Monday, May 21, 2012

Dubble Bubble Cake Pops

Happy Monday! 

To kick off the week I'm sharing another of my Ducan Hines frosting flavor packet creations., dubble bubble cake pops! I was a little stumped on what to make with the bubble gum flavor. I've made bubble gum cupcakes in the past, so I wanted something new. And even though bubble gum is such a fun and kid friendly flavor it's not really one people want a large amount of. Cake pops seemed to be a fun bite sized solution. And to make them even better, I covered them in bubble gum flavored candy coating! I was very curious if you could use the flavor packets in candymelts/almond bark and you can! With a soft bubble gum center and a bubble gum candy coating on the outside, they became awesome dubble bubble cake pops!

I have to admit some of the adults were a little confused by these...they really do taste like a piece of dubble bubble, but depsite what mom told you for years...these you can swallow. The kids however, really loved them and didn't give a thought to wether or not to swallow ;). They would be a fun treat for the preschool crowd or birthday parties.

Here's what you will need:
2 packets of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Bubble Gum Flavor Mix
1 box white cake mix
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cup water
2 TBS vegatble oil
White Candy Melts or Vanilla Almond Bark
Lollipop sticks
Cake pop maker or cake pop pan

With this recipe I was able to make up to 3 dozen cake pops. However, it's pretty rare that I would need that many cake pops. So the amount of candy coating and lollipop sticks will very by how many you would like to make, up to 36.

Step 1. Prepare cake mix as instructed on box then add in 1 Duncan Hines Bubble Gum Flavor Packet.

Step 2. Bake cake pops in cake pop pan or cake pop baker following instructions for the item. I used my babycakes cake pop maker. Using a pipping bag I filled the holes to the top and baked for 5 minutes.
Step 3. Line cake pops on cookie sheet or tray.

Step 4. Melt a small amount of almond bark in microwave. Dip 1/4 inch of lollipop stick into candy melts/almond bark and then into each cake ball, this will help fuse the two.

Step 5. Place in freezer until candy melt/almond bark is firm, about 2 minutes.

Step 6: Melt about 1 cup of candy melts/almond bark. In a microwave safe bowl heat in 15 second spurts stiring in between until full melted. Stir in half of the second pack of bubble gum flavoring. The amount of coating you will use depends on how many cake pops you are making. After using up the first cup I melted a second with the second half of the flavor packet and it was plenty for 24 cake pops.

Step 7. Begin covering cake pops in candy melts/almond bark,  by dipping and covering with a spoon and gently turning and tapping on the side of the bowl.

Step 7. Let firm in a cake pop stand or by placing in a styrofoam block.

Want a FUN addition to these cake pops? Try covering in crush rock candy for a blow pop effect!
I hope you kids enjoy this fun cake pops as much as mine did. And now that I know I can add the flavor packets to the candy coating...think about the possibilities!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

{DIY} Glass Cupcake stand

This may come as a bit of a shock, but among my collection of serving pieces I own zero cupcake stands. I know, it's I've left my child without shoes. After all, everybody else's cupcakes are sporting these adorable litle stands. Haha. I've been meaning to purchase some for awhile, but just haven't. Mostly because I want not one or two, I want lots! And at 12 bucks a pop....

I really wanted a few for some projects I'm working on, and my DIY diesease kicked in and I had to find a way to make some. I found several cute ideas and tutorials but I wanted something that really looked like a little glass cake stand. I finally I found these little wide rimmed stands at Wal-Mart the other day during my rare kid free shopping trip. (really it's amazing the things you find without toddlers jumping from the carts)

 The wide rim on these candle holders actually are the perfect cupcake holding size, without gluing anything to the top at all. Wahoo! Of course they have the hole to place the candle in so I wanted to try to fill that in instead of gluing something on top. And it worked GREAT! But if your looking for a quick fix a coat of paint really would do just fine it your only using for cupcakes, they sit over the hole perfectly and you'll never know the difference :).

These little stands are really great as photo props, for party displays, home decor, and much more! And this way you can make several for the price of one! 

To make these you will need:
Candle Sticks (Better Home and Garden from Wal-Mart)
White enamel spray (found with the spraypaint)
Plaster of paris (or some other filler)
Fine sandpaper

Step 1: Fill hole with plaster of paris, making sure it's packed in and nice and full. I had plaster of paris in the garage so that's why I used it (and it dries quick!) but I am sure any type of mixture that dries hardwill work....spackle, wood filler, etc. Mine only took about 30 minutes until completely dry, but your time will vary depending on the filler you used.

Step 2: After the filler is completely dry gently sand it down smooth even with the glass. Wipe clean of dust with paper towel. 

