(Family Features) These, though, are happy showers filled with good wishes, gifts and a celebration of events to come, like weddings or babies.
Such special occasions deserve special food, says Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs and public relations at Wilton. She suggests cupcakes for dessert, but not just any cupcake. These are unique - shower-ready, decorated theme-appropriately with umbrellas.
They can be prepared from a mix or from scratch and baked and served in color-coordinated silicone baking cups. Siler suggests incorporating a grouping of cupcakes as part of the shower décor. Use them as the table centerpiece, arranged on a tray, or a tiered cupcake stand. Or if it's a sit-down meal, place a cupcake at each setting.
Construct the umbrella decorations from ready-to-use fondant that is tinted in the colors selected for the occasion. Step-by-step instructions ensure foolproof results, plus they can be made several days in advance, so on party day there's no last-minute mad rush. Cupcakes can be baked, iced and sprinkled a day in advance. Place the umbrellas on the mini cakes the day of the party.
Umbrellas in place, let the showers begin!
For additional shower and party ideas, baking and decorating tips or to order supplies, visit www.wilton.com.
Ready for Showers
Each serves 1
- 1 package (24 ounces) White Ready-To-Use Rolled Fondant
Rose, Royal Blue, Lemon Yellow Icing Color
Round Fondant Cut-Outs
- 1 package (about 18 ounces) cake mix, any flavor
Water, vegetable oil and eggs to prepare cake mix
- 1 can (16 ounces) White Decorator Icing
Heart Drops Sprinkles
- Several days in advance, tint fondant rose, blue and yellow; roll out 1/8-inch thick. Cut circles using largest Round Cut-Out; cut across circle, slightly more than halfway. Using smallest Round Cut-Out, cut scalloped edge; with spatula, score umbrella rib lines. Let dry on waxed paper covered cake boards. Reserve remaining tinted fondant. Attach dried fondant pieces to lollipop sticks with Fondant Adhesive. Roll a 1/4-inch ball of matching fondant; attach to umbrella top with adhesive. Let dry.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix following package instructions; place batter in Pastel Silicone Baking Cups supported by cookie sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool completely. Ice cupcakes smooth with icing; sprinkle with Heart Drops. Insert fondant umbrella. If desired, tie ribbon around stick.
* To make Fondant Adhesive for attaching dried fondant decorations to lollipop sticks, knead 1/4 teaspoon water into 1 ounce (1-1/2-inch ball) rolled fondant until it becomes soft and sticky. Apply to fondant decoration with brush or place in decorating bag and pipe it onto decoration.
Source: Wilton Products
(Family Features) This Easter holiday, hop into a new tradition and swap your classic ham for savory lamb.
Cooking lamb can be easier than many might think, especially when using a pressure cooker. You can combine aromatic herbs with white wine for a juicy leg of lamb in under an hour. Or try baking a rack of lamb crusted with a quinoa-hazelnut combination and topped with a mint pesto.
For a perfect, set-and-forget side, try slow cooker carrots, sprinkled with dill weed and lemon extract for a delightful spring dish. End the meal with festive cupcakes modeled after the Easter bunny, which can satisfy the sweet tooth of guests of all ages.
Bunny Butt Cupcakes
Recipe courtesy of Amanda Rettke of “I am baker”
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 2-layer size white cake mix
- 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, McCormick Pure Lemon Extract, divided
- 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 16 ounces confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 10 drops McCormick Green Food Color
- 1-2 drops McCormick Red Food Color
- 12 large marshmallows, halved crosswise
- 3 tablespoons white nonpareil sprinkles
- Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding 1 tablespoon lemon extract and vanilla. Spoon 3 tablespoons batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
- To make bunny feet: In medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave white chocolate chips on high 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Spoon into pastry bag or re-sealable plastic bag. Snip small corner from bag. Pipe 24 pairs of bunny feet onto parchment or wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Use toothpick to smooth out bumps or rough edges, and gently tap cookie sheet on counter to help settle. Allow to harden 2 minutes in freezer or 15 minutes in refrigerator.
- To make frosting: In large bowl, beat butter and remaining lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Remove half the frosting and place in medium bowl. Add green food color; mix until evenly blended. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with grass decorating tip. Set aside. Remove half the remaining frosting into small bowl. Add red food color; mix until light pink. Spoon into another pastry bag.
