painted sugar cookies

Painted Cookies
With absolutely gorgeous weather a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but be in the mood for some colorful Spring baking. It’s even more fitting that I finally got around to posting these beauties on the first day of Spring!* I had recently received a copy of Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My! and knew exactly what I wanted to try first: painted sugar cookies. These lemon filled sandwich cookies were the perfect combination of easy, delicious and guaranteed fun for the whole family.
Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My! Is the third book in the Hello, Cupcake! and What’s New, Cupcake? series by talented authors Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Not only are the authors continuing to make adorable cupcake creations with new techniques (think camouflage), but they’re also transforming pie dough, cheesecakes, refrigerator cookies, pound cakes, bar cookies, Jell-O, and more!  As always, there are treats for every holiday, and many of the recipes are completely no-bake, making them that much easier to create.
What I loved about this book is the semi-homemade aspect to each creation. The book is filled to the brim with ideas that are sure to impress your guests at your next party or holiday gathering. Each recipe is easy to follow with bright pictures and step by step instructions making them ideal for adults and children alike.  Imagine how much fun you’d have gathering with friends and kids to paint your very own Easer eggs to take home?
Painted Cookies
Painted Sugar Cookies
inspired by Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My!
basic sugar cookie recipe of choice
1-2 egg whites
assorted food dyes (the cheap ones work best, gel food colorings do not mix well)
lemon curd
  1. Make sugar cookie dough according to directions and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  2. Roll dough out evenly to about 1/4 inch thin and cut with desired shapes. You’ll need two matching shapes per cookie, one left as is and one with a circle cut out. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  3. Use a toothpick to lightly score your pattern on the dough, this will help the dyes from running.
  4. Separate egg whites into several bowls, one for each color, and add a few drops of food coloring until desired intensity is reached.
  5. Paint sections of cookies with various dyes and bake according to recipe directions.
  6. Allow cookies to cool completely and fill each pair with a thin layer of lemon curd.
The final step as encouraged by the book was to cover your toothpick lines with a thin piping of royal icing. This produces a much cleaner finished product, but since these were just for the two of us, I decided to skip that step. They turned out gorgeous either way, but I agree that the royal icing put these over the top as far as presentation goes.
If you don’t have a favorite sugar cookie recipe on hand, don’t fret. The book provides a delicious recipe along with additional step by step pictures to help you out. As always, get creative. Painting cookies doesn’t have to be limited to Easer eggs. I also enjoyed painting and filling Spring flowers, but any shape will do!

Painted Cookies

*My apologies for my recent absence. I promise I have tons of recipes and pictures to share with you, but life has been a tad overwhelming as of late. All is well in our neck of the woods, so please don’t worry! I’ll be back in the swing of things in no time, but bear with me as I sort out a few things.
**Although I received this copy of Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My! for review, no monetary compensation was received and all opinions are strictly my own. 

almond spritz trees

If you haven’t spent the holidays with Full Circle Foodie before, I’d like to extend a warm welcome. This is my fourth year in a row executing my “Baked with Love” project where I bake a variety of cookies and candies and then package them up all pretty to give, with love, to coworkers, friends, and family. 

Each year, I incorporate tried and true traditions as well as new recipes that I am equally excited about. Grab some hot cocoa and enjoy your stay as my 2011 Box of Love unfolds before your eyes! 

Today’s cookies have not only been a part of the Baked with Love series since its creation but have been on every one of our holiday cookie trays since the dawn of time. These have always been my personal favorite during the holidays and I am so happy to have passed along the love to Meg and Zach as well. I just love the delicate almond flavor of the cookie paired with the bold colors and flavors of the “trimmings.”

Almond Spritz Trees

If you aren’t lucky enough to already own a vintage Mirro copper cookie press, don’t fret. They can be found on eBay and I hear the fancy-schmancy new plastic ones work just as well. I’m just partial to my copper press because that’s how my Mommom makes them.