Step 3: Now just spray paint with the enamel. Take it nice and slow spraying the top, then sides, then bottom, letting it dry in between and turning the candle stick each time.

Aren't they so cute! They take a little time, but they are easy and SO worth it in the end. You can make several of these for the price of one! Also I should note...DO NOT lay food directly on, since it's spray painted. If your using foods not lined with paper as cupcakes are, make sure to use a doily or decorated paper.To clean wipe with towel :).

Now I'm off to make more of these pretty little things. Pink, yellow, purple, green, I think I want one in every color! What about you...what colors would you like?!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to make - {marshmallow fondant}

Friday already?! How does that happen, time really does fly when you're having fun! I prepared this tutorial early this week for you guys but so many things came up, good things! I have several cool things I'm super excited to share with you guys...but not just yet. Soon. :)

For now let's talk about...fondant! It's no secret that fondant has taken the cake world by storm. Fondant has given cake decoraters a whole new medium to work with and they are now creating unimaginable cakes like never before all because of this pla-dough food, as named by my princess ;)

The down side of course is that fondant is not the most delicious thing in the world, and it's pricey! Soon after I started making cakes I tried many different fondant recipes. Some were ok and some were a total fail, but none were ever usable to me. Over time I have worked out the kinks and now I make workable, smooth, marshmallow fondant, that tastes pretty good! I have had many people try it, and suprisingly report back to me that they liked it, and they don't even like fondant. 

I have had many requests for my fondant recipe, due to others having the same luck. I am kinda hesitant to share it because it's really a work it out on your own thing. Something you have to take the time, test it out and see how you like it. So this is my way of making fondant, it's easy and works for me every time.

Here's what you'll need:
16 oz. bag of Jet Puff mini marshmallows
1 bag of Domino powdered sugar (you probably won't use it all)
3 TBS Warm Water
2 TBS crisco plus some for greasing
1 TBS clear vanillia extract
Saran wrap
electric mixer with dough hook

Domino and Jet Puff have worked great for me. I have tried other brands and it just wasn't good. Many cheap powdered sugar leaves a gritty feel to the fondant. Like I said this is what works for me, but make note of what your using in case you feel it is not perfect.

 Although I'm sure it's not impossible to make it without a mixer, I sure wouldn't want to try. You are going to need a mixer with some muscle to make it. Without it your asking for carpal tunnel, no joke! I use to think I didn't need one of these...after about a few months of cake making and 3 burned out handmixers I caved and bought one, and boy am I glad I did. This little lady is my best friend, and never not once have I had an issue with her. Which reminds me...she still doesn't have a name. She does after all star is this blog more then anything else...she should have a name. Any thoughts? ;)

Step 1: Heavily grease dough hook with crisco.

Step 2: Add 4 cups of powdered sugar into the mixer bowl. Make sure you measure accurately and consistent!

Step 3: Pour mini marshmallows into a microwave safe bowl. Add in 3 TBS water, 2 TBS crisco, and 1 TBS vanilla. (I remember this by 3-2-1) Again, be sure to measure correctly. I fill the TBS wih crisco, scrape excess off and then scrape it into the bowl.

Step 4: Microwave marshmallow mixture in 15 second spurts stirring in between.. BE PATIENT! I do this about 4-6 times until is just slightly lump as shown below. This is just like melting chocolate, if you over do it you can't go back. Remember you want to be able to see lumps still.

Step 5: After stiring well pour marsmallow mixture over powdered sugar in bowl. Make sure to scrape out the bowl well.

Step 6: Here's a great trick I've learned, place a large piece of saran wrap over your mixture to keep the flying powdered sugar contained! Unless of course yours came with a shield, but even then they don't work 100%.

 Step 7: Mix on medium-high until pretty well combined, it should look like this below.

Step 8: Now here's where the trial and error comes in. If your fondant it really gooey, sticky, and barely holds a shape your going to need a add quiet a bit more powdered sugar. If your fondant is pretty formable and slightly sticky you will only need to add a little. Add in about 1/4 cup at a time, (of course less or more depending on how yours looks/feels) until you fondant can hold it's shape when pulled up as shown below.
 To show you how this really can vary, for this batch I put in the orginal 4 cups and then only 1.5 more cups of powdered sugar for a total of 5.5 cups. In Virginia when I would make this I would total closer to 8.5 cups! So I can't stress enough how weather, environment, and temperature does make a different. Once you feel that it can hold a shape fairly well when pinched, and barely sticks your ready for the next step.


