October 24, 2016

No need to fear. Your Candy Lab 2-for-1 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL is here!!

We’ve concocted two projects in one: a sweetly wrapped mummy and, for a little tomb-like atmosphere, we added an assortment of creepy, crawly spider web cupcakes!!!

Our mummy may look like a cake but it’s actually made of 6 chocolate cupcakes—plus some frosting and cookie crumbs!

For the recipes on both, click here.

Happy Halloween,

Alan and Karen


October 21, 2016
chilly ghosts 2

OH NO! All Hallows’ Eve is only a few days away—and you haven’t made any holiday cupcakes yet!! Call it the NIGHTMARE BEFORE HALLOWEEN!!!!!

But have no fear! We’re here to save you with a fast Halloween project that’ll please as many trick-or-treaters as you need it too.

I mean, what’s more Halloweeny than ghosts!

These chilly phantoms are a breeze to make. Here’s the speedy recipe:

With a paring knife, cut a cone-shaped hole into the top of a CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE. (Put the small cut-out piece of cake aside. You’ll need it later.)

Cover the cupcake in CHOCOLATE FROSTING, leaving the cone-shaped hole unfrosted. Then roll the cupcake in a shallow bowl full of CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUMBS.

Place a 1 1/2 inch ICE CREAM BALL into the cone-shaped hole. Then put the cone-shaped piece of cake on top, flat side down.

Pipe a circle of WHIPPED TOPPING around the base of the cone cake. Pipe a smaller circle on top of the ice cream.

Then, to make the peaked ghost’s head, pipe a third layer of whipped topping (using a squeeze-release-pull motion).

Insert two matching CANDIES for eyes.

And there you have it: a quick concoction that really captures the spooky spirit of the holiday!!

Feel free to freeze or keep cool as you wish.

Happy Trick or Treating,

Alan and Karen



October 20, 2016

This blood-curdling FOREST is one of our fave Halloween projects. We think it’s super-creepy and creative. And why wouldn’t it be?! It’s inspired by the work of one of the most fantastic filmmakers (and a personal favorite at the Candy Lab): TIM BURTON!!

These eerie trees are made from chocolate candy melts. And the soil is composed of Oreo cookie crumbs. For the FULL FRIGHTENING RECIPE, read on.

First, take 3 cookie sheets and line them with wax paper. Then draw a tree (about 4-inches tall) on another piece of paper, adding a 1 1/2 inch line below the base of the tree which will serve as the tree’s support. Place the drawing under the wax paper.

Take ONE CUP OF DARK COCOA CANDY MELTS and separate it into 3 plastic bags. Don’t seal the bag. Microwave each bag for 10 seconds—one at a time. This will begin to soften the candy melts. Massage the mixture and return to the microwave. Repeat the process until the candy is smooth. Now you can seal the bags, pressing out the excess air.

Snip a 1/8 inch corner from the bag and, following your drawing, pipe an outline and fill in the center.

While the candy is still wet, add ORANGE SPRINKLES to get the effect shown in the picture above. Place the tree into the refrigerator to set. Then repeat the process to make more trees. Each tree should take about 5 minutes to set.

After the trees are made, spread some CHOCOLATE FROSTING on top of a cupcake. Roll the top of the cupcake in a medium sized bowl in which you’ve placed 2 cups of GROUND CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUMBS. Repeat with your remaining cupcakes.

At that point, you can gently peel the candy trees from the waxed paper. Then place them on top of the cupcakes, into the chocolate frosting, until they stick. Repeat until you have as many trees as you’d like.

And there you have it: ONE PETRIFYING FOREST!!


Alan and Karen


October 19, 2016

As we always say, Halloween is one of our favorite holidays! And here’s one of our favorite Halloween projects! We put on our MAD SCIENTIST hats and came up with this bubbly TEST TUBE CAKE.

Take a close look and you’ll see why we think it’s a real EYEful!!

Test Tubes-22

The recipe itself is really fun to follow, and surprisingly easy. But you will need two colors of frosting: chocolate and vanilla and–believe it or not–acid green chocolate!

Start with a CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE and frost the outside with DARK CHOCOLATE FROSTING. (Make sure it’s really dark frosting, so the colors will pop.)

Next, take 13 TWINKIES (a good number for Halloween) and trim one end to make it flat.

Then dip the Twinkies (or Cloud Cakes, if you prefer) into the MELTED CHOCOLATE (Wilton Melting Wafers work great for this) that you’ve tinted ACID GREEN. (We used McCORMICK NEON FOOD COLOR.) and place them back side down on a cooling rack. Before the green chocolate hardens add a few white sprinkles to look like bubbles rising in the test tubes!

Once the green chocolate has firmed up, dip the flat end of the Twinkie in WHITE CHOCOLATE melting wafers to look like the foam at the top of each tube.

Attach the Twinkies to the side of the cake using chocolate frosting to secure. Make sure the flat white end is facing up.

