Earth Day is April 22nd and while baking Earth Day cupcakes isn’t going to save the world, it is a great way to thank someone who has worked hard to make meaningful changes to preserve our lovely planet.
When is Earth Day?
Did you know that Earth Day is a global holiday? First celebrated in 1970, over 192 countries recognize April 22nd as a day to support environmental protection.
While most of us aren’t part of a larger network or organization, you can still make small changes to help our planet. Every little bit counts and here are a few things you can do to contribute:
- Plant a tree, flower or shrub– plants make food, oxygen, promote soil health and beautify.
- Do a craft using recycled items– beautiful things can be made from up-cycling, not everything is better shiny and new.
- Take a walk or hike– connect with nature and remember it was here far before you or I.
- Clean litter– visit your local park or walk around the neighborhood to pick up litter.
- Recycle– don’t recycle? Start and learn more about your local recycle program, there are many items people don’t realize are recyclable.
- Don’t use electricity for a few hours– saving electricity saves the planet so read a book, go outside and don’t turn on the lights or use anything electric.
- Cook on grill or fire– turn off your kitchen for a day.
- Don’t get in the car– walk to your destination instead of driving. Can you beleive I wrote this post before
Earth Day Cupcakes Ingredients
- Box white cake mix – In order to get those vibrant green and blue colors, make sure it is white cake and not yellow.
- Ingredients according to package directions – These usually include vegetable oil, eggs and water. But in keeping with the white cake theme, you will need to stick to just the egg whites. White cakes usually have instructions for this, but if not, use 2 whites for every whole egg.
- Vanilla extract – Although a white cake already has a slightly vanilla flavor, I like to add just a touch more to really send these cupcakes over the top. I use a clear, imitation vanilla to stay true to the white, but a touch of brown won’t send your colors over the edge.
- Gel food coloring – Depending on how deep blue you want your cupcakes to be, you only need a few drops of blue food coloring and a few drops of green food coloring to color the cake batter.
- Red frosting – Just to take these fun earth day cupcakes to the next level, I like to pipe a small red heart on the cupcake tops. You can either dye buttercream frosting red, or just buy a tube of already made red vanilla frosting.
- Red Sanding Sugar– Or known as just red sprinkles, after piping out the heart, dip each into a bowl of sprinkles to add sparkle.
How to Make Earth Day Cupcakes
- Make the batter. Sift the cake mix into a large mixing bowl, this helps to break up any large chunks and prevents overmixing to get the lumps out. Heat the oven and prepare the batter according to the package directions. Line cupcake tin with liners.
- Color the batter. Divide the batter in half, adding green gel food coloring to one half and blue gel food coloring to another, mix well!
- Swirl. Spoon a dollop of green batter and a dollop of blue batter into each cupcake liner. Using a toothpick, swirl the two colors together. But don’t overmix! Alternately, just spoon small amounts into each muffin well and they will automatically bake together.
- Bake. Bake according to package directions. Remove and allow the cupcakes to cool fully.
- Decorate. Using a small heart shaped cookie cutter, press gently into the top of the cupcake to serve as a guide, pipe red frosting into each heart shape, spreading around evenly with a toothpick.
- Sparkle. Flip it over and press into the red sugar just lightly so it sticks. This step is optional, but since I have a 4-year-old, all baked goods require sprinkles.
Just a reminder, only gently swirl or toss the batter to create your Pangea type continents and oceans. Too much will cause it to mix making brown. Which I guess wouldn’t be all bad because it would give the appearance of dirt (which is earthy) but not what we’re going for with these cupcakes.
Storage & Freezing
Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container or plastic bag. Wait for them to fully cool before placing them into a container and then get out as much air as possible. Air is the enemy. Freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature and then decorate.
Store at covered at room temperature for up to 5 days. As with most baked goods, they are best enjoyed within the first few days.
More fun cupcake recipes:
Earth Day Cupcakes
- Heat oven according to the cake mix package directions and line muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
- Sift the cake mix into a large mixing bowl. Prepare according to the package directions, opt for the egg white option.
- Divide the batter in half, adding the green gel food coloring to one half and the blue gel food coloring to the other.
- Spoon approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of the green batter and 1 heaping tablespoon of the blue batter into each cupcake liner. Using a toothpick, swirl the two colors together. Do not over mix, as then you will start to get brown.
- Bake according to the cake mix package directions.
- Remove and allow to cool fully.
- Using a small 1 inch heart shaped cookie cutter, press gently into the top of the cupcake to serve as a guide, pipe red frosting into each heart shape, spreading around evenly with a toothpick.
- Place the red sparkling sugar into a shallow bowl. Flip the cupcake over while frosting is still tacky and press lightly so it adheres.
- If you've tried this recipe, we love for you to come back and let us know how it was the comments or star ratings!