EASY EASTER EGG TREATS!!!

March 30, 2015
Candy Crumble Easter Egg Cookies

Easter is only days away. And we’ve come up with a quick and easy holiday project. And, as we promised, it uses that sweet new item CANDY CRUMBLE that we introduced a few posts back.

We began these treats with graham crackers—but you could just as easily make them with slices of Pound Cake or sugar cookies. Just cut them out with an egg–shaped cookie cutter.

What we did was trim the graham crackers using a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, cutting the corners on one end to make the bottom of the egg shape. At the other end, we narrowed the shape and curved the corners to make the top of the egg shape.

Working with one cookie at a time (you don’t want your frosting to dry out before coating it) add a generous dollop of frosting to a graham cracker, mounding it in the center and smoothing to the edges.

To cover the frosting, use a pastel colored coating such as sparkling sugar, sprinkles or—as we mentioned—Candy Crumble.

For the egg with the cameo window, just coat the frosting at the edges leaving a 1 inch x 1 1/2 inch unfrosted oval in the center. For the other eggs coat the entire surface to cover.

Now for the really fun part. Use colorful hard candies like Pearls, Sixlets, bananas, hearts, Baby Face Tears, etc. to create the stripes and flowers on the eggs. The bunny shape at the center of the oval window is made using 2 pink Sixlets with a white pearl for the belly and 2 pink Baby Face Tears for the ears, surrounded by a ring of pastel blue Pearls to make the cameo window.

Snip short pieces of green licorice lace (or Green Apple Licorice Straws or Green Apple Sour Belt candy or Kenny’s Green Apple Juicy Twists) for the nest and place the Easter Egg Treats on top.

And there you have it—an awesome homemade treat to complement any Easter Basket!!

Don’t be surprised if your kids cry out, “Eggs-cellent!!”

The Happiest of Easters,

Alan and Karen

BUNNY HILL PART 2: THE SURPRISE INSIDE!!

March 28, 2015
Bunny Hill surprise

In our previous post, we promised to reveal the secret inside our Bunny Hill cake. And we always keep our promises. (Well, mostly.)

Like so many of our new CAKE MY DAY recipes, we designed the inside as well as the outside. Cut into Bunny Hill and out comes a treasure trove of carrot candies! (This idea was sort of inspired by the Mardi Gras King Cake.)

Find out more about it on the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING page by clicking here.

Happy Easter,

Karen and Alan

EASTER “BUNNY HILL” CAKE!!!

March 26, 2015
Bunny Hill21 (1)

What’s up, Doc? Well…Easter is just around the corner, so we thought we’d present our BUNNY HILL CAKE from our new book Cake My Day! It’s sure to create an AWWW-INSPIRING moment at your table this year!!

It features a crowd of cute cottontails, made from marshmallows (mini marshmallows for the babies and regular for the adults). And they’re all sitting in a field of green grass frosting, covering a hill of chocolate cake!

The good folks at GOOD HOUSEKEEPING have published this hare-raising holiday project in their April issue. (Aren’t those Easter egg dyed marshmallows on the cover super cute? Karen styled those, too!)

GH photo

The Bunny Hill itself is really simple to make. The chocolate cake shape is baked in an oven safe bowl. Once the cake is cooled, trim the top of the cake to level, and turn it over to make the rounded shape. Using frosting tinted grass green, cover the entire cake with pretty swirls.

Building the rabbits couldn’t be easier. Basically it requires a simple snip of the scissors and a clever reassembly of the parts. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING has the entire 3-step process on their bunny page. (Click here.)

making bunnies

bunnies

We want to give special thanks to GOOD HOUSEKEEPING for supporting the launch of our new book CAKE MY DAY!

Happy Easter to them—and you!!

Alan and Karen

P.S. Keep your eyes on the blog for Part 2 of this cake recipe. It contains a secret surprise—what they call an “Easter Egg” in video games and movies—and that’s not so far off the mark. Can you guess?

“CAKE MY DAY!” IS OFFICIALLY IN STORES!!

March 23, 2015
Pinata Cake-30

It’s FIESTA time—the BIG DAY is finally here!!! Tuesday March 24th is the official launch date of our new book CAKE MY DAY! It feels like we’ve been waiting for this for months. (Oh wait! We HAVE been waiting for this for months!) We hope you catch us on the TODAY Show Tuesday with Kathie Lee and Hoda. (Watch out ladies! We are going to see if you can turn Pringles potato chips into leaves, frost a pineapple, and make marshmallows Easter bunnies! It should be quite a show!)