To the flat white ends, add ACID GREEN SHIMMER COATED SIXLETS AND PEARLS (get them at Party City), using VANILLA FROSTING to glue them down.

Add more Sixlets and Pearls to the top of the cake, pressing them into the chocolate frosting.

To finish, add CANDY EYEBALLS from Party City.

And there you have it–a gory holiday treat!!

We even added a diabolical drink made from fizzy green soda with a GUMMY WORM in the bottom of each glass!! Enjoy!!!

A big BOO to everyone,

Alan and Karen


October 18, 2016
John Deere Tractor-blog1


Autumn is the time for taking those shovels, scythes and sickles—and getting your last crops gathered before winter. So we thought it would be the perfect time to roll out our TRACTOR CAKE, along with its own little HAYWAGON. And since you are soooo busy with your crops we made them using store bought pound cake…no baking!

How did we do it?

For the tractor body use a Family Size Sara Lee Pound Cake. Trim about 2 inches from one short end to use as a support under the tractor (to lift it up off the ground). Trim one long side of the cake just enough to level and flatten the side. Place the cake upright on the flattened side and give it a smooth coating of vanilla frosting, and then completely cover it in green decorating sugar. Press the sugar all around to smooth.

For the tractor cab use five graham cracker halves. Trim two of them square and leave two longer to make the cab a little longer than it is wide (see photo). Coat the pieces in white candy melts and let them harden. Once the coating is firm, use additional candy melts to assemble the four coated crackers into a rectangular shaped box. Trim the fifth cracker to fit as the roof of the cab. Coat the top piece with candy melts and sprinkle with the green decorating sugar to cover. Attach the roof to the box made for the cab.

Now it is time to assemble. Cut the 2 inch piece trimmed from the cake in half and space the 2 halves on a platter to support the tractor body. Place the tractor body upright on its side on top of the supports. Use frosting to secure. Attach two chocolate coated doughnuts at the rear for the large tires, and two mini chocolate coated doughnuts at the front for the small tires.Place the graham cracker cab on top of the body. Add details like fruit chew hubcaps with M&Ms at the center. Graham cracker fenders coated in green sugar. M&Ms for headlights and running lights. Frosting for chrome trim, side vents, and tire treads. And Ovation Sticks to make a ladder, for the exhaust pipes, and to outline the cab windows.

Garnish the platter with potato sticks and serve your hungry harvest crew!

For an extra large hoedown, add a hay wagon. It is also made from pound cake. The crib is crafted using graham crackers and pretzel sticks, and gets filled with more potato sticks.

John Deere Tractor-blog3
Happy Cupcaking,

Alan and Karen


October 14, 2016

The days are growing shorter. There’s a chill in the air. And a certain scary holiday is just around the corner. All of this means: It’s time for SPOOKY CAKE POPS!!!

We came up with this wicked pair a little while back. And they’ve been a SPOOK-TACULAR hit with the neighborhood kids. (And, believe me, we see a ton of trick-or-treaters on Halloween night! We live close to SLEEPY HOLLOW.)

We call them IGOR and DR. CYCLOPS.

This diabolical duo are made from Dunkin Munchkins. We put the Munchkins on plastic forks and dipped them in melted frosting.

We stitched up Igor using chocolate frosting and an orange Sunnyseed Drop.

Dr. Cyclops gets his good eye from a Gummy Lifesaver and a Junior Mint.

Don’t hesitate to try your own variations. That’s why we love Halloween! There are so many eerie ways to go!!!

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


October 9, 2016

We’ve been having lots of fun lately, working to come up with projects that give you the biggest BANG for the least effort.

It’s really been a challenge–but a fun one!

This new Goldfish project is so easy, it doesn’t even need a recipe. Just follow the four pictures.

We created our Goldfish as a Snapchat, then turned it into an Instagram post. And now we’re happy to post it here on the blog.

Enjoy! And let us know what you think!

Alan and Karen


October 8, 2016
Caterpillar Halloween-1

Here it comes, slithering out of our Halloween imaginations, OUR CREEPING CATERPILLAR CAKE!!

We couldn’t quite fit this project into our cake book CAKE MY DAY! But we think it’s a slinky delight! And we’re sure your kids will too. (Plus it breaks into easily served portions.)

Here’s the entire recipe:


1 recipe Perfect Cake Mix (see our previous blog entry on Perfect Cake Mix), made with yellow batter

1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting

Red, yellow and black food coloring (McCormick)

2 cups dark chocolate frosting

1/2 cup each black and orange candy coated chocolates (Sixlets)

