Moon Pies?….Kinda

Moon Pies?....Kinda

So while studying the Moon, we needed something more for our kiddos to make the connection between the Phases of the moon, the changing of the month, orbit and so on…they got the gist but it wasn’t enough.
With our kids, interest is a first priority cause they can tune you out OH SO MASTERFULLY! Thankfully inspiration hit (my good ideas are never mine 🙂 ) and I remembered some buttercream frosting in the fridge (Homemade and thus thicker than store-bought, made with vegetable oil spread actually)
We rolled 3 dollops of the plain white frosting into about 2inch diameter balls, for the Full and 2 Gibbous Moons, then stuck them in the freezer.
Then we mixed some cocoa powder into some white frosting to make the dark portions on the white frosting balls (Gibbous Moon Phases).
Next we mixed some peanut butter and cocoa into some of the white frosting and made 5 more balls (approx. same size as others) for the other Phases (2 crescents, 1 New, and 2 quarters).
We stuck those in the freezer for a bit and then “frosted” them with the leftover white frosting to make them look like the other before mentioned Phases of the Moon.
Anyway, the best part was it didn’t take long, the kids could do the majority of it, and they were totally focused.
While the “Moons” were freezing we cut up the papers and wrote the names of the phases on them, used some yellow playdoh for the side of the sun and our well-played-with-clay was all rolled into a ball to make the earth. Then we got out our “Moons” and set them up on the correct label and Voila! A memorable and tasty model of the Phases of the Moon!
P.S. The added bonus was that tonight was our Family Night and this Science activity took care of our family treat too! 

Maple Spice Cake

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I make this a little different every time, according to the taste of those we’re serving so feel free to experiment!

Cake Batter:

3 cups Flour (we’ve done all White to all Whole Wheat, the more the whole wheat flour the more dry the cake when baked)

1 cup White Sugar

2 tsp. Baking Powder

½ tsp. Baking Soda

1 ½ tsp. fine grain Sea Salt

Mix all dry ingredients. Then add:

2/3 cup Vegetable Oil (usually use Canola, but it’s FABULOUS with Coconut oil, especially with Vanilla instead of Maple)

2 tsp. Maple Flavoring (opt., would recommend Vanilla if not putting in Maple)

2 Large Eggs

Enough water (I’ve used almond milk) to make a thick, barely pourable, batter.

Layering:

1-1 ½  cup Brown Sugar (depending on how sugary you like things)

1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg (opt., great with Pumpkin/Apple Pie Spice or Cloves)

Mix all Layering ingredients together.

Pour half of batter into greased baking pan. Sprinkle Layering in even layer over batter. Pour remaining batter on top of Layering. Sprinkle remaining Layering on top of batter. Bake in 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes or til golden brown and done in middle.

Variation: You can pour a stick of melted butter on top when finished with layering to add extra decadency (and a lot more fat and calories which is why we don’t do that anymore;), but it is delicious that way!

Enjoy!