Heather McKinley of Mechanic Falls, Maine shared this minty twist on typical cupcakes, then our Test Kitchen arranged them in a tree shape for a pretty presentation. The star on the top of the tree and cute packages tucked beneath are a snap to make with colorful candies.
I've been baking cakes for years and enjoy trying new combinations of flavors and textures. For this recipe, I blended peanut butter and chocolate. As soon as I took the first bite, I knew I had created something divine! —Ronda Schabes, Vicksburg, Michigan
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.
This is a wonderful recipe I discovered and changed a bit to suit my taste. I love the flavor of pumpkin and the cinnamon makes ordinary cream cheese frosting extra special. When I made a batch for my husband to take to work, he said they disappeared in record time.—Debbie Wiggins, Longmont, Colorado
You'll get a double dose of the spicy blend that's frequently used to flavor tea in these moist single-size cakes. Both the cupcake and frosting use the blend, which combines some of the best flavors of the season. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Our church Christmas party always includes these pretty cupcakes as my home-baked contribution. The holidays were the sweet inspiration for their cheery garnish of cherries. —Leanne Beagley, Rochester, New York