Step 9: Very lightly dust your CLEAN workspace with powdered sugar. I stress clean because any little fuzz, crumb, particle, it's going to get picked up in the fondant. Just like pla-doh right ;). Now scrape out your fondant and lay it on dusted workspace. I like to lightly grease my hands with crisco.

Step 9: Kneed your fondant until it's a nice and smooth ball, you should be able to make a finger print in it without it sticking to your finger. If it's very soft, feel free to work in  a little more powdered sugar. Here's the critical part. You do not want your fondant to be fully workable and hard like store bought at this point. After it sets and cools off completely it's going to harden up a bit. So if your fondant is really hard now, you won't be able to move it later. So if your debating with it, less is more. You can always add more powdered sugar later. (remember I said trial and error!)

Step 10: Wrap your fondant ball up in saran wrap nice and tight. I like to double wrap mine.

Step 11: Then place wrapped fondant in air tight container, let set for a few hours at least before using. I generally make mine the day before and let it settle all night. Just like bought fondant it's a little harder at first but softens while you work with it. If it's still too soft to use you can still work in some powdered sugar.

 I really hope this helps some of you! Remember it's a trial and error kind of thing, you have to find what works best or you. Make your first batch, following every step, with patience, and taking time to feel and test the fondant. After you've got it down it's the easiest thing and you'll be whipping up batches all the time, for a fraction of the cost of store bought.

Here's some other fondant tips:

Never, ever microwave fondant!

You can change the flavor by switching out the vanilla for a different flavor (may change the color).

Color fondant with gel food colorings, Americolor is best.

Always keep fondant completely wrapped in saran wrap, even if it's just for a minute, air is it's enemy.

It's best to let fondant sit for a bit after coloring. Colors get bolder with time, and fondant is very soft after working it to color.

Red and black are the two hardest colors to make.

Always keep work area very clean to cut down on little fuzzies collecting in the fondant.

I could go on and on and on about this subject. But for now I hope that helps! Soon you'll be making beautiful fondant cakes, with your own marshmallow goodness.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Easy Chocolate Marshmellow "Mousse"

Today I'm back with another one of my 12 recipes for the Duncan Hines challenge! First off, I'm not really sure this tecnically "qualifies" as a mousse. Traditional mousse can be tricky to make and requires a little more then I'm willing to do. But it's light, it's fluffy, it' chocolate, and it's in a little glass, so I'm calling it a chocolate mousse!

When it came to using the chocolate marshmellow flavor packet, I was kinda stumped. I knew everybody was going to go right to s'mores or hot chocolate, and who doesn't love those things? But I wanted something not just like everybody else. So I mixed the flavor packet into the Duncan Hines icing and I was really suprised how good it was, you really could taste the chocolate and the marshmellow. The family seemed to want to eat it right out of the I thought why not just alter it a little? I guess serving icing in a jar just isn't good enough, psh ;).  I whipped up some cream beat it in and it was perfect! Smooth, light, easy, and soooo yummy. Then the ah ha! moment came..I'll add in some pretzels to add some salty to the combo. Needless to say, I loved the end result.

Ready to whip up some of these to share with the family? (or just hide it well and eat it all yourself, I won't tell ;) really) I was able to make about 10 of these in my 5oz  dessert glasses. But yours will depend on the serving size.

Here's what you will need:

1 packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Chocolate Marshmallow Flavor Mix

1 can of Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter

1 pint heavy whipping cream

2 cups of pretzels

small dessert glasses or bowls

Metal mixing bowl

Metal wisk of stand or hand mixer

Step 1: Put metal mixing bowl and wisks of stand or hand in freezer until nice and cold.

Step 2: While bowl is freezing, crush pretzels in bowl or ziplock bag, save a few to top if you'd like!

Step 3: Pour whipping cream in cold bowl, beat on high with cold wisks until peaks form. Set aside about  1 cup to top desserts.

Step 4: Mix flavor packet into canned icing.

Step 5: Slowly add icing into whipping cream beating in between.

Step 6: Add crushed pretzels to the bottom of small dessert bowls or glasses.

Step 7: Pipe or spoon in choclate mousse on top of pretzels.

Step 8: Top with set aside wipping cream, and pretzels if you'd like. The set aside cream will not be too sweet, but it blends well with the very sweet mouse. If you would like to sweeten it up add in a bit of powdered sugar.

Nice easy peasy chocolate "mousse". I think these would make great dinner party desserts!
Have you made something inspired by MBC? Post a picture on our facebook page and I'll add it to our album!
Happy Baking!

