Thursday, September 29, 2011

Candy Clay Roses

Candy Clay Roses add a spectacular touch to your cakes and cupcakes.  Below is the recipe for making the clay and a link for step by step instructions.


1 package (14 oz.) candy melts( Wilton or other brand), White, chocolate or colored

1/3 cup light corn syrup

Melt Candy Melts following package directions. Add corn syrup and stir to blend. Turn out mixture onto waxed paper and let set at room temperature to dry. Wrap well and store at room temperature until needed. Candy Clay handles best if hardened overnight.

To Tint: Candy Clay made with white candy melts may be tinted further using Wilton Candy Colors or Icing Colors. Knead in color until well blended.

To Store: Prepared Candy Clay will last for several weeks at room temperature in a well-sealed container.

For step by step instructions, visit Wilton's site at:

Blueberries & Cream Mall Muffins

Nothing says family breakfast quite like fresh blueberry muffins.  I've used this recipe for some time and it never disappoints at home or the office.  These are particularly elegant when baked in "tulip cups".

  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (approximately)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups semi-frozen blueberries
  • sugar, for dusting tops

  1. Preheat oven to 425; position oven rack to middle position.
  2. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line them with paper muffin liners.
  3. In a mixer bowl, blend sugar with oil and butter.
  4. Briskly add eggs, vanilla and other extracts.
  5. Fold in 4 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Blend somewhat before next blending in buttermilk and sour cream.
  7. Batter should be quite thick; if not, add a touch more flour.
  8. Gently fold in berries with a spatula, trying not to break them apart.
  9. Using a large ice cream scoop (I find a #16 works the best), scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  10. Dust tops of muffin with granulated sugar.
  11. Bake 15 minutes at 425; then decrease oven temperature to 350 and bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed with fingertips; approximately 12 to 16 additional minutes.
  12. Let cool 5 minutes; remove from pan and dig in!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Before You Start - Top 10 Baking Tips

  1. Read through the recipe and gather the ingredients.  Make sure your pans and equipment are clean and dry.  For safety's sake... wash your hands before beginning!
  2. Pre-measure the flour and other ingredients.  Always use the best and freshest ingredients you can find.
  3. Use appropriately sized baking pans and property prepare them.
  4. Adjust your oven shelves and preheat the oven.
  5. Carefully follow each mixing step in the recipe.  Don't over or under mix.  Each step has a purpose.  Use a kitchen timer to help keep track of how long to mix, etc.
  6. Don't crowd the oven and avoid opening the oven door during baking.  With certain recipes, it may be necessary to rotate your pans half way through the baking time.
  7. Pay special attention to baking times.  Use a timer but your eyes and nose can sometimes be the best indicator.
  8. Cool baked goods thoroughly before serving or storing.
  9. Add your finishing touches!
  10. Store your baked goods properly.

Remember:  Cooking is an art... Baking is a Science!  And you thought you didn't learn anything in chemistry class!  

Most of all... have fun with your baking! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Welcome Home Brand Disposable Bundt Pan - Perfect for Holiday Giving!

For the home baker or pastry professional who truly appreciates fine quality paper baking products, step up to Welcome Home Brands – Replacing metal bakeware with Style! It comes in a variety of shapes and designs so that you can bake and serve – or bake and give – in the same pan, eliminating the need for metal bakeware!

Decorative, disposable paper bakeware. Treat these as though they were metal bakeware when determining how much batter to pour into the pan. This paper bakeware is free standing, which means that it does not need a metal baking pan or muffin tin. When you are using smaller paper pans or baking cups, we recommend placing them on a cookie sheet for stability and easy removal from the oven.

No pre-greasing or messy clean up! This paper bakeware does not require pre-greasing. If you wish to grease the pan or cup, you may do so as it will not harm the baking process. In addition, for baked products that tend to be sticky, some additional grease may give the baked product a better release from the paper baking pan or cup.

Place the pans directly into the oven or on a cookie sheet. It’s oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which will accommodate most cake, cupcake, muffin and cookie recipes. Cooking times may vary slightly from items cooked in traditional metal or aluminum pans or muffin tins. Test for doneness according to recipe.

Paper bakeware may be used for food items other than desserts. It can also be frozen making food preparation for that big party, event or holiday even easier.