- Using pink frosting, pipe three toes and padding on each bunny foot. Once frosting has set (about 1 hour) gently press down on pink frosting to create smoother look.
- To assemble cupcakes: Pipe green frosting onto each cupcake in series of short motions to create individual grass spots. Cover top of each cupcake completely.
- To make bunny butts: Place cut sides of marshmallow halves onto each frosted cupcake, leaving room for bunny feet. Shape remaining white frosting into dime-sized balls then roll with white sprinkles to cover. Pipe small drop of remaining pink or white frosting onto top of each marshmallow. Press bunny tail on top.
- Place both bunny feet against base of marshmallow with toes facing down.
Lemon Dill Slow Cooker Carrots
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3-4 hours
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Dill Weed
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Spray inside of 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add carrots, water and salt; toss to coat. Cover.
- Cook on high 3-4 hours, or until tender.
- In small bowl, mix olive oil, dill weed, lemon extract, Dijon mustard and vinegar. Stir into cooked carrots in slow cooker before serving.
Rack of Lamb with Quinoa-Hazelnut Crust and Mint Pesto
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons red quinoa
- 2 tablespoons white quinoa
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, divided
- 2 racks of lamb, about 1 pound each
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/8 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Mint
- 1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Garlic Powder
- cup plain Greek yogurt
- Rinse quinoa; drain well. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring quinoa and water to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 13 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Spread cooked quinoa on baking sheet to cool. Stir in 1/4 cup hazelnuts. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 450° F. Brush racks of lamb lightly with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper. Coat lamb with quinoa mixture, pressing firmly to adhere. Place lamb on roasting rack in foil-lined, shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil.
- Roast 20-25 minutes, or until desired doneness.
- To make Mint Pesto: In small bowl, mix remaining oil, remaining hazelnuts, lemon juice, mint, garlic powder and remaining sea salt until well blended. Stir 1 teaspoon pesto into yogurt.
- To serve: Carve lamb into chops. Drizzle with remaining pesto. Serve with yogurt sauce.
Electric Pressure Cooker Lamb
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 48 minutes
- 1 tablespoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon McCormick crushed Rosemary Leaves
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground McCormick Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 semi-boneless leg of lamb (about 4 pounds)
- 1 cup Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup water
- tablespoons cornstarch
- In small bowl, mix garlic powder, rosemary, sea salt, thyme and black pepper. Set aside.
- In electric pressure cooker, heat oil on saute setting until simmering. Sprinkle half the seasoning mixture evenly over lamb. Place lamb in pressure cooker. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Add stock, wine and remaining seasoning mixture to pressure cooker. Arrange carrots and onion around lamb. Close lid.
- Cook 25 minutes on high pressure. Once complete, allow pressure to release naturally with vent closed 15 minutes. Vent to release remaining pressure; remove lid. Remove lamb and vegetables from pressure cooker; set aside and keep warm.
- Set pressure cooker to saute. Cook, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by about half, about 5-10 minutes. In small bowl, mix water and cornstarch. Stir into pressure cooker with wire whisk. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Serve lamb and vegetables with gravy.
(Family Features) If you love to entertain and want to support a good cause, now you can do both at the same time.
Currently in its 16th year, Cook for the Cure is a program that gives those with a passion for cooking a way to support the fight against breast cancer. Through culinary-based fundraising, events, auctions and the sale of select products, the partnership between KitchenAid and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has raised more than $10.7 million for the cause.
“It adds another layer of purpose to one of life’s great pleasures, cooking and enjoying food with family and friends,” said Anthony Pastrick, brand manager for KitchenAid. “The program continues to fuel passionate cooks with simple, creative ways to support a meaningful cause."
You can make a difference by hosting a party that lets you Cook for the Cure by raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Invite guests for an evening of appetizers, such as these Mini Fruit Tarts, and drinks. Encourage fundraising by awarding a prize to the guest with the highest donation, or let donors enter their names into a drawing to win a restaurant gift certificate or spa treatment.
Organize a fundraising bake sale. Get the neighbors involved in baking, promoting and selling – it’s a great way to bring people together. Your contribution could be these Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars.
Host a potluck brainstorming party. Invite people who share your passion for helping others to bring their favorite dish and think up creative ways to support the cause as a group. Vote on a project then let everyone pitch in to get started. Cooking good food, sharing time with friends and giving back to the community – that’s a recipe for a truly great party. Learn more at CookfortheCure.com.
