Posts Tagged ‘cake mix’

It’s nothing really. I just had a few extra pink cake layers. And you know what they say—when life hands you cake, make balls.

I’m not a cake decorator. So when people ask me to make cake for their special occasions, I refer them to Jamiecakes or Hy-Vee. But once in a while Jamiecakes can’t take anymore orders and I say yes to making a reveal cake for a family friend. The ultrasound was in the morning and they wanted the cake that night so I knew I needed to be ready with pink cake layers and blue cake layers because I wouldn’t have time during the day to bake.

It’s a boy! Which is why I had extra pink cake layers in my freezer, taking up valuable space that could be used for mocha cakes from Flandreau Bakery or cheesecakes. I was going to throw them out but I decided to tear them up, stir in a bunch of vanilla frosting, and make cake pops. It wasn’t as irritatingly tedious as I thought it would be. Although, I had intentions of actually making pops that weren’t upside down but I started the dipping process and realized I forgot to bring in a piece of styrofoam to hold them upright to dry. Oh well, I don’t think the gravity changed the flavor.

My daughter and I each ate one and we gave the rest away in random, special deliveries. I don’t have a specific recipe for cake balls. But this is what I did and how you can do it:

Cake Balls or Pops 

pre-made cake

one or two canisters of vanilla frosting

2 or more bags of Wilton pink candy melts


cake pop sticks

piece of styrofoam if you want the pops to be upright

  1. Line a pan that will fit in your freezer with wax paper to set the balls on.
  2. Crumble two 9-inch cake layers into a bowl (mine were homemade cakes but you could simply bake a box cake and use the entire cake – you don’t need layers, just cake to break up).
  3. Stir in at least one can of vanilla frosting (I used one and a half cans but it really depends on how much cake you have). You want this to be creamy, almost more frosting than cake really.
  4. Shape into balls, smaller than a golf ball but larger than a marble. Place on wax paper and set pan in freezer for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Melt candy melts over low heat.
  6. Dip a stick into the candy melts, covering about one-fourth of the stick, and insert into semi frozen cake pop. Set pops on pan and put back in the freezer until fully frozen, at least 30 minutes. Keep candy melts warm. Add a few drops of vegetable oil to the candy melts to thin it out a little for dipping.
  7. Once cake balls are frozen, gently dip once into candy melts, fully covering the ball and letting excess drip off. Scatter sprinkles onto ball and place back on pan or insert upright into a piece of styrofoam (do a good job of tapping off excess). You’ll want to work this process quickly because once the balls start to defrost, they’ll fall off the stick when you are dipping.
  8. Let cool and set. Best eaten at room temperature. Can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator.


Sweet wishes,




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Remember that double chocolate pumpkin cake you made a few years ago? The one with pumpkin buttercream frosting so good you ate the bottom first just to save the best for last?

double chocolate cake with pumpkin buttercream

This time, do yourself a favor and save the recipe in your online recipe box, email it to yourself, or better yet print it and tape it inside your cupboard door. Because you WILL be looking for it again. Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Pumpkin Spice Buttercream from Picky Palate

In addition to the cinnamon, I added a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the buttercream frosting. As stated in the recipe, you can make two 9×5 cake loaves, 24 cupcakes, or two 9-inch round cakes. I made eight mini loaves and two medium cake loaves. There’s plenty of frosting so smear it on thick like a redhead with a bottle of sunscreen.

Sweet fall wishes,

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Just because it’s baked in a pie pan, don’t mistake crunchobblerumble for pie. Instead of boring old pie crust, a buttery, yellow cake crunch shell blankets the glossy red cherry filling .

Cherry Crunchobblerumble | Random Sweetness Baking

This recipe is seriously so easy that if you told me you messed it up, I’d ask if you had your oven plugged in. It comes from a time back in the 90s when I didn’t bake. I saw it on a morning news program and I scribbled the recipe on a piece of paper and stuffed it in my recipe box.

I’ve since come up with the baking temp and time since I neglected to document that vital part. And now I gave it a new name because it’s really a cross between what I think of a crunch, cobbler, and crumble. Of course, you could add a 1/2 cup of quick-oats to the topping and call it cherry crisp. Maybe.

scribbled recipe from the 90s

The nice thing about this recipe is it uses yellow cake mix, but only half of a regular box. Which is perfect because you need a few scoops of dry mix to make Cake Batter Pancakes in the morning. (I don’t use the small box of Jiffy® mix.)

