CHOCOLATE TURKEY CAKE FOR THANKSGIVING!

November 21, 2017

GOBBLE, GOBBLE, GOBBLE UP THIS CAKE!! Spice cake, chocolate frosting, thin ginger cookies, and candy corn make this the best turkey you will ever serve!

Here is how we did it!

SPICY TURKEY CAKE

Ingredients;
1 box (16.5 ounces) spice cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
23 thin scalloped spice cookies (Anna’s)
1 cup each orange, yellow and dark cocoa candy melting wafers (Wilton) 1/2 cup each orange, yellow, and black decorating sugars
1 wafer cone
1 thin chocolate cookie (Famous Chocolate Wafer)
1 yellow gum square
3/4 cup candy corn
1 mini chocolate sandwich cookie (Oreo mini)
1/4 cup vanilla frosting
2 brown candy coated chocolates (M&M’s)
1 can (16 ounces) plus 1 cup milk chocolate frosting
3 circus peanuts
5 inch piece red fruit leather (Fruit By The Foot)
thin pretzel sticks

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 inch and a 6 inch round cake pans with waxed paper. Coat pans with vegetable cooking spray. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions replacing the buttermilk for the water. Spoon the mini chips into the batter and blend well. Spoon 2 cups of the batter into the smaller pan and the remaining batter into the larger pan. Bake until cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean; 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes. Invert and cool completely. Transfer the cakes to the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.

2. For the hat, spoon 1/4 cup of the chocolate frosting into a ziplock bag and snip a small corner from the bag. Use a serrated knife to trim the top 1 1/4 inches from the open end of the cone, and discard. Microwave the dark cocoa melting wafers, stirring every 5 seconds until smooth. Spread a thin layer of melted candy over the bottom cone piece and the thin chocolate cookie. Sprinkle with the black sugar to cover pieces completely. Assemble the pieces to look like a hat and refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. Pipe a line of chocolate frosting around the base of the cone hat and add the yellow piece of gum as the buckle.

3. Line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper. For the feathers, dip the tops of 8 of the scalloped cookies in the dark cocoa melted candy (reheating if necessary) to coat, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Transfer to a prepared cookie sheet refrigerate 5 minutes until set. Microwave the orange candy melts, stirring every 5 seconds, until smooth. Dip the tops of 9 of the cookies in the melted candy, allowing the excess to drip off. Transfer to a prepared cookie sheet and while the candy is still wet sprinkle with orange sugar and add 4 pieces of candy corn near one side. Transfer to the refrigerator for 5 minutes for the candy to set. Repeat process with the yellow candy melts and sugar to coat 6 cookies; refrigerate until set.

4. For the beak and feet, roll out each circus peanut to a 2 by 3 inch oval. Use a 1 1/2 inch heart cookie cutter to cut out beak from one piece of candy. For the feet, use scissors to taper the long sides of the two remaining circus peanuts and cut out 2 small triangles from the wide end to make the 3 toes.

5. For the waddle, fold the red fruit leather in half to make a double thickness 2 1/2 inches long. Use scissors to cut a long 3/4 inch wide tear drop shape. For the eyes, spoon the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag and snip a small corner from the bag. Remove the creme filling from the mini sandwich cookie. Pipe some vanilla frosting on the cookie halves and add a chocolate candy as the pupil.

6. Trim the tops of the cakes with a serrated knife to level if necessary. Place the large cake on a work surface or serving platter. For the small cake, cut a 1 inch wide edge from either side of the small cake, leaving 2 1/2 inches at the top and 4 1/2 inches on the bottom, reserving one of the trimmed pieces. Attach the cut side of the trimmed piece to the bottom side of the large cake with some chocolate frosting. Spread the top and sides of the large cake with more chocolate frosting and smooth. Add the trimmed small cake on top, lining up the wide end with the bottom of the frosted cake. Spread more chocolate frosting on top of the cake and make smooth. Starting at the bottom edge of the small cake, use the tip of a small spoon to pull the frosting away from the cake in overlapping rows to make the chest feathers. Leave the top 3 inches smooth.