Sharing baked goods with friends is a pleasure. Now you can make it even more meaningful by sharing to raise money for a good cause.
From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, for every original cupcake image or video shared on Twitter or Instagram with the collective hashtags #10000cupcakes and #donate, KitchenAid will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen, up to a maximum donation of $10,000. In addition, KitchenAid will donate $250,000 or more to Susan G. Komen through the Cook for the Cure program to support the fight against breast cancer. Since 2001, they have donated more than $10.7 million to Komen through the initiative, sales of pink products, celebrity chef auctions and fundraisers hosted by supporters.
Visit cookforthecure.kitchenaid.com/10000cupcakes/ to see the full terms and conditions and learn more about the 10,000 Cupcakes program.
Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
- fresh berries
- Line 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, bringing up over sides.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter, and stir until well combined. Press crumb mixture evenly into bottom of cake pan. Set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth. In separate bowl, whip heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add remaining powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half the whipped cream into cheesecake mixture and place remainder in refrigerator to use later. Spread cheesecake mixture evenly in cake pan.
- Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours, or until firm.
- Use parchment paper on sides to lift bars out of pan then cut into squares. Use remaining whipped cream to top cheesecake bars then add fresh berries, as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mini Fruit Tarts
- 1 frozen puff pastry sheet (17.3 ounces), thawed
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 teaspoons milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, chilled
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut cream or full-fat canned coconut milk, plus additional (optional)
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus additional (optional)
- assorted fresh fruit
- powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
- To make pastries: Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place puff pastry sheet on lightly floured work surface and cut each sheet into 12 3-inch squares.
- In small bowl, beat egg with milk to make egg wash and lightly brush onto each square.
- Transfer pastries onto baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, until pastries have puffed up and are golden.
- Cool completely on wire rack.
- To make frosting: In stand mixer bowl fitted with flat beater, beat butter on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and fully incorporated. Add coconut cream, coconut extract and vanilla extract, and beat until smooth.
- Gently stir in powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Turn stand mixer on high and beat 1 minute, until fully combined. Add additional powdered sugar and coconut cream until desired consistency and level of sweetness is reached.
- Spread or pipe coconut cream cheese frosting into middle.
- Top with fresh fruit and another pastry square. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Chris Scheuer of The Cafe Sucre Farine (cupcake)
Sweet ideas for a bright, seasonal spread
(Family Features) Spring is blooming on your Easter table. From yellow chick cupcakes to blueberry French-toast casseroles, there are plenty of ways to wow your brunch guests with simple seasonal recipes.
“Between hiding eggs and preparing baskets, you may be tempted to fall back on brunch basics like pancakes and scrambled eggs, but that’s no fun,” McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter said. “With simple pantry staples – like food color – and a little planning the night before, you can enjoy a fun and tasty holiday brunch.”
These simple tips from Vetter can help you transform a boring brunch into a colorful Easter feast.
- Waffle art is a fun way to get kids (and adults) involved during breakfast time. Try tinting the waffle batter orange by using McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors. Cut them into wedges hot out of the iron and pipe green frosting for the stems to create these Carrot-Shaped Waffles.
- Making French toast for a crowd can be a hassle. Instead, make a sweet breakfast casserole the night before to pop in the oven Easter morning. Add fresh, sweet-tart blueberries to celebrate spring.
- Rather than splurging on designer cupcakes, just pipe yellow marshmallow creme on mini cupcakes for a baby chick then decorate with sprinkles for the nose and cut up wafers to look like a hatching egg.
Baby Chick Cupcakes
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 package (12 ounces) white confectionary coating wafers
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
- 1 teaspoon Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors
- 2 tablespoons milk, plus additional (optional)
- 48 unfrosted mini yellow cupcakes, baked in white paper liners
- sprinkles (optional)
- additional McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors (optional)
- To make broken egg shell pieces: melt coating wafers as directed on package. Spread on large foil-lined baking sheet to 1/4-inch thickness. Refrigerate about 10 minutes, or until firm. Break into small, irregular pieces. Set aside.
