June 28, 2016
Strawberries 72 PX

Here’s another SWEET SUMMER idea from our CANDY LAB—STRAWBERRY CUPCAKES that look like actual strawberries!

It all starts very easily with mini-strawberry cupcakes. You can make them using a store-bought strawberry cake mix. Then create little strawberry toppers made from cookies and sesame seeds. The rich red color on our strawberries is made with gel coloring.

Food Coloring2

You can make the callix from spice drops or spearmint leaves for a super taste treat. And for the stems, we used sweet little snack sticks. (Snack sticks are always a great thing to have around. They can be used for everything from antlers, legs, and arms—to stems for strawberries.)

Snack Sticks

When you’re done, serve them with freshly whipped cream—and you’ve got a super summer treat!!!

It’s guaranteed to make you BERRY happy.

Here’s to more summer fun,

Alan and Karen


June 26, 2016
Gold Fish Cake-33

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




June 19, 2016
Owl 1

We are CRAZY FOR OWLS and love making them from cupcakes, cakes, cookies, anything SWEET! We adapted this one from our book CAKE MY DAY! Instead of using POUND CAKE we used a JUMBO CUPCAKE! The GOLDEN OREOS make this super easy because the eyes, wings, and ears are all made from the cookies. Follow our easy four step graphic (below) created for whatsnewcupcake on INSTAGRAM to make your own OUTRAGEOUS OWLS.Owl 2

Photo from whatsnewcupcake on Instagram

How we did it:

Separate two Golden Oreos, keeping all of the filling on one cookie side. Use a serrated knife to saw the cookies without filling in half. Then saw one of the halves in half to make quarters. (2 halves will be the wings, two of the quarters will be the ears, and the remaining two quarters WILL BE A SNACK!!!)

To decorate the eyes, add green candy to the two cookies that have the filling, pressing into the filling to secure. (We used Baby Face Tears but any colorful hard candy will work.) Add Jr Mints to the center for the pupils.

Place the EYES on the upper portion of a green frosted cupcake. Add the wings to the sides. Add the ears above and behind the eyes. Add an orange Baby Face Tear for the beak.

Use vanilla frosting in a piping bag to add squiggles for the feathers.

Add four orange Kookie Bananas for the claws.

That’s it. How simple! And of course you make them any color you choose!

Look for this and lots of other easy design ideas on Instagram at whatsnewcupcake

Or add whatsnewcupcake to Snap Chat to watch our Snap Recipes. But hurry. They are only up for 24 hours.

Snap Logo

Add whatsnewcupcake to Snap Chat or Snap our code above!

Happy decorating,

Alan and Karen


June 17, 2016
shield cake

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No—it’s our SUPERHERO SHIELD CAKE!!

This unbeatable project is perfect for the heroes in your home. And best of all, it doesn’t take super-powers to make it. Basically, all you need is THE POWER TO ROLL OUT SPICE DROPS!!

Here’s the whole story:

Take a 16 OUNCE BOX OF CAKE MIX and prepare according to package directions. Pour the batter into greased 9″x 13″ pan lined with wax paper and smooth with spatula. Bake until firm. Cool and invert.

To make the letter detail, press 20 RED SPICE DROPS together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with RED DECORATING SUGAR and roll out the candies to a 4 1/2″x 5″ rectangle, adding more red sugar to prevent sticking. Make a template of your child’s initial with cardstock; place it on top of rolled candy. Cut out letter with a paring knife; reserve scraps.

To make the red shield border, unroll SOME RED FRUIT LEATHER and press two strips together to make it doubly thick. Roll one side of the strip in red sugar to coat. Cut into two 11″ strips, two 4″ strips and one 9″ strip. Cut the scraps into six 1/2″ triangles

To make the blue circle, press 28 WHITE SPICE DROPS together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with BLUE DECORATING SUGAR. Roll candies to a roughly 6 1/2″ circle, adding sugar to prevent sticking. Trim circle with a paring knife.

To make the yellow bolts, press 12 YELLOW SPACE DROPS together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with YELLOW DECORATING SUGAR and roll out candies to a 3″x 4″ rectangle, adding more yellow sugar to prevent sticking. Cut out bolts with a paring knife.

Place cake on work surface, leveling the top with a serrated knife. Transfer cake, flat side down, to a serving platter. Remove a triangular piece from each corner of the cake and position pieces at the bottom to create the pointed end of the shield shape, using the photo as guide.

Spread thin layer of VANILLA FROSTING over cake. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.

Spread remaining frosting over the cake. Place blue candy circle in the center. Arrange red strips along edge of cake, trimming ends with scissors when necessary. Add yellow candies around blue circle. Place red letter and small red triangles in center of blue circle and yellow bolts on either side of letter.