7. Insert the thin pretzel sticks about 2 inches apart and 1 1/2 inches exposed, along the top edge of bottom cake as supports for the feather cookies. Press the orange cookies, overlapping slightly, into the frosting and supported by the pretzel sticks around the cake. Overlap the chocolate coated cookies on top of the orange cookies. Arrange the yellow cookies, overlapping slightly, pressing them into the cake body.

8. Add the circus peanut beak and cookie eyes on the smooth frosted head area. pipe 2 dots of chocolate frosting as the nostrils. Add the fruit leather waddle. Attach the cone hat with some chocolate frosting to the top of the head. Attach the circus peanut feet to the bottom of the cake with some chocolate frosting.

Makes 16 servings

This Thanksgiving Cake was created for our friends at Woman’s World Magazine. Look for more of our Candyful Decorating Ideas every month in Woman’s World!

We hope you have a very THANKFUL holiday!

Alan and Karen

BROKEN BLOODY BONES CUPCAKES!

October 27, 2017

This HALLOWEEN cupcake is so FRIGHTFULLY EASY and delicious we call it TRICK AND TREAT!!

INGREDIENTS:

12 chocolate cupcakes (your favorite homemade or box mix)

1 recipe dark chocolate frosting (your favorite homemade or 1 can store-bought)

12 Oreo cookies, crushed in food processor or by hand

1 recipe vanilla frosting (your favorite homemade or 1 can store-bought)

2 tubes red gel decorating frosting, Wilton or Cake Mate

  1. Frost the chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate frosting. Roll the frosted cupcakes in the Oreo cookie crumbs. Place three cupcakes side by side on a small plate.
  2. Place some vanilla frosting in a ziplock bag and seal the bag. Make a 1/4 inch cut in one corner of the filled bag (or use a piping bag fitted with a wide tip). Pipe, side by side, two wide lines of vanilla frosting across the center of all three cupcakes. Add two large dots of frosting at each end of the white stripe.
  3. Using the tube of red gel, pipe a thick stripe of red blood down the center of the vanilla stripe. (Because the gel tip is small you will need to pipe the red line several times to have enough blood to ooze. And keep the gel in the center of the white stripe so you can cover it easily.)
  4. Cover the red gel with an additional wide line of vanilla frosting, adding two thick knobs to each end of the bone shape. Your bone should look like the one below when you are finished piping.

Let the cupcakes sit for about 1/2 hour so the surface of the frosting develops a slight crust. Now comes the fun part!

BREAK THE BONE by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into the vanilla frosting between each cupcake to make three zig-zag cuts in the bone. Pull the cupcakes slightly apart allowing the red gel to show. You can add additional red gel at the cuts if you want to enhance the OOZE!!

Add additional dirt (Oreo cookie crumbs) to the plate and serve!

We wish a happy (and safe) Halloween to all!

Alan and Karen

HALLOWEEN MUMMY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES!

October 26, 2017

Our CHOCOLATE HALLOWEEN MUMMY may be SWEETER than the original movie mummy, but we think it’s almost as SCARY! Time for a REVIVAL of this classic!mummy

 

Here’s how to make our Chocolate Halloween Mummy!

For 2 mummies:

12 unfrosted chocolate cupcakes baked in brown paper liners

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

14 marshmallows

4 rolls strawberry fruit by the foot (Fruit by the Foot)

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (Oreos)

  1. Using scissors cut the marshmallows in half through the flat ends. Cut 1 of the halves on the diagonal into 2 triangles for the noses. Cut one of the halves lengthwise, into 2 strips for the eyebrows. Cut the fruit leather into 3 inch long pieces. Cut each piece of fruit leather, lengthwise, into uneven thin strips.
  2. Spoon ¼ cup of the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Spread a thin layer of vanilla frosting on top of the cupcakes. Arrange 6 cupcakes in the shape of a mummy; 1 for the head, 2 for the arms and then 3 in a row for the body and feet (see photo). Repeat with the other 6 cupcakes. Spoon the remaining vanilla frosting into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Place the marshmallow halves (flat side down) on top of the cupcakes  to make the shape of the crossed arms, the body, and the legs (see photo). Place one of the triangles with the wide end down vertically in the center of the face. Add one of the strips horizontally above the nose for the eyebrow. Place the red fruit leather strips randomly over the cupcakes (see photo). Use a dab of water to help them stick if needed. Place the cupcakes in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm slightly.

