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."
This recipe makes a lot, so I like sharing the bite-size treats at potlucks. To easily frost them, try putting the frosting in a pastry bag and piping it on top of the cupcakes. —Carol Beyerl, East Wenatchee, Washington
I dress up a boxed cake mix by stirring in sour cream, red food coloring and chocolate chips. A white chocolate and cream cheese frosting—sprinkled with crushed mints—is the crowning touch.—Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
A sweet frosting with a hint of lemon complements these little spice cakes, each with a maraschino cherry in the center. They're one of my dad's favorite desserts and a sure way of getting him to come over for a cup of coffee. —Laura McAllister, Morganton, North Carolina
WHENEVER these tasty treats pop up at birthday celebrations, so do smiles! The Christmasy confections are deliciously rich chocolate cupcakes from Helen's family-favorite recipe. To create pretty poinsettias, our kitchen staff covered the cakes with frosting, fruit snack flowers and yellow candies. Simply trace and cut out the pattern on the next page to produce the petals, and you'll be well on your way to "growing" goodies of your own!