Sunflower Candy Cake Pops
Joanne MacLennan, a talented cake pop designer from Nova Scotia and guest blogger at our sister site, MyCandyCrafts.com, agreed to create a special fall-themed DIY cake pop for the Candy.com blog.

We were thrilled because her work is beautiful (see all of Joanne’s work at her blog, Merry Poppins.) Make one of Joanne’s creations and you will be an instant pop star at your next party!

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Sunflowers represent fall in my mind.  The tall stocks and bright yellow petals are stunning.  Ever spend hours as a kid picking out the seeds in the middle?  Bring the sunflower field to your table with these sunflower cake pops that are sure to bring a smile to your guests!

Here’s what you’ll need:

• One Cake mix
• Homemade or store-bought frosting
• Candy melts
• Lollipop sticks
• Nonpareils, sugar pearls, and edible glitter
Egg Nog Candy Corn (with the tips broken off)
• Wax paper
• Flat plate or cookie sheet
• Microwaveable bowls for melting the candy melts
• Spoons
• Small plastic bag with the corner cut out to use as a tip for details, OR a    decorating set with various tips
• Styrofoam block to stand sticks while waiting for cake pops to set
• Bowls to catch falling sprinkles

 

Here’s the how-to:

Before you start dipping your cake pops, break off the first little end of the candy corn.

Egg Nog Candy Corn

For the complete directions on how to make a cake pop up to the dipping stage, please refer to my last post on MyCandyCrafts.com , and complete up to the end of step 8.

Cake Pops Balls

Cake Pops with sticks

Dipping cake pops in chocolate

Once the cake pop is completely covered with melted chocolate, tap off the extra, and tip the cake pop to the side.   Place the first candy corn about ¾ of the way from the bottom of the cake pop, and hold it in place until it stays.  DO NOT let yourself be in a hurry with these guys.

Insert candy corn into cake pop

Place the next candy right beside the first; hold it there a moment, and then repeat until you have gone all the way around.  The candy corn are heavy, so GO SLOW.  They want to slide right off the pop and land your lap.  I promise.

Your chocolate on the cake pop will set before you complete the circle.  Just dip the broken end into the melts and place it on the pop, again holding it for a moment.

Continue inserting candy corn into cake pop

Once you complete the circle of candy corn, place your cake pop in your stand to set and start another one.  Once I finish all the flowers with the candy corn I go back and do all of the flower centers.

Sunflower Candy Cake Pop

For the centers I made several designs.  First, slightly warm the melts in the microwave.  I used a small plastic bag and dropped a few tablespoons of chocolate into the corner.  By snipping just a little bit off the corner of the bag, I have now created a tip that will control the amount of melt that comes out.   I love this part!

On the top of the flower I made rings of chocolate around the inside edge, and then sprinkled them with black non-pareils.  If you are going to make a center with more than one candy, do one section at a time so that the candies do not spread onto a section where you do not want them to be.  Any mistakes you think you made with the chocolate will magically disappear once you sprinkle on the edible glitter or other candies.

Sunflower Cake Pops

Then I warmed my melts again, dropping some into my small bag, and did some swirls and zig zags on the bottoms of the cake pops.  You can practice on wax paper first if you have an idea in mind.

Then when you are done practicing, the melts will set and anyone hanging around can eat your work, or you can re-melt your chocolate and use it again.

Chocolate Swirls for decoration
Voilà!  You have sunflower cake pops!  If you have any questions feel free to contact me, and good luck.  These are eye catching, and people are going to love them!

Sunflower Candy Corn Cake Pops

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Hello, cupcakers and fellow candy lovers. We have a special treat today! Alan Richardson and Karen Tack, the folks who write the Hello, Cupcake! books are guest blogging about their latest DIY Halloween cupcakes.

Candy.com met Alan and Karen at the 2012 Sweets & Snacks show in Chicago, and saw first-hand how they cleverly use candy and snacks to create cupcakes with serious “Wow!” power. The duo recently created a “cupcaking” app that makes cupcaking with candy even more fun and easy …

Hello Cupcake Appp

Fresh from the Hello Cupcake! app are Jack-O-Lantern cupcakes. Here’s the how-to  from Alan and Karen …

We used Tootsie Rolls and Laffy Taffy for the glowing yellow eyes, and a Honey Twist Pretzel for the stem. But the beauty of being a Candy Detective is that you could just as easily use any chocolate or yellow taffy for the eyes, and a bread stick, a Kit Kat, or another brown candy or snack for the stem.

To get started, here’s what you’ll need to make one pumpkin patch with six jumbo cupcakes …

- 6 jumbo cupcakes baked in orange liners
- 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
- ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
- Yellow and red food coloring
- 16 chocolate chews (Tootsie Rolls)
- 16 yellow fruit chews (Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Starburst, Laffy Taffy)
- 3 wheat twist pretzels (Rold Gold)

Tint the vanilla frosting deep orange with the cocoa powder, and yellow and red food coloring.

Pumpkin Cupcakes Icing

Pumpkin Cupcakes icing completely blended

Divide the frosting and spoon it into two resealable freezer-grade storage bags. Press out the excess air, and seal.

