We are sending itty bitty cupcakes (recipe below) to my son’s class at school in honor of his birthday this year. As a teacher, I spend more time on the distribution side of class birthday treats, and I have some guidelines for any newbies to the school birthday treat circuit. Sending birthday treats for the class starts in nursery school, and the rules don’t change too much no matter how old you are.
- If possible, let the teacher know ahead of time about the type of treat you will be sending and what day. It helps teachers plan for a special snack time and anticipate any food allergy alerts (always send nut-free items just in case).
- Send enough for the whole class AND the teachers. Let me repeat– send enough for the teachers.
- Send small treats. Rather than a whole donut for each child, send donut holes (two to three Munchkins per child). Rather than regular cupcakes, send mini versions.
- Send items that are pre-cut, pre-packaged, or individually wrapped to make sharing the snack easier.
- Don’t forget paper napkins, paper plates, and plastic utensils if needed.
- You do not have to send an edible treat. Kids love fun pencils, Japanese erasers, crazy straws, stickers, etc.
- In my experience, sending birthday treats begins to taper off around the 4th grade. By 5th and 6th grade, maybe a quarter of the students send in birthday snacks.
I love this recipe for Perfect Cake-Mix Cupcakes courtesy of Hello, Cupcake!. I like the frosting recipes in the Hello, Cupcake! book too, but I totally cheated this time and used the pre-made Betty Crocker Cupcake Icing in the squeeze cans with the decorative tips. I used gelatin shot cups to make the super mini size. I found the tiny cups in the paper product aisle at my grocery store.
- 1 box (18.25 oz) cake mix (French vanilla or yellow)
- 1 c. buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
- vegetable oil (the amount on the box, usually 1/3 c. for yellow cakes)
- 4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Set out paper gelatin shot cups on a tray with a lip. The gelatin cups stand on their own, but they will also fit into mini muffin cups if you are worried about them tipping over. The recipe makes 24 regular sized cupcakes, so you should get ~48 mini cupcakes.
- Follow the box instructions, putting all of the ingredients in a large bowl and using the buttermilk in place of the water specified, using the amount of vegetable oil that is called for, and adding the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, about 2 minutes longer.
- Fill gelatin cups a little less than 2/3 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.