Each package contains 3 premium baking pans
Dimensions: 6.0" base x 4.0" tall
$9.99 per package.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Banana Split Cake

I was in my kitchen over the weekend and saw some bananas that were quickly ripening.  I just wasn't in the mood to waste them, so I got out one of my trusty Southern Living cookbooks and started looking to see what I might be able to do with them.  I found the "Banana Split Cake".

This cake was so different but really good!  It not only has banana, but also includes pineapple, cherries, pecans and coconut.  However, after having made it, there are a couple of things that I would do differently.  I would probably use chocolate melts for the chocolate drizzle and I would add a little vanilla to the cream cheese frosting. 

I also believe this recipe would make wonderful cupcakes.  Bake as you would any cupcake but use decorator cream cheese frosting drizzled with melted chocolate candy melts and then add chopped pecans or top with a stemmed cherry... or both! 

·                                 3 cups all-purpose flour
·                                 2 cups sugar
·                                 1 teaspoon baking soda
·                                 1/4 teaspoon salt
·                                 3 large eggs
·                                 1 cup vegetable oil
·                                 1/2 cup buttermilk
·                                 2 cups mashed ripe banana (5 medium)
·                                 1 cup chopped pecans
·                                 1 cup flaked coconut
·                                 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·                                 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
·                                 1 (16-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
·                                 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
·                                 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
·                                 Garnishes: toasted flaked coconut, long-stemmed maraschino cherries, grated milk chocolate, chopped     pecans, hot fudge sauce
·                                 Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in banana and next 3 ingredients.

·                                 Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. Gently press pineapple and maraschino cherries between layers of paper towels. Chop cherries. Stir pineapple and cherries into banana mixture. Spoon into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

·                                 Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

·                                 Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in reserved pineapple juice. Pour over cake; garnish, if desired.

 For Cupcakes:  Bake at 350 for 17 to 20 minutes.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes

Nothing says fall like great "apple" recipes.  Try these delicious cupcakes made with apples and amaretto.  They could be just the right dessert for your "Octoberfest" parties!


  • Cooking spray
  • 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto (almond-flavored liqueur)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Gala apple
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Streusel:
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 2. Place muffin cup liners in 12 muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.
  • 3. Spoon about 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, cream cheese, and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add amaretto, vanilla, and egg to sugar mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Combine sour cream and 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until well blended. Combine apple and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl; toss well.
  • 4. Add flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended. Fold in apple mixture. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  • 5. To prepare the streusel, combine 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in almonds. Sprinkle streusel evenly over cupcakes. Bake at 350° for 27 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack, and remove the cupcakes from pan.
  • 6. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and 4 teaspoons milk in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over cupcakes.
Note: If you don't want to use the amaretto, replace it with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hummingbird Cake

For a real family treat, if you never made a Hummingbird Cake, you should.  The best recipe that I've ever found for this cake comes from Southern Living.  First printed in 1978, the Hummingbird Cake remains the most-requested Southern Living recipe of all time. The origin of the name is unknown, but its signature ingredients—mashed banana, pineapple, coconut and pecans—assure its continued popularity. Eight layers and a spoon-licking white chocolate-cream cheese frosting make this updated version more spectacular than the original. But it's easy as can be because of convenience products such as cake mix, instant pudding mix, and canned pineapple.


  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 2 (18.25-oz.) packages white cake mix (we tested with Duncan Hines)
  • 2 (3.4-oz) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bar, finely chopped (we tested with Ghirardelli)
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 cups chopped banana (about 3 medium)
  • White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Garnish: toasted pecans


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • 2. Drain pineapple, reserving juice for another use. Squeeze pineapple well using several thicknesses of paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • 3. Combine cake mix and next 7 ingredients in an 8-qt. mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes; beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Fold in pineapple, white chocolate, and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into 4 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  • 4. Bake at 350° for 34 to 36 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  • 5. Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 8 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread with 1/2 cup White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Repeat procedure 6 times. Place final cake layer on top of cake, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover; chill in refrigerator overnight. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator.
  • Note: Cover cake in an airtight container and freeze up to 1 month in advance. Thaw in refrigerator overnight before serving.
Note: To prepare a 4-layer White Chocolate Hummingbird Cake instead, use half of all ingredients in both cake and frosting recipes. Follow cake recipe as directed in Steps 1 through 4, except use only 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. In Step 5, slice the 2 cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Follow White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting recipe as directed except microwave white chocolate morsels in Step 1 for only 1 1/2 minutes. Assemble cake as directed. Both the 8- and 4-layer versions of this delicious cake slice best after they have chilled overnight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Candy Flavored Buttercream!

