September 22, 2016

Today is the AUTUMN EQUINOX. So we figured it was time to end our summer vacation and get back to work.

That means new adventures, new ideas—and NEW BLOG POSTS!!

We had a lot of fun this summer. We did a lot of thinking, and a lot of traveling. We saw a lot of great desserts along the way, and noticed quite a few new trends in sweets.

And now—ta-daaaa—we’re about to take all that great inspiration and begin OUR NEW BOOK!

So join us! Keep an eye on the blog. You can track our progress. We’ll be sharing all sorts of groovy new ideas for cake and cupcake concoctions. Of course, they’ll be special guest appearances from our dogs Lucky and Bunny—and occasional visits from our cupcake historian!

Here’s to a great NEW SEASON in decorating!!


Glad to be back!

Alan and Karen


September 21, 2016
Autumn Leaves-005539

Fall’s the ideal time to cover the dining table in colorful chocolate leaves—CANDY LAB STYLE!!

Our AUTUMN LEAVES cake is actually a wreath of cupcakes that can be easily pulled apart and served.

The leaves themselves are made by painting melted chocolate on actual maple or oak leaves. Once the chocolate hardens, peel off the leaves to reveal stunning chocolate replicas in their place. (Don’t worry. You can find the technique completely explained in the link below.)

For the elegant wreath above, we used brown, orange, and green chocolate melting wafers in subdued colors. You could create a brighter wreath by using scarlet, yellow, and orange melting wafers.

For the nuts, we used caramels rolled into acorn shapes. Dip the tops in frosting and roll them in sprinkles to make the tops.

Autumn Leaves-005552

For the complete step-by-step recipe on our Duncan Hines page, click here.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


July 25, 2016

With the political conventions underway, we figured it was a great time to celebrate with our high-flying AMERICAN EAGLE CUPCAKE PROJECT!!

At first glance, our mighty bird might seem too big to be anything but a cake. But beneath the CHOCOLATE frosting lay 28 VANILLA CUPCAKES!

Gather some banana shaped candies for the talons, plus some yellow fruit chews for the beak–and you almost have everything you need!

You can follow the full fine-feathered recipe by clicking here.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen



July 23, 2016
Book Stack Cake-3

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!)


July 22, 2016
TV Dinner-feature size

Fruit Chews = Carrots!

Frosting = Mashed Potatoes!

Corn Flakes = Fried Chicken!

Starbursts = Butter!

Caramel = Gravy!

Yep! That’s the kind of math we like 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!

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

Happy Cupcaking,

Alan and Karen



July 17, 2016

July 17 is NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY!! And to celebrate, we thought we’d feature our own Candy Lab version of that cold, creamy snack.

Our Cupcake Ice Cream Cones are actually made from a mini-cupcake in a sugar cone, covered with frosting. We applied some Candy Crumble for that crumbly look, a gumball for the topper, and Sixlets surrounding it. Easy as that!!

While we were making our ice cream cones, we of course became curious about their origins. According to the National Day Calendar website, “The ice cream cone made its (U.S.) debut at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904.” It turns out that in 1912, “an inventor from Oregon obtained a patent for a machine to make them.  He sold his company to Nabisco in 1928 and they still make ice cream cones today.”

Our cupcake historian took us back a little farther. He told us that you can find mentions of an ice cream cone-like concoction as far back as the early 1800s. One early French cookbook describes them as little waffles.

So enjoy a “little waffle” cone today–whether it’s a real one or a faux one courtesy of the Candy Lab.

Happy Holiday,

Alan and Karen


July 16, 2016
Single Pea

Time to harvest your spring peas, so we recreated one of our favorite cupcake recipes for Snap Chat! If you haven’t seen our Snap Recipes yet, let us be the first to tell you that they are loads of fun. It’s a completely visual recipe snapped right to our Snap Chat Story line. Just add whatsnewcupcake to your Snap account and wait for the fun to begin!!!

Here’s a sneak peak of the kind of recipe–in four easy steps–you’ll see on Snap Chat:

Pea Pods


Meanwhile, here’s the non-Snap-Chat version of how we made them:

You will need green Laffy Taffy. Green Sixlets or M&Ms. Oreo cookie crumbs. Chocolate frosting. And of course cupcakes!

Roll out the Laffy Taffy and trim into a pea pod shape (see photo above) and also a thin strip for the tendril. Add a row of green candy to the pod and press the sides and ends to cradle the peas. Twist the tendril. Frost the cupcakes and top each with two pea pods and a tendril. Sprinkle the chocolate frosting with Oreo cookie crumb dirt.

That’s it!!

Happy Pea-eating!!

Alan and Karen


PS You can add us to your Snap Chat by Snapping the code below (or add username whatsnewcupcake) You can also follow the fun on Instagram at whatsnewcupcake

Snap Logo


July 7, 2016
Windmill Cake-25

Not every one of our crazy cake projects ended up in CAKE MY DAY! We always have more ideas than we can fit between the pages of a book. So it’s great that we can bring them to you on the blog.

We forget what originally inspired us to create our WINDMILL CAKE. Perhaps we’d just gotten back from East Hampton (which has a famous windmill). Or maybe we were just listening to “Windmills of My Mind” (the Dusty Springfield version, of course).

This Windmill is one of our most ambitious projects—so, before you begin, hold onto your hats (and not just because it’s gonna get windy).

