Cake Gallery Slideshow

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 Days of Tricks & Treats: Thinking Outside the Cupcake Box

I stumbled upon these adorable cupcake boxes this week; how have I never seen these before?! I make cakes and cupcakes for a living! These are truly some of the cutest cupcake boxes I've come across, and I've seen many. They're sized for cupcakes, but could surely house party favors, candy and anything else you care to put in a 3.25" wide x 3.75" high space. They're available in several different kid-friendly themes, but I am in a nostalgic mood today so my favorites are:
Goodnight, Moon Cupcake Boxes!  These. Are. Too. Cute.

Wishing I had a tiny kid at my house right now so I can throw a Little Golden Books party!  Again, so adorable.

But the designs are not limited to nostalgic themes; I love this Safari kids theme that would be perfect for your animal cupcakes:

Safari Friends Cupcake Boxes

You can see more of this cuteness--what a TREAT-- at The Party Works' online cake decorating store or visit them through Sweetest Whimsy's affiliate link: - Birthday Party Supplies

Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days of Tricks & Treats: One Week Late!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes with my favorite Chocolate Frosting ~ Enjoy!

Well, so much for good intentions!  I enjoyed blogging '31 Days of Tricks & Treats' last year from Sweetest Whimsy's blogs from Paper Dolls and The Sweet Spot.  However, I paid absolutely no attention to the actual calendar all of last week!  I seriously did not; I only changed my paper calendar in my office from September to October yesterday.  Pathetic, I know.

Anyway, better late than never so here we go--today's TREAT (saving the tricks for tomorrow)!  Today's post is an awesome and ridiculously easy recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes!  I don't usually encourage cake mix cakes unless they are particularly good, because baking from scratch takes just about as much time.  However, these are really yummy and I've had total strangers tell me how much they love them.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cupcakes

(based on a recipe from Chocolate from the Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn)

24 cupcake liners for muffin pans
1 pkg (18.25 oz) German chocolate cake mix (I like Duncan Hines, the recommended cake mix for my Wilton Method cake classes!)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I sometimes add more for extra cinnamon punch)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tins with liners.
 2. Place cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon in large mixing bowl.  Blend with electric mixer for 1 minute on low speed.  Stop and scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.  Increase speed to medium and beat 2 more minutes.  Batter should look thick and well combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Spoon batter into liners, about 1/2 full.  Place pans in oven.
4. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans and cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.

I like to frost them with even more chocolatey goodness, so I use my tried and true Chocolate Frosting recipe and add a little taste of fall to it with some cinnamon.  A teaspoon of cinnamon enhances the entire thing.

I hope you get a chance to try this recipe!  Happy October!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

. . . but most of all Winnie the Pooh

Pooh's Birthday Gift Cake by melissatarun
Pooh's Birthday Gift Cake, a photo by melissatarun on Flickr.
Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh
Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff.
He's Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh.
Willy nilly silly ole bear.

~Winnie the Pooh song

Interest in the Pooh bear has waxed and waned since I made my first Pooh cake in 1999, but he still has a loyal following!  After all, he's been around in some form since 1924.

Pooh Shaped CakePooh Shaped Cake 

A Child of God

Baby Boy Baptism Cake by melissatarun
Baby Boy Baptism Cake, a photo by melissatarun on Flickr.
Baptism and First Communion cakes are very special to me. I feel so honored to be part of such a significant day in a child's life!

Baby Girl Baptism Cake
Baby Boy Baptism Cake

 Communion Cross Sheet Cake
Communion Cross CookiesCommunion Cross Sheet Cake

Still All Ears for You, Minnie

Minnie must be making a come-back (or perhaps she's never been out of style!) because I still get requests for her in all her frosted glory. I heart Minnie Mouse.

Minnie Mouse Shaped Cake by melissatarun
Minnie Mouse Shaped Cake, a photo by melissatarun on Flickr.
Minnie Mouse Shaped Cake

Minnie Ears CakeMinnie Ears Cake 

"Home for Sale"

'House for Sale' Cake by melissatarun
'House for Sale' Cake, a photo by melissatarun on Flickr.
'House for Sale' Cake

 This was for Joann, a local realtor, as requested by her husband for her birthday! Unfortunately, her hubby ordered the cake flavor that she does NOT like (men!) but she thought it was cute anyway.

Fit for a Princess

Cinderella's Glass Slipper Cookie

 Castle Cookie Cake

 Cinderella's Coach Cookie Cake

Birthday Tiara Cookie CakeBirthday Tiara Cookie Cake

 When you have two daughters, you host your share of Princess themed parties. Princess Storybook Party, Princess Spa Party, Cinderella Theatre Party, and the list goes on! We've mixed things up a bit with cookie cakes and individually decorated cookies over the years.

Dora! Dora! Dora!

Dora the Explorer Shaped Cake

Dora the Explorer Shaped Cake

3D Dora the Explorer Cake

3D Dora the Explorer Cake  I have done several variations of Dora the Explorer cakes over the years; my girls, when they were younger, adored her!

A Prince Among Boys

Baby Boy's 1st Birthday Cake

Very often I am given a party napkin or invitation as the starting point for one of my cakes. This was one of them--invitations, napkins, plates and favors to match!

