The Tiffin Tin

What\’s in your lunchbox?

Orange Food

with 3 comments

I’m not a fan of tinted food. But for some reason I can’t fathom (maybe because it’s fun?) children love colored frosting. And so, last night, we made Halloween cupcakes.

Let me say something about home-made versus store-bought. For a very long time, and even now, I prefer baked goods made with real ingredients, put together by at least one person who’s going to eat what’s being made. It’s a quality control thing. Plus, it’s important for children to know what goes into their food, and it’s fun for them to create something out of things they’ve seen in the kitchen but had no idea could be transformed into something terribly delicious.

But sometimes, perhaps more often than I’ve ever been willing to admit, it’s just perfectly fine to use a cake mix and that frosting stuff that’s on the shelf next to the cake mixes. Especially if you’re going to make the white frosting turn orange with judicious (actually, we started off judicious but then became wild) applications of food coloring. So if you’re a person who’s a little uptight about making everything from scratch, I’d say ease up every once in a while and focus on what counts in the enterprise of making orange cupcakes — it’s the chocolate chip you put in the center of all that orange. And the frosting. And the speed with which you can put all this together on an evening when you’d really just like to be lying in bed reading a mystery.

This isn’t a recipe, exactly, because it’s as easy as falling out of bed when too many children have come in to cuddle on a Saturday morning:

  • 1 cake mix, chosen by a child
  • 1 can of white frosting, also chosen by the child
  • a few chocolate chips (or any other dot-like candy), ditto the thing about letting the child choose
  • food coloring.  Red and yellow to be exact.  Who said this couldn’t be an educational outing?  Red and yellow makes orange.  That’s today’s fun fact.

Make cake mix into cupcakes, add red and yellow food coloring to the white frosting until you get the shade of orange that says “Halloween” to you, and decorate as you’d like with dotlike candies. We tried to make jack-o-lanterns on the cupcakes, but didn’t like the look we got. So we went with the elegant single chocolate chip in the center of a sea of orange frosting.

Happy Halloween!


Written by bloglily

October 28, 2006 at 10:15 am

3 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure this is the place I’m supposed to post this, but I had to let you know about these containers as soon as I saw them, although you probably already have one of them for each member of your family. I’m working on getting my mom to buy them for me.

    This one holds cereal and milk in separate containers, keeping the milk cold…

    Whenever I pack salad, the dressing is in a tupperware way too large for the amount of dressing. And it leaks. Maybe this will solve my problems:


    October 28, 2006 at 8:48 pm

  2. OOO, Ella, I like those. You bet, this is the place for people with container obsessions. Don’t go out and buy the salad one though. I have something a lot like it (in fact I have two), and I don’t use it. How about if I get it over to you in the next few days? (I’ll email you about that.)


    October 28, 2006 at 9:00 pm

  3. Does green tea ice cream count as Halloween food? I mean, it’s green! Store packet (cool Japanese packaging opportunity, milk and an egg. A raw egg so it’ll need to be one you’re comfortable about the provenance of. Also seems to really impress people in a desert context (it figures – Japanese, green and comes in tiny ammounts!)


    November 1, 2006 at 12:22 am

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