Camouflage Cupcakes

After seeing a rainbow cake on Pinterest, I realized how easy it would be to do different colored cakes. For Billy’s birthday, I made him a Mardi Gras-colored cake – mainly because I wanted to play with the food coloring and see how things turned out… It was great!

Later when we had a camouflage-themed night coming up for AWANA, I thought I might try my hand at making some camouflage cupcakes to share with the Cubbies (3- and 4-year-olds). I thought about it for days, wondering exactly how to get the various green shades just right. Suddenly it came to me – cocoa powder! With that, I was ready.

I gathered all my ingredients: white cake mix, applesauce (instead of oil), water, three eggs, green food coloring, cocoa powder, and chocolate frosting.

After mixing the cake batter, I divided some of it into four smaller bowls and mixed in different amounts of green food coloring. Then I added different amounts of cocoa powder to get the “earthier” (or “muddier” as I called it) shades of green. Four different shades of green were probably a bit much. I think three would have been easier to work with – and the color variations probably would have been more visible.

I mixed it in, then added and mixed a little more here and there to get just the right shades.

Working with one color at a time, I dropped the batter into mini muffin pan liners. I started with the tan, dropped various amounts of the greens, then ended with the remaining tan batter. I didn’t do any swirling or mixing in the cups because I wanted the colors to be distinct.

After all 24 mini muffin cups were filled, I found I had quite a bit of batter left over. I wasn’t sure how many regular cupcakes I could make, so I used up my remaining large liners – seven in all. There was still batter left over, so I dropped the remaining colors into a round cake pan and ended up with a very thin one-layer cake.

I wasn’t sure how the baking process would affect the “layers” of the batter, but they seemed to be fairly stationary, not mixing or blending too much.

I frosted them all with chocolate frosting. Yum! And it kept with the “muddy”, earthy color scheme. 🙂

I’m not the greatest at frosting cakes. It’s definitely not my thing. Besides, I was more concerned with the way the insides would look.

Pretty cool! I think the camo effect was pretty much lost on the 3- and 4-year-olds, but the youth and adults loved it!

Camouflage Cake

1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients listed for cake
green food coloring (lots of it!)
cocoa powder
chocolate frosting

Preheat oven as directed on box; prepare cake or cupcake pan(s) as necessary.

Mix cake according to package directions. Divide the white batter into 3 or 4 smaller bowls for different making different shades of green. Be sure to reserve more of the batter for making tan.

Drop different amounts of green food coloring into the smaller bowls, stirring completely. Add more food coloring as needed to vary the shades more.

Mix in different amounts of cocoa powder into the white and green batters until the shades are the colors you would like them to be.

Drop batters by spoonfuls into cake or cupcake pan(s), being sure not to mix or swirl the colors.

Bake as directed on the package; cool, frost, and serve. Chocolate or mint chocolate chip ice cream would be a fun complement.

*The mini cupcakes were cute and fun for little children. My tween boys loved the regular sized cupcakes. I think a Bundt cake done this way with chocolate frosting drizzled over it would be a fun look, but I haven’t tried it yet. My older son didn’t want a camo cake for his birthday… I may just have to do it on my own.


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