Cherry Crunchobblerumble

30-ounce can cherry pie filling

Yellow cake mix, 1/2 of a 16.5 ounce box (or you could use one small box of Jiffy® yellow cake mix)

8 – 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted – use REAL butter (start with 1 stick of butter and then if you still need more to completely cover the cake mix, add 2 additional tablespoons of REAL butter)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Take out a 9-inch pie pan.
  3. Open the can of cherry pie filling.
  4. Dump and spread evenly in the pie pan.
  5. Evenly cover the fruit with the dry cake mix.
  6. With a spoon, lightly sprinkle the melted butter over the dry cake mix, until all the dry mix has butter on it. You can spread it a little with the back of your spoon. If there are still spots that are dry, melt the other 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the cake mix. The key is to have a crust over the entire crunchobblerumble.
  7. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes, or just until the top is buttery golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool a little before serving plain or topped with vanilla bean ice cream or whipping cream.
  9. I think you can leave the covered leftovers on the counter for a day or two. Or stick it in the refrigerator. I’ve never had leftovers. Every time I walk into the kitchen I grab a clean spoon and take a swipe out of the plate. Reminds of a “drive-by fruiting” – do you remember what movie that’s from?

only  a few cherries left

The best part of this dessert is the sheet of yellow crusty cake mix. I need some in each bite. That’s why if I don’t portion it right in my bowl, I have a few cherries left over.

Like the cute little bowls? I picked them up at Second Hand Rose, an occasional shop in Buffalo, Minnesota.

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You may be as surprised as I was to learn that there are people who don’t have a gooey caramel brownie recipe. Shocking, I know. But if you are one of them, let me share my Yes! Yes! brownie recipe with you. In under 45 minutes, you’ll have a hot pan of gooey, caramel-stringy, could there be more chocolate, brownies on your kitchen counter.

gooey caramel double chocolate brownies

The summer of 1990, I was just out of high school and I worked at 3M as a plant manager. Literally. Besides sorting smocks for laundry, I cleaned bathrooms, refilled vending machines in the cafeteria, and watered the plants around the offices and lobby areas. So they jokingly called me the plant manager. It was during this stint that a co-worker, Judy B., shared these brownies and I’m pretty sure I begged for the recipe.

Years, and years, oh my gosh, 23 years and 50 extra pounds later, my recipe card is bent and crinkled and the plastic protector is melted on the entire left side. When I bring these bars to work now, they disappear. But I never really thought there are people who don’t have their own recipe for caramel brownies. So I never blogged it. I assumed people would be like, “What?! As if I don’t already have a recipe like that.” Boring.

Then one morning I almost fell off my couch when I was watching my favorite T.V. show and Ree from Food Network’s Pioneer Woman showed the world how to make Knock You Naked Brownies. And I was like, “What?! I’ve been making those for years!” Not boring. And then I felt like there was no place for me in the blogging world anymore because anything I had to offer had already been done.

A few months later at work, my friend Mary said she was still waiting for me to blog my caramel brownie recipe. I told her I hadn’t blogged it because I figured everyone had a similar recipe and didn’t need mine. Mary didn’t. She needed my recipe. And for you chocolate lovers out there, you know I really mean needed.

So now, I share it with you. And when you bake them for your friends and they beg you for the recipe, you will say, Yes! Yes!.

{Yes! Yes! Caramel Brownies}

50 caramels (I buy a bag of Kraft caramels and use them all, minus the few my kids run away with.)

1 package chocolate cake mix (Any flavor will do – milk chocolate, chocolate fudge, german chocolate, etc.)

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 small can evaporated milk, divided into two portions, 1/3 cup each

1 cup chopped nuts, optional

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I cover the pan of brownies so who really knows how much that is.)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix melted butter, cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and nuts. This can be done by hand. Spread three-fourths of this mixture into a lightly greased 9×9-inch or 13×9-inch cake pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Take out of the oven.

Melt caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Stir until creamy.

Cover the hot crust with the chocolate chips, then pour the caramel mixture over the chips. Top with the remaining batter and bake the 9×9 pan for 20-25 minutes and for the 13×9 pan, bake 15-18 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container. Share with everyone you know.

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Pull up a bar stool. Or an office chair. Maybe even a reclining Adirondack chair by the pool. Because no matter where you indulge in these margarita cupcakes, you’ll be transported to a dreamy beach lined with sandy towels and sun-baked flip-flops.

Just hope no one steps on a pop-top and has to head on back home.

If you like margaritas, you’ll enjoy these light little cakes spiked with tequila and a twist of lime. Top them with a generous helping of the tart, salty frosting and it’s like licking the rim of your icy margarita.

The recipe is new to me. A fellow blogger from the Minneapolis area, Michelle Hals, shared it with me at Minnesota Blogger’s Conference. The recipe comes from her parents who got it from her dad’s cousin when he made the treats for a high school reunion. Michelle just started a new blog at http://www.michellehals.com so stop by and say hi. She also blogs at http://shelbellescraps.blogspot.com.