- In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, beating until well blended after each addition, frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in marshmallow creme until well blended. In small bowl, stir food color into milk until dissolved. Add colored milk to frosting; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in additional milk, as needed, to reach desired consistency.
- To decorate cupcakes: spoon frosting into large pastry bag fitted with large round tip. Pipe two dollops of frosting on top of each other to form baby chick. If desired, insert sprinkles into face for eyes and beak. Or tint any remaining frosting with food colors to pipe out eyes and beak.
- Place coating wafer pieces around bottom of baby chick to resemble broken egg shell.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups all-purpose waffle and baking mix
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, divided
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Sunflower color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors, divided
- 1 teaspoon Berry color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors
- 1/2 teaspoon Sky Blue color from McCormick Color from Nature Food Colors
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Heat round waffle iron. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix together waffle mix, milk, egg, oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 teaspoon each sunflower and berry colors until blended. Let batter stand 5 minutes to allow color to fully develop.
- Pour about 1/3 cup batter onto center of waffle iron. Close lid. Cook about 3 minutes, or until no longer steaming. Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter. Cut each waffle into 8 triangles. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, stir sky blue color and remaining sunflower color into cream. Add confectioners’ sugar and remaining vanilla; beat with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon into re-sealable plastic bag. Cut piece off one bottom corner.
- To decorate and serve waffles, place waffle triangles onto serving plates and pipe green colored cream on wide side of each triangle to resemble carrot tops.
Overnight Lemon Blueberry Muffin Casserole
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, milk, divided
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Lemon Extract
- 2 cups blueberries, divided
- To make Streusel Topping: In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cover. Set aside until ready to assemble in the morning.
- To make Casserole: In large bowl, mix together eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon with wire whisk until well blended. Add bread cubes; toss gently to coat. Pour evenly into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- In medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, remaining milk and sugar, and lemon extract until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup blueberries. Spread evenly on top of bread cubes. Top with remaining blueberries. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Remove casserole from refrigerator. Let stand 10-15 minutes.
- Cut butter into Streusel Topping mixture with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
(Family Features) Brighten up your Easter feast with unique flavor twists to refresh traditional dishes like ham and deviled eggs. And don’t forget the decorations — it’s easy to create vibrant centerpieces using eggs dyed in the hottest seasonal shades.
“We’ve developed easy tips to dress up your table, from the ham to the centerpiece,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “An orange glaze can bring new flavor to the classic ham, while food color can be used to make a variety of spring-inspired egg dyes to feature in Easter table décor.”
Use food color to create custom egg dyes you won’t find in a kit. Visit McCormick.com for seasonal color combinations inspired by the Pantone Spring “Fashion Color Report” as well as simple directions to create an egg-cellent floral centerpiece.
Orange Glazed Ham
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- 1 bone-in spiral-cut ham, about 10 pounds
- 1 cup orange marmalade
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Mustard, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Black Pepper, Ground
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Cloves, Ground
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham on side in roasting pan. Mix marmalade and spices in small bowl until well blended. Brush 1/2 marmalade mixture over ham, gently separating slices so mixture can reach middle of ham. Cover loosely with foil.
- Bake 1 hour, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Remove foil. Brush with remaining marmalade mixture. Bake 45 minutes longer. Serve ham with pan drippings.
Tip: Pair spices like ginger or chipotle with fruity jams and preserves to balance out saltiness of ham. Cherry Bourbon, Apricot Pineapple Chipotle or Lemon Ginger are easy flavor combinations your guests will love, and are all available on McCormick.com.
Smoky Deviled Eggs
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Mustard, Ground
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Paprika, Smoked
- 1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 2 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
- Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in small bowl. Mash yolks with fork or potato masher.
- Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, smoked paprika and seasoned salt until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.
- Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.
Tip: Deviled eggs are a snap to customize once you create the base of egg yolks, mayonnaise and ground mustard. Try adding chili powder, red pepper and cumin for a Southwest variation or dill weed and parsley for a Dill Mustard version.
Easy Lemon Daisy Cupcakes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Lemon Extract, divided
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 package (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 10 drops McCormick Yellow Food Color
- 18 large marshmallows
- Decorating sugar
- Jelly beans
- Green sprinkles
- Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding 1 tablespoon of lemon extract. Spoon into 18 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake as directed for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
- For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and remaining 2 teaspoons lemon extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Stir in food color until evenly tinted. Frost cooled cupcakes.
