The site focuses on fun and easy baking. It’s a place to explore recipes, desserts, decorating and even photography with a few giveaways sprinkled in along the way. You’ll find ideas for cupcake pops (a Bakerella creation), cakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and more. You may even find yourself smiling from all the sweetness.
Oh Shih Tzu! How cute are these puppies?! I made these for my mom’s birthday this week. She’s been wanting me to turn her little puppy pie into a cake pop and I finally attempted them this past weekend. Surprisingly, they ended up being way easier than I thought they would be.
But first I needed reference so I made a quick pencil sketch of the sweet little baby face in question.
And because I wanted to get as close to her likeness as possible, I worked the sizing out on the computer starting with different size circles. I took a picture of my sketch and emailed to myself to lay over the circles in a graphics program called Indesign. The faces are slightly larger than the circles to allow for the size increase when the round cake balls are dipped in candy coating. Once I had all the sizes, I picked the one that would work best with the sprinkles I had on hand.
In this case, black sugar pearls for eyes, brown rainbow chip sprinkles for noses and pink confetti sprinkles for tongues.
Now to make the cake pops. First mix crumbled cake and frosting together and then roll into balls based on the size you need.
Once I had the starting size, I used the puppy drawing as a guide to hand shape the puppy heads. Just lay a sheet of wax paper over your reference and shape the cake ball to fit. I also used a lollipop stick to press holes into the shaped cake balls where the eyes would be. I did this for reference after they are dipped.
The slight impression helps me know where to quickly place the sugar pearls for eyes because you want to do this while the candy coating is still wet.
Then place the rainbow chip sprinkle in position for the nose and the confetti sprinkle in position for the tongue. (You could do these two steps after the candy coating sets by attaching them with a dot of melted coating, but the eyes look better if they are inset into the coating slightly as opposed to sitting on top of the surface if that makes sense.)
Holy Shih Tzu. The before and after. Now let me show you how easy it is to go from one to the other.
This is all done with toothpicks and a little time. Start with the mustache and eyebrows area and dip your toothpick in coating and draw on the pop to build up dimension. Do all your pops and let them dry before layering on more as needed. Fill in around the nose and overlap the top of the confetti sprinkle. Then just keep drawing on lines of coating with the toothpick. Once you’ve built the face up to look like your pup, then apply more coating with a toothpick on the sides for floppy ears. Let dry.
And if you have a little Maltese, you could stop right here. : )
But my mom’s Shih Tzu has black markings like a little mask. This is the fun part.
All you need is a black edible ink pen. Maybe two if you are making a bunch. Just use the pen to draw on top of the pop mimicking your dog’s markings as much as possible.
(These are Americolor Gourmet Writers and you can get them in brown if you need them, too.)
Usually when I use these pens I recommend drawing on the surface very lightly like use a paint brush, because when you press down too hard, the candy coating can start to clog the pen.
But for these pups, I like how it looks when the pen is not solid black. It helps give the illusion of different shades of black hair. So I wasn’t as worried about the pen clogging up.
And if draw too much on, you can use a toothpick to gently scrape some of it away.
Look at these little baby boos. To finish the look, just dot the eyes with more of the melted white candy coating.
I’m so happy with how cute they turned out.
And … they’re puppy approved! Sweet little Sugar Pie loved them. And my mom did, too!
These cookies scream fun and festive for the Fourth of July. I wanted to try making sugar cookies that were striped, but without having to pipe them with royal icing because I think I would have made a mess with that. So I took the concept of pinwheel cookies and instead of rolling up the dough, I layered it flat. Want to see?
Okay, first I divided some sugar cookie dough into three equal parts. I used this recipe and removed it from the mixing bowl, just before it all came together. Then I placed 1/3 of the dough back in the bowl and added a few drops of white icing color. You could go with the natural color of the cookie dough here, but I used white to make it a little brighter.
