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Dye-Free Batman Cake

Okay, if you want to get technical about it, this really isn’t a “cake” per se, but rather a cupcake tower that looks like a tiered cake.  I made this for Luke’s 4th birthday party on Saturday, after dreading how I would pull off a Batman cake without the use of artificial colorings (namely the black).

The idea to make a Batman-themed cupcake display came one afternoon when I was watching Cupcake Wars: Tim Burton Bakeoff,  there were a couple very cool cupcake displays made in that episode!  That’s when it hit me…why take on the headache of trying to make a dye-free shaped cake (my attempts at making the dye-free, shaped Jungle Junction and Star Wars Lego cakes last year left me less than enthused for this years’ birthday challenge), when I can bling out a cupcake stand with loads of inedible black coolness instead?

Seriously, who made the rule that we have to eat the cake decorations?

A quick run to the craft store for some Styrofoam, black glitter wrapping paper, flying bats, stickers, ribbon, T-pins and battery operated lights and I was well on my way.

I forgot to take step-by-step photos as I winged this project together but I found two tutorials online for making cupcake stands…from people who seem to know what they’re doing (I, on the other hand, did not): Cake Journal and Annie’s Eats.

It’s not easy taking a picture of a 2-ft. tall cupcake stand with wired bats sticking out every which way!

The above Batman emblem, as well as the Batman figurine and building came altogether in this Batman Glider Cake Kit for $12.12 on Amazon (with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime).

I ordered the Batman cupcake rings on Amazon too: Batman Symbol Cupcake Party Rings ($3.93 for 12 with free shipping) and Batman Movie Molded Rings ($4.99 for 12 with free shipping).

The black glitter ribbon, bat stickers and the “flying” bats are all seasonal Halloween items from Michael’s Craft Store (I found the bat spray in the floral department and used wire cutters to separate them from the spray then poked the wires all about the Styrofoam).

After covering each of the Styrofoam circles with black glitter wrapping paper, I wrapped the edges in black glitter ribbon to hide the not-so-smooth edges where the wrapping paper got a bit wrinkled.

I added some battery operated lights underneath each Styrofoam circle with T-pins (I add the lights more for my hubby than anyone else, he gets all hot and bothered when I “plug into the grid,” you can check out his guest post about our 2010 Gingerbread house to see what I mean!).

The Batman rings sit nice and snug on a pillow of white frosting.

Phew, Batman made it to the party in one piece!

Wanna hear something funny?  My friend had a birthday party for her daughter the previous week (with the same amount of kiddos) and her gluten-filled sheet cake cost $80.00 from a local bakery.  Guess how much my gluten-free “cake” cost?  Just over $60!  Finally, a gluten-free alternative that is less expensive than its glutonium counterpart! :-D

“Mommy? Is this real chocolate, and not carob?” (we’ve been off of chocolate since March)

“Yes, honey, it’s real chocolate.”

(in a nice, LOUD voice at the party) “Is it going to make my butt hurt?” :shock:

I shared the frosting recipe that I used for the Batman cupcakes here (I now omit the meringue powder altogether due to Luke’s egg allergy and make my own corn-free confectioners/powdered sugar using NOW Foods non-GMO Beet Sugar.  I shared the recipe for homemade corn-free powdered sugar here).

For a GREAT gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free chocolate cake recipe, check out this recipe over at Gluten Free Easily (thanks Shirley, you made one little boy verrrry happy!). :-D

For more information on food dyes, visit Allergy Kids for a great article by Robyn O’Brien.

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Comments

  1. OMG, although I will never (EVER) be making a Bat Man cake, I loved this post! Especially the "will this make my butt hurt" comment from Bat Boy. Wish I could be a "fly on the wall" in your kitchen! =)

    Melissa

    xo

    • He loves telling everyone about his butt issues, LOL!. When we were in California seeing Dr. Vikki, we ran into Kohls one day and Luke proceeded to tell the cashier "worms will make your butt hurt" (we'd just found out about his hookworm infection).

