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Fluff-Filled Flower Cups

 Fluff-Filled Flower Cups
Popping up for a special brunch, bridal shower or any kind of fun occasion is this sweet posy idea. There's a surprising secret behind the dessert cups. "You dip blown-up balloons in melted confectionery coating to create the flower shapes," Barbara says. "Then you let the coating dry and pop the balloons. The cups look complicated, but they're actually a breeze." What guest like best when Barbara
6 ServingsPrep: 1 hr + chilling

Ingredients

  • Seven 7-inch round balloons
  • 1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped
  • Yellow paste food coloring
  • CHERRY FLUFF:
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • Sliced almonds and fresh mint, optional

Directions

  • Wash, rinse and dry outside of balloons. Inflate one balloon to a
  • 6-in. diameter and tie end. Inflate remaining balloons to a 3-in.
  • diameter and tie ends. Wash, rinse and dry tied ends. Spray balloons
  • with cooking spray.
  • In the 2-qt. bowl, microwave candy coating until melted; stir until
  • smooth. Cool for 5 minutes; add food coloring. Holding tied end of
  • large balloon, dip it into the coating. Form four to six petals by
  • rolling the balloon back and fourth in coating halfway up the sides.
  • Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet to dry, about 2 hours.

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Fluff-Filled Flower Cups (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Repeat with smaller balloons, creating only four petals. Set aside to
  • dry, about 1 hour.
  • Just before serving, cut tied ends of balloons with scissors to
  • deflate. Remove balloon. See recipe (right) for serving directions.
  • Cherry Fluff Filling: In a small saucepan, soften gelatin in water.
  • Cook and stir over low heat until dissolved. In a food processor or
  • blender, puree 1 cup of pie filling. Set remaining filling aside. In
  • a bowl, combine pureed filling, gelatin mixture, sugar, lemon juice,
  • almond extract and salt. Cover and refrigerate until mixture reaches
  • the consistency of egg whites. Fold in the whipped cream. Cover and
  • refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  • To serve, place large flower cup on a serving platter; fill with
  • Cherry Fluff. Surround with small flower cups. Spoon fluff into
  • small cups; to with reserved pie filling. If desired, garnish each
  • with almonds for stamens and mint for leaves. Yield: 6 servings.
Editor's Note: White confectionery coating is found in the baking section of most grocery stores. It is sometimes labeled "almond bark" or "candy coating" and is often sold in bulk packages of 1 to 1-1/2 pounds. Crafterthoughts Barbara likes to make mousse to fill her flower cups. You can do the same, following your favorite recipe, or try out the Cherry Fluff our home economists came up with. Or add any kind of creamy treat you like best. Although these versions are crafted from white confectionery coating dyed yellow, you can also use dark or milk chocolate coating if you prefer. And feel free to make your flowers any size, simply by using larger or smaller balloons.