EGG-SHAPED EASTER CUPCAKES!

March 28, 2018

TURN CUPCAKES INTO EGG-SHAPES FOR EASTER! Why settle for decorating round cupcakes when you can kick it up a notch and give your Easter cupcakes an egg-shape, too! Here’s a neat trick for turning ordinary round-top cupcakes into EGG-SHAPED EASTER CUPCAKES. In our last blog post we added a vanilla wafer to a cupcake to create an elongated shape for our SHREDDED RABBITS. Here we use the same trick to craft egg shapes for decorating to look like EASTER EGGS!

1. Spread some frosting on top of a cupcake, to one side. Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, on the frosting, allowing it to overhang the edge by 3/4 inch. Pop the cupcake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set.

2. Add a mound of frosting to the chilled cupcake and spread into a smooth egg shape, using the frosting to fill any gaps and create a smooth transition  between the wafer and the top of the cupcake.

3. Place several different colors of sugar each in a small bowl—make sure it is large enough to dip a cupcake. Hold the cupcake by the liner and dip one end in a colored sugar (try to dip up to a straight line). Turn the cupcake around and dip the opposite end in a second color, leaving a strip of frosting in the middle uncoated. Using a small spoon add a third color to the uncoated strip. Use a small brush to clean up any stray sugar. Pipe lines of frosting where the colors meet to create a clean line and hide imperfections.

4. Use dots of frosting to add additional candy decorations to the colored areas. Pipe dots and patterns as desired.

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our EGG-SHAPED EASTER CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Alan and Karen

SHREDDED CANDY RABBITS—CUPCAKES!

March 23, 2018

SNEAK PEEK from MAKE IT EASY, CUPCAKE! Our SHREDDED CANDY RABBIT is based on the SIMPLE 4 STEP RECIPES in our newest book (due out June 7). Four simple steps and a photo to for each step…you can follow the photos or read the recipe…either way it’s SO EASY!

INGREDIENTS

12 vanilla cupcakes baked in paper liners

12 vanilla wafers

1 can vanilla frosting

1 jar candy coating, candy shred (ChocoMaker), decorating sugar, or sprinkles

12+ Pringle chips (additional for breakage)

spray food coloring to match candy coating (Wilton)

24 mini marshmallows

24 black pearls

12 M&Ms Minis, chocolate or a color to coordinate with the candy coating

FOLLOW THE PHOTOS BELOW

  1. Spread some frosting on top of a cupcake, to one side. Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, on the frosting, allowing it to overhang the edge by 3/4 inch. Pop the cupcake in the freezer for 15 minutes to set. Add a mound of frosting to the chilled cupcake and spread into a smooth egg shape, using the frosting to fill any gaps and create a smooth transition  between the wafer and the top of the cupcake.
  2. Place the shred or other coating in a small bowl (large enough to dip a cupcake). Gently roll the top of the frosted cupcake in the coating.
  3. Gently snap each Pringle potato chip in half lengthwise (break on a slight diagonal for a tapered ear). Sort the chip halves to make symmetrical pairs with the curved unbroken edge facing in. Place the pairs on a sheet of waxed paper and spray the chips with food color spray to lightly coat. Let dry for a few minutes and spray again to deepen the color.
  4. Cut 12 mini marshmallows in half crosswise. Use dots of frosting to attach the two half marshmallows to the face for the cheeks (the extended wafer side). Use dots of frosting to attach the chocolate mini M&M nose just above the cheeks, black pearl eyes above the nose, and a marshmallow tail at the opposite side of the cupcake. Use a small knife to make two slits in the top of the cupcakes behind the eyes and insert the end of an ear in each slit, broken edge facing out.

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our SHREDDED CANDY RABBITS!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Hoppy Easter!

Alan and Karen

MILANO BUNNIES FOR EASTER!

March 21, 2018

EASY MILANO BUNNIES FOR EASTER! We created these adorable cookies for the folks at Milano. Watch the video to see just how easy it is to make them!

  1. Use scissors to cut ears from Milano cookie cups.
  2. Dip one end of a Milano cookie in white candy melts. Attach the two paper ears to the back of each cookie, using the wet candy to adhere.  Add a jelly bean nose and two blue candy decors for the eyes. Refrigerate the cookies to set the candy.
  3. Use an edible pastry pen to add eyes and whiskers to the cookies.
  4. Cut mini marshmallows in half crosswise and use dots of melted candy to attach them for the feet.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our MILANO BUNNIES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Have a very Happy Easter!

Alan and Karen

 

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE!