And there you have it: One cake so mighty, it simply can’t be beat.

Thanks to Tara Donne for the terrific photo.

You can find also find this recipe at its PARENTS page by clicking here.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


June 13, 2016
alan and karen 6 yrs ago

We love how FACEBOOK suddenly reposts pictures from years ago. And yesterday it really surprised us with a fun photo of the two of us from SIX YEARS AGO. It was one of our first appearances at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago. We had just published WHAT’S NEW, CUPCAKE? and we were really excited that our second book had been so well received. So here we are, toasting our success with CUPCAKE COCKTAILS!

It’s not a picture we ever posted before. So for fun, we thought we’d share.

Here’s to the past, the present—and the future!!

Alan and Karen



June 6, 2016
three little pigs

PINK MARSHMALLOWS make PINK PIGGIES even easier!! When we saw pink marshmallows in the grocery aisle we knew they would make our piggies PRETTY IN PINK!

And to make things even easier we decorated them in four easy steps! Here’s how we did it:

1. Snip a pink marshmallow in half on the diagonal. Dip the sticky cut sides in pink decorating sugar. Cut a second pink marshmallow in half crosswise, one of the halves will be the snout. Use scissors to make a small slit in the side of the snout to create a mouth (see photo).

2. Form a teardrop shaped tongue from a small piece of pink Laffy Taffy. Press a line in the center of the tongue using a paring knife.

3. Frost a cupcake with pink frosting. Add the snout marshmallow to the lower center of the cupcake. Add the two ear marshmallows above the mouth. (Make sure they are completely on top of the frosted cupcake, and sugar side up, so they don’t fall off.)

4. Add chocolate M&Ms for the eyes, and two small dashes of chocolate frosting for the nostrils. Insert the Laffy Taffy tongue in the slit made for the mouth. That’s it, so simple!

Piggie Cupcakes QuadPhoto from INSTAGRAM whatsnewcupcake

You can see more easy ideas like our PRETTY PINK PIGGIES on SnapChat

or on our Instagram page. Look for whatsnewcupcake

Snap LogoSnap our SnapCode above or add our user name whatsnewcupcake

Happy decorating,

Alan and Karen


May 28, 2016

As summer gets closer, we’re always asked for more kid’s parties ideas. And one of our faves is our BURIED TREASURE CUPCAKE project.

This project involves making several different treasure map cupcakes that lead you down a licorice trail to the cupcake that has an X on it. X marks the spot where you can add a surprise candy to the cupcake’s inside.

This project also gives you a good opportunity to practice your piping. (You’ll have to pipe out some skull and bone shapes.) And it’ll give you a chance to shape some fruit chews and work with licorice.

No treasure hunt is involved in finding the recipe. You can simply find it by clicking here.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


May 25, 2016
pink cupcakes

PINK makes everything better! Even doughnuts!

We like to buy them frosted or glazed and add shimmer candies for pizzas!

It makes a great brunch party treat!

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


May 24, 2016

Some of our FRIENDS, NIECES and NEPHEWS are graduating this year. And we wanted to wish them all a very HAPPY GRADUATION!!!! To help celebrate, we present the graduating class of 2016 with our own favorite commencement project.

We’ve put together an entire graduating class of cupcakes—featuring a wide array of personalities, heads and hair-dos (made up of everything from chewing gum to cereal Os). And they’re all wearing mortarboards made of After Eight mints, sitting on an upside down Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Feel free to fashion your own funny heads. And here’s a good tip: You may want to use candies and frostings that match your SCHOOL COLORS.

The entire detailed recipe can be found on pages of 141-42 of WHAT’S NEW, CUPCAKE?


Alan and Karen


May 19, 2016
Deli Chicken-assembly 2

In many of our cake recipes, we suggest using what we call a “PERFECT CAKE” mix. And every now and then, we like to present a quick refresher course on the WHY and HOW of this special mix (that is, WHY we need it and HOW to make it).

Because many of our cake the projects involve cutting cakes into shapes, stacking them and covering them with candy, we found we needed the cake to be extra firm. And we found that accomplishing this was surprisingly simple! In fact , all that was required was ONE SWITCH IN INGREDIENTS!!

All you do is take a box of cake mix and replace the water called for on the box with BUTTERMILK!! Easy as that—and you have a great base for decorating.

p.s. If you don’t have buttermilk in the fridge, you can whip it up yourself by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of whole milk. Let it stand for 10 minutes to sour.

You can find our Perfect Cake Mix being put to good use all over our blog, and of course in our book CAKE MY DAY!

Happy Baking,

Alan and Karen