Cake My Day!

“Launch Day” means that Cake My Day! is now in stores—everywhere from your local book nook to the Big Box outlets. And online sites out there in the wide world of the web can ship your order right away! (See AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE and Indie Bound links below.) We’re so excited to finally share our cakes with you!

We’re really proud of this book. It took a ton of work—but we think it turned out great! And judging from the reviews we’ve gotten so far, other folks agree. Entertainment Weekly says it best: “These adorable cakes will render your Pinterest account totally useless.” (You’ll have to excuse us for shamelessly blowing our own horn. After all, it is LAUNCH DAY!!!!!!!)

Cake My Day! gives us our biggest canvas yet, with cakes made in both everyday and unexpected shapes. We encourage you to use all those pans and bowls you already own to make these brand new cake creations.

You probably never thought about decorating a loaf cake, much less a cake baked in a measuring cup. Yet our Piñata Cake above is baked in both! We gave these shapes the Hello Cupcake treatment. Using spice drops for decorations, we created a party cake that will be a smash!

Cake My Day! introduces loads of NEW DECORATING TECHNIQUES too—like FLAVOR PAINTING which we used on our PRINCESS AND THE PEA cake, below. Flavor Painting creates vibrant color you would never expect from regular liquid food coloring, and it is as much fun as finger painting!

Pea in the Bed Cake-10

And if you are as lazy as we are, sometimes you don’t even want to turn on your oven. That’s why we devoted an entire chapter to store bought frozen pound cakes, like Sara Lee. Our WORK BOOT CAKE uses frozen pound cake topped with a stack of chocolate doughnuts to create the boot shape. We even show you how to turn the boot into a high top sneaker or a pink Aussie Hugs boot!

Work Boot26

So join us on our new adventure! And don’t worry—we haven’t forgotten about our first love CUPCAKES! You’ll be seeing plenty of them in the future—including RIGHT HERE ON THE BLOG!

In the meantime, you can find CAKE MY DAY! on Amazon by clicking here, and at Barnes & Noble by clicking here and at Indie Bound by clicking here!

Wish us Luck and Keep on Cupcaking!

Alan and Karen

ARTIST’S PALETTE CAKE!!

March 21, 2015
pallette

Some people think of cakes as food. But we tend to think of them as art. Well, somewhere between food and art. So with art in mind, we came up with this painter’s palette cake. We love any kind of project that allows us to go crazy with color!!

Here’s how we did it:

What you are seeing is a shape cut from a 9 X 13 single layer cake. We curved the corners of one end of the rectangle and then narrowed the other end and rounded the corners to create the palette shape. (Don’t worry, we didn’t waste those cake pieces, we threw them in the freezer to use later for Cake Pops!) The idea of changing the shape of an ordinary cake comes straight from our newest book, Cake My Day!

Before decorating, we gave the entire cake a crumb coating (more on “crumb coating” in a future blog) and placed it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to chill. This not only glues down the loose crumbs, but also gives us a firm cake for handling while decorating.

We coated the top of the chilled cake with vanilla frosting, and the sides with chocolate frosting, and smoothed. Once frosted, we added the chocolate jimmies to the side of the cake first. (Adding them later might have smudged our decorations on the top.) Then we created six circles of color using blue, green, yellow, red, pink, and purple shimmer-coated Sixlets.

The hole was added to the palette using chocolate frosting.

For the brush, we combined three Ovation Sticks using chocolate frosting to secure, and placed a cluster of yellow Banana Candies at the end for the bristles, with a red Banana Candy for the trim.

And there you have it. A work of art—ready to devour with both your eyes and mouth!

Happy Cake-Making,

Alan and Karen

ONLINE CUPCAKE CONNECTIONS!!!

March 19, 2015
alan karen as cupcakes

“I wish you had a FACEBOOK page,” sighed a fellow cupcaker we met recently. And we were happy to tell her, “WE DO!” In fact, our Facebook fan group page is going strong!

It’s a great place to see tips and projects from our fans—who blow our minds with their creativity and amazing ability! And there’s no better place to ask a group of like-minded decorators for help with ideas for your next project. The group is so friendly and helpful, sometimes we log on just to feel the love! You also get NEWS, TIPS AND BLOG ALERTS from us!