Brave Merida

Brave Merida 3D Cake by melissatarun
Brave Merida 3D Cake, a photo by melissatarun on Flickr.
Brave Merida 3D Cake

Brave Merida 3D Cake

Brave Merida 3D Cake

I love how this cake turned out! I also love the character of Merida from Disney's Brave, so it was fun to create this cake. All decor made from fondant or gumpaste.

Ships Ahoy!

3D Pirate Cake by melissatarun
3D Pirate Cake, a photo by melissatarun on Flickr.
3D Pirate Cake

3D Pirate Cake

A variation on my earlier 3D Pirate Cake, only this one was slightly better. (Got my "sea legs" now!) This was supposed to be the Wiggles' Pirate Ship so I used Wiggles' colors.

 3D Pirate Cake

Onslaught of Cake Pics Coming Soon!

Getting caught up with a couple of years (yes, years) of cake pics that I've been sitting on for a while!

Thank goodness for Flickr's sharing options, which makes it possible to post the new(er) pics directly onto this blog as well as my Pinterest and Facebook pages.  Love social media sharing!

Unfortunately, getting the pics on my main website will be more time-consuming, but I'm working on it!  Meanwhile, enjoy the slide show above of all the pics or the separate posts about each.

Friday, November 2, 2012

31 Days of Tricks & Treats: Post-October Catch-Up

How could I have forgotten to post my last Trick or Treat for October?!  But I did, and then the nation was transfixed by first Hurricane Sandy and then the Elections, so other things were definitely on my mind!

So here is October 31's post about my Halloween-themed Spider Treats!  For the first time ever, we went to a party outside of our neighborhood and trick-or-treated with our friends there.  Party was awesome, and our friend Kristine went all out with her Halloween snacks, decor and games!  So impressive!

As seen at the party:

Ghostly juice boxes

 Spider and Eyeball Eggs

Breadstick Bones
 Spider cupcakes were my contribution!

My little Japanese Geisha Girl and her Strawberry Shortcake BFF who hosted the party!

Until 2013, saying goodbye to our first ever 31 Days of Tricks & Treats!  Hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

31 Days of Tricks & Treats: Day 31 ~ Candy Corn Parfait for Candy Corn Haters


Just in case you didn't know, yesterday, the day before Halloween, was National Candy Corn Day.  I hate the taste of candy corn; it's just too sickeningly sweet.  However, I love the colors and shape of candy corn!  It's the perfect Halloween/Fall symbol and I love decorating with it.  I've glued it onto picture frames, and filled vases with it.  However, I've never really used them in my cooking or baking until this week.

I bought a bag of candy corn for our pre-Halloween party to use as a "garnish" on our homemade caramel apples.  They were the right size for embellishing the apples, along with mini marshmallows, mini M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, nuts and coconut flakes.  It was a big bag, so I was inspired to also try something that I've always loved as a child--Jello Parfait!

What child of the 70s didn't admire the beauty of this Jello creation in Mom's Ladies Home Journal magazines?  Simply layers of Jello and Cool Whip, maybe fruit added.  Since I hate candy corn as a food item, I wanted to create something that looked like candy corn but tasted like something else!  Since I've loved Jello my entire life, this was an easy choice.

But I still had to use up some candy corns, and I do realize that other people (ie. KIDS) love it, so it was the perfect topping for my Halloween Candy Corn Parfait:

Want to try this at home?  I made a small batch of Parfaits as our party was very small (5 giggling girls) but you could easily double the recipe, I'm sure.


1 box (3 oz) Lemon Jello
1 box (3 oz) Orange Jello
1 small container Cool Whip
Candy Corns


Add 2/3 cup boiling water to Lemon Jello mix in small bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Repeat with Orange Jello mix. Cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Spoon equal amounts of Lemon Jello into plastic cups (could also use plastic shot glasses). Refrigerate 15 min. or until set but not firm.

Cover Lemon Jello layer with Orange Jello, an equal amount in each cup. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Top with Cool Whip and candy corns!

Makes 4-5 parfaits.

Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Tricks & Treats: Day 29 ~ A Cup o' Halloween

I was out of town for a few days attending the always fabulous Texas Book Festival in Austin so did not get to share a few days' worth of tricks or treats, so I will add on a couple of days at the end as a bonus and share some cool stuff I learned at the Festival!

Meanwhile, I wanted to highlight a new affiliate retailer on Sweetest Whimsy's Retail Love list: Cross Country Cafe.  What is their site all about?  In a word: Coffee!

This is the first retailer on the list that offers mostly edibles (or really, drinkables) and a nice contrast to the papers and gifts on my other fave sites.   Specifically, they offer ground and whole bean coffee, Keurig Kcups, gourmet coffee pods and a selection of brewers.  If you are coffee lover, this online shop is for you.  I swear when I am browsing this site, I can practically smell the java.  No joke.

What I like about Cross Country Cafe: they offer fair trade, organic and sustainable coffees.  Coffee lovers who ask for Fair Trade Certified™ and organic coffee may not realize it, but they are helping the world maintain a long-term supply of high-quality beans.

Every week they host Wacky Wednesday with a number of specials of the day, and this week, in honor of Halloween (and perhaps the arrival of real Fall weather to Texas!) they are offering these spooky themed flavors and roasts on sale:

Dark Magic Decaf

Dark Magic Extra Bold

Love the images, scents and sounds of Halloween and Fall that they conjure up!  TREAT yourself to all of the Wacky Wednesday savings, including coffee pods and ground coffee, and visit Cross Country Cafe's online store: