4th of July Brownie Bites

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4th of July Brownies | shaneskillercupcakes.com

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, so I whipped up these easy brownies as a last minute treat for a BBQ I’m attending. I used a delicious brownie mix I only recently started using. Most brownie mixes that I’ve used taste like brownie mixes. They taste good but not quite as decadent as homemade brownies.

A few weeks ago I tried Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix with Dutch Cocoa and Chocolate Chips for the first time and was impressed at how rich and delicious it was. It’s also nice that it already has chocolate chips included in it! To make these brownies you can use whatever mix or recipe you want, but I’d suggest trying the Trader Joe’s mix. It’s a good thing to have around when you need a dessert fast and don’t want to rummage through the kitchen collecting all the ingredients.


Make your brownies and let them cool completely. Cut them into small squares and drizzle melted frosting on the top. If you want them to be festive, sprinkle a few jimmies on each.

4th of July Brownies | shaneskillercupcakes.com

That’s it! They are easy to make and don’t require a lot of artistic skill, yet they look pretty and patriotic.

4th of July Brownies | shaneskillercupcakes.com

4th of July Brownie Bites

Yield: 36 bites

Serving Size: One brownie bite


  • A batch of brownies, cooled completely
  • 1/3 of a can of white frosting
  • Red, white and blue sprinkles
  • Optional:
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • Nuts


  1. Make your brownies from a mix or recipe and let cool completely. Add extra items (nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc) to the brownies if you wish.
  2. Cut the brownies into one inch squares.
  3. Put a cooling rack on top of a wax paper-covered cookie pan and place the brownie bites onto the rack.
  4. Melt the frosting in a bowl for 10-30 seconds until the consistency is liquid but still thick.
  5. Drizzle the frosting in a zig zag pattern over each brownie bite.
  6. While the frosting is still wet, sprinkle with your red, white, and blue jimmies.
  7. Chill brownies in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set the frosting.
  8. Serve at room temperature.

I added marshmallows to my brownies, but they turned brownish yellow while baking and kind of messed up my red, white, and blue color scheme. They taste great though!

4th of July Brownies | shaneskillercupcakes.com

What are you doing for the 4th of July? Are you making anything special?


****I was not sponsored or paid by Trader Joe’s to recommend their product. I just really like it!****

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Circus/Carnival Cupcakes

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cupcakesThe circus/carnival party I had was a great success and I wanted to share the cute cupcakes that I made for it. For more details about the party head over here. Below, learn about how to make carousel horse cupcakes and clown cupcakes.

Carousel Cupcakes – Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting



After I found this cool cupcake carousel stand I couldn’t pass up making some cupcakes to go in it. To make the cupcakes look even more like they belonged on a carousel, I wanted to add some carousel horses to them. I found these really cute carousel horse cutouts for paper straws and I cut the straws in half so they could be cupcake toppers.


For the cake on these I used this delicious Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate cake recipe. The batter was incredibly runny and they didn’t rise very much, but they were moist and tasty. I only made a half batch for this party and shared my buttercream with the clown cupcakes below. If you make a full batch, use the frosting recipe below.

Make a batch of Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, but instead of the vanilla substitute peppermint extract. The peppermint goes so well with chocolate!

You’ll also be using this frosting for the clown cupcakes.

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Cherry Amaretto Cordial Cake Hearts

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and one thing that goes well with romantic holidays is chocolate and alcohol. These take a day or two to prep for, so if you want to make them for Valentine’s Day this year, better get to it (okay, okay, it’s my fault I didn’t get these posted sooner)! You can make them for any time of the year though so don’t fret if you don’t have time to do them this week.


There are a few things you’ll need to make these. You’ll need a silicone mold of some kind that has slightly deep wells (I used a heart treat mold), some melting chocolates in your favorite colors or flavors, chocolate cake mix, canned frosting, maraschino cherries, cherry topping, pie filling or cherry jelly, and some amaretto.


The amaretto doesn’t have to be the expensive kind. I got the cheaper stuff and it worked well for this recipe. For the cherries I chose maraschino cherries because they are bright and sweet. Fresh cherries could work too, but would change the flavor a bit. The cherry topping I found actually tasted more like fresh cherries and was dark in color but it went great with all of the other ingredients.

