Candy Flower Cupcakes

Flower Cupcake 1

My 8-year-old helped me decorate these amazingly simple cupcakes for her birthday this year.  I simply made cupcakes with a boxed cake mix and frosted them with store-bought frosting.  I chose to make lemon cake with cream cheese icing, but feel free to choose whichever flavors you like best.  Then my daughter used M&Ms to create the cute flower on each one.  We were really pleased with the results and it was a fun and simple activity to do together!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box cake mix + ingredients to make it
  • frosting (from grocery store or homemade)
  • M&Ms candies

Directions:

Make cupcakes according to package directions.  Let cool.  Frost.  Use M&Ms to make a flower on each cupcake.  Enjoy!

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Graveyard Cake

Graveyard Cake 1

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My son requested that we make this totally tubular Graveyard Cake from the Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook.  The thing I like best about this type of cake is that it doesn’t depend on stellar frosting skills.  As long as you can get a basic coating of frosting on there, the rest is fairly simple.  It’s just a matter of assembling the different components and arranging them on the cake.  This is my favorite way of decorating cakes.

Graveyard Cake 4The chocolate trees are made from melted chocolate bark, while the headstones are Nutter Butters with “RIP” piped on in the same chocolate.  I like how the chocolate bark works really well for making nice lettering.  It doesn’t look sloppy at all.

Graveyard Cake 5These are all the graham cracker pieces that we used for the little house/shack.  You may end up breaking a few crackers as you try to cut them, so plan to have some extras on hand.

Graveyard Cake 6Here is the assembled house.  I ended up cutting the side pieces too short, so I just cut another little piece to patch the hole.  No problem since it’s supposed to look dilapidated anyway.  I reserved some of the green frosting to hold the house pieces together.

Graveyard Cake 3I love how the trees turned out.  Another thing you could do is break off the tree so that it looks like a dead tree stump.  That looked quite realistic, too.

Graveyard Cake 2A few more of the details: chocolate graham cracker walkway, candy pumpkin and Reeses Pieces decorations, and gravestones spread about.  We forgot the crushed chocolate graham cracker crumbs around the headstones to look like dirt.

I hope you have fun making your own graveyard cake!  Post a link below so I can see how yours turned out!

Frozen Cake

IMG_4696My middle daughter just turned four years old and wanted a Frozen-themed birthday party.  As a mother of five, I no longer have time to make elaborate cakes.  This simple cake fit the theme and was super-easy to make.  I hope this post helps another mom who is in search of an easy to make cake for her little princess.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box white cake mix + ingredients to make it
  • food coloring (red & blue)
  • 1 1/2 tubs white frosting
  • purple sparkle sugar
  • white/clear sparkle sugar (optional)
  • chocolate balls (blue & purple)
  • 2 8″ or 9″ round cake pans

Directions:

Make cake mix batter according to package directions.  Once the batter is done, divide evenly into two bowls.  In the first bowl, mix in enough blue food coloring to tint the batter a pale blue color.  In the second bowl, mix in enough red and blue food coloring to tint it a pale purple color.  Grease pans if cake mix directions call for it.  Pour blue batter into one of the pans, and purple batter into the other.  Bake according to package directions.  Allow pans to cool for about 10 minutes.  Then loosen sides of cake and carefully invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Once the cake is cool, place a small dollop of frosting in the middle of the plate you will be serving it on.  Place one cake on top of this.  Level top of this cake using a serrated knife to remove the dome.  Frost the top of this cake (it will be the frosting in between the layers).  Place second cake on top of first.  Frost sides of both cakes.  Then frost top of the cake on top.  To make the purple snowflake, pour purple sparkle sugar into a small zip-top bag.  Snip a very small piece of the corner off.  This will allow you to pour the sugar out in a line to make the snowflake.  Use clear or white sparkle sugar on the rest of the cake top to make it more glittery (optional).  Use the chocolate balls to decorate the bottom edge of the cake, where it meets the plate.