Thank you for sharing this family recipe with us, Michelle.

I lovingly call Minneapolis the big city because I live on an acreage in southwest Minnesota. I used to live in the Twin Cities and I love it there.

Margarita Cupcakes

Makes 18 regular-size cupcakes with generous frosting for each.

1 box white cake mix

7-1/2 ounces original margarita mix

2 ounces tequila (or triple sec if you prefer)

1/2 ounce orange juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and beat on medium-high until fluffy. If you prefer, use triple sec in place of the tequila. The important thing is to use a total of 10 ounces of liquid. Line a regular cupcake pan with papers or grease with non-stick spray. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack.

Simple Lime Syrup (optional)

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that I am not a huge fan of cupcakes because they aren’t usually as moist as I like. I found these cupcakes to be a little drier than I like, but an easy solution is to add the following simple syrup:

1 cup fresh lime juice

1 cup sugar

Combine the lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Bring it to a boil and continue to boil for 3-5 minutes until it becomes a golden color. Cool. Poke holes in the cupcakes with a toothpick. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the syrup over the tops of the cupcakes. Let soak in for 10 minutes and then frost the cupcakes.

Salty Lime Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

5 cups powdered sugar

3-4 tablespoons lime juice (use 3 and add more if needed for spreading consistency)

1/2 teaspoon salt

couple dashes of green food coloring if desired

In a medium bowl, cream the butter. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lime juice and salt, beating until desired spreading consistency. Add small amount of green food coloring if desired.

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Do you like your margarita rim salty or sweet?

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Although the names and variations of this caramel cake are as broad as Pink’s hair color, the dessert has been a family tradition for some people for so long they can’t imagine there are people trying it for the first time. For me, it was only a few years ago. My friend, Caitlin O., shared it with us at work and even though I was “cake reluctant,” I slid my fork in it and with one sticky bite I was hoping not everyone in the department knew we had cake = more for me.

The recipe graces pages of community cookbooks, from fundraisers, employee-submitted, family heritage, etc., but to find Better Than Sex Cake in a church ladies cookbook, you’ll find it under a discreet name like Better Than Anything (or Almost Anything) Cake, Better Than Whatever you Wanna Call It Cake, or Heath Cake.

I know, I know – some of you have been reading my blog long enough to know I don’t like cake. Especially the kind you poke holes in and pour in Jell-O or pudding. But this is different. It’s sweetened condensed milk and caramel. You use your favorite caramel ice cream topping. (Like the butterscotch one I drink from a shot glass when I make Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake.) Are you with me?

Better Than Sex Cake

1 box (13 x 9-inch pan size) German chocolate cake mix, and ingredients to bake the cake

1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk

1 jar (approximately 17 ounces or so) caramel ice cream topping

1 tub (8-ounce) whipped topping, thawed

1 package (8-ounce) chocolate toffee pieces (I use Hershey’s Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits)

Bake the cake according to package directions.

As soon as the cake is done, pull it out of the oven and poke holes in the cake with the handle of a mixing spoon. (I use a long-handled lemonade-stirring spoon.) Immediately pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake and repeat with the caramel topping.

Let the cake cool in the refrigerator until completely cool. Top with whipped topping and put back in the fridge. Immediately before serving, generously sprinkle the toffee bits on each slice. Store in the refrigerator.

Plan to share this cake because it’s best within 24 hours.

Will this be your first time eating Better Than Sex Cake? Do you have a different name for it?

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When Jessica from How Sweet It Is posted her recipe for Cake Batter Pancakes, I saved it in my Favorites so I could make them for my son’s birthday party. He’s a huge fan of pancakes. And what kid doesn’t love sprinkles?! Even though the slumber partiers were up most of the night and didn’t get up until noon, I made these for “breakfast” anyway.

They taste like a cross between pancakes and yellow cupcakes topped with cinnamon roll drizzle and sprinkles. You’ll notice there are three candles on the “cake.” One is for my son, one is for his friend who is also celebrating a birthday, and one is for one of the dads whose birthday was yesterday. Yes, How Sweet indeed.

(Dear parents who entrusted me with their children: I promise they will run off this sugar high before I bring them home! And, if they talk about cereal bar kabobs they had with these, I’m not really sure what they are talking about.)

And were the pancakes a hit? Pictures tell it all:

For the Cake Batter Pancakes recipe and fun step-by-step photos, swing on over to Jessica’s blog. You may find yourself saving it in your Favorites folder too!

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your wonderful recipe for the world to enjoy.

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