- To decorate cupcakes, cut each marshmallow crosswise into 5 slices. Sprinkle 1 side of each marshmallow slice with decorating sugar. Arrange 5 marshmallow petals on top of each cupcake to resemble daisy, pressing marshmallows into frosting. Place jelly beans in center of petals. Garnish with sprinkles.
Source: McCormick & Company, Inc.
(Family Features) Transform an ordinary cupcake into something extraordinary with a peek-a-boo filling. These simple cupcakes are an easy addition to any spring celebration. You’ll want to serve every variety of these turned up treats for Easter and beyond.
The best part about this party trick? It’s easy. You’ll be digging this one out of your recipe repertoire for every spring soiree.
Hop to Easter
Who said Easter baskets are just for the kids? Treat your holiday guests to take-home cupcakes served in individual cupcake boxes. They’ll be delighted to find a surprise inside these icing-filled cupcakes.
The Garden Party
Spring into the season and host an outdoor party on the patio or in the garden. Your guests will enjoy the fresh air and the sweetly decorated desserts.
Add Fresh Flavor
Shake things up with a refreshing new twist. Try filling your cupcakes with refreshing lemon meringue, raspberry mousse or peanut butter and jelly cupcake fillings.
No matter how you slice it, fill it or serve it, these cupcakes are a party pleaser that’s guaranteed to impress. Find tasty filling recipes, fresh ideas and easy decorating projects at www.wilton.com.
Carrot Garden Easter Cupcakes
Servings: 1 dozen cupcakes
- Favorite chocolate cake mix or recipe
- Creamy Decorator Icing
- Chocolate Decorator Icing
- Leaf Green Icing Color
- Orange Icing Color
- Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Color Wheel baking cups in standard muffin pan.
- Prepare cake mix following package instructions. Bake in prepared muffin pan 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on cooling grid.
- To decorate, tint small amount of creamy decorator icing green; tint remaining orange. Use spatula and chocolate icing to ice tops of cupcakes smooth. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
- Use knife to cut out center of cupcakes almost to bottom of cupcake. Use tip 2A and orange icing to fill in center of cupcake and pipe about 1/4 inch above cupcake; pat smooth. Use tip 352 and green icing to pipe pull-out leaf carrot tops.
(Family Features) Little ones (and big ones too) will have fun making these adorable Easter Lamb Carrot Cupcakes. Easter is a special time for bringing families together. Make memories happen in the kitchen when you get hands on with these sweet cupcakes made with Dixie Crystals Sugar. Marshmallow lambs sitting atop moist carrot cupcakes on a bed of green coconut grass are a sure way to sweeten any family gathering.
For more recipes to add fun and flavor to your Easter festivities, visit www.dixiecrystals.com.
Easter Lamb Carrot Cupcakes
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 4 cups Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dried egg whites
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- Green food coloring
- Black food coloring
- 1 bag regular size marshmallows
- 1 bag miniature marshmallows
- 24-36 pink jelly beans
- 24 black jelly beans
- 12-16 hard candy caramels
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Place 16 cupcake liners in cupcake or muffin tin and set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger and set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs and vegetable oil until well blended. Add sugar, salt and vanilla; mix well.
- Add carrots, pineapple and nuts and combine well. Stir in flour mixture.
- Scoop into paper cups about 2/3 full. (May make more depending on size.)
- Bake until center of cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed or inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
- For frosting, mix cream cheese and soft butter on low speed until blended. Add one cup powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar and mix on low to medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. Set aside covered in refrigerator.
- Place coconut in bowl and add drop of green food color, mix by gloved hand until color is well distributed. (Add touch of yellow if color is too harsh.)
- Fill piping bag or food storage bag fitted with medium round decorating tip with cream cheese frosting.
- Prepare 2 small paper piping bags; set aside to prepare icing.
- To make royal icing, sift together powdered sugar with dried egg whites and place in bowl. Add water and lemon juice and whip several minutes to stiff mixture. Thin mixture with water if necessary.
- Place 3 – 4 tablespoons of royal icing in a small bowl and tint with black food coloring.
- Fill 2 small piping bags; one with white and the other with black royal icing. Set aside.
- Using cream cheese frosting pipe generous circle of frosting onto cupcake.
