I Am Baker

candy corn cupcakes

This post is sponsored by McCormicks.

What’s for dessert?  Cupcakes.  Glorious dual-toned, frosting piled high, covered in an obscene sweet glaze decadent cupcakes.

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

Imagine if you are in grade school, and have been sitting in class all morning.  The tick-tock of the clock is constant, and you are full of energy, waiting so impatiently for the lunch bell to ring.

Consonants and pronouns and quizzes and tests are just another thing keeping you from a cold milk, peanut butter & jelly and being able to talk with your friends about whatever you want.

Finally!  Lunch time.

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

Opening your lunch box yields the greatest surprise of all time… a CUPCAKE!  And not just any cupcake, a cupcake covered in more frosting than you have ever seen!  On top of that frosting is a sweet sticky orange glaze.  Without hesitation you stick your finger into it, as knowing what it tastes like suddenly becomes the most important thing in the world.

The first taste is utterly sweet… and confusing.  What is it?  Familiar, but hard to place.  You pull the entire cupcake out of your lunch box and see all the glorious color.  Candy Corn!  That glaze tastes just like candy corn!

Everyone is oohing and aahing.  They all want some, but it’s all yours.

You sit back, revel in being the coolest kid at the lunch table and think to yourself, “I am totally going to clean my room when I get home. My mom rocks.”

candy corn cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Yellow & Red McCormick® Food Coloring
  • Candy Corn Glaze
  • 1 bag candy corn, 11 ounce size
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla.
  2. Divide batter in half.
  3. Tint one batch yellow with 1/3 teaspoon yellow food color. Tint second batch orange with 1/4 teaspoon yellow food color and 1/8 teaspoon red food color.
  4. Fill each paper-lined muffin cup 1/3 full with orange batter. Gently add yellow batter on top of orange batter, filling each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
  5. Candy Corn Glaze
  6. Reserve 1/4 cup of candy corn then place the remainder of the 11-ounce bag in a medium saucepan. Pour in 1/4 cup water and heat on low for about 10-15 minutes. You will want to candy corn to be melted completely.
  7. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. You will want to cover cupcakes while glaze is still warm, but not hot.
  8. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over frosting.
  9. Decorate tops of cupcake extra candy corn pieces. (not shown in picture)
  10. Can be done 1-2 days in advance.
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Recipe shared with permission from McCormick.

At least, that is what I envision would happen.  More likely than not, the cupcake would get schmooshed on the way to school and frosting would be all over the lunchbox, the sandwich, the milk, the apple.  My precious little darling would have her lunchbox held up to her face unabashedly licking every last bit of frosting from every last surface.  She would then have frosting in her hair, on her eyelashes, all over her face and hands.

Maybe this is better suited as an after school snack!

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

A couple things:

The first time I made this glaze (candy corn schootcharoo bars) I played around with it quite a bit.  I think it works best at a lukewarm temperature for drizzling over cupcakes.  The cooler it gets the more firm it gets and therefor harder to drizzle.  Once you are done covering the cupcakes I would place an remaining glaze in an air tight storage container and clean out the pan.

I did my candy corn cupcakes in opposite color order.  This was entirely for vanity purposes!  I just liked how it looks with the orange on top and bottom and the yellow breaking it up a bit.  The recipe is written how I did it, but if you want a traditional candy corn cupcake, be sure to put the yellow batter on the bottom.

While this recipe is written to use a box mix, you can most certainly use your favorite white cake or yellow cake recipe.

I love this buttercream recipe for bright white frosting.

If you want to use a bit less frosting I think this style of cupcake decorating would be lovely and would allow the glaze to pool just beautifully on the cupcake. (and would be more lunch box friendly!)

Candy Corn Inspired Cupcakes with pure Candy Corn Glaze!

These sweet little treats are definitely perfect for the occasional seasonal indulgence.  The bright colors and billowing frosting take ‘eating with your eyes’ to a whole new level!  And of course, are the ideal treat for anyone who loves candy corn!

I Am Baker

candy corn scotcharoo bars

Check out my Candy Corn Peanut Butter Scootcheroo Bars!  This totally Original recipe is sure to become a family favorite!

