October 25, 2011

Halloween Cut-Out Cupcakes

I’m not a huge pumpkin carver.  I really don’t see the point honestly.  My kids pick out the design, and they’re really excited about that.  But….. they don’t like to scoop out the guts, and they’re too small to really carve, so it just comes back to me and my husband.  I refuse to do the whole ordeal if my husband is out of town. 

I think decorating cupcakes is way more fun.  Thankfully, I think my kids do too!  We had so much fun last night, and I wanted to show you an easy, cute way to decorate some.


I started with a box mix, because that’s how I roll….  Betty Crocker Devil’s Food to be exact, but you could make your favorite chocolate cake recipe if you want!  I also added some black coloring BEFORE baking, because I like black as a Halloween color better than chocolate brown.

For frosting, I made a double batch of buttercream, and separated it into 3 bowls.  Then I used Americolor regal purple, orange, and electric green.  I think they were the perfect colors!  (I got these colors at Hobby Lobby, but you can get them on Amazon as well)

So, now that you have cooled cupcakes and colored frosting, let’s get to it!

1: Cut off the top of the cupcake.  I did it right at the top of the cupcake liner.IMG_6749

2: Take the top you just cut off, and use a cookie cutter* to punch out a shape. IMG_6750

3: Frost the top of the flat cupcake.IMG_6752

4: Place the top of the cupcake back onIMG_6753

5: If you want, fill in the cut out.  (it adds more frosting which is a huge + in my book!IMG_6754



I love that they are flat across the top, and that it has a ring of color where you don’t expect it. 


I totally intended on taking some rocking pictures of them today.  But……  the cupcakes got knocked off the counter, and were all pretty much destroyed.  Such is life huh? 

Thankfully, my awesome mom, who took all the tutorial pictures, also took some of the finished cupcakes:


I think that zombie one far right middle is my favorite.  Love the purple ring of color, but with a green zombie, and purple eyes.  And, thanks to my little brother who was totally creative and started using the cut outs as part of the decorations too!  My kids followed his example, as you can see from the bottom row.

I think we may have started a new Halloween tradition!


Idea inspired from Martha.

*I used the same cutters as these cake pops.  I got them at Hobby Lobby.  The brand is Sunny Side Up Bakery, but I was unable to find them online.

October 23, 2011

Candy Corn Popcorn Mix


Remember how I love new seasonal products, like the pumpkin spice marshmallows? Well….  I found these new M&M’s, and knew I needed to use them.  That’s right, White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M’s.  I think they’re really tasty!

The inside is white chocolate, and the candy coating seems to have a slight candy corn flavor.  I think the flavors go well together.

I’ve seen a couple of different popcorn mixes, like this Monster Mash one, and decided that popcorn mix was the way to go with these M&M’s!DSC_0589

I had my kids help me with this recipe, it’s easy, and fun, and they loved it.

Candy Corn Popcorn Mix

(this recipe makes quite a bit.  and it’s fairly rich.  feel free to cut it in half!)

8 cups popped corn, buttered and salted as you like (we used an air popper, you can definitely use bagged instead!)

1/2 C candy corn (or more as desired)

1/2 C candy corn M&M’s (or more as desired)

about 1/3 bag white candy melts (I used about 1/2 bag, it was a little too much)

Orange & Yellow candy melts to drizzle on top

As you can see, this is a very specific ratio recipe.  Just kidding – it’s pretty much up to your liking! But this is a good place to start.

  • Take your popcorn and make sure all the seeds are out.
  • In a separate bowl, combine candy corn and m&m’s.
  • Melt white candy melts according to package instructions, and pour some on top of the candy. Mix until it’s all coated. (my idea for doing this is to make sure the candies don’t just sink the bottom, but get more incorporated….  I might be crazy)
  • Add the coated candy to your popcorn, pour the rest of the candy melts, and mix it all to combine. 
  • Put into your serving dish. (bowl, platter, whatever you’re thinking)
  • Drizzle with orange and yellow candy melts.
  • If you want, throw it in the fridge to help it harden faster.  We just started eating it :)
  • DSC_0574

    Need a gift idea? How about this mix in a bag?


    Pretty sure someone would be excited to get this! (unless of course they hate candy corn……  I know they exist, because Mr. Fredellicious is one of them!)


    October 21, 2011

    Halloween Cake Pops

    My friend came over this past weekend we made some cake pops.  I love cake pops, let me tell ya. 

    We made lots of eyeball cake pops, and that night the kids and I took a bouquet of “eyepops” over to a neighbors house.  So fun.  My kids Loved hiding around the corner, then jumping out and yelling surprise!  if you want to see a photo of the bouquet, jump on over to my Facebook page! Be sure to ‘like’ my page while you’re there!

    Well, after we made all those eyeballs, I couldn’t stop.  I found some awesome little cookie cutters and I could only envision them as cake pops!  Instead of rolling only balls, I used the cookie cutters to get the different shapes.


    My kids absolutely love them!  My oldest was ecstatic that I let her pick one to take to school.  She picked a jack-o-lantern: DSC_0507

    and since I love them all, I’m going to feature each one in a picture :)

    The Eyeball:


    Cute Vampire (Inspired from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen):DSC_0511

    Witch’s Cauldron:


    Black Cat:DSC_0499

    Witch’s Hat:DSC_0501

    Candy Corn:DSC_0508




    They made my whole kitchen look halloween-y.  I wish I could just leave them up for the rest of the month for decorations!!  but..…  they taste too good for that to be an option.

    What I used:

    Candy Melts:

  • Black - Wilton only sells them this time of year, so I suggest buying a bag or 2 if you see them! I found mine at Michaels.  Walmart also carries them.

  • Spooky Green – also a Halloween exclusive color

  • Orange – I started with orange, then added both a little red and orange candy dyes to get it this color.  Make sure they are candy dyes that are oil based before adding it to your chocolate!

  • Purple

  • Yellow

  • Red

  • White

  • After I dipped each pop in the main color, I let them harden completely before adding details.  The details are all candy melts that were melted in a disposable piping bag.

    For the candy corn, I used the hat cutter, then just cut off the edges.  Then I dipped it 3 separate times to get the color layering.

    Oh, and I added a little shimmer dust to the witch’s cauldron brew.

    If you have any questions, Please ask!!  I’d love to hear from you!

    Enjoy! Happy Almost Halloween!!

    October 17, 2011

    Football Cupcakes

    First of all: I completely changed the blog! How do you like it? I’d love some feedback.  And now onto some baking:

    One Saturday morning, I missed a couple of texts from a friend.  By the time I read them, here’s the story I got: *basically* the cake they attempted for their son’s birthday didn’t turn out, the party was in 3 1/2 hours, could I make something, and then never mind, that’s not nearly enough notice. 

    well, I’m not one to pass up making some treats.  So I called her to find out exactly what she wanted, and that I would definitely make some football themed cupcakes!  Perfect time of year for it!  I had to think fast, and here’s what I came up with:


    I started with this white cake recipe, in cupcake form.  It makes exactly 36 cupcakes!

    Then I made a triple batch of buttercream, divided it and left some white, colored part brown and most green.  (I did have a fair amount left over, but better too much than too little right?)

    I piped the grass with the Wilton grass tip #233, then the footballs with a #10, and the lacing with a #2.

    I was really happy with how they turned out!  Thankfully, so was my friend :) DSC_0387

    October 12, 2011

    Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

    I love new seasonal foods.  and I’m pretty sure they are getting better and more creative every year.  Jet puffed marshmallows = some genius ideas!

    So, when I saw a bag of pumpkin spice marshmallows a week or so ago, I got kind of excited.  I mean, pumpkin? Marshmallows?  and they smell so good, I knew I needed to buy them.  They even make my whole cupboard smell like fall!  I decided to make some pumpkin Krispie Treats!


    Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats from the back of the bag :)

    1/4 C (1/2 stick) butter

    1 10 oz bag Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows

    6 C Rice Krispies

      • Melt the butter in a non-stick sauce pan over low heat.

      • Add marshmallows, and stir so they marshmallows are all coated with butter.

      • Continue stirring until the marshmallows are all melted.  (One time I got impatient and turned the heat up.  I don’t recommend it.  My treats were so crunchy, I could barely even cut them.)

      • Stir in the rice krispies. (I really like gooey treats, so I started with only 4 cups, but I ended up adding all six, and I thought they were perfect.)

      to make them into pumpkins:

      I used a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter, and pushed some of the treat mixture into it to form a pumpkin. 

      To make the face and stem, I used candy melts in disposable piping bags.  I love using candy melts this way, because when I’m all done, I just save the bag with the candy melts in it until the next time I need that color.  They harden, and then you just reheat when you need them, and you’re good to go! 

      I did some faces in black, and also in brown, so you can see which way you like better.  Which one do you prefer?



      or how about without a face?  For fall, instead of Halloween:


      I made some 3d pumpkins too.  Just roll some treat into a ball, smoosh it flat a little bit, and add a stem.  I used a mike n ike. 


      the small pumpkin is made with cocoa krispies, I wanted to try it.  I like normal better, but it was fun to try. 

      See how many options there are with these?  And the taste is the perfect fall twist to an old favorite!

      October 5, 2011

      Gender Reveal Cake Pops


      My pregnant friend had an ultrasound the other day.  THE ultrasound, the one where you can find out the gender of the baby if you want.  I convinced her to let me make her some cake pops, so that her whole family could find out at the same time.  So instead finding out at the ultrasound, they had the technician write the gender on a paper, and stick it in an envelope.  Envelope got delivered to me.  I was the first one who got to read what the little paper said!  


      At first, I wasn’t 100% certain on my decision to draw the question marks.  But then my daughter saw them, and exclaimed, “Mom, those are just like mystery pop cakes!  Like there is a big surprise in the middle!!”  Um, actually, that’s exactly right.  Thankfully, the customers liked them too!