- Cut large marshmallow crosswise in half. Lay one and a half large marshmallows horizontally onto cupcake. Pipe thin layer of cream cheese frosting onto marshmallows.
- Starting at bottom surround large marshmallows with miniature marshmallows. Pipe a little cream cheese frosting onto first layer of mini marshmallow and stack another layer of mini marshmallows. Continue until completely covered.
- Press green coconut onto edges of cupcake.
- Position cupcake so circle side of large marshmallow faces you.
- For head, place hard caramel onto top edge of large marshmallow and ensure it is resting onto miniature marshmallows. (Remove some marshmallows to fit if necessary.)
- For ears, cut pink jelly bean lengthwise in half. Pinch beans to make pointy. Place next to head and use a little cream cheese frosting to make them stick.
- Cut black jelly beans in fours to create feet. Cut black jelly bean lengthwise to create tail. Attach with cream cheese frosting.
- Using white royal icing pipe eyes, followed by black. Pipe with black royal icing for nostrils.
Notes: When measuring flour, avoid firmly packing measuring cup. Mixing frosting on high will make it runny and too soft.
Source: Dixie Crystals Sugar
(Family Features) A bake sale is a sweet way to support any charitable cause, whether it’s raising money for new uniforms or donating to a local animal shelter. These tips and recipes from the celebration experts at Wilton will make bake sale treats that stand out among the rest — it’s a piece of cake.
- Baking delicious goodies is just the start to a successful bake sale. Add some dazzling details. The eye-catching finishes on Bake-Sale Ready Cupcakes — swirls of colorful icing topped with jumbo sprinkles and butterfly decorations, complete with vibrant wraps — will ensure they sell out fast.
- Serve sweets-on-a-stick like Kaleidoscope Cookie Pops and School Star Cereal Treat Pops. Favorite treats are more fun and easier to eat when customers can just grab them and enjoy.
- Offer size options. Sell some cupcakes and mini breads by the “eaches” and cookies by the pop. Have dozens available, too.
- Wrap goodies using treat bags and ribbon, or pack in colorful, easy-to-transport boxes — making them perfect gifts customers will want to keep for themselves.
Visit www.wilton.com for other bake sale ideas and recipes, and for all of your baking and decorating supplies.
Coconut Lime Mini Breads
Makes 9 petite loaves
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons toasted sweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cavities of Petite Loaf Pan with Petite Loaf Baking Cups.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, lime zest and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in coconut extract. Add flour mixture alternately with coconut milk to butter mixture; mix until well combined. Divide mixture evenly into baking cups.
- Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaves in pan 10 minutes. Remove loaves from pan; cool completely.
- To make icing, combine confectioners’ sugar and lime juice in small bowl to desired consistency. Drizzle icing over tops of loaves, allowing icing to run down sides. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Zucchini & Apple Bread
Makes about 12 servings
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 medium zucchini, shredded (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and shredded (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable pan spray.
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In medium bowl, whisk together oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Stir in zucchini, apple and pecans, mixing until just combined. (Do not overmix.) Turn mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Loosen edges of bread from pan. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.
Kaleidoscope Cookie Pops
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Round Comfort Grip Cutter
- Assorted Colors Cookie Icing
- Assorted Jumbo Sprinkles or other favorite Sugars and Sprinkles
- Cookie Treat Sticks
- Candy Melts candy (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts; mix well. Do not chill dough.
- Divide dough into 2 balls. On floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12-inch diameter x 1/8-inch thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 8 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool cookies completely.
- Outline and fill-in cookie with Cookie Icing. Add zigzag border to some cookies. If desired, pipe alternating circles of colors onto cookie surface; immediately pull toothpick through icing from center of cookie to outer edge, pulling colors through. Or, arrange sprinkles and sugars on iced cookie surface. Let dry.
- Attach sticks to back of cookies with icing or melted candy. Let dry.
Bake Sale-Ready Cupcakes
Each cupcake serves 1
- Assorted Primary, Gold or Silver Baking Cups
- Favorite cupcake recipe or mix
- Buttercream or Chocolate Buttercream Icing
- Golden Yellow or other desired Icing Color
- Jumbo Stars and Jumbo Nonpareil Sprinkles
- Butterfly or other favorite Icing Decorations
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cavities of standard muffin pan with baking cups.