Dividing and sealing icing

Squeegee the frosting to the corner.

Squeegee the frosting to bottom of bag

Snip a ¼-inch corner from the bags.

Snip off 1/4-inch corner from plastic bag

Soften several chocolate chews at a time (you can put them in the microwave for 2 to 3 seconds if needed). Flatten the chews slightly. Press several chews together and roll out on a piece of wax paper to a ⅛-inch thickness.

Tootsie Rolls

Tootsie Rolls ready for the rolling pin

Tootsie Rolls getting rolled out
Next, you’ll need to download a printable version of the Jack O’Lantern template.

Using the outer line of the templates, cut out chocolate shapes using a small paring knife or scissors. Reheat and re-roll the scraps as necessary to make all of the shapes.

Pumpkin template

Pumpkin Stencils

Pumpkin template - cutting

Trim templates down to the inner line and repeat with the yellow fruit chews.

Yellow Laffy Taffy

Rolling out Laffy Taffy

Pumpkin Stencils

Pumpkin stencil on Laffy Taffy

Laffy Taffy cut-outs

Place the yellow pieces on top of the chocolate pieces to make the eyes, mouths, and noses; set aside on wax paper.

Yellow Laffy Taffy with cut-outs placed

Make enough face parts for all of your cupcakes, you can even create your own.

Pumpkin faces

Starting at the top of a cupcake, pipe a thick line of frosting down the center.

Insert thick line of frosting

To make the pumpkin’s ribs, pipe vertical lines on either side of the center line, tapering them slightly at the top and bottom. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

Creating lines of frosting for a ribbing effect

Pumpkin cupcake frosting finished

For the stems, break the wheat twist pretzels in half crosswise. Insert the broken ends into the top of the cupcakes.

Insert pumpkin stem

Arrange the face parts on top of the cupcakes.

Comleted pumpkin cupcake

Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and faces.

Pumpkin cupcakes with bright yellow Laffy Taffy faces

Have a Bootiful Halloween!

Alan and KarenCupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, oh my! book

p.s. - For more candy decorating ideas, please check out our books and newsletter at www.hellocupcakebook.com.

Recipe and images copyright 2012 Hello, Cupcake! App.

 

 

 

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October 31 is looming large. Most trick-or-treaters have picked out their costumes. Pillow cases and plastic pumpkin buckets are out of the closet. And, candy is top of mind!

Here is a roundup of 5 of our most unique Halloween candies for this frightfully fang-tastic event:

1. World’s Largest Gummy Skull
Weighing in at 5 pounds, the World’s Largest Gummy Skull is grossly entertaining. The packaging includes a slot underneath where you can place your own small flashlight to make it glow. You can gift this cranium to friends and family, light it up … and eat it! Also noteworthy: it’s gluten-free.

 

World's Largest Gummy Skull

2. Cauldron of Chocolate Gift Basket

Another great gift idea … especially for those who won’t be trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Filled with mini Snickers, Milky Way, Hershey’s, Reese’s Cups, and more, this reusable 9 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ x 5″ black cauldron is great for handing out treats next year.

Cauldron of Candy

3. Snickers Pumpkins
If you’re a trick-or-treater and you get a Snickers shaped like a pumpkin, it’s highly doubtful you’ll trade it out at the end of the night  … unless you have peanut allergies.

Snickers Pumpkins

4. Halloween Peeps
Halloween Peeps made our list of Halloween-must have because you can do so much with then. Pop them on top of cakes and cupcakes, insert them into treat bags, place them on a straw to create Peeps pops, string them to make Halloween garland, and, of course, eat them.

Peeps chicks, pumpkins, cats, and ghosts for Halloween

5. Fall Pumpkin Gummies
These bulk pumpkin-shaped gummy candies are ideal for Halloween parties because they add lots of seasonal color:  bright orange (orange flavor), yellow (lemon flavor), light orange (black cherry flavor). They’re also perfect for classroom parties and treat bags. 

Fall pumpkin gummies

Hurry! Halloween 2012 shipping deadlines are approaching at Candy.com.

 Ship Type                    Order By
Ground                           Wed., Oct. 24, 11:59 p.m. PT
2nd Day Air                    Sun., Oct. 28, 11:59 p.m. PT
Next-Day Air                  Mon., Oct. 29, 11:59 p.m. PT
Halloween                      Wed., Oct. 31

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Oct. 2 – We have a contest winner! On our Facebook page, Laura Davis Walden guessed correctly with 139 pieces. Congrats Laura and thanks to everyone who participated!

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It’s October 1, which means it’s the perfect time to hold a Halloween candy-counting contest. The intent is to get you ready for the real trick-or-treating and candy bartering on Oct. 31.

So, take a guess at how many Mini Reese’s Cups, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Nuggets, M&M’s Peanut Butter pieces, and fun-sized Snickers are stuffed inside this 6-inch high x 8.5-inch diameter glass bowl. The first person to answer correctly wins a $25 Candy.com Gift Certificate. (One guess per person, please.) Winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon, Tues., Oct. 2.

Guess how many pieces of candy are in this bowl!

Good luck candy counting and enter your guess after this post or on Facebook or Twitter.

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