Can we talk about candy corn for a second?  And in the sake of transparency, I am talking about it from the perspective of being absolutely obsessed with it.  Like, addicted to the stuff.

Candy Corn Scootcheroo's!

I really can’t keep it in my home because I will just eat it.  All. Eat it all.  All of it.  At once.  I have no control.

So I just don’t buy it.

Except when I do.

Candy Corn Scootcheroo's!

 

This dessert is definitely an ode to candy corn.  There are three bags in this one pan.

Developing this project was a labor of love/hate.  Love because I love candy corn. #da Hate because I had to buy so many bags of the stuff and sample so many varieties and re-test the recipe so many times that I must have eaten the entire Minnesota supply.

All for the sake of finding you the perfect Candy Corn Scootcheroo.

#ilovemyjob

#ihatemyjob

#justkidding

#ionlyloveit

Candy Corn Scootcheroo's!

 

Most of the trial and error went into finding the perfect consistency of candy corn mixture.

An original recipe of scootcheroo’s (like my Snickers Special K Bars, to DIE for) calls for 1 cup of corn syrup and 1 cup of white sugar.  When I was looking at the ingredients of candy corn the main ingredient is corn syrup.  So a bell went off in my brain, and I thought, “Why don’t I just substitute candy corn for the sugar and corn syrup?”

So I did.

But here was the problem:  If it was too thick it was impossible to spread over the cereal.  If it was too thin it was candy corn cereal soup.

I think the final, and best, consistency is similar to whole milk.  Runny, but sturdy.

Candy Corn Scootcheroo's!

candy corn scotcharoo’s

Ingredients

  • 3 11-ounce bags of candy corn
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 7 cups Special K cereal

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan by spraying (or coating with butter or goop) with bakers spray on sides. Place a piece of parchment paper snuggly in the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, pour in two bags of candy corn and 1/4 cup water. This is approximately 4 cups of candy corn.
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. You will want the candy corn to melt completely.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add peanut butter to candy corn reduction and stir together until full combined.
  6. Put all cereal in a large bowl and pour the candy corn mixture over the cereal. Stir to coat all the cereal.
  7. Pour cereal into prepared pan and press it flat. You can do this with your hands (coat them with bakers spray as often as needed) or with a spatula.
  8. Immediately after you get the cereal flattened, pour candy over the top and level it out. Gently press candy corn into cereal mixture.
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Candy Corn Scootcheroo's!

 

Final consensus?  Hubby thought there was too much peanut butter.  Parker thought they were best without candy corn on top.  Colton added more candy corn to the top of his.

Me?  I love the final product just as it is.  But be warned, they are addicting, so I advise giving away as many as possible!

I Am Baker

Pumpkin Pancakes

I saw these pancakes in a 2008 issue of my favorite magazine, Life Beautiful.

And I have made them twice in the last three days.

They are delicious!

 

2011_10_21_624.pumpkin-spice-pancakes

These pancakes are easy and quick, but so rich and decadent.  Especially with an extra sprinkling of cinnamon over the top… I felt like I was eating at a fancy restaurant!

Well, except for the baby screaming and the basket of folded clothes at the end of the dining room table.

Just sayin.

Can I set a mood or what?  Lets try again.

I can just see these sweet and satisfying pancakes on a cold, snowy Christmas morning with a cup of this fabulous Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Cocoa.

Sound better?

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice (or pumpkin spice)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and all spice. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and blend until just incorporated. (lumps are ok)
  2. Cook pancakes as you normally would.
  3. Note: This is a dense batter, and you might not see bubbles form as quickly as they normally would. Look for the top to no longer be shiny and for bubbles around the edges as a sign to turn over.
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Extra options: Top with toasted pecans, maple sugar glaze, or a powder sugar/cinnamon blend.

2011_10_21_632.pumpkin-spice-pancakes

Seriously.  Try them.

Its like having dessert for breakfast!

 

I Am Baker

Ghost Cake {Surprise Inside Cake!}

Revisited.

IMG_0437.ghostcake

I have made a ghost cake before… but I wanted to try some different recipes and techniques this time around.

More rounded ghost heads.

IMG_0405.ghostcake

A smaller cake with less ghosts.

And maybe even a ghost Surprise Inside!

IMG_0468.ghostcake

Next time I’ll try not to forget his mouth.

And turns out I like the original better anyway.

I wanted to get this on my blog before I forgot.  I seem to be doing that lately… forgetting things.

If you are reading this post by the light of the rising sun, then most likely I am on a plane for Kansas City.

I arrive at 8:30am and fly out at 7:30pm. (I am still a full time nursing mom and just couldn’t bear the thought of being away from my baby overnight.)

Its for a class taugh by the amazingly talented Helene of Tartelette.

See, this whole book thing is freaking me out.  Its one thing to take a picture and throw it on your blog and hope for the best.  Its quite another to have it be in print.  Forever.

I just dont know enough, and I think Helene is one of the best teachers out there.  I need her help badly!

IMG_0483.ghostcake

So please forgive me for not posting recipes or a tutorial or even as many pictures as I normally do.

I am working really hard to reach this goal so that we can get back to normal around here.

I miss you guys!

 

I Am Baker

Halloween Cake

Er, something.

This is my, “Fake it till you can really make it cake.”

IMG_0142.halloweencake

I was testing out an idea for my book, and whipped up this cake.

Its my favorite chocolate cake, covered in milk chocolate (not ganache, just melted chocolate) with chocolate covered donut balls on top.

Sprinkled with sugar and stuff.

IMG_0170.halloweencake

I ‘faked’ the cake pops on top of the cake because I was too lazy to make another cake just to see how this would look.  The donut balls are a convenient substitution, but as you can see are very lumpy and not as visually appealing as the real thing.

IMG_0078.classyhalloweencake

 

What I would do differently:

Taste wise, I really enjoyed the flavors.  I mean, its chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate covered devils food donuts.  Who wouldn’t like all the chocolate deliciousness?

Stying wise, I would not pour my remaining chocolate over the cake.  And I would try to make the cake bigger, maybe an 8inch, so the cake and cake pops looks proportionate.

I would take the time to make real cake pops and make sure they were smooth and gorgeous.

IMG_0167.halloweencake

Speaking of perfect cake pops, I will be heading out to Williams & Sonoma in the Galleria this Saturday to go support that fabulous Miss Bakerella!  She will be there from 12-2 signing her best selling book Cake Pops.

Be sure to stop out and say hi if you want to join me and show her some Minnesota love!

And be sure to check out this adorable new site she launched!

 

 

I Am Baker

Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

pumpkin caramels

I made those.

Having never have made caramels before, the process seemed daunting.

But I got this new book, Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat and knew I wanted to try.  Her directions are easy to follow and the photography was done by the amazing Todd and Diane of White on Rice.

The pictures are enough to make you drop everything and run to the store for supplies.

Pumpkin chocolate cupcake with pumpkin caramel

But since I didn’t want to put Nina’s beautifully perfect recipe here (that’s what the book is for), but still wanted you to be able to sample some if this wonderful pumpkin and chocolate deliciousness, I made cupcakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate cupcakes.

With cinnamon buttercream.

And a caramel on top.

These tasted amazing.  Ah-mazing.

I remembered I had some of these fun *free-standing muffin molds and I literally danced over to my supply closet to retrieve them.  (I also used *these fun little cupcake liners.)

Um, I like baking.  And cupcake liners.  And dancing in my kitchen.  And eating pumpkin caramels.

IMG_9933-1.pumpkincaramelchocolatecupcake

Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups softened butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. In a small bowl combine buttermilk and pumpkin. Just mix together until incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a mixer, beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  5. Alternating, add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Mix for 1 minute on low until fully combined. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, place batter in prepared cupcake pan.
  7. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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This recipe for Cinnamon Buttercream is divine, I simply excluded the brown sugar. (Because I wanted it to be whiter, not for taste purposes.  I am a vain baker like that.)

I used a *2D tip to pipe out big clouds of cinnamon frosting.  Then I simply went back and added a caramel square to each cupcake.

Pumpkincupcakes

Now for the fun part… I would like to give YOU a copy of Sweet Confections!

Simply leave a comment.

Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED!  The winning comment was #115, Roberta.  I will be sending you an email Roberta!

Thanks all who participated!

Open to USA and Canada residents only.  Sorry all you fabulous international bakers!  No comments accepted from Facebook.  

*Amazon Affiliate link.

 

I Am Baker

Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes (CLOSED}

Pumpkin Caramels.

Pumpkincaramels

I made those.  

Having never have made caramels before, the process seemed daunting.

But I got this new book, Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat and knew I wanted to try.  Her directions are easy to follow and the photography was done by the amazing Todd and Diane of White on Rice

The pictures are enough to make you drop everything and run to the store for supplies.

Pumpkincaramelchocolatecupcake

But since I didn’t want to put Nina’s beautifully perfect recipe here (that’s what the book is for), but still wanted you to be able to sample some if this wonderful pumpkin and chocolate deliciousness, I made cupcakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate cupcakes.

With cinnamon buttercream.

And a caramel on top.

These tasted amazing.  Ah-mazing.  

  IMG_9881-1.pumpkinchocolatecaramelcupcake

I remembered I had some of these fun *free-standing muffin molds and I literally danced over to my supply closet to retrieve them.  (I also used *these fun little cupcake liners.)

Um, I like baking.  And cupcake liners.  And dancing in my kitchen.  And eating pumpkin caramels.

IMG_9933-1.pumpkincaramelchocolatecupcake

 Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes (adapted from Country Living)

1 1/2 cups Flour

2/3 cups Cocoa

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt

1 cup Canned Pumpkin

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 cups Butter, softened

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

4 large Eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 325.

Prepare cupcake pan with your fun and festive liners. 

In mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, set aside.  Stir yogurt, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.  Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and yogurt mixtures in thirds, starting and ending with flour.

Bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove once toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, or center springs back when touched.

This recipe for Cinnamon Buttercream is divine, I simply excluded the brown sugar. (Because I wanted it to be whiter, not for taste purposes.  I am a vain baker like that.)

I used a *2D tip to pipe out big clouds of cinnamon frosting.  Then I simply went back and added a caramel square to each cupcake.

Pumpkincupcakes

Now for the fun part… I would like to give YOU a copy of Sweet Confections!  

Simply leave a comment.  

Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED!  The winning comment was #115, Roberta.  I will be sending you an email Roberta!

Thanks all who participated!

Open to USA and Canada residents only.  Sorry all you fabulous international bakers!  No comments accepted from Facebook.  

*Amazon Affiliate link.

I Am Baker

Creepy Millipede Cake

I get asked a lot of questions about cakes. One of the most common questions I get is, “What can you do with a 9×13 cake?  I don’t want to bake a layer cake.”

IMG_9727.millipedecake

I happen to really, really like layer cakes.  Might even have a small obsession with them.  Like making them twenty five layers and rainbow inside obsession.

But every now and then its nice to just make a cake like mom made.

Well, minus the creepy millipedes.

You know what I mean.

So I found this picture of a giant millipede.

photo from here

That sucker is like a foot long.  I do not like looking at pictures of creepy crawly things but I do like you so I sucked it up and moved forward.

This cake is a marriage between wanting to make something fun out of a regular old 9×13 cake and wanting to do something seasonal. (Halloween)

Hence the creepy crawly millipede cake.

IMG_9589.millipedecake

After icing the cake with white frosting, I just added some black food coloring to the remaining frosting.  I always use *Americolor Gel Food Coloring when I need to achieve deep, rich color.

IMG_9604.babymillipedecake

 

Since I am more familiar with the tiny millipedes in real life, I knew I wanted to add some to this cake.  They are what really got me… since those little rollie pollie ones look EXACTLY like the real thing.

Pretty much my skin has been crawling for a week now.

IMG_9694.millipedecake

So there you have it.  I see a Cake Challenge post in the futuree.  Maybe even a candy post.  Maybe I will just snuggle up next to this cake in bed because its so beautiful.

But that might be weird.

I do know one thing, and that is that I have a few more Halloween cakes to share!

Hope you like Halloween as much as me!

*Link is through Amazon Affiliate.

