recipe)

From Lisa Barnes

So last year’s cupcake trials for my son’s birthday did not come out great, as you can read. However I was determined to make him proud this year with a yummy recipe since once again he wanted cupcakes. His sister just had a yummy cake a few weeks prior, so the pressure was on. This year I was ready as I’ve been testing them for client requests and my next book.

This recipe was very well received at home, as my husband and son said “these are the best ever!” But they were also a hit at my son’s preschool. We even turned the cupcake celebration into an activity for the kids. I made the cupcakes and brought in fresh whipped cream, blueberries, strawberries and sprinkles for the children to frost and decorate their own. We had a great time. Of course I did not anticipate the use, make that overuse of sprinkles. I only brought one color but the teacher had a few left-over from Valentine’s. As you can see by the picture above, they all have personality and are unique masterpieces – like the children themselves.

Better Brownie Cupcakes

I call these cupcakes “better” because they are better for you than the usual chocolate cupcakes found at the grocer or bakery. And children (or adults) won’t believe these are wheat-free. Who knew potato flour, brown rice flour, and oat bran could make such a yummy brownie dessert? As my husband says “It still has chocolate in it. Anything tastes good with chocolate.” These are great for packing and sharing as they do not need any frosting so are less messy and easy to tote.

Makes 9 standard-size cupcakes or 18 mini cupcakes (can be doubled)

6 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
4 ounces (1/2 cup) organic semisweet chocolate, chips or chopped
½ cup evaporated cane juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 large cage-free organic eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons potato flour
¼ cup oat bran

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9 standard muffin cups or 18 mini muffin cups with paper liners.

In a double broiler or microwave, melt butter and chocolate together until smooth and combined. Remove from heat and let cool.

Stir evaporated cane juice, salt, eggs, and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Mix well then stir in rice flour, potato flour, and bran. Scoop by tablespoonful into muffin cups (about ¼ cup for standard muffins and 2 tablespoons for mini).

Bake for 18 minutes for standard muffins and 12 minutes for mini, until puffed but gooey in center. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in the refrigerator for fudge-like texture.
See also Greg’s Recipes For Kids – Organic Whole Wheat Bread and Chocolate Cookies
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, and Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Images Credit: Lisa Barnes |
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From Lisa Barnes

DooF a what?  Well “DooF” is food spelled backwards.  It is also the title of a new cooking and food show for kids to be launched on public television in 2009.  The show aimed at 6 – 11-year-olds is a fast paced, up beat television series designed to transform the way kids eat by making food fun.  The show has a playful style combining live action, music, humor, animation, cooking and science to entertain young viewers while introducing them to a wide variety of healthy foods and encouraging positive eating habits.

As both a fundraiser and to increase awareness, DooF-a-Palooza was an event that was created by Doof producers and Google food programs for a day of families, food and fun.  This past weekend was the second annual event held in Mountain View, California at Google headquarters.  I was overwhelmed by Google itself and the food programs/service which include over one dozen restaurants and an on-site organic garden.  (And it’s all free to the employees).  Plus they only use produce and meats raised within 150 miles of the their campus.

I was invited as a “sourcerer” – which meant creating a food activity for kids.  Why not go for parfaits?!  It was simple, yet one of the more popular activities with kids and adults.  The big fun for kids was using the fun tongs, picks and scoops to grab and sprinkle fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, and toasted o’s cereal and plop them on top of organic plain whole milk yogurt.  If you wondered what you missed (put it on your calendar next year), here were some of my (and my kids’) favorite activities and foods:

Charles Chocolates – invited kids to “paint” a chocolate lollipop

Strauss Creamery – showed kids how to make butter (by kicking an ice cream maker that looked like a soccer ball.

Blue Moon Organics – showcased their sustainable and local strawberries with strawberry popsicles made by Google chefs (so good!)

Veritable Vegetable– showed kids how to plant their own beans to nurture and sprout at home.  After only 3 days we’ve already got growth!

Hippy Gourmet TV – baked vegan cookies in a solar oven

4H – petting zoo with chickens and goats

Original Google Chef Charlie Ayers – shared the Google pizza oven and let the kids make their own pizza

There were over 2000 people in attendance and everyone seemed to be having a good time. It’s amazing how much fun food really can be.

See also Lisa’s Shopping With Children
Lisa Barnes
is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.

Images Credit: Google |
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She Takes The Cake (with Organic Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe For Kids)

From Lisa Barnes

So if you read my blog this time last year you’ll be reminded that both my children’s birthdays are in July. Last year was the quest for the perfect cupcake. I had some success and some failures. This year as it approached my daughter’s birthday I asked her what she wanted to choose for her special dinner. She said Thai food. Yes, she is quite decisive and specific for a newly turned two year old. We made plans to go to a new favorite Thai Restaurant without any problems.

Then I asked about the dessert (or as she pronounces “dirt”). I was kind of cringing at the cupcake request, but I lucked out and she said chocolate cake. My husband was happy too as he quickly said how about the flourless chocolate cake. This is such a quick and easy (yet very rich) cake. The recipe is from Gourmet Everyday. I felt a bit guilty since it would not have frosting (just too over the top) so I decorated with powdered sugar. Instead of a simple dusting or using a pre-made stencil, I thought of a way the kids could help. Remember making snowflakes out of paper? I folded a piece of wax paper (careful not to crease) and my son and I used the scissors to cut shapes. When we unfolded it we placed our own snowflake stencil on top and sprinkled the confectioner’s sugar over the cuts. Voila!

My daughter didn’t really notice the decoration. She liked seeing the candle and loved eating the cake.

4 oz. fine quality bittersweet chocolate (I use at least 65% cacao), chopped into pieces
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted organic butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large cage free organic eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.

Melt chocolate with butter in a double boiler (or microwave) and stir until smooth. Whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in middle of oven for 25 minutes or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.

To serve, dust with powdered sugar as explained above or sprinkle with cocoa. Goes great with a scoop of  vanilla ice cream.
See also Lisa’s Easy, Creative Organic Dips For Kids Recipes
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California. |
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Out Of The Garden Pancakes For Kids (Organic Recipe)

child in the garden

From Lisa Barnes

Children who “don’t eat vegetables” will eat these pancakes. They are a filling entrée, a hearty snack, or a side dish for grilled meats.

1 cup organic broccoli or broccoli florets
12 organic asparagus spears
1 cup (6 ounces) sliced organic brown mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped organic onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup expeller pressed canola oil
2/3 cup organic whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 large cage-free, organic egg
1/4 cup organic milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Place the broccoli and asparagus in a steamer basket set in a pot filled with about 1 to 2 inches of lightly boiling water. Do no let water touch vegetables. Cover and steam vegetables for 4 to  minutes, or until tender.

Put broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a food processor and pulse on and off to chop, or chop by hand. Be careful not to puree. Transfer chopped ingredients into a large bowl and stir in oil, flour, dill, and salt. Add the egg and milk and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Drop batter by 1/4 cups into the skillet and cook until firm on bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the pancakes with a spatula and sprinkle cooked side with cheddar cheese, if desired. Cook remaining sides until golden, about 1 minute.

Makes about 10 (4-inch) pancakes.

Adult treats. This recipe can become an adult hors d’oeuvres by dropping batter by tablespoonfuls for bite-size treats. Top these pancakes with a spoonful of baby’s leftover Apple Puree or a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche.
See also Lisa’s Popeye Puree (Organic Spinach For Kids Recipe)
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Rosalind Creasy |
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