IMG_4697

IMG_4726When you cut into the cake, it will look something like this!

IMG_4695This photo will give you an idea of the types of things you can use to decorate this cake.  As long as you find cake decorations in the right colors, it doesn’t really matter how you decorate it.  That’s the beauty of tying into the theme using colors.  As a last note, I do NOT recommend the Wilton Cake Sparkles pictured in the photo.  I tried them before putting them on the cake, and they tasted terrible.  😦

Camping Cake

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I’m a bit geeky about cakes. When I have the time and energy, which isn’t always, I like to go a little over the top with them. At least it’s over the top by the standards of the cakes I got as a child. Anywho, here’s my eldest son’s birthday cake. He had a camping/sleepover themed party. The beauty of this cake is that it didn’t require perfect frosting skills, and he could help me decorate it. When I make a cake that depends on near-perfect frosting, I get a little, okay a lot, crazy. Don’t come near me, or you may lose your head.

I saw a picture like this on Pinterest, so that’s where we got the idea. If you want to create one of these yourself, here’s how:

Supplies: box cake mix, 2 tubs white frosting, green food coloring, blue food coloring, 1 Twinkie/Cloud Cake, 1 Pop-Tart, pretzel rods (large & small), sugar cones, 2 birthday candles, mini marshmallows, Raisinets, green sugar crystals, blue sugar crystals, Tootsie Rolls (optional), toothpicks, snack-size Hershey bar, paper, clear tape

Directions:

1. Bake cake in 9″x13″ pan according to package directions. Let cool.

2. Tint 1 tub of frosting green for grass and trees. Place 1/3 to 1/2 of frosting from other tub into bowl; tint blue for water.

3. Carefully spread green frosting over cake, leaving an open trail for the river/stream. Try not to get too many crumbs mixed in with your frosting.

4. Carefully spread blue frosting in the area you left clear for the river. Sprinkle blue sugar crystals over blue frosting, being careful not to get it on the grass.

5. Line bank of river with Raisinet rocks.

6 . Cut Pop-Tart in half. Cut that half in half again. Place these on cake to make a tent. Break off one square of Hershey bar and place inside as sleeping bag.

7. Cut scrap of paper to make flag; check proportions against toothpick. Write desired text on paper. Fold around toothpick and tape in place. Stick in ground near tent as flagpole.

8. Break off bottom of cone until it is desired height for tree. Broken edge can be ragged. Break off piece of Twinkie and stuff up into cone. Break off piece of large pretzel rod and shove into Twinkie, making sure some is poking out the bottom. You will hold this while frosting the tree.

9. Frost tree with green icing. Hold over sink while sprinkling on green sugar crystals. Carefully push cone down into cake where desired. Pretzel rod should help hold it in place. You’ll have to push down on the top of the cone; fix frosting at top with knife.

10. Push two candles into cake where you want the fire. Break small pretzel rods into pieces and lean against the candles to look like logs. Surround this with Raisinets as rocks. Place Raisinets/Tootsie Rolls around fire, as stones/logs to sit on.

11. Cut mini marshmallow in quarters. Wrap one of these pieces around end of toothpick to resemble marshmallow on a stick. Prop against sitting rock/log. Repeat as desired.

12. To make marshmallow person, use 1 mini marshmallow as torso. Break toothpick in pieces that match proportions of figure for arms and legs. Take 1/4 piece of mini marshmallow and wrap around toothpick as head. Break off and insert into top of mini marshmallow figure. Place on cake where desired. Make as many of these guys as you want.

I hope you have fun making this–I sure did! I had the idea that maybe you could use this design if you wanted to make a LOTR cake, or something else that takes place in the wilderness. If you had a small character token or figure, you could just set them on a piece of tinfoil, trimmed to fit the figure’s base, and place them on the cake. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about the figure getting wrecked or leaching stuff into the frosting. Just a thought.