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Video: Sweet treats: Cook up colorful cake, cupcakes

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    >>> delicious desserts. seriously good treats. we have creator of seriouslydelicious.com. and carson daly 's better half --

    >> hi!

    >> this is what it's like if al roker came to our house for dinner.

    >> how scary that would be.

    >> welcome.

    >> does he help in the kitchen, making desserts?

    >> he. does well, he's more of the bartender/taste tester. but that's a very important role.

    >> especially when you have kids around.

    >> exactly.

    >> recently, threw a party for your 4-year-old son.

    >> jeff turned 4. his theme, power rangers .

    >> how hard was that?

    >> i decided to make five cakes because there are five power rangers . i did one for each color. but i took a lot of shortcuts along the way. that's what i wanted to show.

    >> look how awesome those look. i was like, buy a power rangers cake, and she's like, no, i want to make it, and it looks cool.

    >> i bought cake mix . that helped me, you know --

    >> this is the ombre cake?

    >> yes. different shades of one color. this is regular old white cake mix.

    >> okay.

    >> store bought.

    >> yep. store bought. we prepared it like it says on the box. we're going to put varying amounts of food coloring . this is food paste, but you can use this, too. put one drop in there, al.

    >> different colors here?

    >> it's the same color. yeah. red. use your muscle. that's our son's favorite color.

    >> okay.

    >> i'll put a couple drops in here.

    >> i'll use this one.

    >> yeah. you can put like 100 drops in there.

    >> okay. i'll make mine very red.

    >> all right.

    >> then we stir it up.

    >> stir it up.

    >> it's fun when sawyeriri's blogging in the kitchen, i know we'll get sdhaert day. if she didn't have a blog, i don't think we'd eat.

    >> mac and cheese.

    >> he panics every time.

    >> we mix this up?

    >> yeah. different shades. over here, they're already made.

    >> uh-huh.

    >> and you layer them, lightest to darkest, whichever you prefer. we'll put this on top.

    >> right.

    >> whatever frosting you want. i like to do store-bought cake mix and make my own frosting.

    >> what kind of frosting is this? a buttercream?

    >> yeah. vanilla.

    >> i'll try it --

    >> exactly.

    >> you know, give him that last segment -- hold on a second. then you shave.

    >> oh, my gosh.

    >> there you go. that's what happens --

    >> and use a sanitary spoon --

    >> like at home.

    >> yeah. the final result --

    >> it's great -- store-bought cake --

    >> and you blinged it out.

    >> you need shortcuts when you're a mother of two.

    >> cupcakes are so hot now.

    >> uh-huh.

    >> all right.

    >> if you don't have time to bake a cake, buy store-bought cupcakes. and have fun with these candy melts here. you can buy them at party stores or on line. they melt beautifully. and they come in all different colors. put them in these pastry bags.

    >> right. okay.

    >> and then we're going to -- no, no, no.

    >> no, no, no.

    >> here on, this parchment paper i put a stencil underneath. i'm a lousy artist. we'll trace them. they're easter eggs .

    >> oh.

    >> squeeze them out. i like it do the outline first. i think they haven't been snipped.

    >> oh.

    >> that's all right.

    >> oops.

    >> there we go.

    >> let me snip threw.

    >> thank you.

    >> all right. trace the whole thing?

    >> yeah.

    >> and what happens is -- we have --

    >> it ends up looking like this.

    >> here they are, the finished product.

    >> these are great.

    >> put one on a cupcake.

    >> and you can do them larger scale. the cakes, you saw the power ranger cakes --

    >> and you cook them? put --

    >> pudding cookies?

    >> again. shortcuts. i used pudding mix in the actually cookies.

    >> can you imagine me trying to keep my weight down with this --

    >> wow. that's a challenge. it's

TODAY recipes
updated 3/26/2013 7:08:01 PM ET 2013-03-26T23:08:01

Recipe: Ombre box mix cake

  • 1 box mix white cake
  • Food coloring or paste
  • Frosting of choice

1. Prepare cake batter as directed on box.

2. Divide into 3 bowls (or more for more layers).

3. Add food coloring in varying degrees into each bowl (i.e. 1 drop in first bowl, 3 drops in second bowl and 5 drops in third bowl). Stir well.

4. Bake cakes as directed on box (adjust time slightly to account for 3 layers vs. the 2 it states on box, roughly 5 minutes less — when inserted toothpick comes out clean, cake is done).

5. Once cakes are cooled, assemble layers with lightest on bottom and darkest on top, frosting cakes in between each layer. Frost top and sides.

Serving Size

Makes one three-layer cake.

Recipe: Candy melt cupcake toppers

  • Wilton candy melts
  • Parchment paper
  • Piping bag (or plastic sandwich bag)

1. On countertop, tape image you wish to trace underneath parchment paper.

2. Melt candy melts as directed on bag.

3. Place in piping bag (using the smallest circular tip) or plastic sandwich bag (clipping the very tip of one corner).

4. Trace the outline of image first, then fill in (it helps to use the back of a spoon for this). If using multiple colors, finish with one first and then repeat with another.

5. Let cool completely before peeling off parchment and placing on cupcakes.

Note: You can do this on a much larger scale for cakes.

Recipe: Chocolate chocolate chip pudding cookies

  • 1 4-ounce package instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, stir together pudding mix, flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. 

3. With an electric mixer, blend butter until whipped. Add brown sugar and blend until creamy. 

4. Add egg, egg white and vanilla and continue to blend (batter might look runny). 

5. Slowly add dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

6. Place by rounded spoonful on parchment-lined baking sheet. (I flatten mine with the bottom of a glass, otherwise they come out puffy.) 

7. Bake for 10 minutes.

Serving Size

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

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