      So are you dying to know what they’re having??  I even got it on video:

      So exciting right?  I love their family.  and now they get another sweet girl.


      Congratulations guys, and thank you for letting me be a part of it!!

      October 3, 2011

      Pumpkin Mousse Cupcakes

      I love pumpkin.  Well…..  Sweet pumpkin that is.  Savory pumpkin, not so much.  I tried to make pumpkin soup one time.  Let me tell you, it was disgusting.  I tasted it probably 5 times thinking it couldn’t possibly be as bad as the last bite.  it was.  That soup got dumped down the drain. 

      Sweet pumpkin though?!?  How can you go wrong?  muffins, cakes, breads, cheesecakes, and don’t forget cupcakes: 


      These cupcakes were an instant favorite.  I made them mini because I took them to a church activity, but I know that they would be delicious normal size as well.  (and then you wouldn’t feel like you need to eat 5 either….)


      I know you’ll love the filling.  Pumpkin Spice Mousse.  With some cream cheese frosting to top it off. 

      So good.

      Pumpkin Mousse Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting 

      adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up


      Spice Cake, prepared according to package directions, either mini or standard size. (I used Betty Crocker)


      Mousse Filling

      1  3.4 oz package Pumpkin Spice instant pudding mix (it’s a seasonal release!)

      1 3/4 C half and half (I just made my own, mixing heavy whipping cream and 2% milk)

        • Pour milk into bowl or standing mixer, add pudding.

        • Beat with a mixer until thickened, should take a couple of minutes.


          Cream Cheese Frosting

          1  8 oz package cream cheese, softened

          1/4 C butter, softened

          1 t vanilla

          dash salt

          3 1/2 C powdered sugar

          1-2 T milk

            • Beat cream cheese and butter together.

            • Add vanilla and dash of salt.

            • Add the powdered sugar 1 C at a time, mixing well.

            • Add milk if necessary to get the consistency that you want.

            To Assemble:

            Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before filling.  Prepare a pastry (or ziploc bag with the tip cut off) with a medium size round tip, and fill with mousse.  Stick the tip into the top middle of the cupcake, and squeeze in filling, until you can feel/see the cupcake start to expand (if you want a lot of filling, like in the picture)  A couple of mine even cracked on the top, but no worries because then you just cover it all up with a little dollop of frosting, I used a Wilton 1M start tip.


            I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!!


            Also, I’m sharing this recipe over at everydaysisters!  The theme is pumpkin recipes!

            October 1, 2011

            Candy Corn Cupcakes

            So, it’s October.  That means that Halloween is almost here!  I think Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to decorate/make treats for.  The possibilities are endless!!  I especially love that you can pick if you want things to be creepy or cute, depending on your mood.
            I decided to make my first Halloween treat with a candy corn theme.  I'm putting these in the cute category:DSC_0357
            cute and simple.  But wait, there’s more:
            Since the inside is filled with frosting, I just wanted a little bit on top.  I love how these turned out.  And it’s easier than it looks, I promise.

            Chocolate Cupcakes makes about 12 from OurBestBites

            note: I’m not against box mixes at all, but this technique needs something more dense.  I do not recommend a box for these.

            1 C Flour

            1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder

            3/4 t baking soda

            1/4 t salt

            1/2 C granulated sugar

            1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar

            4 T unsalted butter, room temperature

            1 large egg, room temperature

            1 t vanilla extract

            1/2 C lukewarm water

            1/4 C buttermilk

            • Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tin with liners.
            • Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
            • Beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy.
            • Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
            • Add the flour mixture alternating with the water and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.
            • Mix to combine on low speed between each addition, scraping the bowl as needed.
            • Divide evenly into muffin tin and bake 15-18 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
            • Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then remove and let them cool on a rack.

            Candy Corn Filling inspired from The Sugar Turntable

            Buttercream frosting

            Gel food coloring: Orange and Yellow (I recommend Americolor)

            Piping or ziplock bags

            long thin knife (I think I used a ‘tomato knife’)

            • While the cupcakes are cooling, make the buttercream, then separate into 3 bowls.  Color one bowl yellow, one bowl orange, and leave one white. Then put into piping bags.  (I frequently use freezer ziplock bags with a small corner cut off.)
            • Once completely cool, unwrap a cupcake and flip it over.  Insert the knife at an angle near the edge, so the point goes to the middle:DSC_0348
            • Cut around the outside of the cupcake, keeping the point of the knife in the middle, to make a cone shape cut out:DSC_0350 
            • Fill the middle of the cupcake in layers, starting with white, then orange, then yellow
             candy corn cupcakes
            • Cut the triangle of the cone off, so that you only have a flat bottom of the cupcake:DSC_0356
            • Place the flat piece of cupcake back in the bottom to hold the frosting in. 
            • Chill cupcakes until ready to eat: this will help the colors stay layered while eating/cutting.
            candy corn cupcakes1
            Happy October!!
            I'm also linking up to a blog that is sharing all kinds of seasonal inspiration! Go check it out!