Merry Christmas!

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Photo background credit: seelensturm on Flickr

Hey folks! It’s been a while. I don’t have any Christmas or holiday theme cupcakes yet, but if all goes to plan, I will have something up by the end of the week. I feel bad for neglecting the blog for so long but lately I just haven’t been in the mood to bake or even write. Don’t you hate that?

What do you do to get out of a funk? I need to start brainstorming some projects to work on for the blog next year. As you can see I didn’t stick to my resolution of blogging at least once per week. Oh well.

Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year!

What are you doing for the holidays? Got any special plans?

 

*Photo background credit goes to seelensturm on Flickr

A Halloween Treat: Maggot and Worm Cupcakes

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Happy Halloween folks! Creep out your friends and family with these simple but gross maggot and worm cupcakes! I’m not kidding, they were easy to make. This was my first time working with fondant and it was pretty fun. It’s like sugar clay.

I’ve had a lot going on lately what with moving and Halloween costumes, so I planned to make some quick cupcakes for the Halloween party I went to. I found an awesome recipe for a doctored chocolate cake mix from My Baking Addiction. She fancied up a regular ol’ box of chocolate cake mix into something moist and delicious. Check out her website for the recipe!

For the frosting, I used Savory Sweet Life’s Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe. I love this frosting because it’s chocolately, not too sweet, and tastes great with chocolate cake.

You could put these creepy cupcake toppers on any type of cupcake though. It’s not difficult to make them either. I chose to go the store-bought route with my fondant this time since I’d never used it before. Some people suggested I make marshmallow fondant. Maybe next time.

If you start with white fondant, color the fondant a little bit at a time with gel or icing dyes. Liquid food coloring might thin out the fondant too much. Gel-like coloring is best. I added the coloring to the fondant with a toothpick and kneaded it until the color was uniform.

Make the shapes for your maggots and worms just like you would when you were a kid playing with clay. I flattened out a separate piece of fondant for the band on the worm and attached it after I had rolled out the worm’s body.

Clay tools are handy when sculpting fondant. I have this basic set I found on Amazon.

I used a small tool that I could easily make impressions on the fondant to create the ring indentations on the worms and maggots. If the fondant gets sticky from the moisture on your hands, have a little powdered sugar on hand to sprinkle on the fondant and your hands to dry it up.

Press your tool into the fondant all the way around the worms and maggots. I drew some features on the maggots with a food marker too.

To make them even more realistic, I made a sugary glaze to brush on top of the maggots and worms once I had placed them on the cupcakes. The glaze recipe is below.

Sugary Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs corn syrup

Instructions

  1. Bring the sugar and 1/2 of the water (1/4 cup) to a boil.
  2. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining water. Add to the boiling water and cook till clear and thick.
  3. Stir in the corn syrup. Bring back to a boil and remove from heat.
  4. Let cool and then brush onto your fondant.

Notes

*If you let it cool too long, the mixture will be come gelatine-like and too thick to spread. *This recipe will make more than enough glaze. You can cut the recipe in half if you want.

http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2012/10/a-halloween-treat-maggot-and-worm-cupcakes/

Are you making any Halloween treats this year? What about costumes? I love Halloween costumes and I would love to see yours. Post a picture below or on my Facebook page of your spooky treats and costumes.

Have a wonderful, safe, and happy Halloween!

Here’s a peek at my Roy Lichtenstein comic book girl costume.

By the way, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of Lily Vanilli’s A Zombie Ate My Cupcake. Giveaway ends Oct. 31st!

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Just in Time for Halloween: A Giveaway!

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Ok, I’ve been neglecting the blog recently. Sorry about that. I’ve been moving to a new house and totally uninterested in baking. You know how it can get. BUT it is Halloween month and it’s my favorite time of the year, so I had to do something special for it. Later this week I’ll be making some creepy Halloween themed cupcakes so keep an eye out for that.

Today though, you have a chance to win a copy of Lily Vanilli’s A Zombie Ate My Cupcake! Yay! It features such treats as Shattered Glass Cupcakes, Zombie Hands Cupcakes, and the awesome Bleeding Hearts Cupcakes. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below.

Rules:

You must be 18 or older to enter. This giveaway is only available to people in the US. I’ll be sending the book to the winner myself and can’t afford shipping out of the country.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was not compensated for this post.

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Baby Shower Cupcakes

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A friend of mine asked me to make some baby shower cupcakes for her brother and sister-in-law and these were the cute cupcakes I came up with. They aren’t super original, but they were fun to make and easy to decorate.

If I had had time to experiment, I would have liked to try making fondant rubber duckies, but with only a couple of days to plan and make these babies, mini rubber ducky toys were the way to go. It also kept the cost down since fondant can be a little pricey.

The cupcakes are spice cupcakes that I made using this recipe. The recipe instructs you to mix the ingredients together strangely, so by the suggestion from several of the comments, I mixed the butter and brown sugar together before adding the rest of the wet ingredients to it and mixed the dry ingredients separately. Then I added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little bit at a time until it was all combined. The batter will be very thick.