March 19, 2018

MORE SUN = MORE FUN! We created this lemony YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE with GOLDEN RAYS crafted from Jolly Rancher Hard Candy in honor of the EQUINOX (March 20th!) You can use almost any brand hard fruit candy to make the rays, just be sure it is clear so the sun comes shining through! To give the frosting a SUNNY GLOW we painted it with a wash made from lemon extract. The rich color appears to SHINE from the inside! Here’s how we made it:

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE

1 lemon cake mix baked in a 9-inch springform (or deep round) pan

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

Yellow food coloring(McCormick)

For the rays:

30 yellow and a mix of 25 red, orange, and yellow hard candies (Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy or store brand)

Vegetable cooking spray

For the vodka paint:

Yellow and red food coloring(McCormick)

1 tablespoon lemon extract (McCormick)

  1. Cut the cake in half crosswise to make 2 semi circles. Spread some of the vanilla frosting on the flat side of one half and sandwich together with the other half. Place the cake, cut side down, on a cardboard cut to fit. Give the entire cake a light skim coat of vanilla frosting and freeze the cake for 30 minutes to set. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting yellow with the food coloring (frosting does not need to be a saturated yellow because the vodka paint will make the color more vibrant) and cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line several cookie sheets with foil. Place the unwrapped hard yellow candies in a zip top bag and use a small hammer or the back of a saucepan to break the candies into small pieces. Sprinkle the candy pieces in an even layer on the prepared cookie sheets. Spray a long smooth-bladed knife with cooking spray. Bake one cookie sheet at a time until the candies are just melted into a smooth pool. Transfer the cookie sheet to a wire rack. Immediately, using the sprayed knife blade, press the blade into the softened candy to score it with  long triangles roughly 2 inches wide by 5 inches long. (If the blade gets sticky quickly clean it, spray it again, and continue scoring the candy. If the candy hardens before it is all scored save the un-scored candy to reuse.) Let the scored candy stand until the candy has completely cooled, about 10 minutes. Carefully break apart the triangles, reserving any extra pieces to break up and melt into another sheet of candy. (You will need about 10 large yellow triangles.) Repeat with the mix of red, orange, and yellow candies to make 9 smaller triangles roughly 1-1/2 inch wide by 4 inches long. To get a stained glass effect, mix the crushed red, orange, and yellow candies together in a sheet.
  3. Spread an even layer of yellow frosting over the cake and make smooth. Return the cake to the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. Tint the vodka with the yellow and red food coloring to make a rich yellow color. Use a 1-inch pastry brush to coat the chilled cake with the vodka paint in overlapping horizontal strokes on the front and back and in long smooth strokes around the sides. Continue brushing to smooth any ridges in the chilled frosting and to intensify and vary the color at the edges.
  4. Using a small knife to make slits for insertion, insert the rays of sunshine into the curved side of the cake, placing them on a slight diagonal and alternating long and small triangles evenly spaced from one side to the other.

LET THE SUN SHINE IN!

Makes 12 servings

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE CAKE!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy decorating, Sunshine!

Alan and Karen

DEMO & BOOK SIGNING!

March 18, 2018

COME TO AN EASTER CUPCAKE DECORATING EVENT AND BOOK SIGNING with our friends at SWEEETS in Larchmont, New York on Saturday March 24, 1 to 4 PM.

LIVE DEMO FROM 2 TO 3 PM EASTER CUPCAKES INSPIRED BY OUR NEWEST BOOK Make It Easy, Cupcake!

SWEEETS WILL BE SELLING OUR BOOKS AND YOU CAN STOCK UP ON ALL THE CANDY YOU WILL NEED TO CRAFT YOUR OWN EASTER CUPCAKES! (Already have copies of our books? Bring them so we can sign them for you!)

See the poster for more details about the event!

SWEETS IS LOCATED AT 1935a Palmer Ave, Larchmont, NY 10538

Phone: (914) 630-4400

See you there!

Alan and Karen

EASTER SHEEP CUPCAKES!

March 18, 2018

SPRING is the perfect season for combining CUPCAKES & JELLYBEANS! We made these adorable sheep from gourmet Jelly Belly beans, so they taste great, too! They make a perfect dessert for Easter, a baby shower, a birthday, or any SPRING EVENT! Watch our You Tube tutorial below to see how we made them! These sheep are so BAHHHD they’re GOOD!

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our JELLY BELLY SHEEP CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

 

Have a very Happy Easter!

Alan and Karen

ST. PATRICK’S DAY CUPCAKES!!!

March 15, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day is almost here. So we thought we would share one of our classic St. Pat’s projects—SHAMROCKS AND BLARNEY STONES!!!

Our Blarney Stones are made from breakfast treat cookies that have been cracked in half and coated in stone-grey tinted frosting. The Shamrocks are made from spearmint leaves candies rolled out in green decorating sugar. Be sure to make at least one FOUR LEAF CLOVER for a lucky guest!!

