Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halloween Skull Cake Bites (no dipping required!)

Less than a week to Halloween peeps! Halloween treats have been showing up across the interwebs since the beginning of September (or earlier!) so I figured I'd add some colorful skull cake bites to the mix. 

I do have to admit that although I love cake bites and cake pops, I loathe dipping them in melted candy wafers or chocolate. 

Maybe I just don't have the patience, but I really really REALLY don't like the dipping process. It's messy, you have to be quick and you need to get the melted candy just right (not too think or thin).  And since mine never come out perfect, I just decide I don't like to make them.  (I also don't like dipping or coating petit fours!)

But I found a solution!  

Use a candy mold (or in this case a dollar store ice cube tray) in whatever form or shape you like. Mix up your cake and icing like you would for regular cake bites but instead of dipping the cake mixture into melted candy - melt the candy and outline the mold.  Once it hardens add your cake mixture to the cavity, then add more melted candy to cover it.  Refrigerate (or freeze) for 10 minutes then pop out of the mold.

Voila! No dip cake bites!

I sprayed my cake bite skulls with some pearl color mist in pearl to give the cake bites a shimmery shine.  

This is my favorite stuff of all times (and I don't even get any free product from Wilton!).  

Wilton makes it in many colors and it's a quick way to color your treats - like edible spray paint.  
SO fun.

And of course the cake inside makes these little skulls so tasty.  I tinted the cake mixture red because they are little skulls and well, it's Halloween!

I have like a gagillion candy molds and ice cube trays so I'm going to have to use this technique for more cake bites.  It could be tricky making cake pops - but depending on the mold it could work too or you can add a little more melted candy to the back of the cake bite to attach a stick.   

These little guys are a Halloween gift for a special friend. How cute are they in a re-purposed little box?!  Add Halloween stickers and some spooky candies and you have a gift that's way better than any store-bought candy box.  Since the cake bites are easy to put together (and no dipping needed!) make a bunch for your friends or this year's Halloween party!

No Dip Skull Cake Bites
  • 5 cups of candy melts/wafers (1 cup of black, white, lime green, purple, orange)
  • 2 cups of crumbled cake
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of frosting
  • Red food color/gel
  • Pearl Wilton Color Mist 
  • Skull ice cube tray or mold
  1. Mix cake crumbles with frosting and 2-3 drops of red food gel until well mixed.  Set aside.
  2. Melt each color of candy wafer in microwave safe bowl in 10-20 second intervals until candy is melted.  Add to quart sized freezer bag.  Snip an end and coat skull mold with candy (ensure thick enough to coat all sides of mold but leave a space to allow for filling).  Tap mold to remove air bubbles and to make sure all parts of mold are coated well.  Reheat candy as needed.  Freeze mold for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove mold from freezer and fill cavities with small ball of the cake mixture.  Press to cake fills mold cavity (see photos).  Cover with more melted candy.  Tap to cover evenly.  Freeze for 10-15 minutes.  
  4. Pop cake bite out of mold.  
  5. Spray with color mist.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  6. Repeat with other colors.
Prep time: 1 and 1/2 hoursYield: 25-30 cake bites 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Harry Potter Patronus Cupcakes

Do you ever have one of those ideas that hits you when you are about to fall asleep and then forget to write it down and then wake up in the morning going "Dang, I know I had an awesome idea but what was it??" You know because your mind forgets?? Well I do that All.The.Time but this time I managed to wake up a little to write it down - and hence you get Harry Potter patronus cupcakes!

You guys probably know I am a huge HP fan.  Every time one of the channels plays the movies all weekend I pretty much have to leave it on as a loop playing in the background.  

I love that all the wizards and witches have a patronus.  A patronus is protection or guardian charm that takes the form of an animal that the caster has deep affinity.  You can also find your own patronus on the Pottermore site.  I love that mine is a dolphin!

The patronus cupcake toppers start with vanilla candy melts/wafers.  

Once vanilla candy is dry, outline with black candy melts/wafers.  