So join the fun and the dialogue. Simply search for the Hello, Cupcake! public group when you go to Facebook.

 

You can also see lots of our pictures on PINTEREST and INSTAGRAM.

If you are already a Pinterest user just search for whatsnewcupcake and give us a follow.

If you haven’t joined Pinterest yet just go to your web browser and type pinterest.com/whatsnewcupcake

If you are on Instagram search us at whatsnewcupcake and follow us.

If you are not yet a user go to instagram.com/whatsnewcupcake/

 

And that’s not all! (We’ve really got the web covered!) You can also follow us on TWITTER where we’re tweeting about treats all the time!  If you’re already on twitter, just follow us @whatsnewcupcake.

If you have not started to use TWITTER yet, just go to twitter.com/whatsnewcupcake to see our feed.

 

We hope to see you here, there—and everywhere!!

Happy communicating!

Alan and Karen

WE’RE ON THE TODAY SHOW!!

March 16, 2015
TODAYLogo

Things are getting super busy as we roll up to the OFFICIAL LAUNCH DAY of our new book CAKE MY DAY!

Launch day is Tuesday March 24th—and we’ll be making our big debut on the TODAY SHOW that morning. We’ll be appearing during the fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda—who have been great friends and supporters ever since HELLO, CUPCAKE!

We’ll be teaching Kathie Lee and Hoda how to make our PINEAPPLE CAKE (a cake that LOOKS like a pineapple, of course). And we’ll be showing lots of other projects from the book, including the UNBAKED ALASKA CAKE from our cover.

In the days following, we’ll be appearing on local stations in Detroit, Kansas City, Denver, Tampa, Toledo, Dallas, Birmingham, Green Bay, Phoenix, Spokane and many other cities.

So keep your TV tuned for some real EYE CANDY.

And wish us luck on this crazy round of promotion!!

And of course, as we might have mentioned before, you can order CAKE MY DAY! by clicking here.

See you on the airwaves,

Alan and Karen

CRABBY CRAB CAKE!!

March 15, 2015
Crab Cake47

How do you make a cake crabby? Well, splitting it in half will certainly make it grumpy. But that’s just the first step.

Coating it in sanding sugar and adding marshmallow eyes and claws are what turn it into a real crab!

This thin-skinned fellow was inspired by a day we spent fishing and clamming out on the tip of Long Island, just as winter was coming in. (Yes, we can be a little crazy sometimes.) It was freezing and wet, but lots of fun—and when we got back to the Candy Lab, all we could think of was SEA CREATURE CAKES. Clearly, we’d do ANYTHING for inspiration (although I suppose it might have been drier to simply go see the new SPONGEBOB movie).

Round cake pans are the most common in the kitchen, and the crab gets its shell by simply splitting a round in half and sandwiching the two sides together. The claws are where we got to use some real geniosity from our new book Cake My Day! We baked two small cakes in 8-ounce oven-safe bowls. (That’s right. Those little oven-safe glass bowls in your cupboard are perfect for baking!) Then we split them to make the parts for the claws!

Crab Cake slice

Here’s the entire recipe, claws and all!

Ingredients:

1 batch yellow cake batter, box mix or your favorite recipe, divided (1/2 cup batter in each of two 8-ounce oven-safe bowls and the remaining batter in an 8-inch round baking pan) and baked following the instructions in the recipe

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Red food coloring (McCormick)

5 marshmallows

3 red licorice twists (Twizzler)

1 roll (.75 ounces) red fruit leather (Fruit by the Foot)

2 black candy coated chocolates (M&M’S)

2 back candy coated licorice pastels (Jelly Belly)

1 cup red decorating sugar (Cake Mate)