Almond Spritz Trees
What you’ll need:
1. Assorted Sprinkles, 2. Cookie Press, 3. Cinnamon Candies
{not pictured}
Almond Spritz Cookie Dough


Almond Spritz Trees


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Green food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Cream together shortening and egg. Gradually mix in the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder until well combined.
  3. Add almond extract and mix well. Add food coloring to the desired color.
  4. Put through the cookie press onto cookie sheets. Decorate with sprinkles or colored sugar and top with cinnamon candy.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 -12 minutes or until very light brown and set.
Almond Spritz Trees
This recipe makes plenty, but if you have a relatively large family I’d double the recipe. These little bite-sized pillows of crispy almond heaven are quite addicting. Given their lighter nature, they disappear off the cookie tray rather quickly. {I think they’re Santa’s favorite!} Enjoy. And don’t forget to share!
Almond Spritz Trees
Cooking does not always about cooking food but you also have to maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen. If your kitchen is clean, your food is also clean. Keep the cleanliness by keeping also the utensils and equipment clean. If you have a grease trap installed, clean it from a pro.  You can call grease trap cleaning Philadelphia they can help you in cleaning grease traps.

spinach artichoke pasta

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

When going out to eat, I’m known for making meals out of sinfully delicious appetizers. I’m also fairly certain that this drives Zach absolutely nuts considering there is very little nutritional value to a sizzling bowl of melted cheese. But let me tell you this, sometimes what a pile of ooey gooey broiled cheese can do for the soul far outweighs its nutritional shortcomings.
One of my favorite appetizers happens to be spinach and artichoke dip and in my less finer moments, I may or may not have put away an entire bowl of it on my own. I absolutely adore this recipe because it tastes exactly like my beloved spinach and artichoke dip, yet because it contains chicken and pasta is more than acceptable to call a meal.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

It’s been dreadfully cold and rainy these past few days and this is exactly the kind of recipe that can warm the soul to the core. {No, nothing like if we lived somewhere where it actually snowed, but a drastic change for us nonetheless}. Served with a slice of extra crispy French bread and this recipe is sure to warm your families tummies and hearts on a cold winter day.
Spinach Artichoke Pasta
1 (13 oz) box dried shell pasta
1 tsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1 8 oz package reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1T lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
10 oz chopped, frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 grilled/broiled chicken breasts, chopped
  1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté butter and garlic until fragrant. Stir in cream cheese, until melted, followed by milk, sour cream, lemon juice, salt and red pepper flakes.
  3. Fold in artichoke hearts, spinach, parmesan cheese and chicken.
  4. Drain pasta and add to cheese mixture. Stir until coated.
  5. Serve immediately or transfer to oven safe dish and throw under the broiler for approximately five minutes until the cheese is extra bubbly. Enjoy!
Spinach Artichoke Pasta
Keep your kitchen grease-free and oil-free by installing a grease trap. Denver grease trap services can help you with it.

peppermint bark oreos

Peppermint Bark Oreos

I adore seasonal treats that can be quickly thrown together, tied up with ribbon and gifted at the drop of the hat. I try to keep a few of these ‘recipes’ in my arsenal for last-minute gift-giving needs that may arise and anything involving melted chocolate is clearly a winner. These Peppermint Oreos are fast, festive and pretty tasty if you ask me!

Peppermint Bark Oreos

When I saw the winter Oreos, I just knew I had to make something for the holidays with them. {I also want to throw a pack in the freezer to decorate for the Texas Rangers when baseball season starts back up}. Chocolate dipped Oreos are a hit with just about any recipient so I thought I would create a peppermint bark cookie using the winter red Oreos. I love the contrast of the bright red and white and the touch of peppermint in the chocolate brings the flavors together perfectly.