Ingredients

  • 24 chocolate cupcakes baked in green paper liners
  • 1 cup vanilla frosting
  • green and black food coloring
  • ½ cup green decorating sugars
  • 24 spearmint leaves
  • 6 breakfast treats
  • 1 can (16 oz.) chocolate frosting
  • 1 ½ cups ground chocolate cookies

Baking Instructions

  1. Tint ¼ cup of the vanilla frosting bright green. Spoon into a small freezer bag. Press out the air, seal and set aside.
  2. To make the blarney stones, break the breakfast treats into 12 small uneven pieces. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place a wire rack on top.
  3. Tint the remaining ¾ cup vanilla frosting with a drop of black food coloring to make gray. Microwave in a 1 cup microwaveable measuring cup, stirring frequently, until it is the texture of lightly whipped cream, about 25 seconds total. Drop several breakfast treat pieces into the frosting and stir to coat completely. Use a fork to remove pieces, allowing the excess to drain back into the cup, and transfer to the prepared wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until set.
  4. To make the shamrocks, sprinkle the work surface with the green sugar. Press 2 spearmint leaves together and roll out with a rolling pin, coating with more sugar as necessary, to make a 4″ circle about 1/16″ thick. Repeat with the remaining spearmint leaves and sugar. Use a 1¼” heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out 3 heart shapes from each flattened disc. Cut a 1½” stem from the scraps. Reroll scraps and cut out an few additional hearts to make 4 leaf clovers. Pinch the pointed end of each heart shape to make the leaves.
  5. Spoon the chocolate cookie crumbs into a small shallow bowl. Spread the tops of the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting and smooth. Roll the edges of the cupcakes in the cookie crumbs. Arrange 3 to 4 green candy leaves on top of 12 of the cupcakes, pointed end in center. Add a green stem. Transfer 2 of the chilled gray dipped breakfast treats on top of each of the remaining cupcakes. Sprinkle with additional cookie crumbs. Snip a small (⅛”) corner from the bag with the green frosting. Pipe pulled dots to make patches of grass in random areas next to the blarney stones.

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our ST PATRICK’S DAY CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy ST PATRICK’S DAY!!

Alan and Karen

LUCKY LEPRECHAUN CUPCAKES!

March 12, 2018

IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY! These St. Patty’s Day Cupcakes were inspired by the SIMPLE FOUR-STEP RECIPES in our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! Made from everyday ingredients like an ice cream cone and a vanilla wafer sprayed with food color for the hat…spice drops rolled in sugar with M&Ms leaves for the Shamrock…orange M&Ms for the beard…and candies for the buckle, nose, and eyes! What could be simpler?

In Make It Easy, Cupcake! we created four simple photos for you to follow, one for each step! Follow the photos here to make your own leprechaun cupcakes! GOOD LUCK!!!

You can find the whole written recipe in our column in this week’s Woman’s World Magazine.

There you have it! LUCKY LEPRECHAUN CUPCAKES!!!

 

 

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our LEPRECHAUN CUPCAKES!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

 

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Alan and Karen

CHERRY PIE — PI DAY CAKE…APRIL FOOLS!

March 9, 2018

Cherry Pie Cake EQUATES with good eatin’ for PI DAY—3.14 or better known as March 14—the day the math concept “pi” (or “π”) takes the spotlight throughout the world. It’s celebrated with t-shirts, mugs, parties, races and pie-eating contests! So we thought we’d ADD to the fun, with a little CAKE April Foolery!

To put it more MATHEMATICALLY, here at the Candy Lab, PIE = CAKE.

On first glance, our dessert might look like a pie. But check out the SUBTRACTION shown below. It reveals the whole EQUATION. The bottom layer is a pink-tinted cake topped with plain Dunkin Munchkins and coated with a glistening red-tinted apple jelly glaze. To complete the effect, the pie is covered with a golden brown lattice made from light brown-tinted frosting with a splattering of vodka soaked-cocoa powder. That’s a FORMULA sure to please any pint-sized Pythagorus or budding Einstein in your home!

Cherry Cake Pie slice

 

Here’s the WHOLE FORMULA. (And don’t worry: You don’t have to be a math whizz to pull it off.)