8 black licorice laces

2 white Jordan Almonds



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake Perfect Cake in eight (5 ounce) OVEN-SAFE bowls on a cookie sheet until the cakes are firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 22 minutes. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool in the bowls for 10 minutes. Invert, remove the bowls and cool completely.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Trim the tops of the cakes level. Place the cakes, cut side down, on cardboards cut to fit. Transfer the cakes to the freezer to chill 30 minutes.
  3. Cut the black licorice laces into two 3-inch pieces for the antennae. Cut the remaining licorice laces into 1 1/2-inch pieces for the legs and feelers.
  4. Tint the vanilla frosting orange with the yellow and red food coloring. Spoon the orange frosting into a microwave safe 2-cup glass measuring cup and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. Tint the dark chocolate frosting black with the food coloring. Spoon 1/4 cup of the black frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Spoon the remaining black frosting into a microwave safe 2-cup glass measuring cup and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  5. Place a wire rack set over waxed paper lined cookie sheet and arrange the chilled cakes on top, about 1 inch apart. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the black frosting. Pipe a line of black frosting down the center of 7 of the cakes. Microwave the black frosting in the measuring cup, stirring every 5 seconds, until the texture of slightly whipped cream, about 15 seconds. Using the piped line as a guide, carefully pour the melted frosting over half of 7 of the cakes and cover the remaining cake completely. Allow the excess frosting to drip into the pan. Transfer the cakes to the refrigerator to set, 15 minutes.
  6. Replace the waxed paper under the chilled cakes with a clean sheet. Microwave the orange frosting, stirring every 5 seconds, until the texture of slightly whipped cream, about 15 seconds. Carefully pour the melted frosting over the other half of each cake, using the black frosting line as a guide, allowing the excess to drip into the pan.
  7. Use a spatula to transfer each cake to small serving plates. Press a row of the black candy coated chocolates along the edge of the orange frosting and a row of orange candy coated chocolates along the edge of the black frosting.
  8. For the legs, press 7 pieces of the cut licorice, on each side, along the base of the two-tone cakes.
  9. For the head, place 3 orange candies in a row on top of the black coated cake. Add 2 black candies on either side of the orange row and finish with one orange candy on each side to make a diamond shape. Press the Jordan almonds on the front of the cake into the frosting to secure. Pipe dots of the black frosting and attach a black candy and a small piece of licorice for the eyebrows. Add a black candy for the mouth and insert several licorice laces around the candy mouth as feelers. Arrange the cakes in an S shaped curve on the table to look like a caterpillar.

All in all, it makes 16 servings. That should be plenty for a great Halloween party!!

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


October 7, 2016

Yep—it’s time to kick off HALLOWEEN—one of the best seasons for cake and cupcake creativity!! And what better way to begin than with OUR NEW APPROACH to a good old-fashioned Jack-O-Lantern!! 

It’s definitely one project that should light up the holiday!!

Here’s the complete recipe:


  • Cooking spray
  •  (16.5-oz) boxes spice cake mix
  •  large eggs
  •  2 cups buttermilk
  •  ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  •  (16-oz) cans vanilla frosting
  •  Red and yellow food coloring
  •  1⁄2 cup dark chocolate frosting
  •  1 1⁄2 cups orange decorating sugar
  •  mini chocolate-coated mints (optional)
  • orange cream–filled chocolate sandwich cookies



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of an 8-inch round pan with parchment paper. Mist pan and 2 (6-cup) Bundt pans with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together cake mixes as directed, substituting buttermilk for water. Spoon 2 1⁄2 cups batter into cake pan; divide remaining batter between Bundt pans. Bake until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes for the cake pan and 30 to 35 minutes for the Bundt pans. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack; unmold and cool completely.
  3. Level top of 8-inch cake and bottoms of Bundt cakes, reserving some scraps. Place one Bundt cake, trimmed side up, on a cardboard cake base. Spread vanilla frosting over top. Place round cake on top of frosting, trimmed side down, and spread with more vanilla frosting. Then top with second Bundt cake, trimmed side down. Press scraps into opening at top of cake to fill slightly. Spread a thin layer of frosting all over cakes. Freeze 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, tint 1⁄4 cup vanilla frosting yellow and spoon into a sandwich bag. Spoon chocolate frosting into a second sandwich bag. Squeeze out excess air and seal bags. Tint remaining vanilla frosting orange, using red and yellow food coloring; cover.
  5. Place orange decorating sugar in a medium bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place cake on top. Evenly spread orange frosting all over cake, working from bottom to top. Gently press handfuls of sugar onto frosting to cover completely.
  6. Carefully transfer cake to a serving platter. Using a long wooden skewer or chopstick, gently press vertical lines into frosting to create ribs. Return cake to freezer for 15 minutes. Then, using a paring knife, cut shapes for eyes, nose, and mouth of jack-o’- lantern, pressing about 1 inch deep. Remove cut cake pieces with a small knife or fork.
  7. Snip small corners off yellow and chocolate frosting bags. Pipe yellow frosting into openings to cover; smooth slightly. Pipe chocolate frosting inside edges of cutouts. If desired, press mini chocolate mints into eyes. Stack chocolate cookies on top, with a dab of chocolate frosting between each, to make a stem.

We’ll be back soon with lots more ideas for this ghoulish time of year!!

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


September 29, 2016
Pink Bras-24

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 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 event of your own,

Alan and Karen