Peppermint Bark Oreos
makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

1 package Oreos
1 package white candy melts
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
2-3 candy canes crushed
optional red sprinkles to add color



  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy melts in 30-second intervals. Stir between each interval and repeat until smooth. Add peppermint extract and stir until fully combined.
  • Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, coating all sides completely. Lift from chocolate with fork and tap to remove excess chocolate. I find running an offset spatula under the fork/cookie helps get the last of the chocolate off for a clean transfer.
  • Transfer cookies to a silicone mat or wax paper, sprinkle with a crushed candy cane and sprinkles mixture, and allow to harden completely.
  • Package in clear cellophane bags tied with coordinating ribbon and share with others to spread some holiday cheer!
Peppermint Bark Oreos

I feel silly typing out a ‘recipe,’ but for shopping and assembly ease I’ve provided you with basic instructions. Please use this solely as a guide and feel free to let your creativity run the show – the possibilities are endless! Oreos come in a variety of colors during the holidays so use their brightly colored centers as inspiration for changing up the extract flavors and sprinkled toppings used.

Of course, don’t forget to clean your kitchen before you use it. Especially your kitchen utensils and equipment. If you have a grease trap installed, clean it from a pro. You can call grease trap service Jacksonville. They are reliable grease trap service with affordable rates.

Happy gifting!…

pumpkin spice pull apart bread

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread


For months I’ve been dying to try my hand at a loaf Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread and was finally pushed over the edge with the inspiration to add pumpkin to the recipe. I also had a fantastic excuse to make a double batch for sharing – brunch with the lovely food bloggers of the San Diego area! More on that to come, but it’s safe to say that Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread might become a weekend staple around here and pumpkin will definitely be in the mix during the Fall months.
There is a wee bit of prep and rising time involved in this recipe so it won’t exactly be your last minute Sunday morning breakfast, but with a little planning and an overnight rise you can eliminate most of your morning prep time. After all, weekends are for sleeping in right? And baking, of course!

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

The dough came together smoothly with a stand mixer and dough hook. A good overnight rise and quick morning assembly had the loaf in the oven and the house smelling delightful in no time. The key to this recipe is browning the butter every step of the way; the added nuttiness adds a rich flavor that really makes the pumpkin and cinnamon spices shine.

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

Pumpkin Spice Pull Apart Bread

makes one 9×5″ loaf

(bread dough)
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 packet active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

(bread dough)
  • Brown butter in a saucepan over medium heat until roughly the color of maple syrup. Stir occasionally to ensure the butter browns evenly and does not burn. Remove from heat and pour into stand mixer to cool.
  • Return saucepan to heat and warm the milk just until it bubbles. Pour into browned butter and stir to combine. Allow mixture to cool until slightly warm to the touch. (Approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and stir in the sugar and yeast and allow mixture to proof for ten minutes. It should be a bit bubbly/foamy when ready.
  • Mix on low with a dough hook and add pumpkin, salt and flour in small increments until all ingredients are combined.
  • Allow the mixer to pull the dough until smooth and elastic to the touch. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour until it roughly doubles in size.
  • Punch dough down, lightly knead and chill dough in refrigerator if not baking immediately.


  • Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • When ready to assemble, brown butter following previous instructions.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Allow dough to come to room temperature if needed and knead a few more tablespoons into the dough to allow for a less tacky rolling consistency. Roll out dough into a large rectangle approximately half an inch thick.
  • Brush entire surface of dough with browned butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Cut dough into 5 inch wide strips and stack on top of each other.
  • Cut the strips in half, stack and repeat until your dough rectangles are the approximate size of the ends your loaf pan.
  • Press all rectangles one at a time into your loaf pan and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until top edges are nice and dark. Remove from oven and allow to cool before inverting out of the pan.
  • Pull apart slices and serve warm.
Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread
When you cook, important to clean your kitchen before and after especially your kitchen utensils and equipment. Including your grease trap if you have. Nashville grease trap services is professional in cleaning grease traps.

homemade butterfingers


No, this is not a science experiment gone wrong – this is just what happens when you microwave candy corn. Much like microwaving the dreadful Easter Peep, these little guys puff up all mighty before a quick deflate. Although playing with your leftover holiday candy is a ton of fun on its own, the end result of this particular experiment was a delicious candy bar remake and the perfect way to put all of your leftover candy corn to good use.