Here, for the first time anywhere, is the entire recipe:



2 family size (16 ounces each) frozen pound cakes, thawed (Sara Lee)

1 can (16 ounces) plus 1/4 cup chocolate frosting

1 cup vanilla frosting

1 oatmeal cookie, 3 1/2-inches (Archway)

5 plain bread sticks, 5 inches long (Angonoa’s)

1 can (1.5 ounces) red decorating spray (Cake Mate, Wilton)

1/2 cup white candy melting wafers (Wilton)

2 rolls (.75 ounces each) red fruit leather (Fruit by the Foot)

1 vanilla chocolate filled sandwich cookie (Milano)

1/2 cup small assorted jelly beans in stone colors like tan, brown, and brick (Jelly Belly)

4 cups multi rice cereal (Chex)

1 small brown decor

1 red gum drop (Dot)

1 pretzel square (Snyder)



  1. Spoon the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Place the pound cakes on a work surface. Spread some of the chocolate frosting on the bottom of one cake. Press the other cake, bottom side against the frosting, and sandwich them together. Place the stack vertically on a work surface, seam side facing you, and cut a 1 1/2 wide x 3-inch high triangle from opposite corners along the long sides to taper it. Bevel the four long corners to round the shape. Cut 1/2 inch from the top to make it level. Reserve the trimmed pieces of cake.
  2. Insert a drinking straw at an angle through both cakes. Repeat on the other side. (They will cross in an x-shape through the center of the cakes to stabilize them.) Trim the drinking straws to make them flush to the cake. Place the cake on a piece of cardboard cut to fit. Spread a thin crumb coating of the chocolate frosting on the cake, filling any gaps, to smooth. Transfer the cake to the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.
  3. Cut 1 bread stick in half, crosswise. Place the reserved cake trimmings in a bowl and crumble. Mix the cake crumbs with 1/4 cup of the chocolate frosting. Press the cake mixture on top of the oatmeal cookie to make a dome shape. (This is the top of the windmill.) Insert one of the cut pieces of breadstick into the side of the dome, spinning it to loosen the hole, and remove the bread stick. (This will be the opening for the sail support.) Freeze until ready to use.
  4. Place the remaining 4 bread sticks on a piece of waxed paper. Spray the bread sticks with the red decorating color to coat.
  5. Place the white candy melts in a ziplock bag. (Do not seal the bag.) Microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Massage the candy in the bag, return to the microwave, and repeat the process until the candy is smooth. Press out the excess air and seal the bag.
  6. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the melted candy. Using the melted candy, pipe an outline of a sail shape on a clean sheet of waxed paper. (The sail should be about 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches at the widest end, and 1/2 inch at the narrow end. See photo.) Fill in the outline with more melted candy and smooth. While the candy is still melted, press a red coated bread stick on a long side of the sail shape. Repeat to make 4 sails, always positioning the breadstick on the same side. Transfer to the refrigerator to set, about 5 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the sails from the waxed paper. Arrange the sails on a clean sheet of waxed paper in an X shape, with the narrow ends coming together at the center. Reheat the candy melts in the microwave, massaging the bag, until smooth. Pipe some of the melted candy on top of the bread stick ends to connect them at the center of the X. Place the chocolate non pariel on top of the melted candy. Return to the refrigerator until set, about 5 minutes. Invert the assembly, reheat the melted candy as needed, and pipe a large dot of melted candy at the center where the bread sticks are attached. Press the cut end of the remaining bread stick upright into the melted candy, to secure. Hold the bread stick in position for a minute or two or until it stands in the upright position without support. (TIP: you can also use a crumpled ring of foil wrap to hold it in a stationary position while it sets.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
  8. To make the roof tiles, unroll the fruit leather, cut the length in half crosswise, and press the 2 strips together to get a double thickness. Cut the strip, crosswise, into 1 1/4-inch lengths. Using pinking shears, create a zig zag edge on each section of fruit leather.
  9. Remove one third of the sandwich cookie, crosswise, to create the door.
  10. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Transfer the chilled cake to a serving platter. Pipe a band of vanilla frosting 1 1/2-inches high around the base of the cake. Press 3 rows of jelly beans, lengthwise and close together, into the frosting to secure. Spread some chocolate frosting on the rest of the chilled cake and smooth. Attach the cookie door, cut side down, on the seam side of cake just above the rows of jelly beans. Starting at the bottom of the cake, adjacent to the door, press cereal squares close together in a row around the cake. Add a second overlapping row. Continue adding overlapping rows of cereal squares, to cover the sides of the cake, leaving the top of the cake plain.
  11. Spread some of the remaining chocolate frosting on top of the chilled oatmeal cookie/cake assembly and smooth. Starting at the base of the dome shape attach the red roof tiles, zigzag edge down, pressing into the frosting in overlapping rows, to cover the dome.
  12. Pipe a dot of vanilla frosting on the cookie door and attach the brown candy as the door knob.
  13. Place the dome on top of the cake, making sure the hole in the dome faces forward.
  14. Just before serving, carefully remove the sail structure from the waxed paper. Insert the end of the bread stick attached to the back of the assembly into the hole created in the side of the dome, securing with some of the chocolate frosting. Add the red gum drop on the top of the dome. Arrange the square pretzel on the platter in front of the door.

Makes 16 servings

We’d really love to see how your windmills turn out. So if you’re up for a challenge, make sure to post your results on our Facebook page.

Happy Decorating,

Alan and Karen


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