mummy

  1. Heat the bowl of vanilla frosting in the microwave, stirring frequently, until it is the texture of slightly whipped cream, 10 to 15 seconds total. Holding a chilled cupcake by its paper liner, dip it into the frosting just up to the edge of the liner and allow the excess frosting to drip back into the bowl. Carefully invert the cupcake and place on a cookie sheet. If the frosting becomes too thick microwave it for several seconds, stirring frequently. Repeat to coat all of the cupcakes with frosting.
  2. Microwave the bag of vanilla frosting for 3 to 4 seconds or just enough to soften the frosting. Massage the bag of frosting and snip a small corner (1/8-inch) from the bag. Drizzle thin lines of frosting on top of the cupcakes, crosswise, to look like bandages.
  3. Reassemble the cupcakes on a serving platter to look like the mummy. Lightly dust the top of the cupcakes with the cocoa powder. Add the chocolate cookie crumbs around the base of the cupcakes to look like dirt.

 

For spider webs and flies:

6 unfrosted chocolate cupcakes baked in brown paper liners

12 unfrosted mini chocolate cupcakes baked in brown paper liners

1/2 cup canned vanilla frosting

1 can (16 ounces) dark chocolate frosting

Black food coloring (McCormick)

18 chocolate-coated raisins (Raisinettes)

36 sliced natural almonds

1 tube (4.25 ounces) orange decorating frosting

  1. Spoon the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag.
  2. Tint the chocolate frosting black with the black food coloring. Spread the tops of the regular and mini cupcakes with the black frosting. Snip a small corner, (1/16th-inch) from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Starting in the center, pipe a spiral line over the top of the cupcake. Lightly drag a toothpick through the frosting from the center to the outer edge of cupcake to make the spider web. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
  3. Place the chocolate covered raisins randomly on top of web cupcakes. Add an almond slice on either side of the candy for wings. Pipe 2 dots of orange frosting on top of the candy for the eyes.

We hope you get WRAPPED UP in HALLOWEEN FUN!

Happy Haunting,

Alan and Karen

SUGAR SKULL CAKE FOR HALLOWEEN

October 19, 2017

We think our Sugar Skull Cake for Day of the Dead is a great idea for Halloween, too! The shape is made from a cake baked in a Pyrex bowl, a round cake layer, and a small loaf cake trimmed at the corners. The assembled shape is shown in the photo below.

The cake is covered in frosting and coated with sparkling sugar. We rolled out gum drops and cut them into shapes for the designs. And the swirls and details were added using chocolate frosting.

The full recipe is featured in this week’s Woman’s World Magazine at you grocery store checkout.

To make the design on cupcakes see the Sugar Skull Cupcakes in our last post.

Whether CAKE or CUPCAKES we promise you a very FRIGHTFUL DESSERT!

 

 

Happy Halloween Decorating!

Alan and Karen

SUGAR SKULL CUPCAKES!

October 3, 2017

These cupcakes are perfect for Day of the Dead, and Halloween, too!

We love SCARY cupcakes, especially when they are PRETTY TOO! We created the shape for our Sugar Skull Cupcakes first. It was as simple as pushing a pretzel stick into a marshmallow and then inserting the pretzel into the side of a frozen cupcake to make a chin for the skull. (Frozen cupcakes are always easier to handle for decorating!) We frosted the entire assembly and smoothed to create the skull shape.

Next we rolled the frosted cupcakes in different colored sugars. We added Hershey Milk Chocolate Drops for the eyes, and then added little colorful candies around the eyes using milk chocolate frosting as the glue. To the center of each eye we added a ChocoMaker Candy Decor. We piped a chocolate mouth and added M&Ms Minis for the teeth and nose. We finished each skull by adding chocolate swirls and details.

Happy Halloween Cupcakes!

Alan and Karen

AWARENESS MONTH!