When mixed with creamy peanut butter, melted candy corn have a spooky resemblance to Butterfinger candy bars. Simply use a 3 to 1 ratio of melted candy corn to peanut butter, top with melted chocolate, cool and serve. Done. Easy. Delicious.


I had seen these popping up all over Pinterest and had been looking forward to giving them a try. The biggest complaint was that although flavor was spot on, they weren’t as crispy as their original inspiration. I made half of my batch using the original ratios and added a handful of lightly crushed rice crispies to the other half. Both versions tasted exactly as I imagined, but I much preferred the slightly crispier batch. Either way, I’m still in awe of how authentic these taste!


Homemade Butterfinger Bars
3 cups candy corn
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup rice crispies (optional)
Chocolate melts or chocolate chips


  • Line a 9×9 cake pan with foil, making sure to cover all sides.
  • In a microwave safe dish, melt candy corns on 30 second intervals, checking and stirring frequently.
  • Immediately stir in peanut butter and rice crispies, if using, until fully combined.
  • Press peanut butter mixture firmly into the bottom of your prepared pan and set aside.
  • Melt candy melts or chocolate chips and spread over peanut butter in an even layer.
  • Allow to harden completely and cut into bite sized bars.
Some tips:
  • Spray the inside of your microwave safe dish with cooking oil for easy cleanup.
  • There if a very fine line between melted candy corn and ‘hard ball stage’ candy corn. Microwave in 30 second intervals and stir frequently!
  • Add the peanut butter immediately after the candy corn is removed from the microwave. 10 seconds back in the microwave can help achieve a smoother consistency if your mixture clumps.
  • Silicone molds are perfect for making these sticky treats. I used an appropriately themed pumpkin shape and my candies just popped right out when hardened.


It is also important to clean our kitchen before and after we cook to avoid bacterias from the food we cooked. If your kitchen grease traps need to be clean or pump, hire a company to clean it. Seattle Grease Trap Services can get their job quickly and properly.…

peanut butter pie cupcakes for mikey

A Pie for Mikey

I am once again amazed by the support and love of the food blogging community as so many have gone out of their way today to honor one last wish of fellow blogger Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen. Her husband Mikey passed away suddenly this week and, although many cannot begin to imagine the pain that she is going through, we have dropped everything for the time being to fulfill her wish and help refill her heart. Her wish was simple – to bake Mikey’s favorite peanut butter pie today, the day of his memorial service, and share it with the ones we love. Such a beautiful request to honor her late husband and remind us all to not take our loved ones for granted.

I had so much to say this afternoon after spending time in the kitchen reflecting, yet suddenly find myself at a loss for words. Thankfully, what needs to be said has been said a thousand times over by the incredible community of food bloggers – you can find lists of these posts here and here. I am so grateful to be a part of a community that bands together when one is in need and my heart remains with Jennie and her girls during these unfortunate times.

A Pie for Mikey

I made a few modifications to the construction of the peanut butter pie, but the original recipe can be found on In Jennie’s Kitchen. I did keep the peanut butter filling exactly the same and I can tell you that I have no doubt why this was Mikey’s favorite. It was so light and fluffy and if you really want to show someone that you love them, let them lick the bowl.

Peanut Butter Pie Cupcakes for Mikey
Inspired by Jennifer Perillo; makes 18 cupcakes

8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 jar dulce de leche
1 banana, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Prepare muffin tins with 18 cupcake liners. Using a food processor, pulse the cookies until you have fine crumbs.  Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and mix well.  Press mixture into the bottom of 18 cupcake liners.

Spoon approximately one teaspoon of dulce de leche on top of each cookie crust. Place a single layer of bananas over the dulce de leche.

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Scoop mixture into each cup, filling just below the top. Lightly tap baking pans onto counter to distribute evenly and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving. Top with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles if desired.


A Pie for Mikey

Tonight, I’ll give Zach and Gabby an extra hug and think about my family while we share Mikey’s favorite dessert. I’ll be thinking about Mom, Mommom, Poppop, Boo, Ellen and Grandma Ginger; regardless of distance, I love you more and more each day.