The cupcakes turned out very dense, almost like a muffin but still light like cake. The only thing I’d change to this recipe would be to add more spices! It looked like there would be plenty of spices in it from reading the ingredients, but they didn’t end up as spicy as I wanted them to be. Overall, I liked them, especially warmed up. Warming them did something to the cupcakes that made them very moist and brought out the spice flavor better. Frankly, the cake is so good on its own, it doesn’t need frosting.

If you do want to add frosting, use a cream cheese frosting. I was asked to keep the frosting light for these cupcakes so I tried using Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese because it has less fat and calories, but it never got stiff.  Only use this type of cheese for this frosting if you don’t mind it being a little soupy. Otherwise, stick to regular cream cheese. A quick recipe for the frosting is below.

Quick Cream Cheese Frosting

Serving Size: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 - 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3 cups of sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. 1. Whip cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl.
  2. 2. Mix in the vanilla
  3. 3. Adding a little bit at a time, mix in the confectioners' suger until the frosting reaches the consistency you want.
  4. 4. For colored frosting, add food coloring a couple drops at a time to reach desired color
http://shaneskillercupcakes.com/2012/09/baby-shower-cupcakes/

To decorate your cupcakes, find items that go with the theme of your baby shower. There are plenty of ideas out there. I chose to get “It’s a boy!” cupcake picks but these could easily be homemade too. Making them by hand adds a little personal flair to the cupcakes.

If you’d rather go the easy route, and top the cupcakes with little toys instead of fondant figurines, check out party stores or craft stores for cute items. I found these mini duckies in the toy and party favor section of Party City. Sometimes baby shower trinkets can be found at stores like Michaels as well. Make sure to clean the toys well before sticking them on to food that will be eaten.

For extra pizazz, sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes with sanding sugar, sprinkles and/or candy pearls.

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Batman Cake Pops {Giveaway}

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In honor of the release of The Dark Knight Rises, I decided to make some Batman cake pops. I meant to do this a couple of weeks ago when the movie came out, but I ordered the background poster too late and have been waiting for it to arrive in the mail. So here they are!

I don’t know how Bakerella does it. Her cake pops are perfection. Mine never come out how I want them to, and it takes all of my patience to not throw the pops against the wall while I’m making them. Truthfully, I’m not sure why I keep making cake pops. Anyway, these aren’t exactly how I envisioned them, but they did turn out pretty cute.

Items you’ll need for this project are cake, frosting, candy melts in yellow, black, white and orange, oil, white sprinkles, pop sticks, pop stand, a toothpick, and candy coated sunflower seeds.

I used brownie mix for this one instead of cake but you can use anything you want. A box mix or your favorite cake recipe will work. Make the brownie or cake according to the directions and let it cool. Once it’s cool, break it up in a bowl and mix a little frosting with it. I used chocolate frosting but white frosting works well too. I’m not sure how much frosting to use, I just put a little plop and mixed it in with my hands. The consistency should be like clay: not too dry, not too moist. Cover the cake mixture with some pastic and chill it in the fridge for a few minutes.

Create a pop stand before you start working on the pops. This can be made out of a block of styrofoam with some holes pre-poked into it, or buy a cardboard cake pop stand from the store. I got mine at Walmart in the baking section.

For the Bat Signals, melt the yellow candy using the instructions on the package and add some oil to it a little bit at a time, until it’s nice and smooth. Dip the end of one of the pop sticks in the candy, and push it about halfway into a rolled up ball of cake. Place it on your stand.

For the Batman cake pops, melt some white candy melts with a little bit of orange and the yellow until it’s the skin color you want. Using the same technique as the other cake pops, glue the sticks onto the cake balls. When you’re done gluing the cake balls onto the sticks, put the cake pops in the fridge for about 15 minutes so the candy hardens.

Next step is to dip the pops. Dip the Signals in the yellow candy and the Batman ones in the skin-colored candy and knock off the extra. Place two candy coated sunflower seeds on each Batman pop for the bat ears. Return them to the stand and chill once again.

Melt some black candy in a bowl or mug and also melt a little bit in a ziplock bag. Dip the Batman pops in the black candy half way and stick a white sprinkle for each eye and place on the stand.

Draw the bat logo with a toothpick on the yellow pops and fill it in with the melted candy in the ziplock (cut the tip off of the bag’s corner). Also draw a mouth on the Batman pops with the bag of black candy. For the last time, chill the cake pops. You’re done!

{Giveaway}

I’ve decided to give away the Batman poster I got for the background. It’s a silk wall poster measuring 40″ x 24.” It shows Gotham City with Christian Bale’s Batman to one side. This is for US residents only as I will be paying for shipping myself.

The poster is brand new but the tape that I used to put it up for the photos with pulled off some of the ink on the corners. So if you win, you will be receiving the poster slightly damaged.

The giveaway will end on August 8th, 2012 at 11:59pm.

Read the Official Rules for more information.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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