       Since a patronus is very ethereal and seem to glow I sprayed mine with Wilton pearl color mist. 
                                                Color mist is kinda like edible spray paint.

I made the animals for Harry and his friends but you can use your favorite animals too.

I thought homemade blueberry cupcakes would be a neat flavor since blueberry cupcakes seems pretty rare (like a patronus!)

The cupcakes and cream cheese frosting are flavored with freeze dried blueberries.

Also made my own sprinkle mix using a bunch of sprinkles I have in the cupboard.  

I am calling this mix "Expecto Patronum!"

And in case you can't recognize the animals and don't know who has what patronus, you can see them below!

Harry's stag is one of my favs

Although the hands down the winner is Snape and Lily's doe of course! 


To get ready for the next JK Rollings movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (can't wait! please be good, please be good, please be good), the original HP movies are playing in IMAX theaters though October 20th!  Go check Harry and the rest of Dumbledores army out in theaters again!

Harry Potter Patronus Cupcakes
  • 1 box vanilla or white cake mix
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting
  • 1 cup of freeze dried blueberries (powdered)
  • 1 cup black melts/wafers
  • 2 cups vanilla candy melts/wafers
  • Various blue/pearl sprinkles
  • dark blue/black food gel (optional)
  1. Prepare cupcakes as per box directions adding 1/2 cup of powdered blueberries into batter before baking.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup of blueberry powder into frosting.  Tint with blue/black food gel if desired.
  3. Pipe cooled cupcakes with frosting and top with sprinkles.
  4. Print animals into 1 and 1/2 - 2 inch sizes.  Cover will parchment paper.
  5. Melt each color of candy wafers in quart sized freezer bag in 15 second intervals in microwave until just melted just before using.  
  6. Snip an end of the bag with vanilla candy and trace the animals.  Let harden 10 minutes.  
  7. Spray animals with color mist.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  8. Snip an end of the bag with black candy and outline animals.  Let harden 10 minutes.
  9. Spray entire candy with color mist.  Let dry 10 minutes.
  10. Stand up patronus candies in cupcake as toppers.
Prep time: 1 and 1/2 hoursYield: 12 - 18 cupcakes

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack & Sally Cupcakes

Hello October and all that is pumpkin! I've been holding off on getting my pumpkin spice fix until it was officially October so now it's fair game!  And since it's pumpkin season, I had to make my favorite Pumpkin King.

Just like It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, The Nightmare Before Christmas movie is a must watch during the Halloween season  - and it works all the way into Christmas season too!

Jack Skellington aka the Pumpkin King and his sweetie Sally are one of my fav movie couples.

They remind me of me and my other half.  Jack is a dreamer and once he gets into something - he gets into that something.  Sounds very familiar.  Sally is more practical and but holds off on any judgement even when she's right.  That's definitely me although depending on who you ask probably debatable on the holding back part! 

Plus look how cute they are together!

And who can resist a skull head cupcake? 

I think Sally needs the her long hair and she looks a little wonky but hopefully a little recognizable.  And I made mini Jack and Sally too - just because.

Happy Fall everyone!  It really is my favorite season of the year.  Have a great week!

Sally and Jack Cupcakes
  • 12 baked cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes (use your favorite recipe or box mix)
  • 1 can of vanilla frosting (tint 1/2 light blue)
  • 1/2 cup black candy melts/wafers
  • 1/2 cup black dark orange melts/wafers
  • 1/4 cup vanilla candy melts wafers or white round sprinkles for mini cupcakes
  • 1/4 cup red candy melts/wafers or small red heart sprinkles for mini cupcakes
  1. Frost 1/2 of the cupcakes with white frosting and the other half with light blue frosting.
  2. Melt each color of candy wafers in quart sized freezer bag in 15 second intervals in microwave until just melted.  Snip an end and pipe Jack and Sally details onto cupcakes.
  3. For Sally mini cupcakes add white sprinkles as eyes and add dab of black candy for center and red heart sprinkles as mouth.
Prep time: 30Yield: 12 large and 12 mini cupcakes

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fruit (Fig & Strawberry) Halloween Monster Pops

I'm adding to all the fun monster themed foods that will be showing up from now until Halloween!

How about some fruit pops. Meaning fruit on sticks!  

I've been on a fig kick lately.  I know that most people (KIDS) don't gravitate toward figs but I'm trying because I love them.  Aside from a fig newton my kiddos haven't really ever had fresh figs. Let's be honest they don't always look so yummy.  You don't peel them and you have to get past eating the skin.  And inside, they actually did remind me of a monster face.  Hence the monster pops. 

But how fun do these guys look??!  

Add some spooky eyes and a little melted candy and you've got a simple sweet treat.

I did also use strawberries too as I knew they would eat these guys.

You can find fresh figs so much easier now in grocery stores or you may find other varieties at your local farmer's market.

My favs are the black mission but I love the kadota too. 

They don't store for long so make them the day you plan to eat them.  They are so quick to put together so that's easy to do.

Create your own gang of fruit monster pops this Halloween 

AND they'd also be great as an after school healthy treat! 

My kids did try them but still preferred the strawberry pops - but it was at least a first step!

Thanks for stopping by and have great weekend!

Fig and Strawberry Monster Pops
  • 6 strawberries; 6 figs 
  • candy coated chocolate candy (like m and m's)
  • candy eyes
  • 1/2 cup vanilla/orange candy melts/wafers
  • 24 pop sticks or straws
  1. Wash and dry fruit.  Cut each into 1/2 lengthwise (as in photos)
  2. Insert pop stick into bottom of fruit 
  3. Melt candy wafers in quart sized freezer bag in 15 second intervals in microwave.  Snip an end and add some candy to pop stick to adhere to fruit.
  4. Attach candy eyes with melted candy.
  5. Add more detail with melted candy.  Let harden 10 minutes.
  6. Serve the day the pops are made.
Prep time: 15Yield: 24 monster pops

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mini Cereal Bowl Cookies & Cupcakes

I have a problem that I love cereal way too much.  There, it feels good to come clean with that.  I wonder if you can be addicted to cereal? And by cereal I mean pretty much all of them.  The junkie and the so called good for you cereals too.  I don't care what kind it is - add some to milk to a bowl of any kind and I'm a happy camper.  The cereal marketers love me because I'm a sucker for any new cereal or retro cereal box.  

There's just something about the crunchy cereal and milk together and then you get that awesome cereal milk at the end.  

And for those of you who dump your cereal milk - we can't be friends.  You are wasting the best part!

If you are similar to me then you'll love these treats.

Mini cereal cookie bowls - filled with all my fav cereals!

Start with some sugar cookie bowls.  

When I made these mini strawberry and grape cookie cups this summer I thought the base looked a lot like a little mini bowl, which then sparked the idea for these little all edible cereal bowls.

They don't even need to be perfect

Fill them with some "milk" aka cream cheese frosting and top with all your favorite cereals.

You can pretend you don't scarf a bowl of your fav junkie cereal standing up in the kitchen but we all know we've been there done that!

Tiny spoons are made from melted candy wafers sprayed with some silver edible color spray.

Cute on their own... 

or add them to cupcakes as a super special treat! 

And seriously who can resist a mini bowl of fruity pebbles??! I know not me.  

(Please let me know that I'm not the only cereal addict out there!)

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.  Can't wait to see ALL of the Fall and Halloween treats this year!

Mini Cereal Bowl Cookies
  • 1 package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 can of cream cheese frosting or vanilla frosting
  • Various types of cereals
  • Vanilla candy melts/wafers
  • Silver color spray
  • Mini bundt cake pan (you can also use a mini cupcake pan)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray mini bundt pan with non stick spray.
  3. Add cookie dough to each section of a mini bundt pan and spread dough slightly to fill bundt section.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies just start to brown.  Let cool.
  5. Pop out of pan (freeze for 10 minutes to make this easier)
  6. Spread cookie with frosting.
  7. Add some cereal to each bowl 
  8. Add 10-12 candy wafers to a zip lock freezer bag.  Microwave in 10 second intervals until candy is just melted.  Snip a small corner and pipe spoon shape onto parchment paper.  Let harden 10 minutes.  Spray hardened spoons with silver spray.  Let dry 10 minutes.  Add a spoon to each bowl.
  9. Serve as is or add as cupcake toppers.
Prep time: 40Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 - 15 mini cereal bowls

Monday, September 5, 2016

Beet Zucchini & Carrot Naked Layer Cake

If you add veggies to cake then that makes it healthy - right? 

If so I have the healthiest cake ever for you.  Its got all these cool vegetables in it: 

beets, carrots AND zucchini

It's pretty much like carrot cake but swap out the carrots and add in either shredded zucchini or beets.  You could add them all into the same layer cake too - but I wanted separate layers.

Why you ask?!! Well since you asked:

1) I wanted to see if you can taste a difference in the veggie layers (you can!)


2) I wanted to have distinct layers and colors when you slice into the cake (because I thought it would look pretty and it does!)

Also I wanted to do one of those minimally frosted naked cakes so you could see some of the layers through the frosting.  I used my new Russian piping tips to add some cream cheese frosting flowers on top.  Nice and simple.

I love these tips!! 

I did another post on them here raving about how easy it is to pipe flowers with them.

I love how the layers came out and that you can see the different veggie layers.  The cake was also so dang tasty.  I made it as a birthday cake for my sister - you know a much more grown up cake now that we're both 40+, I mean 29).  And it's healthy because duh, veggies! 

At least that's what we told ourselves as we ate another slice or 3.  And since its September its a great way to use up all your overflowing zucchini if you grow them - or they are super cheap right now in food stores locally.  

I'm not going to moan about how I can't believe summer is over already since I do that every year but I guess bring on the pumpkin! Actually pumpkin may be another neat layer to add to this cake too!

Beet Zucchini and Carrot Layer Cake
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded beets
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1-2 drops of orange and green food gel (optional to give the carrot and zucchini layers a little more color)
  • 2-3 cups cream cheese frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat sugar, oil, and eggs in mixer.
  3. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Separate equal amounts of batter into 3 separate bowls.
  5. Stir in shredded vegetables into each of the bowls and mix until just combined.  Add any extra food color to each bowl (optional).
  6. Spray 6 inch baking pans with floured non-stick spray and pour batter into each pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool.
  8. Trim layers until they are even and same sized layers.
  9. Frost with cream cheese icing.
  10. Pipe flowers on top with icing.
Prep time: 30Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 - 3 layer 6 inch cake

Friday, August 26, 2016

Watermelon Angel Food Bundt Cake Plus more Bundts!

Is it really almost the end of summer??? I've been seeing lots of back to school pics on my Facebook feed so it must be that time again.  But as usual I'm not ready.  I've been crazy busy at my regular day job and feel like I haven't even started summer yet.  

And on top of that my oldest kiddo just turned 12 this month.  12!!! And my twins (the babies) are now 9.  9!!!!! Nine is big kid territory so I'm trying to really just enjoy time with them as much as possible (which usually means trying to pry them away from their electronic devices - although its been so hot its really hard to do anything outside these days).

Anyhoo, I'm finally back into baking again.  I took some time off this summer because I was just not into it, but I think I'm finally getting back into a groove.  

Since it feels like summer just got here, I thought something watermelony was needed.  This recipe is super simple and uses an angel food box cake to start it off.  A little dark green icing gives great contrast and a watermelon like look!

It's a light and airy cake with watermelon flavor - perfect for these hot August days.  

Well hot if you are in this area!

See more details here at sheknows

And if you like bundt cakes (like me!) here are some others that you may like!

Halloween Bundt Cake (also made with natural food colors)

Thanks for swinging by! Have an AWESOME WEEKEND!