 

I Am Baker

Chocolate Spider Web {Cake in a Jar}

Spiders in jars.  Spider webs made from chocolate.  Black and orange everywhere.  It must be ‘that’ time of year!!

(I also made spiders and webs in 2009 on petite fours!)

IMG_9231.chocolatespiderwebcakeinjar

Its Halloween!  Well.  In like a month and a half it is.

But its definitely fall… and I adore fall.

What I don’t adore about fall is every spider known to man trying to make its way into my house so it will not perish in the bitter winters of Minnesota.  We have some big spiders around here.

I digress.

I wanted to do something fun with cake in a jar and also wanted to add a little somethin somethin to the outside.  So I found a way to write messages or pictures on the inside of the jar as well as add lots and lots more calories with chocolate on top!

It was a good day in my kitchen.

And it can be a good day in your kitchen too.  These are super easy!

To write on the inside of a jar I used a chocolate cake and made a white cake to fill the jars with.  If you dont want to make two seperate cakes, simple reserve about 1/4 cup of your white cake and use food coloring to tint brown or black.

One cake recipe made approximately six jars.

IMG_9093.jartips

After I piped the cake into the jar, I popped it into the microwave for eight seconds.  Maybe ten seconds, but no longer.  I just wanted the chocolate batter to set in place so it wouldn’t fall when I poured thewhite cake batter in.

I added 1/2 cup of white cake to the jar and then baked for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

This was tricky… some baked fully in 18 minutes, some took about 25 minutes.  It really depended on where it was placed in my oven.  So just keep a close eye on them!

And if writing inside your jars isn’t enough, I am also gonna show you how to make chocolate spider webs that fit snuggly over the rim of your jar!

IMG_9294.chocolatespiderwebs

 

IMG_9114.chocolatetips

You do not NEED to use a wide mouth jar for the chocolate spider web, I just prefer it.

*These are the jars I buy.  Also, I used  these candy melts.  Just popped them in the microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate was completely melted.

IMG_9122.spiderwebinstructions

I grabbed the jar with my left hand, then slowly moved the rubber band from the jar to my wrist.

While the chocolate is sturdy, if it ever broke it was when I was removing the rubber band.  So be careful during that process!

IMG_9135.chocolatespiderwebtips

Seriously that easy.  Less then ten minutes from beginning to end!

I also piped out BOO! and a pumpkin and other fun stuff for the kids.

IMG_9185.spidercakeinjar

While the words are fun (you know I am so excited to do jars with red velvet Christmas greetings in them!) I think my kids liked the spiders best.

Ok, ok, so did I.

But if you happen to have arachnophobia, don’t ever google “spiders in jars” like I did and slowly torture yourself looking at huge creepy crawly heinous beasts while trying to find a template for your jar design.

IMG_9322.halloweenspidercakeinjar

But do grab yourself a spoon and tell the kids to ‘break’ into their jars.

They are as fun to eat as they are to make!

 

*Linked to an Amazon Affiliate page.

I Am Baker

Medusa Cake

alternatively titled when I was gonna try to have you figure out what the heck this cake was: Freaky Halloween Cake

alternatively titled when I felt bad for always trying to make you guess stuff: Snake Cake

This is the last of the Halloween treats for me. I dont know about you, but I have been looking at and thinking about and creating Halloween stuff for over a month now. Its time for Thanksgiving!

But not quite yet.

IMG_4794.stamp
This is my Medusa cake. It is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and milkchocolatesnakes.

Seriously could not be easier to do. Melt some chocolate in plastic bag in microwave. Pipe out weird snake lookin like shapes. Let cool.

Make cake.

Make frosting.

Stick snakes in top of cake.

Viola.

Just dont look at it too long…

IMG_4798.stamp

Er, wait. Or is it that you are not supposed to look at it at all?

IMG_4822.stamp

Or that she cant catch you looking at her???

Ugh. I should have thought this through more.

You can just go right ahead and look at this cake all you want! So there mythical scary-in-her-day-but-not-quite-anymore creature!

IMG_4813.stamp

Now you go and have a happy and safe and sweet filled Halloween.

Thats an order. ;)

Here is the Chocolate Cake Recipe and  Chocolate Frosting Recipe!