1/2 cup ground vanilla wafers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cut the 8-inch round cake in half crosswise, to make 2 semi-circular cakes. Sandwich the two bottom sides of the semi-circles together, using some frosting to secure. Spread a thin crumb coating of frosting on the cake, filling any gaps and smooth. Transfer the cake to a cardboard cut to fit, cut side down. Trim the top of each bowl cake to level. Make a crosswise cut through each bowl cake, dividing them into 1/3 and 2/3 pieces. Cover all four bowl cake pieces with a thin crumb coating of vanilla frosting, and smooth. Place the cut bowl cake pieces on cardboards cut to fit, trimmed top side down. Place all of the cakes in the freezer to chill, about 30 minutes.
  2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting red with the food coloring. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
  3.  Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. As you prepare the crab parts, transfer them to the cookie sheet. To make the eyes, cut a licorice twist in half crosswise. Cut one of the marshmallows in half crosswise. Insert the tip of a 5-inch wooden skewer at one edge of the cut marshmallow. Press a black chocolate candy onto the sticky side of marshmallow for the pupil and a licorice pastel above as the eyebrow. Thread the open end of the cut licorice twist onto the wooden skewer. Repeat to make another eye.
  4. For the legs, cut the remaining 2 licorice twists in half lengthwise. Cut each piece in half crosswise to get 8 pieces.
  5. For the beard, unroll the fruit leather and fold it in half to make a double thickness, pressing to secure. Cut the fruit leather into 3-inch pieces. Use pinking shears to cut a scalloped edge on one long side of the fruit leather pieces. Gather the fruit leather at the opposite side to make a ruffle. (You will need about 5 or 6 pieces.)
  6. For the claws, cut a 1/4 inch slice from each flat side of the 4 remaining marshmallows, discarding the center. Cut the pieces in half to make 16 semi circles.
  7. Place the red sugar in a large bowl. Spread some of the red frosting over the large chilled cake and make smooth. Hold the cake on the cardboard over the bowl of sugar and lightly press the sugar up and over the sides of the cake to coat completely. Brush the top of the cake lightly to remove any excess sugar. Lightly press the sprinkled cake to smooth and flatten any ridges. Transfer cake to a serving platter.
  8. To make the claws, frost the cut bowl cake pieces with the remaining red frosting and make smooth. Working on one piece at a time, coat the cake with the red sugar as above. Press the cut side of 5 marshmallows along the top flat sides of larger pieces of cake to make the inside of the claw, using some frosting to secure if necessary. Repeat adding 3 marshmallow pieces to the smaller cake pieces. Arrange the large pieces on either side of the semi-circle cake, curved side facing out. Add the small cakes at an angle, with the marshmallow sides facing the marshmallows of the larger pieces.
  9. Make a thin slit on the top of the large cake, 1 inch from the edge, and press the gathered end of the fruit leather into the cake for the beard. Insert the licorice twist ends of the eye assemblies behind the beard, leaving about 2 inches of the twist exposed.
  10. Sprinkle the platter with the ground vanilla wafers to look like sand. Tuck the cut licorice twists under the cake on either side as the back legs.

And that’s that. The recipe makes 12 servings. And don’t be shellfish with those cookie crumbs for sand!

Happy Cake-making,

Alan and Karen

A NEW KIND OF CANDY!!!

March 12, 2015
cones

In the world of cake and cupcake decorating, discovering a NEW CANDY is like discovering GOLD! It can lead to all sorts of new horizons and fresh possibilities. And we’ve got a great discovery for you.

We came across it when we were manning the Sweetworks booths in San Francisco and Germany recently. It’s called CANDY CRUMBLE. We used it to give a different, delicious (and, we think, delightful) texture to the ICE CREAM CONE CUPCAKES you see above and the BIRTHDAY CUPCAKES you see below.

Candy Crumble Party Cakes

At the Candy Lab, we often use colorful coatings to add pizzazz to our designs. Usually, our go-to coatings are decorating sugar and sprinkles or jimmies. But unlike the other two, Candy Crumble has a softer look, being a mix of pastel color and white, yet it gives greater texture to the surface coating.

The white-and-color mix also makes it very versatile. We found that when you add it to chocolate frosting, the pastel and the white colors both pop. When you add it to white frosting, just the pastel color pops. And when you add it to a frosting that matches the pastel color, you can actually intensify the entire coating color.

If you’re wondering about the flavor, CANDY CRUMBLE is a soft vanilla—which works nicely with so many other flavors you might have going on, and it is not too sweet. Plus it comes in four different colors: PINK, POWDER BLUE, LAVENDER and LIME GREEN!

For more info, click here to go to the product page.

We have an idea for using it on some Easter Egg Cupcakes—which we’ll feature here (as soon as we nail the recipe). So keep your eyes on the blog.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen

PS We called the company to see where you can find it, and because it is new, the distribution is limited right now. JoAnn’s has it, so does A. C. Moore. Michael’s, TARGET, and WALMART should be coming soon! So keep an eye out for it!

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