Mix the dough just until the color is incorporated and then place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap dusted lightly with flour. Shape dough into a flattened rectangle and wrap up to chill. Repeat with remaining dough, using a few drops of super red icing color next and then royal blue.
When the dough is chilled and firmed up a bit, roll blue dough out on parchment paper so it is 1/4 inch thick and the shape is about 4 X 10 inches. Slide parchment with blue dough to the side and roll the white layer on a new piece of parchment paper roughly the same size. Place on top of the blue layer of dough and remove parchment. Repeat with the red dough.
Also, the 4-inch width in the instructions above, is to accommodate these cookie cutters that I was using. You basically need the dough to be wider than the length your cutters. I’ll show you why in a minute.
Once the three layers of dough are rolled and layered on top of each other, you can gently and evenly roll it lengthwise to make the dough even longer … about 12 inches long.
Then divide the rectangle equally into four smaller rectangles.
Now stack those sections on top of each other. Here you can see why the height of the layered/stacked cookie dough needs to accommodate the width of the cutters you are using.
(Note: If you want to try these, I would recommend making another batch of the cookie dough recipe. I had just enough to spell “4th of July” with a few extra striped letters. There was however, plenty of leftover dough. I just couldn’t reuse it for the striped cookies because I would have had to reroll the extra dough.)
Once the dough is stacked, place it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.
Prepare some cut pieces of parchment paper to individually lay each slice of dough on.
Remove dough from freezer and use a bench scraper to slice through the stack. You may need to slice a couple and then refreeze it so it’s firm each time. Transfer the sliced dough to a piece of cut parchment and roll dough again slightly to press together. Repeat and then place the slices on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put in the fridge or freezer to firm up before cutting the letters out.
Here you can see how the cutters all can fit within the sliced/layered cookie dough.
When the dough is firm, use a letter cutter to cut out the dough. And use your fingers to press the dough down inside the cutter as you lift it out. Do this slowly and carefully so you don’t accidentally separate the strips of dough as you remove the cutter.
Once all the letters are cut out, place back in the freezer/fridge to firm up again before baking.
It worked! Yes! and YAY! Because I didn’t have a backup plan if they didn’t.
Once the cookies cool, you can leave them like they are or pipe and outline them with white royal icing to define the edges. I went with icing.
YAY! Again, I’m glad this worked out like I pictured it in my head. Things don’t always do.
Now, for all those scraps. Since I couldn’t use them for more letters, I just re-rolled the dough together.
It makes a cool pattern if you don’t over mix the dough and then you can just cut out some cute little stars and pipe those with royal icing if you like also.
This is the rolling pin I used. I love it because it makes even layers of rolled cookie dough.
I used this cookie and royal icing recipe. Make two cookie batches if you want more than a dozen letters. Also, you only need to make a half batch or really even a quarter batch of the royal icing since you aren’t using much.
If things aren’t working out, just make sure the dough is chilled and firm. It will help immensely.
And if some of the blue dough gets on the white dough when you slice it, you can gently scrape the thin layer of blue off of the white with a knife when the dough is chilled and firm.
Laying the sliced dough on smaller individual parchment sheets is super helpful and gives you more flexibility.
Don’t feel like you need to make letters. You could use the same technique and just make striped stars for instance.
Try these with other colors for a completely different theme.
These Cheesecake Cookie Bars dotted with white chocolate chips and sprinkled with raspberries are a perfect sweet treat to kick off summer. The recipe is from What’s Gaby Cooking’s brand new cookbook. I met Gaby a few years ago and she is just the cutest. And a force when it comes to food. She was in town a couple of weeks ago for her book signing so I stopped in to give her a hug and say hi. And of course, I had to bake something from her beautiful book, which was also photographed by my chocolate loving friend, Matt Armendariz. These besties are a dynamic duo so check them out.
The recipe calls for easy ingredients. Always a win. Eggs, butter, vanilla, sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. And let’s not forget the stars. Cream Cheese, white chocolate chips and fresh raspberries.
Once you mix up the cookie dough, stir in most of the white chocolate chips.
Spread a little more than half of the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking pan. Spread the cheesecake layer on top after that. Then crumble the remaining cookie dough on the very top.
Sprinkle more white chocolate chips and raspberries on the top and bake away!
Remove from the oven to cool and then chill in the fridge before cutting into bars.
OMGoodness! look at those beauties. And so so good, too!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking pan with parchment paper with a little hanging over the sides.
Make the cookie layer: In a stand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar for three minutes, until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix on low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Fold in 1 cup of the white chocolate chips.
Make the cheesecake layer: In a food processor, combine cream cheese, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla and mix for two minutes, scraping down the sides as needed until ingredients are evenly combined and mixture is smooth.
Assemble: Press slightly more than half of the cookie dough mixture into the bottom of the pan to make an even layer. Spread the cheesecake mixture on top of the cookie dough. Crumble the remaining cookie dough on top of the cheesecake mixture. Sprinkle remaining white chocolate chips and raspberries on top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cookie dough is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight. Cut into bars and serve.
Enjoy these refreshing cookies for Father’s Day! They’re jumbo sugar cookies decorated with royal icing and they’re a fun way to tell Dad he’s the best pop around.
First off make some cookie dough. I used this Sugar Cookie Recipe from Bake at 350. It’s a keeper and I use it whenever I make sugar cookies. The recipe makes 9 of these jumbo cookies. Ten if you rolled them a little thinner.
I used this awesome rolling pin to roll out the cookie dough. A new fave I recently bought from Food52. It rolls perfectly even, quarter-inch-thick cookies. I have always used a rolling pin and added those thick rubber bands on the ends to help keep my cookie thicknesses the same, but this one is much more convenient and I love it so far.
Now, I’ll admit that these cookies are not the quickest to make because of the multiple colors and drying time needed, but I couldn’t resist trying to make them after this soda pop pun popped in my head. If you’re a cookie decorating pro, they’ll probably be a breeze for you, though. I’m not, so I made a template for my idea to make the decorating easier.
Cut out the soda can from the paper template with scissors.
Roll out cookie dough and use a straight edge to cut the dough into rectangular shapes based on the size of the template.
Then cut out the corners of the can from the paper template and use a knife to cut the same corners off from the dough.
I always roll my dough on lightly floured parchment paper so I can easily transfer the cookie cut outs to a baking sheet when they are ready to go in the oven.
Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes and let cool completely.
Now for the next step. I used the same template and cut it into sections to use as a piping guide. Just trace each section on the cookie with a black edible ink pen. This was super helpful for me because there is no way I could have gotten them all to look similar without it.
I left some of the icing white, tinted some gray and then tinted three shades of green to get started. If you’re careful and good at cookie icing planning, you can get all the colors you need out of one batch of icing.
These cookies really need to be made over two days, so you can also just make a second batch for the remaining colors when you’re ready …especially if you’re like me and not good at judging how much of each color you’ll need.
Here’s my piping order. (And I basically just played around with icing consistencies to avoid having to pipe the outlines and then come back and fill in with flood icing. To thin icing, you can add a little water and to thicken it, you can add a little powdered sugar.)
Okay, first I piped the lid and bottom of the can using tinted gray royal icing.
Then, with all my green shades ready to go, I started with the lightest color green in the middle of the can and then filled in the medium green on either side of the light green while the icing was still wet to give it a seamless look. And I repeated the same thing with the darkest shade of green. (Note: As I completed each section, I added a few dots with alternating shades before moving on to the next shade of green.)
Toothpicks are super handy. I used them to even out the icing where there were empty spaces and also to help create pointed ends. Just gently pull it through the icing as shown in the last picture above.
Now let dry. Dry. Dry. Dry. I would recommend drying overnight.
Now, we’re on to day two.
I used white icing and tinted blue, yellow icing and more gray icing to finish the cans.
For the words, I used the same template and cut out the word soda as one piece and the word pop with the circle badge as a second piece.
Then I could easily place each word in position and trace right on top of the cookie with an edible ink-writing pen. I used Sweet Sugarbelle’s pens here because they have a really thin tip.
You’re best … I tried to do mine to pipe these words around the other letters.
Oh and I used tipless decorating bags to pipe everything by the way. They’re pretty handy. But me and lettering… not so much. I’m definitely not great at this. But when I would mess up, I would just wipe the icing off and start over until I got something that was readable. Let the words dry some and then you’re on to the the big letters…
I made the blue icing with a thicker consistency so it would not spread, but would also not need to be outlined. Because that would have been a disaster.
Pipe inside the lines and then tint some icing yellow and pipe inside the circle. Outline the lid with more gray royal icing and let everything dry.
When dry, I added a little highlight detail to the big letters by lightening the remaining blue royal icing with white icing color and using a small paintbrush to gently paint highlights on the letters.
For the final touch I used an orange edible ink-writing pen to write inside the circles because after piping the white letters I knew I wouldn’t be able to make them look straight enough. The pens are much easier to control and you could even use them for the other small words if you want. Here’s the color assortment for reference.
You’re so da best Pop!!! Enjoy and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
It’s a gonna be a bright, bright sun-shiny day for anyone that receives these super cute cake pops. They are just so cheery!!!
Now, I’m pretty sure these are my first sunny cake pops. You’d think I would have tackled them by now out of all the designs I’ve created over the years…… but really, there’s still a ton of designs I want to make.
And today it’s these sweet-faced little suns. The design was inspired by these cute weather illustrations I saw on Etsy. I think it was their happy little faces that got me.
Okay, let me shine a light on how I made the rays. I knew I needed to make a ring of light to match the illustration. I just needed to figure out how best to make it work.
Then I made a template based on the cutter. (Here it is if you want to give these a go.)
First tape a piece of wax paper to the top of your template.
Then fill a squeeze bottle with melted and smooth yellow candy coating and carefully pipe a ring inside the lines. Use a toothpick to pull and coerce the coating into the pointed tips. You are basically coloring within the lines using melted candy coating.
Let the rings dry and then use the same cutter to very gently remove any excess coating that overflowed into the center. You want a round shape to fit over your round cake pops.
Gently twist the sharp edge of the cutter in position and it will cut through the candy.
I made the rays first to use as a guide for my cake pop size. You want the balls to be just slightly smaller in diameter than the opening of the rays so that when you dip them in coating and place the rays on top, the coating attaches to the sides and acts like a glue.
I thought about adding the rays to already dipped and dried cake pops, but they would have had to be attached after the fact and the opening could have had gaps or just seemed stuck on instead of one seamless sun.
Dip the end of a lollipop stick into melted coating and then into a chilled cake ball. (see my basic instructions for tips)
Dip into melted and fluid candy coating that is a shade darker than your rays. You can use orange or just add a little bit of red candy coating to the yellow you are already using.
Let any excess coating fall off and back into the bowl and while the coating is still wet, quickly place a ring of rays over the pop so that the sides of the cake ball touch the inside opening of the rays.
Let dry completely.
Faces next. Use a black edible ink writing pen to draw little smiles and eyes like above.
Dot the eyes with melted white candy coating using a toothpick. (It really finishes the look and adds personality) Then attach two pink confetti sprinkles in place using melted candy coating as glue.
Luscious! That’s what this cake is. I made this little gem for my mom this past weekend to surprise her for Mother’s Day. I say surprise because over the last year or more she will periodically send me the link to this cake on Pinterest and ask me to make it for her. Needless to say I haven’t until now.
I mean …
She likes vanilla. I Iike chocolate.
She likes fruit. I like chocolate.
She likes pastries. I like chocolate.
She likes nuts. I like chocolate.
For us to be so much alike, this makes me wonder. But Mother’s Day seemed like the perfect occasion to make something springy and sweet for her.
P.S. When I gave it to her she said, I hope it’s not chocolate.
She was very excited to find out it wasn’t.
This cake is bursting with loads of lemon and blueberry flavor.
When mixing blueberries in the batter, it helps to coat them first in flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom when baking.
Divide the batter among 3 pans and bake away. I used 8 X 2 inch pans.
When the cake cools, frost it with cream cheese buttercream. SO so so good.
Decorate the top a bit more and sprinkle it with love.
When it’s time to cut into the cake, prepare yourself for this glory that awaits inside.
Now, even though I almost always lean towards chocolate, I can appreciate something absolutely delicious and this hits the mark. Mom approves, too!
Keep it in the fridge and when you bite into a berry, you’ll get a thrill from the cold juice that bursts in your mouth.
Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream butter, Nutella and both sugars until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla to butter mixture and mix until incorporated.
Slowly add flour mixture, mixing each until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again just until incorporated.
Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate morsels, reserving the rest and place dough in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
Spoon leftover Nutella into a large resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner of one end. Pipe thick lines of Nutella on a wax paper covered baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes while the cookie dough chills. When very firm, slice into 1-inch sections.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
When dough is chilled, scoop dough using a 1-1/2 inch scoop and place a chilled piece of Nutella in the center. Spoon more dough and place on top. Shape into a ball and seal edges. Place on baking sheet 2-3 inches apart.
When done, press remaining morsels on the tops and sides of cookie dough balls and bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes.
Rawr! These little guys are so cute. I wish I had a safari party to bring them to. But alas… They’ll just have to hang out in my kitchen. Or maybe the den (wink wink) until I devour their furry faces.
So grab some cupcakes and frosting and let the decorating begin.
Frost cupcakes with buttercream tinted light brown. I used a couple of drops of brown and yellow gel icing color for the lion’s fur.
Gently tap the frosted cupcake on all sides in a small dish filled with powdered sugar.
Then shape the frosting into a nice little dome using the palm of your hand if needed. The thin coating of powdered sugar will keep frosting from sticking to your hands.
Finally, gently roll the frosted cupcake on a paper towel. This will remove most of the sugar and create a tiny textured pattern at the same time.
Looks kind of like short fur. : ) That was the intention anyway.
And, don’t worry about any last remaining flecks of sugar. They will eventually disappear from the moisture in the frosting.
Okay, now let’s put their faces on! It’s easy.
Eyes = Black sugar pearls
Noses = Chocolate morsels
Mouth = White M&M’s or chocolate gems
Tongues = Pink confetti sprinkles
Start with the noses and then add the other details. You just need to gently press each piece into the frosting. I decorated each face as I went to make sure the frosting was still sticky enough to allow the pieces to stay in place.
Sidenote: You can totally decorate these lions by just frosting the faces and skipping the whole powdered sugar and pattern method. I just like to start with smooth frosting when making animal faces. Like I did with these chicks using sanding sugar instead of powdered sugar. Sugar crystals work too. And cocoa powder on chocolate frosting also does the trick.
Ferociously cute faces!
Now for the “mane” attraction. Tint buttercream a darker brown and use a #233 grass decorating tip to pipe around the perimeter of the cupcake.
Pipe around at least twice and fill in where necessary for a full head of hair.
I love them just like this, but …
You can also make them feel like a king. I used one of my Bakerella for Make’n Mold candy molds (discontinued now) but google crown candy molds and you can find something similar. Then just fill the candy mold with melted candy coating. Let dry and use gold luster dust mixed with clear vanilla extract to paint right on top of the candy.
