Katniss Cakes

Posted November 26, 2014 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in The Hunger Games (Nov. 2014) / 2 Comments

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 When I first decided to make a Hunger Games menu, I knew I wanted to go all-out on dessert. Cupcakes immediately came to mind, but I wanted more than just Hunger Games decorations. I wanted each cupcake to exemplify a key story element. After tossing around dozens of ideas, I created three kinds of cupcakes…

Nightlock Cakes: The little berry that became a symbol of rebellion! These chocolate cupcakes are filled with blueberry curd and decorated with ripe blueberries.

“Cinna”mon Cakes: An arrow pierces this spice cupcake with cinnamon frosting, a tribute to the bond between Cinna and Katniss.

Red Hot Fire Cakes: White cake studded with Red Hot candies, decorated with frosting flames and Oreo coals. Fitting for the Girl on Fire!

P.S. Making three kinds of cupcakes from scratch can be fun if you’ve got the time, but I understand not everybody wants to spend all day mixing batter and frosting. To this end, I have not included detailed descriptions of the baking process in the instructions. Instead, I’ve provided links to the recipes I used. That way, baking instructions are available for those who want to cook from scratch, but those who cook from a mix don’t have to scroll for a million years to reach the filling/frosting/decorating instructions. Hopefully, this streamlines the post a little bit. Enjoy!

Katniss Cakes

“I try to focus on the talk, which has turned to our interview costumes, when a girl sets a gorgeous-looking cake on the table and deftly lights it. It blazes up and then the flames flicker around the edges awhile until it finally goes out.”
The Hunger Games

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INGREDIENTS:

For the Nightlock Cakes

  • 1 dozen chocolate cupcakes (I used this recipe, but you can also make them from a mix to save time)
  • 1 cup blueberry curd (recipe can be found here)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain white frosting (I used this recipe)
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • a green icing pen

For the “Cinna”mon Cakes

  • 1 dozen spice cupcakes (I used this recipe and replaced the raisins and water with ½ cup milk, but you can also make them from a mix)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain white frosting (I used this recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 dozen toothpick arrows (I made my own with Post-its and super glue, but it can be pretty time consuming. I recommend buying craft arrows here, or for a quicker method, you can print this pattern on card stock and cut it out)

For the Red Hot Fire Cakes

  • enough white cake batter for 1 dozen cupcakes (I used this recipe, but you can also use a mix)
  • Red Hots (6 oz bag)
  • 2 1/2 cups plain white frosting (I used this recipe)
  • orange food coloring
  • 10 Oreos

 

Makes 36 cupcakes

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the Nightlock Cakes

  1. Insert a small knife halfway through the top of each cupcake and cut a circle out of the top, making sure to hold the knife at an inward angle. This way, you will cut out a cone instead of a cylinder shape from the cupcake, which will be easier to remove. Cut the cone in half width-wise (this will separate the pointed tip from the round base). Throw the half with the tip away…or eat it. Who’s to know?
  2. Fill the hole in each cupcake halfway with blueberry curd and replace the top of the cupcake.
  3. Spread white icing evenly over the top of the cupcake to create a mostly flat surface.
  4. Place some blueberries on top and draw a leaf with the green icing.

    hunger-games-katniss-cakes-d-4287
    The blueberry curd is a great surprise and tastes delicious.

For the “Cinna”mon Cakes

  1. Stir the 1/2 tsp cinnamon into the white frosting.
  2. With a large, round piping tip, pipe the frosting into a spiral swirl on top of the cupcake.
    hunger-games-katniss-cakes-d-4360
  3. With a sharp knife or strong scissors, cut your arrows in half.
  4. Toward the tip of the frosting, insert the “feathered” end of the arrow at a downward angle. This way, it will look like it was shot from above and embedded itself in the frosting.
  5. To complete the look, insert the “arrowhead” end of the arrow at the bottom of the opposite side, also at a downward angle.

    hunger-games-katniss-cakes-d-4365
    I think this was my favorite, and it was the easiest to make. The cinnamon frosting and spice cake were a delicious combo, and the arrow just looked so darn COOL.

