OUR NEW BOOK!!

September 26, 2014

For those who haven’t seen our NEW BOOK COVER yet—here it is—CAKE MY DAY!

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Yep, this time we thought we’d tackle cakes–but we’ve done so with the same crazy, creative approach we took to cupcakes–only BIGGER!! We still use everyday EDIBLE ingredients (i.e. lots of candy)! We still put the emphasis on FUN!! And we even found ways to decorate the INSIDE of a cake!!!

The wheels of publishing turn a tad slowly, so CAKE MY DAY won’t be out until SPRING 2015. But if you’d like to pre-order the book, click here (for Barnes and Noble) or you can click here (for Amazon).

Between now and March 24th (our pub date), we’ll be previewing lots of our new ideas here on the blog (including some of the funny cover ideas that got cut).

So stay tuned,

Alan and Karen

HIGH-HEEL CUPCAKES!!!

September 25, 2014
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The most fashion-forward of our Cupcake Classics has got to be this sweet attempt at fabulous footwear: High-Heel Cupcakes!!!

They might be THE most popular project from our book CUPCAKES, COOKIES & PIE, OH MY! (You can find them—and lots of glam variations—on pages 111-115.)

We’ve been asked to recreate this project at many different cupcake events—including one hilarious happening in Miami, FLA.

We were invited to kick our heels up at a big outdoor confectioners celebration at the famous Fontainebleau Hotel.  It turned out to be the hottest, most humid night they’d had in a while—and that’s saying something.

We had over 600 cupcakes sitting out in the heat. And they kept melting and slipping off their cookie-stick high heels. We had a crazy time keeping each and every shoe aloft—while meeting and greeting all the guests!  After a while, the whole experience became hysterically funny–like something out of an I LOVE LUCY episode. But we did manage to keep most of the heels high! And the cupcakes were a big hit!!

Moral:  Don’t make high-heel cupcakes outdoors in the summer!

For the full recipe, check out OH MY. You’re going to need graham crackers, Pirouettes or any cookie stick, melting wafers and, of course—decorating sugars (to make the widest array of shimmering shoes you can think of).

Happy Cupcaking,

Alan and Karen

TWO FOR TULSA!

September 24, 2014

We are really excited because Friday we are headed to Tulsa, Oklahoma for AMERICA’S BIGGEST CAKE SHOW!

That’s right, KERRY VINCENT of Food Network fame hosts the largest gathering of cake artists in America and she does it in her home town of Tulsa, OK. Just follow the signs to the Tulsa State Fair Grounds!

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Last time we attended, Kerry asked us to recreate the local icon Big Digger in cupcakes. We’re still trying to figure that out!

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This year, we will be spending lots of time on the show floor teaching our favorite Hello Cupcake decorating techniques to the 80,000 plus visitors that come to see the biggest Sugar Show on earth. Eighty thousand is a big slice of the local population…plus the thousands of folks who come from around the world to take part.

Kerry asked us to emcee the Live Action timed cake decorating competition again. This year’s challenge: BUNTING CAKES!! (For those unfamiliar with “bunting,” imagine your Main Street on the 4th of July.) That’s gonna mean a lot of SWAG! We can’t wait!

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If you happen to be near Tulsa this weekend, September 26 & 27,  be sure to stop by to say hi at the Hello Cupcake booth.

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Maybe we can share one of those famous Tulsa State Fair Corn Dogs!!

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See you there!

Alan and Karen

HALLOWEEN PREVIEW!!

September 22, 2014
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Halloween may be a month away. But around the Candy Lab, it’s never too early to start celebrating. As we always say, Halloween is one of our favorite holidays!

So, on a lovely autumn day, 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!!

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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!!!

Happy Cake-making (and an early BOO! to everyone),

Alan and Karen

TV DINNER CUPCAKES!!

September 21, 2014
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Fruit Chews = Carrots!

Frosting = Mashed Potatoes!

Corn Flakes = Fried Chicken!

Starbursts = Butter!

Caramel = Gravy!

Yep! That’s how it goes at the Candy Lab. And the result is one of our all-time classics: TV DINNER CUPCAKES!

This project brings back very warm memories of sitting before the TV, eating Swanson TV dinners. This project always makes Alan think of BONANZA!

It’s great that our new website gives us a chance to revisit so many of our favorites. (We need to build back a lot of the posts we lost when we had to shut down the old blog.) We hope you enjoy it too.

The full recipe appears on pages 30-33 of the original HELLO, CUPCAKE!

Happy Cupcaking,

Alan and Karen

 

GIFT BOX CUPCAKES!!!!

September 9, 2014
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WELCOME TO THE NEW HELLO CUPCAKE BLOG!!

We’ve been gone for the summer while we built our new blog. But now we’re back–bigger and better.

So we thought we’d start where we left off–with this sweet petite project–and its easy, breezy recipe.

As they say: Good things come in small packages. And these tiny GIFT BOX CUPCAKES are definitely a good thing. They’re sure to be a big hit at any celebration.