Here’s a last minute easy Easter treat. All you really need to pull it together are some candy wafers in spring colors (or even just chocolate and vanilla). And don’t forget some fun Easter candy. Eggs, pastel candy corn, miniature chocolate bunnies, peeps, M&M’s. Customize the colors and candies and get creative.
I decided to use a couple of my candy molds to make bunny ears and little letters. Fill the mold cavities with melted candy coating, place in the freezer to set and then gently pop them out until ready to decorate. The cool part about using molds and candy is that you can totally make the decorative pieces in advance to use them when you need them.
My molds are sold out, but you can find other letter molds online, and if you want cute bunny ears, you can substitute jordan almonds, pastel candy corn, or even pipe your own ears shapes on wax paper using melted candy coating.
Okay, so I spelled out the obvious… but duh… now I wish I had spelled out something like Hoppy Easter…… next time.
Assembling your bark:
Have all your add-ons or decorative pieces organized and ready to go.
Melt your candy coating until it’s nice and fluid.
Spread out into a 9 X 12-inch sheet pan covered with wax paper and work FAST so you can add all your goodies before the coating sets.
I started with letters first. Then bunny ears and candy eyes. Next, candy Easter eggs making sure to evenly space out all the pastel colors.
Then add sprinkles in lots of pretty colors and let the bark set. You can also place in the freezer to speed up the process.
For the final touch, use a dot of melted candy coating to attach small pink heart sprinkles in positions for noses. I decided to do this after the bark had set because they were so small and took the most precision.
Bunnies! When dry, use a knife to make cuts on the bark, scoring it to make it easier to break apart. Then lift the bark from the pan by the wax paper and break into pretty pastel pieces.
Check out these super cute chick cupcakes all dressed up for Easter wearing adorable eggshell caps. Cute on cute.
And they’re easy to decorate, too! You just need some cupcakes to get going.
I used this recipe for cupcakes because the tops mound nicely. BUT instead of baking them as mini cupcakes, I used the batter for 16 regular size cupcakes and baked them for about 16-18 minutes. And, here’s the basic buttercream recipe I used, too.
Of course, feel free to use your favorite flavor combo.
For the chicks, I tinted buttercream frosting a pretty yellow and then dipped the tops in a bowl of light yellow sanding sugar to smooth out the frosting. I like this technique because I have a hard time frosting my cupcakes without them looking all lumpy and once. Then, once they are coated with sanding sugar you can gently mold them into shape with your fingers if something is still off slightly.
After you top each cupcake with sanding sugar go ahead and add details for the faces. They will attach easier if you decorate the tops as you go and before the frosting sets or starts to stiffen.
Okay, details. Here we go. Black candy beads for eyes, black jimmies for eyelashes, orange coated sunflower seeds for beaks and jumbo pastel pink confetti sprinkles for sweet little cheeks.
For size reference, candy beads are bigger than a sugar pearl but smaller than a sixlet. : )
Gently press each piece in position until you feel safe they won’t fall off.
Here they are super simple with just eyes and a beak and you could totally stop here. (I do think that if you only wanted them decorated to this stage that they might be even cuter as mini cupcakes.)
Now with lashes and blushing cheeks.
Okay, now they’re really dressed for the occasion with their eggshell buttercream bonnets.
To continue decorating, chill the cupcakes in the fridge until the frosting is firm. Then use a toothpick to draw the cracked egg shape in the frosted cupcake.
Pipe the outline and fill in the shape of the eggshell with vanilla buttercream. This will be the toughest part, but it’s not too bad. Since the cupcakes will be chilled at this point, you can more easily frost over the yellow without disturbing it. Use an offset spatula dipped in a little warm water and gently pull the spatula across the piped vanilla frosting to smooth it out. Don’t press too hard or it will separate from the chilled yellow frosting that is underneath. Do one cupcake at a time so you can work with the frosting before it stiffens any.
Once you have smoothed out the eggshell, place a sugar flower decoration to one side and decorate the shell by pressing pastel confetti sprinkles on top.