Monday, May 7, 2012

How to make - {painted mason jar vases)

Yay for Monday! Our family enjoyed a very busy friend filled weekend. So much fun but this mama needs a rest. So while I'm enjoying snuggly resting babies, I thought I'd share a little party/home decor tip that I adore. I've been painting mason jars for quiet some time now and I just love to do it, such a great way to add color to any room, seasonal decor, or party.
Recently I've been seeing spray painted wine bottle vases floating around pintrest, and it reminded me I have never shared this. Although they look so pretty I think this way is so much better. Spray paint and I have a love hate relationship. So skipping that process is a huge plus for me, this way can be done right in your kitchen with very little mess...and very little cost! Here's how to turn a mason jar into a colored vase, of course it wll work with any glass really.

Here's what you will need:
Mason jar (or other glass jar)
Craft Paint
Paint brush/Stir stick
Jar lid (optional)

Step 1: Squirt a little paint into a bowl. Remember you can always add more.

Step 3: Add in water about a TSP at a time, and mix with paintbrush. You will want it to have a nice pouring consistency, but not TOO thin. If its too thin it won't cover the jar as nice. It's no an exact science of course.

Step 4: Pour into jar.

Step 5: If your using a lid or rim go ahead and place it on now. I think it helps to kinda keep the paint from going on the outside, but it works for sure without.

Step 6: Now turn and tip your vase letting the paint swirl around covering the inside. If you've used way too much paint hold it over the sink to let excess paint drip out. Also if there are any bubbles visible from the outside just gently pop it with your paint brush.

Step 7: Remove the lid and wipe edges clean if needed. The jar will need to dry for about 1-2 days depending on how thick your paint it. I like to lay it on it's side and rotate the jar every 20 minutes or so for the first hour. This helps even out the paint on the inside. So it's not too thick or too thin on any side.

Now you have a pretty jar in any color you'd like! You can add ribbons, gems, or anything you'd like to spruce it up. Think about the possibilities here! Maybe this would make a great vase for the kids to make Grandma this mother's day?

Here are a few more times I've used this little method.


This last shot is from some kitchen decor I made, fake milk jars. :)

There you have it, one of my favorite easy and super cheap tricks!

Friday, May 4, 2012

How to- {color your own sprinkles}

I have a quick little tip for you guys today! How to color you own sprinkles...yep just when you thought I couldn't get any more insane I take it to a whole new level ;) You see, I have a little secret. Ok it's really no secret...I love sprinkles. It's a slight obssesion. I am always on a hunt for new sprinkles and cupcake wrappers. If you don't belive me here's a partial shot of my sprinkle cabinet, yes I have a whole cabinet dedicated to sprinkles. Which reminds me...I'm on a hunt to find an awesome way to organize these. I have had several ideas but nothing crazy good yet. So if you have one PLEASE share it with me, k?

Anyways, back to coloring sprinkles. Even when you have loads of sprinkles it never seems to be enough. I always find myself looking for that particular color that just doesn't seem to exist in the universe. Or often I need it right now, and there's no time for online ordering. So one day I decided to color them on my own. Ok the hubs is right, I really can't leave anything alone. Ah, well.

The best part about this is you can buy white sprinkles just about anywhere, Micheals, Wal-Mart, Joannes, even grocery stores. And they always seem to be in stock..most people don't use white spinkles a lot. I do this with both sanding sugar and jimmies, and they both work great. And, you can always buy a big thing of white in bulk and just color sprinkles as you need them, maybe then I could get rid of my sprinkle cabinet? Nah.

                Here's what you will need: White sprinkles, gel coloring, ziploc bags, and toothpicks.

Step 1: Divide up you sprinkles into ziplock bags depending on how many colors your making. I made 3 colors of each and was able to make about 1/3 cup of each.

Step 2: Using your toothpicks add a small amount of coloring to the side of the bag. A litte goes a long way so start with a small amount, you can add more as you like.

 Step 3: Now close the ziplock and shake it up and rub it around between your fingers until the coloring is even. You can add more coloring to get a brighter color. Here I even added some yellow to brighten up my green. If the kiddos are around, let them do's fun to watch them go from white to colored!

 Step 4: Once you've got the desired color just open the ziplock and let the sprinkles set for about 30 minutes, just to give them a little time to dry before bottling.

Now if your mixing the sprinkles you can mix them up and pour them right into the container they came. If your leaving them seperate you can leave them right in the same ziplock bag or find other small containers. Leftover baby food jars work great, as well as dollar store spice jars.

 Now you can enjoy sprinkles in every color of the rainbow, for every party, season, and treat. Fun right?

I've joined Celebration Shoppe's link party!
Check out what everybody else is up too.

Have a great weekend!