Tag Archives: baking

Duncan Hines 2.0 Sweet Stars Weekend!

25 Sep

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Over the summer I was contacted by Duncan Hines with an invitation to come back to the test kitchen along with the other 11 winners from last year and 12 new winners from this year’s spring bake contest. I was THRILLED to say the least. Last year I got sick the first night so this year I was going to make sure that didn’t happen again and I am pleased to say I felt great the entire time! I decided not to bring my DSLR so the pictures are from my phone/small digi cam.  Enjoy!

You can find a post about my previous Duncan Hines experience HERE!

Friday evening we were invited to a cocktail hour followed by a fabulous dinner and dessert presentation that included all 12 new winners recipes.

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Here I am on the red carpet w/ my “sweet star”

Saturday we got up early, had breakfast and headed to the test kitchen where we were lead on a tour of the facility which is also home to Pinnacle Foods who owns brands like Hungry Man, Birds Eye, Vlasic, Log cabin, and of course Duncan Hines. After our tour we spent the rest of the day learning about food science, up and coming trends in the dessert world, watching demonstrations by Wilton expert decorator Beth Somers & Duncan Hines chef Joe Dipaolo. Saturday evening we were treated to the most amazing dinner that was cooked by fellow Duncan Hines chef Chris & several great desserts prepared by chef Joe.

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This is “5 A Day” the Birds Eye horse that welcomes you to Pinnacle Foods

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Beth Somers- Wilton expert decorator and winner of cupcake wars giving a decorating demo

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caked decorated by Beth Somers

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chef Joe demonstrating how to make sugar decorations

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Printed cake made by Duncan Hines chef Joe Dipaolo
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chocolate mousse domes made by Duncan Hines chef Joe Dipaolo
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(Baked Alaska)
These are some of the desserts made by chef Joe on our final night at the test kitchen
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(chocolate mousse cake)

This trip was amazing. I’m sad to be back home but I’m so grateful to have been able to spend time with the Duncan Hines crew again and to have had the chance to meet some awesome new people 🙂

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My new friend Andrea, chef Joe, and I at our final dinner


Marble cake pops!

21 Apr

This is my step by step directions for designing cake pops with a  marble effect.


-Construct your cake pops as usual
– Melt your colored candy ( Each color in
a separate container)
– Use one color as your “base” (I chose brown) tap off
-While your “base” color is still wet use a small spoon to drizzle on
your 2nd color (mine is white)
– In an empty bowl tap off excess, place on a
foam block to dry.
(I added a shimmer pearl dust to

* You can use however many colors your want, the more colors you use the more unique each pop will be
* Be sure to work fast so the
melted candy doesn’t start to dry and become thick or bulky on your pop
* To get thinner marbled lines you can use a butter knife to drizzle

Here are a few more designs I’ve created with this technique

These were made for a Dodger fan
Blue Marble

These camo pops were made for my fiance who is an avid hunter.

Easter basket cake pops

6 Apr


A few days ago I got an order for Easter cake pops and the customer didn’t have
a design preference she just wanted something to reflect Easter so I decided to
go with miniature Easter baskets.

For your pops you will need these
1. A cake mix ( Any flavor you want to use)
2. Frosting
Melting candy or Chocolate Bark
4. Cake pop sticks

For decorating you will need these items
1. Shredded coconut
2. Green food
3. Twine for the handle
4. Jelly Beans

Making your
1. First prepare your mix and bake it, for this order I’m using the
flavor red velvet.
2. After your cake has cooled, in a large mixing bowl
begin to crumble it.
3. Once your cake is crumbled begin to stir in small
amounts of frosting until you reach a sticky consistency. You want to add just
enough frosting to get your mix to stick together. For a whole cake you should
use about half a can.
4. Using a scoop or spoon take out some of the mixture
and start to form a ball. To get a nice basket shape flatten one side of the
ball, this is where the grass and jelly beans will sit.
5. When you have all
of your balls shaped put them in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
6. Once
your balls are out of the freezer take a stick dip it in your melting candy and
insert it into the ball.
7. After your sticks have dried you can now dip the
entire pop in your melting candy. After your pop has been submerged into the
melted candy tap off any access and place on a Styrofoam block to dry.
Once your pops are completely dry you can move on to the fun part, decorating!


Decorating your pop-
1. Place your shredded coconut in a zip lock
bag with a few drops of green food coloring, shake the bag until your coconut is
coated green like grass.
2. Attach your grass to the flat side of your basket
using melted candy as “glue” and let it dry
3. Use more of the melted
chocolate “glue” to attach jelly beans of your choice
4. After your pop is
dry you can focus on the handle. I chose to use twine because I like the way it
looks. If you want to use something edible you can roll a tootsie roll into a
handle shape or use a twizzler. To use the twine method measure out enough to
reach from one side of your pop to the other then apply melted candy to one side
and place the end of your twine on top of it then add a small amount of the
melted candy on top of the twine, hold it in place to dry. Do the same to the
other side. Once both sides are dry you will end up with an adorable Easter
basket cake pop!


Turtle cupcakes

5 Apr


Back in April of 2011 I made these cupcakes for a class potluck and everyone loved them. Eventually I uploaded a photo on Pinterest, over time the amount of re-pins has gone wild so I’ve now decided to make them again and in doing so share my method for designing and assembling them. These guys are really fun and simple to make which allows kids to help out in the process!

These are the items you will need


1. Cake mix of your choice (Store bought or homemade)
2. Frosting of your
1. Giant jelly beans. I found these in the Easter bulk section at
2. Regular sized jelly beans in various shades of green. The dark
green is watermelon, the middle shade is apple, and the light green is juicy
pear. I especially love the pear flavor for this project because its color is
light green with darker green and brown speckles which gives a nice look for the
turtle’s shell.
3. For the eyes I used white confetti sprinkles and my
Americolor pen to draw on the pupils.


  1. Prepare your mix
  2. Fill cupcake liners a little over half full (this will allow your cupcake to rise and give the look of a shell)
  3. Bake and allow to cool
  4. Frost your cupcake
  5. Use kitchen scissors to cut a giant jelly bean in half
  6. Apply a small amount of frosting to the cut side of the jelly bean and attach it to your cupcake (this is your turtle’s head)
  7. Apply shades of green jelly beans around your “shell” in any pattern (Every turtle is different!) I found it helpful to start at the bottom and work my way up
  8. For the eyes I used a skewer to add a small amount of frosting to the back of the eyes and then placed them on the turtle’s head.

*When I first made these I used a green “dot” candy as the head so if your local
store doesn’t carry the giant jelly beans a green dot or gumdrop would work too!

I hope everyone enjoys these little guys! 🙂