A Pie for Mikey

Won’t you join us in supporting Jennifer Perillo by savoring a bite of Mikey’s favorite pie and cherishing the ones you love this weekend? Together we can fill her heart with love and support {and peanut butter pie} when she needs it the most.…

the hoffbrau – austin, tx

Hoffbrau Steakhouse, Austin TX


As expected, one of my favorite food groups to enjoy while home in Texas is steak. Yes, steak is a food group in Texas; as are Tex-Mex, cupcakes and bar-b-que. I have been to my fair share of fancy chop houses, Brazilian churrascarias, chain ‘road house’ establishments and local diners to enjoy the various cuts of meat that the state has to offer. At the end of the day, Poppop’s steak and twice baked potatoes will always be my favorite, but the Hoffbrau on 6th street is a notable runner up.

Hoffbrau Steakhouse, Austin TX

Please do not confuse them with the other similarly named chain in Texas; they are not related. If you haven’t eaten off of weathered orange formica table tops in the heart of downtown Austin, then you haven’t been to the Original Hoffbrau Restaurant. They have been serving unbelievable grilled to order steak for almost 75 years. The chef fires up your choice of meat on the grill while his wife provides the charmingly grouchy service that we’ve all come to love. She’s sweet, just don’t ask for anything not on the menu. Guaranteed they don’t have it.

Hoffbrau Steakhouse, Austin TX

The menu is simple, you start with a salad tossed in olive oil, garlic, green olives and tomatoes. A plate of sliced bread and saltine crackers are brought out too. Go ahead and eat the crackers if you must, but make sure you save the bread – you’ll need it later. Oh, and please don’t be alarmed when your salad is plated out of a giant plastic trash bin – in all the years we’ve been dining there I haven’t seen it used for anything other than tossing salad.

Hoffbrau Steakhouse, Austin TX

There are four cuts of steak offered – T-Bone, Top Sirloin, NY Strip, and Ribeye – and they serve until they run out. The steaks are seasoned to perfection and served smothered in melted butter alongside a plate of fried potato quarters. The potatoes are excellent at sopping up the extra butter and juice from your steak, but if you can’t quite get it all you’ve still got bread thanks to my previous warning.
Not much has changed since I began eating at the Hoffbrau 20+ years ago and it’s not a far stretch to assume that not much has changed since they first opened in 1934. They went from a nickel beer joint serving cold cuts and saltines at the end of prohibition to a booming steak joint in the 1940’s as soldiers from Bergstrom came in with big appetites during WWII. Thanks to those soldiers, I am able to call one of Austin’s oldest steak houses a personal favorite. The Hoffbrau is still owned and operated by the original family. In fact, more than likely, the original owner’s granddaughter is your waitress and her husband is manning the grill.
If you’re looking for an unbelievable, no frills, delicious steak dinner, ignore the Yelp reviews and stop by the Hoffbrau. And if the sight of all of that butter makes you queasy, ignore this post and head off to your local stuffy chop house. If you’re in Texas, it’s probably still going to be an excellent piece of meat.
The Original Hoffbrau
 613 West 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701

flan cake

Flan Cake
If you ask me, it’s not a birthday without a cake. We aren’t huge cake eaters in our family so our birthday ‘cakes’ range from tarts to pies to a giant slab of wiggly flan. When Mom was trying to decide what to make Poppop for his birthday this year, I knew immediately what to suggest. Flan Cake. Judging by the numerous emails I would receive each time Mom would make it – “You have to try the flan cake;” “Have we told you about your Mom’s flan cake;” etc, etc – I knew that this would make the perfect birthday ‘cake.’
It was only a slightly selfish decision on my part because although I had been dying to try this infamous dessert, I also knew that it was one of the birthday boy’s favorites. Poppop and I used to make flan quite a bit growing up. I’d carefully measure out the caramel into the bottom of our glass dishes while he handled cooking the custard over the hot stove. And then we’d wait for it to chill. Waiting was the hardest part, but we usually had a good bowl licking and Mommom’s home cooked dinner to hold us over.
And then we’d dig in. The first spoonful was always my favorite. There is something magical about the caramel oozing up from the sides of the bowl and enveloping the silky custard. I wasn’t a quiet flan eater either; I’d slurp every last bite allowing the flavors to simultaneously explode and melt in my mouth. And if we’re being honest, I’m still not the quietest flan eater and I’m okay with that.