CHERRY PIE — PI DAY CAKE

INGREDIENTS

1 yellow cake mix

1 can (16 ounces) plus 1 cup vanilla frosting

Red and yellow food coloring (McCormick)

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

18 plain doughnut holes (Munchkins)

1/3 cup apple jelly

2 tablespoons coarse natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw)

1 tablespoon vodka or vanilla extract (McCormick)

Large ribbon pastry tip (Wilton #789)

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 9-inch deep dish oven-proof pie plate (Pyrex) with vegetable cooking spray. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.
  3. Tint the batter bright pink with the red food coloring. Pour the batter into the prepared pie plate. Spread batter to the edges of the plate and make smooth.
  4. Bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean; 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes. Invert the cake and cool completely.
  5. Tint 1 cup of the vanilla frosting bright pink with the red food coloring. Spoon the frosting into a glass measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting golden brown with the yellow food coloring and 1 teaspoon of the cocoa powder.
  6. Return the cake to the pie plate when cool. Spread some of the golden brown frosting around the outer edge of the cake, to cover about 2 inches. Place the cake and the doughnut holes in the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.
  7. Spoon 1 1/4 cups of the remaining golden brown frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Spoon the remaining frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large ribbon tip (Wilton #789).
  8. To make the cherries, remove the pie cake and doughnut holes from the refrigerator. Microwave the red frosting, stirring every 5 seconds, until the texture of slightly whipped cream, about 20 seconds. Insert a fork or wooden skewer into a doughnut hole and dip into the frosting to cover, allowing the excess frosting to drip back into the cup. Press the bottom of the doughnut hole against the rim of the glass to remove any excess frosting and transfer the doughnut to top of the cake. Repeat the process, reheating the frosting if it becomes too thick, and cover the top of the pie. (Stack the doughnuts as needed to create height, leaving a 1 inch boarder at the edge.) Pour some of the melted pink frosting over any large openings on top of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set frosting, about 15 minutes.
  9. Tint the apple jelly bright red with the food coloring. Microwave the jelly in a small bowl, stirring every 5 seconds, until smooth, about 20 seconds. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and gently brush a thin coating of the apple jelly over the doughnut holes. Return to the refrigerator to set 15 minutes more.
  10. Pipe 1 band of the golden brown frosting using the pastry bag down the center of the cake. Pipe another band of frosting on either side, about 1 1/2 inches apart, on top of the cake. Turn the cake clockwise about 30° (not 45), so the second set of frosting bands makes a diamond pattern, not squares. Pipe 4 bands of frosting on top of the cake to make the lattice pattern. Snip a 1/2-inch corner from the ziplock bag of frosting. Pipe a zig-zag pattern around the outer edge to look like the crimped pie crust.
  11. Dissolve the remaining cocoa powder in the vodka or vanilla extract. Dip the tip of a firm pastry brush or new toothbrush into the cocoa mixture, hold it over the pie, and run a fork, finger, or chopstick over the bristles to lightly spritz the pie crust, dipping again when necessary, to make a pattern resembling brown spots. Use a small clean craft brush to lightly paint lines of the cocoa mixture on top of the lattice and crust areas of cake. Sprinkle the top of the pie with the coarse sugar.

MAKES 20 SERVINGS—which is probably the most important number of all!

And it’s especially great to eat while watching reruns of THE BIG BANG THEORY!

Happy Pi Day and April Fools Day!

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our CHERRY PI DAY CAKE!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

Happy decorating!

Alan and Karen

LADY BUGS—THE INSIDE STORY!

March 2, 2018

When SPRING is in the air we become OBSESSED with making LADY BUGS on cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, brownies, candies, and cookies! Why? Because they are SO DARN CUTE! They are as easy as making a red body…think round cake pan, round baking bowl, round cupcake top, round cookie, round candy. And adding black spots and head…think donut holes, Oreos, small chocolate bowl cake, M&Ms! Add eyes, legs, and antennae and you have an adorable dessert!

But we have a way to put spots on the inside, too! We use chocolate donut holes in the batter! For a cupcake we add a little pink batter to the cupcake liner and place one donut hole on top. Then fill the cupcake liner to about 2/3 full to cover the donut hole. Bake as usual and VOILA, CHOCOLATE SPOT ON THE INSIDE!

You can do the same for a full size cake. Add pink batter to the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of chocolate donut holes in the batter and continue filling the pan. Add a second layer of donut holes and top with the remaining batter to cover the donut holes. Bake and when you serve the cake you’ll get a SURPRISE INSIDE! CHOCOLATE SPOTS!

 

There you have it! LADY BUG SPOTS, INSIDE AND OUT!!!

Our newest book Make It Easy, Cupcake! has over 100 SIMPLE 4-STEP DESIGNS that are just as easy and just as much fun as our LADY BUGS!

You can pre-order now and get delivery by June 7

Pre-order HERE! AmazonBarnes%20and%20NobleiBooks

 

 

 

Happy lady bugs!

Alan and Karen

css.php