      That child will be the end of me one day!

  2. SarahB says:

    Oh your little boy cracks me up!

    This is the same dye approach I've been taking with my little guy, but we've only had little home celebrations so far. I'm sure the fake dyes have corn and who nows what else, and he's allergic to the veggies making the natural dyes too, so it's white or chocolate icing with non-edible toppers. And he's thrilled all the same!

  3. Dana says:

    loved the will this make my butt hurt – our kids:) my son says the same thing!!! He asked me the other day if a tic tac had dairy in it:)

  4. Sonya says:

    Awesome job Heidi!! Hoping his lil' butt did not hurt after all. ;-)

  5. Rochelle says:

    Oh this cake is awesome….you've given me get ideas for some upcoming bdays!!!

    • Hi Rochelle!

      This was soooo much easier than trying to make a big cake, especially since Luke has an egg allergy, egg-free baked goods tend to hold up better when baked in smaller pans. And with making your own cupcake stand…the sky is the limit on decorations! :-D

  6. This is awesome, what a fantastic job you did! I love the lights too.

    I hope his little butt didn't hurt! What a sweetheart – happy birthday to him!!!!

  7. Lexie says:

    Wow, WOW! Holy cow wow batman! Pow, zang, zoom, boom. Happy birthday little man! Your mom rocketh!! But you know that : ) What a cake, so cool.

    Lexie

  8. This post totally, totally makes my day! Knowing that you used my mild-mannered cake recipe and turned it into this awesome Batman worthy cake extravaganza … well, it just thrills me to no end! Love that happy birthday boy, and also that's he's paying attention to his body! ;-) You are incredibly talented my friend. Those boys are so lucky to have you as a mom … in SO many ways! :-)

    xoxo,

    Shirley

    • Oh Shirley, thank you so much for the kind words…you have no idea what they mean to me! That recipe of yours is a gem, my friend…I used Better Batter as the GF AP Flour and boy, you should have seen me screaming and giggling like a buffoon when I saw how beautiful the cupcakes turned out…on the first try! That is pretty much unheard of in egg-free baking!

      YOU made this a wonderful 4th birthday party, not only for Luke and his friends, but also for me (via no stress) and DEFINITELY for Mike (via a stress-free wife).

      Thank you, thank you, thank you…I love you, I love you, I love you! :-D

      xo,

      Heidi

  9. Cathy Marshall says:

    Wow!! That is amazing!! You have a true gift!! I can see the love in this cake. Powerful!

  10. Christy says:

    Too funny about bat boy's comment. LOL!

    Beautiful cakes. Did the light show through pretty good? It's hard to tell in pics. I think that lights are an awesome idea to give it that extra pizazz.

    • Hi Christy!

      The lights did GREAT in the dark, LOL! We held Luke's party at 11:30 in the morning (in a room filled with fluorescent lighting) so it didn't show up there but as soon as we shut off the lights to sing "Happy Birthday"…well, let's just say it was a very nice surprise! :-D

  11. Wow~ this is a fabulous idea!! I used to decorate cakes for sale and this is great. I bet the kids loved it.

    Thanks for passing on the recipes, too!! Cheers~

  12. healing123 says:

    You are a great mom! The smile is worth it all, super cute little boy, Happy Birthday Luke.

    I was peeking at the recipe, and was wondering, what all purpose gluten free flour mix did you use.

    Love the cake!

    Thanks

  13. naomi says:

    wow. just WOW. job well done!

  14. Vicky says:

    This is totally amazing!

  15. Dede says:

    My (almost) 6-year-old son went NUTS when he saw this!! I can't wait to see his face when we present the real thing to him at his birthday party. He's gonna go crazy! YAY!! Thanks for posting this fantastic idea! :oD

  16. Rhiannon says:

    How many cupcakes does the stand hold? also instead of the cake disks did you just use styrofoam rounds? what did you use in between each tear? I'm making my son a Batman cake and i just love how yours came out!

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