Flan Cake

So back to this cake. Mom’s Flan Cake is the best of all world’s; everyone loves it because it satisfies the cake lovers and non-cake lovers alike. And for me and Poppop? It satisfies all of the above. There isn’t much about this hybrid flan and tres-leches-like cake combination that one wouldn’t love. The cake is porous, allowing it to soak up all of the delicious dulce de leche and remain super moist. The flan perfectly sets into the familiar silky custard that just begs your spoon to glide through it bite after bite.
Even after an afternoon of marathon BBQ consumption, everyone enjoyed a generous slice. I can’t speak for the rest of the family, but I whole heartedly considered a second piece until the reality sunk in that I could not eat another bite even if I wanted to. I do hope you’ll celebrate something special with this recipe and have another slice for me!


Flan Cake
Flan Cake
adapted from
13.4 oz can dulce de leche
3 eggs
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
12 oz evaporated milk
1 teaspoon mexican vanilla
1 box yellow cake mix*
1 1/4 cup water (or as advised by your mix)
1/3 cup canola oil (or as advised by your mix)
3 large eggs (or as advised by your mix)
whipped cream for topping, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. Pour dulce de leche evenly ove bottom of bundt pan and set aside.
  3. Beat together 3 eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and mexican vanilla with either a hand mixer or stand mixer. Pour over dulce de leche.
  4. Prepare cake mix according to package directions with water, oil and remaining eggs. Pour over the flan mixture.
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely for at least 30 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. (I recommend chilling in the refrigerator prior to inversion and serving).
  7. Top slices with homemade whipped cream and enjoy!

*You may vary this recipe by using different cake mixes. I have seen Chocolate Flan Cakes made using a devils food cake mix instead of yellow. I’m thinking funfetti could be exciting for an extra special birthday cake.


Flan Cake

cotton candy cupcakes


While browsing World Market, I came across this all inclusive Cotton Candy Cupcake mix from Jo Cupcake. I was slightly skeptical of how the cupcakes might turn out, but it was just too cute not to buy. I have been holding on to the mix waiting for the perfect occasion to make such whimsical cupcakes and finally had plans perfectly suited for these adorable treats.


The kit includes everything you need to get started in baking these perfectly pink cotton candy cupcakes. Pink vanilla cake mix, pink cotton candy frosting mix, pink sparkling sugar and cotton candy ‘cupcake aprons.’ To make the cake you’ll need to add water, oil and an egg white to the mix and to make the frosting you just need to add butter, milk and powdered sugar. All ingredients are pretty standard in our household so this didn’t require any special trips to the grocery store.


The cake turned out lovely – light, moist and a lovely shade of deep pink. I found that the frosting recipe provided had two issues, it was way too sweet and didn’t make nearly enough frosting to actually pipe onto the cupcakes. To rectify, I simply doubled the butter and powdered sugar and added a tablespoon of vanilla. Now it was perfect; light, fluffy and delicious. {and pink!} Sadly, my kit was missing the pink sparkling sugar and I had just run out of my stash after making the Peeps pops. The provided aprons were so cute that the cupcakes were still quite presentable even without their sparkles.


Tonight, I will be joining this lovely lady and her sweet children, Enzo and Baby Maria, for a pizza dinner in the city. I was so inspired by this beautiful picture of Damaris to create a recipe with cotton candy {how could you not be?!} and am beyond excited to share these cupcakes with Damaris and her family this evening. I even baked half of them in coordinating green liners because I hear that is Enzo’s favorite color these days. I hope they love them!