Here’s how we did it:

First we had to create square cupcakes. We used a foil liner with a pattern. We pinched the liners to create four corners. We placed as many as we could fit into a 9 by 13 inch cake pan (which came to about 20-24 liners). That helped them keep a square shape.

Then we filled each liner 2/3′s full with batter and baked according to cake mix instructions. Once they were baked and cooled, we pulled them apart, like a pull-apart cake.

We frosted the tops of our square cupcakes with vanilla frosting and added a few confetti sprinkles, which we color-matched to the liner.

Then we rolled the top of each cupcake in white decorating sugar to coat them.After that, we smoothed out the tops, using an offset spatula. We removed the excess sugar with a dry pastry brush.

This gave us a great sparkly package with polka dots.For the bows and ribbons, we used stick chewing gum: Big Red for pink, Juicy Fruit for yellow. (We split the chewing gum sticks lengthwise to give them a thinner look.)

And that’s a wrap!

Do not open till dessert time!!

 

Happy Cupcaking,

Alan and Karen

 

SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS

September 8, 2014
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People always ask us: What are your most POPULAR projects?

So we took a semi-scientific poll (that is, we asked a bunch of friends and fans). And we came up with a rough list of GREATEST HITS.

We thought we’d feature some of these “classics” on our NEW BLOG–especially since some of them go pretty far back at this point. So here’s one of our ALL-TIME top vote-getters:  SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALL CUPCAKES.

This project really fools the eye. At public appearances, we find that SO many people think it’s actually pasta—which is lots of fun. We think that’s one of the main reasons this project is so popular.

It’s also very easy to accomplish. All you need are a few piping skills—to pipe out the spaghetti shaped frosting—and the ability to dunk a Ferrero Rocher chocolate into some strawberry jam.

For the complete instructions, check out pages 34-5 of out original HELLO, CUPCAKE! book. And you’re sure to find yourself saying, “That’s Italian!!”

Happy Cupcaking,

Alan and Karen

HODA’S 50th BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!

September 7, 2014
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A cake covered in guitars definitely hits the right note.

But it’s just the second layer on Hoda Kotb’s 50th Birthday Cake.

During the summer, THE TODAY SHOW staff asked us if we could make a giant layer cake to surprise Hoda on her birthday! The three-tier concoction took us about a week to make–but we were happy to do it.  Hoda and Kathie Lee have always been great friends–and supporters.

Check out the entire cake in the following video, direct from the folks at NBC.

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Here are some fun recipe facts about Hoda’s cake:

The bottom tier is a rectangular layer cake, made to look like the beach, Hoda’s favorite place. A cupcake shaped like her adorable dog Blake is riding an egg bagel painted fire engine red!! (The waves are made out of S-shaped “Breakfast Treat” cookies dipped in blue chocolate.)

The second tier plays tribute to Hoda’s love for music.  Those guitars and musical notes are made out of sugar cookies.

The third tier is made from Hoda’s mother Sammy’s baklava recipe. A few years ago, after appearing on the Today Show, Hoda was sweet enough to send us the recipe. We were excited to use it!! And as you can see in the video clip–so was Hoda!!!

We had a great time building Hoda’s mega-dessert. We hope it’ll give you some good ideas–and inspiration–for your next birthday cake!

Happy Cake-making,

Alan and Karen

 

PERKY PENGUIN CUPCAKES!!!

September 6, 2014
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These lovable Penguin cupcakes have always been a big hit—so big, in fact, that their CANDYMATION adventures even made it to our app.

And you have to agree: When it comes to CUPCAKE CLASSICS, these guys are the COOLEST.

We got the idea just about the time we created our BOWLING PIN cupcakes. For that project, we put a donut hole on top of a regular cupcake. And we thought: Wow! We can do a lot more things with that!!

We added some chocolate frosting and a fruit chew for a beak and—lo and behold—we were halfway to penguins.

Shaved COCONUT proved to be perfect for the snow. But we used so much of it—especially when we did the app—we’re STILL finding coconut in the Candy Lab carpet!

You can see more of these icy fellows on the back cover of HELLO, CUPCAKE! and on pages 44-7.

Happy Penguin-making,

Alan and Karen

p.s. For those who are so inclined, you can watch a penguin animation (or what we call a CANDYMATION) on our BOOKS page.

OWLY OWL CUPCAKES!!

September 5, 2014
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This project is a real HOOT–and definitely one of our CUPCAKE CLASSICS.

We got the idea while we were eating some OREOS at the Candy Lab.

We know Oreos are one of the most popular cookies around, so we started brainstorming on how we might use them.

Alan broke open a cookie to eat the frosting inside–that’s his method–and suddenly the idea hit us: Owl Eyes!!

We got to use a regular Oreo for the owl parents, and mini-Oreos for the kids. (Plus Junior Mints for the big eyeballs, and M&Ms for the small eyeballs!)

For the total how-to, take a look at pages 171-3 of  HELLO, CUPCAKE!

Happy Cupcaking,

Alan and Karen

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