- Bake your favorite cupcakes in prepared pan. Cool completely. Color buttercream icing with icing color. Pipe tip 1M buttercream or chocolate buttercream icing swirl on cupcake top; insert icing decoration.
School Star Cereal Treat Pops
Makes about 2 dozen pops
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 4 cups mini marshmallows
- 6 cups crisp rice cereal
- Cookie Treat Sticks
- Cookie Icing
- Assorted Sprinkles
- Spray Star Cookie Treat Pan and rubber spatula or wooden spoon with vegetable pan spray.
- In large saucepan, melt butter. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal; mix well. Press into prepared pan; insert cookie sticks. When cool to touch, remove from pan. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture. (If mixture becomes hard to work with, microwave at 50 percent power 30 to 60 seconds to soften.)
- Outline treat with Cookie Icing; add Sprinkles. Let dry.
- 2 packages (12 oz. ea.) White or Light Cocoa Candy Melts candy
- Rainbow Chip Crunch or other Sprinkles or Sugars
- Line 10.5 x 15.5-inch cookie pan with parchment paper.
- Melt Candy Melts candy following package instructions; spoon into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles; if needed, smooth top with large spatula. Sprinkle on Rainbow Chip Crunch. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment from pan; break candy into smaller serving pieces.
Source: Wilton Enterprises
- 1 (13-ounce) bag Snickers Miniatures for Easter, chopped
- 24 cupcake paper liners
- 1 (18-ounce) box favorite cake mix
- 2 (16-ounce) cans classic vanilla frosting
- Yellow food coloring
- 1 (14-ounce) bag Starburst Jellybeans Original Fruits
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tube chocolate decorating frosting, with plain tip
- 2 resealable plastic bags
- Unwrap and chop all miniatures, set aside.
- Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Prepare cake mix, fold in chopped miniatures and bake according to package directions.
- Let cupcakes come to room temperature.
- In the meantime, tint frosting with yellow food coloring to desired shade. Frost top of each cupcake to cover.
- Spoon remaining frosting into resealable plastic bag. Cut off 1/4-inch from tip. To create a “hive” on each cupcake, pipe on frosting in spiral fashion, starting with bottom of hive and working up to top.
- Separate orange jellybeans from package. Arrange 3 to 4 jellybeans on each frosting hive. Gently squeeze chocolate frosting through tip in zigzag pattern over jellybeans.
- Angle an almond slice on each side of jellybeans as bee wings.
Makes 24 servings
(Family Features) Brighten up spring gatherings with a simple dessert inspired by the flavors of the season. Lemon, almond, vanilla and raspberry extracts give baked treats a fresh flair that matches the lively essence of spring.
“Friends and family will love these Easy Mini Cheesecakes,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “Almond and vanilla give these individual treats a burst of rich flavor, while a fruit topping highlights the fresh ingredients of the season.”
To simplify preparation when making dessert for a gathering, take advantage of these ideas from the McCormick Kitchens:
- Make Ahead and Batch Bake: Double-batch the dessert recipe and vary the extracts to make two unique treats in one effort. For even more variety, try a simple substitution like using chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the vanilla wafers for the "crust." Make day-of prep a spring breeze by preparing the recipe in advance and refrigerating it overnight.
- Bright Fruit Topping: Fresh fruits and berries make a simple, yet colorful topping for cake, ice cream and other desserts. Stir in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar to 2 1/2 cups fruit for a sweet seasonal treat.
Easy Mini Cheesecakes
These luscious cheesecakes flavored with vanilla and almond extract are sized just right. Garnish with fresh fruit, lemon curd or melted chocolate swirls.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 4 hours
Makes 12 servings
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
- 12 vanilla wafers
- Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extracts; beat well. Place a wafer in bottom of 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Spoon batter into each cup, filling 2/3 full.
- Bake in preheated 325°F oven 22 to 24 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. (Mini cheesecakes will deflate in center upon cooling.)
- Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with desired toppings.
Variations: Use 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract in place of almond extract. Use chocolate sandwich cookies in place of the vanilla wafers for the "crust." If you don’t have fresh fruit, top cheesecakes with canned fruit such as cherry pie filling or mandarin orange segments.
Nutritional Information Per Serving: 210 Calories, Fat 14g, Carbohydrates 17g, Cholesterol 79mg, Sodium 166mg, Fiber 0g, Protein 4g