For the Red Hot Fire Cakes

  1. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan and pour in the batter. Poke 5-6 Red Hots into each cupcake well, pressing them into the batter until they are just covered. NOTE: Be sure to do this after pouring the batter into the pan, otherwise the Red Hots will sink to the bottom and fuse the cupcake to the bottom of the liner.
  2. Bake for as long as your cake batter instructions recommend.
  3. While the cupcakes cool, scrape and discard the cream from your Oreos and crush the cookies into a fine powder.
  4. With the tip of a pastry brush or a paper towel, dab a border of water in a 1/2 inch thick line around the top of one of the cupcakes. Roll the border in the crushed Oreo, giving it a charcoal look.

  5. Repeat Step 4 for each of the remaining cupcakes.
  6. Stir the orange food coloring into your frosting. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe pointed peaks of frosting onto the top of the cupcake to look like flames.
  7. For the final touch, coarsely crush your Red Hots and sprinkle them on top of your flames to give the appearance of sparks or hot coals.

    hunger-games-katniss-cakes-d-4339
    I’m not the world’s biggest Red Hot fan, but I liked them in this recipe. There are a lot of flavors/textures going on in this cupcake, but they combine well and keep things interesting.

 

Now go forth and prepare some Katniss Cakes of your own. May the odds be ever in your favor! 😉

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Here’s the Yummly printable!

Katniss Cakes

Makes 36 cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the Nightlock Cakes:
  • 1 dozen chocolate cupcakes
  • 1 cup blueberry curd
  • 1 1/2 cups plain white frosting
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • a green icing pen
  • For the "Cinna"mon Cakes:
  • 1 dozen spice cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups plain white frosting
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 dozen toothpick arrows (I made my own with Post-its and super glue, but it can be pretty time consuming. I recommend buying craft arrows, or for a quicker method, you can print a pattern on card stock and cut it out)
  • For the Red Hot Fire Cakes:
  • enough white cake batter for 1 dozen cupcakes (I used this recipe, but you can also use a mix)
  • Red Hots (6 oz bag)
  • 2 1/2 cups plain white frosting (I used this recipe)
  • orange food coloring
  • 10 Oreos

Instructions

    For the Nightlock Cakes:
  1. Insert a small knife halfway through the top of each cupcake and cut a circle out of the top, making sure to hold the knife at an inward angle. This way, you will cut out a cone instead of a cylinder shape from the cupcake, which will be easier to remove. Cut the cone in half width-wise (this will separate the pointed tip from the round base). Throw the half with the tip away.
  2. Fill the hole in each cupcake halfway with blueberry curd and replace the top of the cupcake.
  3. Spread white icing evenly over the top of the cupcake to create a mostly flat surface.
  4. Place some blueberries on top and draw a leaf with the green icing.
  5. For the "Cinna"mon Cakes:
  6. Stir the 1/2 tsp cinnamon into the white frosting.
  7. With a large, round piping tip, pipe the frosting into a spiral swirl on top of the cupcake.
  8. With a sharp knife or strong scissors, cut your arrows in half.
  9. Toward the tip of the frosting, insert the “feathered” end of the arrow at a downward angle. This way, it will look like it was shot from above and embedded itself in the frosting.
  10. To complete the look, insert the “arrowhead” end of the arrow at the bottom of the opposite side, also at a downward angle.
  11. For the Red Hot Fire Cakes:
  12. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan and pour in the batter. Poke 5-6 Red Hots into each cupcake well, pressing them into the batter until they are just covered. NOTE: Be sure to do this after pouring the batter into the pan, otherwise the Red Hots will sink to the bottom and fuse the cupcake to the bottom of the liner.
  13. Bake for as long as your cake batter instructions recommend.
  14. While the cupcakes cool, scrape and discard the cream from your Oreos and crush the cookies into a fine powder.
  15. With the tip of a pastry brush or a paper towel, dab a border of water in a 1/2 inch thick line around the top of one of the cupcakes. Roll the border in the crushed Oreo, giving it a charcoal look.
  16. Repeat Step 4 for each of the remaining cupcakes.
  17. Stir the orange food coloring into your frosting. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe pointed peaks of frosting onto the top of the cupcake to look like flames.
  18. For the final touch, coarsely crush your Red Hots and sprinkle them on top of your flames to give the appearance of sparks or hot coals.
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