October 2, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Over the years, we’ve found that cupcakes are great attention-getters when it comes to fundraising. So to lend our support, we always like to post our PINK BRA CUPCAKES.

We concocted this variety of pretty pink bras, hoping to inspire folks to put on their own Breast Cancer Awareness bake sales. We created different flesh tones in frosting, using red and yellow food coloring and just a touch of cocoa powder.

For the full recipe, click here.

Here’s to a successful fundraiser of your own,

Alan and Karen

DOGGONE CUTE PUPPY CAKE!

August 4, 2017

The DOG Days of Summer are here—and it’s too darn hot to turn on the oven! That’s why we designed our DOGGONE CUTE PUPPY CAKE using a ready-made family size Sara Lee pound cake, store-bought Entenmann’s donuts, and Twinkies! HOW COOL IS THAT?

We trimmed one end of the pound cake and two of the Twinkies to create the building blocks for our pup. Then we tinted our frosting light grey, melted it in the microwave, and poured the melted frosting over the pieces to give them a smooth coating.

After the frosting firmed we assembled the pieces to create our puppy. (We used a pretzel to hold the tail up.) Looks sort like a SPHINX, right?

Then we added marshmallow ears (dipped in pink sugar), a spice drop nose, Mega M&M’s eyes, and a Starburst tongue. Little tufts of white and grey frosting give it the look of scruffy fur.

Don’t forget to give the dog a bone—Scooby Doo cookies! And a bowl of water made from a donut coated in melted red frosting!

You can read the entire recipe in this week’s issue of Woman’s World Magazine where we create fabulous, fun decorating ideas every month!

Look, our pup is even on the cover!

We hope you are having a wonderful summer—we sure are!

Happy NO-BAKE decorating!

Alan and Karen

BOOKS FOR SUMMER READING (AND EATING)!!!

July 15, 2017

A fan recently commented that her kids had GOBBLED UP OUR BOOKS!! Of course, punsters that we are, we took it as a challenge to see if we could turn our books into a cake!

We immediately saw that each book could be made from a rectangular sheet cake decorated with frosting, rolled out fruit chews, and M&Ms.

And to top it off we decided to have the Unbaked Alaska Cake from the cover of CAKE MY DAY climb right to the top of the stack.

Now that’s what we call bringing literature to life!

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

(p.s. To create the shape for the monster, we used a round cake layer cut in half and glued back to back using frosting! The full recipe for the abominable snowman can be found in CAKE MY DAY!)

A GORGEOUS GOLDFISH CAKE!!!

May 26, 2017

At this point, we could practically put together a regular kit of ingredients for some of our design projects. This gorgeous goldfish cake is made from many of our most familiar elements: box cake mix, vanilla frosting, circus peanuts, Spree candy, peach rings… But of course, the result is always fresh and new!!!

Plus this friendly fellow has a nice golden summer feel, for these: the first official days of summer!

Here’s a full recipe for a variation we created using fruit leather and M&Ms  clicking here. 

So dive in!!! We’re sure this project will go swimmingly.

And afterwards, the entire family can go out to see FINDING DORY.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

 

 

SPRING PEAS CUPCAKES

April 22, 2017

Our favorite candies for decorating are the ones that are so flexible we end up using them in a million different ways. LAFFY TAFFY is one of those magical confections that you can roll, twist, melt, or slice and it still TASTES GREAT! The green taffies are the color of Spring…SPRING PEAS to be exact! Here is a really simple, really fun project using them. We promise it will leave your friends scratching their head wondering how you did it!

HERE’S HOW WE DID IT!

  1. Roll the taffy on a sheet of waxed paper. Use a small pair of scissors to cut a long spear shape from the taffy.
  2. Place three or four green Sixlets in a line down the center of the shape. Fold the taffy in from the sides and shape it around the sides of the SIXLETS to make a pea pod.
  3. Use some of the taffy trimmed from the pear shapes and roll it into a thin snake shape. Twist the thin snake shape to make a tendril.
  4. Cover the cupcakes with chocolate frosting and smooth. Add a few chocolate cookie crumbs for dirt. Top the cupcake with two peas and a tendril.

Happy Spring Decorating!

Alan and Karen

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