You can have your cake and eat it guilt-free with these taste-tempting treats. The petite graham cracker “crust,” chopped fresh berries and cream cheese frosting offer all the goodness of cheesecake in manageable portions.—Jill Drury, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
It's fun to prepare individual brownie "cupcakes" with a chocolaty "surprise" inside. My goddaughter, Cara, asks me to make them for her birthday to share at school. This year, she requested 32. I later found out she only needed 27 for her class...wonder where the other five went!
-Pamela Lute, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
RED-NOSED CAKES are what Karen quickly cooked up for the youngsters at her child's school. "Our son needed reindeer treats for his class but forgot to tell me abut it until the day before," recalls Karen. "It's the sort of situation that every mother finds herself in at one time or another!" With no ready-made decorations on hand, Karen had to improvise. "We stuck animal crackers in the cupcakes for antlers and used other sweets for the eyes and noses," she tells. "All the students loved them." Her fast creations are helpful when you have lots of other preparations for a party. "And they're easy enough for children to help with, too," notes Karen.
It's a snap to spell out sweet sentiments on these quaint cupcakes when you bake a batch ahead of time using convenient cake mix. You don't even need a heart-shaped muffin tin to make them.
-Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin
I first made these cupcakes, adapted from an eggless cake recipe, for a school carnival. It's the only dessert my picky daughter requests. Light, moist and tender, the cupcakes don't need frosting, thanks to the sparkly cinnamon-sugar topping.
Spooky Spider Cupcakes are creepy—and easy! Make a chocolate cupcake into a spider by adding a half-marshmallow "body" under the frosting, licorice legs and mini M&M eyes. Add chocolate sprinkles for a "hairy" effect. —Darla Wester, Meriden, Iowa
These delightful little cupcakes have wonderful old-fashioned taste without all the fat and calories. And the creamy orange glaze will keep the kids coming back for more.—Kim Chester, Cartersville, Georgia