The first thing you want to do, is pull the maraschino cherries out of their syrup, drain, and dry them a bit. I just rolled them around in a couple paper towels. Pop them into an empty jar and pour the amaretto over them. Let them soak for 24-48 hours.

On the day you make the treats, bake the chocolate cake first and let it cool. While it cools, make your cherry sauce by adding 1/4 cup of cherry topping (strained of fruit pieces) with 1/4 cup of amaretto, set aside. If you’d like to omit the alcohol, don’t soak the cherries in it and only use the cherry topping for the sauce. If you’re using cherry jelly and need to thin it a bit, mix a little cherry syrup into it instead of amaretto.

Prepare your silicone mold by melting the chocolate/candy melts and coating just the bottom and sides of each heart well. The back of a spoon and a pastry brush helped me get it covered. Make sure there are no holes! Freeze the mold for 5 minutes. I suggest placing the mold on a baking sheet to keep it from bending.


Once the cake is cool, crumble it up in a bowl and mix in 1/2 cup of frosting until it is completely combined. It should have a consistency of clay. It’s a messy job, but I like to mix it with my hands, I find it easier to combine this way.

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Cheers to Vegan Sweets Cookbook #Giveaway (8/7-8/15) US

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IMG_2487You know what’s more awesome than winning a copy of Cheers to Vegan Sweets: Drink-Inspired Vegan Desserts by Kelly Peloza? Winning TWO copies of it! A couple of months ago I won a copy of Cheers to Vegan Sweets from Cut Out and Keep. The prize finally showed up this past week. I was excited to get it, because I haven’t made vegan treats before and I’m interested in trying them out.

Then two days later another copy of it showed up! What!? Someone at the publishing company must have made a mistake. Should I have contacted the publisher to return the second book? Probably. But I’m sure they’d tell me to keep it. Plus, I have a group of awesome readers who love baking, so hopefully they won’t have a problem with me sharing it with you!

If you’d like to check out a couple of the recipes from the book, click here!

How to Enter

To enter, leave your name and email address in the mandatory entry in the Rafflecopter widget below. That’s it! If you’d like to increase your chances of winning, enter as many of the optional entries as you want. Some are even daily!


Entrant must be 18 years of age or older and be a resident of the US. Shane’s Killer Cupcakes is mailing this prize and only US addresses will be accepted. This giveaway starts at 12:01am EST on 08/07/14 and ends at 11:59pm EST 08/15/14.

For the complete giveaway rules, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Shabby Chic Tea Party

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The tea party was a success! Putting on a party mostly by yourself is a tad daunting, but I’m really pleased with how everything turned out. Of course I was getting things ready all the way up to when people started to arrive, so I didn’t get all the photographs of the decor I wanted, but these pictures will give you an idea of what it looked like.

I made most of the decor myself. I explained how to make some of the decor here and here. For this lovely background, I found instructions at KoJo Designs for the paper flowers and at Shiny Happy Sprinkles for the paper fringed backdrop. It’s a really great idea for an inexpensive background that looks pretty and covers a good sized area. Something like this would be perfect for a photo booth background too!

I invited my guests with these home made tea invites. The invite is about the size of a business card and I attached it to a bag of tea.


I asked my friends to dress up in their nicest clothes, and while everyone did, I put an accessories table together just in case someone didn’t have any fancy jewelry or hats to wear.


There was one table that had all the tea supplies ready and I decorated the fireplace and mantel with flowers, candles, and the fabric swag and tea party banner that I showed you how to make last week. I had various glassware for my guests to drink iced teas from, but my favorites were these milk bottles I decorated with ribbon and paper flowers.


The food table had all sorts of treats that fluctuated throughout the day. I provided tea sandwiches, cookies, biscuits and jam, petits fours, popcorn, fruit salad and candy. There was a ton to eat!


These chocolate-dipped shortbread tea bag cookies were a hit! You can find the recipe for them here. The petits fours were also popular, especially the chocolate ones since they were devoured before I was able to get a closeup photo of them. If you’d like to make the petits fours click here for the recipe.

Thanks for joining me for my tea party!


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