Candy flavored butter cream icing??!!  Can it be?  You can take a look on Candied Cakes site at:  They have flavors to choose from like:









Sounds too Delish to be true!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Halloween Cupcake Fun!

For more Halloween fun, make some cupcakes!

These orange swirled cupcake liners are great for your Halloween and fall cupcakes.  They are Swedish greaseproof paper so the colors will remain vibrant. 

For the perfect finishing touch.... Sugar Spiders!

These are available at  Visit us soon!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cupcake Wrappers - Tropical Flower Cupcake Wrappers

I found these cupcake wrappers on ETSY and think they are the cutest thing!  I know that it's fall but I'm always trying to think ahead when it comes to cake and cupcake decorations.  These wrappers would be spectacular for the spring and summer months.  Give her shop a look!  You won't be disappointed.

Halloween Chex Mix


8 oz white chocolate baking bars, coarsely chopped

4 cups Corn Chex® or Rice Chex® cereal

2 cups bite-size pretzel twists

½  cup raisins

1 cup candy corn

¼  cup orange and black candy decors


1 In large microwavable bowl, microwave chopped baking bars uncovered on
High 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds,
 until melted and smooth. 2 Gently stir in cereal, pretzels and raisins until
 evenly coated. Stir in candy corn and decors. 3 Spread on waxed paper
or foil until cool and chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Break into chunks.
Store loosely covered.

For Halloween party treats, fill small cellophane bags with this
 fun mix and tie with orange and black ribbons.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brownie Cupcake Recipe

Who doesn't love brownies... and then to put them in cupcake form?  YUM!

8 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups butter
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups pecans pieces
2 cups flour
8 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt chocolate chips and butter; stir in nuts until coated.  Combine sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla.  Mix only until well blended.  Do not over beat.  Add chocolate mixture; fold in carefully.  If using a muffin pan, fill cups 2/3 full with batter.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  Makes 18-20 cupcakes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Halloween "Peeps" Cupcakes

Halloween Orange Créme-Filled Peeps Cupcakes from our Friends at Peeps

1 package PEEPS® Marshmallow Pumpkins or Ghosts
1 vanilla or chocolate cake mix  
- check package for egg and oil quantities
1 16-ounce tub chocolate frosting
1 8-ounce package cream cheese,softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
5 drops red food coloring
10 drops yellow food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees(F)
  2. Mix cake mix according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and egg.
  5. Blend on medium speed for about three minutes until smooth and creamy.
  6. Add one drop of red food coloring and two drops of yellow and
  7. blend until cream cheese mixture is an even, light orange color.
  8. Continue adding food coloring (one red, two yellow) and blending completely after each addition, until all the food coloring is added.
  9. Line two cupcake trays with cupcake papers (24 cupcakes).
  10. Spoon vanilla cake mix into cupcake liner until 1/3 full.
  11. Using the tip of a spoon, create a small well in the center of the vanilla cake mix in the cupcake liner.
  12. Place a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into center of the well.
  13. Being careful not to disturb cream cheese mixture, gently spoon vanilla cake mix over the orange cream cheese mixture until cupcake liners are 1/2 to 3/4 full.
  14. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in vanilla cake comes out clean.
  15. Let cool thoroughly.
  16. Frost each cupcake with chocolate frosting.
  17. Top with Marshmallow PEEPS® Pumpkin

Cake Decorating and a Hairdryer... do these really go together?

Just when you thought you heard it all... A hairdryer can become an essential cake decorating tool!

1. If you need to quickly set the icing on a cake, the air and heat of a hair dryer can quicken up the process.

2. If your cake won’t unstick from the cake pan, use your hair dryer on the bottom of the pan then invert it, it should drop right out.

Cupcake Essentials!

I'm very new to this but thought I would give it a try!  I wanted to take an opportunity to introduce people to Cupcake Esssentials on ETSY to take a look at some of the really spectacular baking supplies that we have to offer.  Cupcake Essentials ( is currently geared up for Halloween with some really different baking cups, decorations and flavorings.  In the not too distant future, we'll be rolling out Christmas.  (Can it be?)  There are also some beautiful baking cups that were imported from Europe.  The pink peacock baking cups, in particular, are simply stunning.

During the course of writing these articles, I hope to share with you my love of baking and cooking with some of my favorite recipes and tips & tricks.  Hope you'll take a look at the shop and follow along on the blog!