Groundhog Day Cupcakes

groundhog day cupcake

Tomorrow, February 2nd, is Groundhog Day, a rather silly U.S. holiday, where we wait for a Groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil) to emerge from his burrow and let us know when Spring will arrive.

According to folklore, if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will last for six more weeks.  If he does not, Spring will come early.

Punxsutawney Phil is the “official” Groundhog Day meteorologist.  He lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, which is only about an hour and a half from Mars.  The largest Groundhog Day celebration in the U.S. is held here with an early morning festival and national news coverage.

When my son, Nick, told me he was going to dinner on Sunday at his girlfriend, Liz’s house for a Groundhog Day party, I immediately asked, “Can I make a dessert for you to take?”  (Any excuse to bake works for me!)

Seems Groundhog Day is Liz’s dad’s favorite holiday.  The family celebrates with a dinner party and an annual viewing of the comedy movie, Groundhog Day.

So I searched for some inspiration on Pinterest and came up with these little cupcakes from things I had in the pantry.

If you are looking for a fun treat to make for Groundhog Day, here is how I made them.

Groundhog Day Cupcakes

Ingredients:groundhog day cupcake

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 can White Cake Frosting
  • 1 can Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 bag (12) Lindt’s Lindor Sea Salt & Milk Chocolate Truffles
  • 36 small candy eyes (24 for eyes and 12 to cut edges off for tooth)
  • 24 chocolate chips
  • Chocolate jimmies/sprinkles
  • 1 tube black decorative frosting
  • Green food coloring


Bake cupcakes according to box instructions.  Cool completely.

Frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting from center to about 2/3 coverage.

Tint white frosting with green food coloring and pipe around top circle of cupcake.  Sprinkle chocolate jimmies on edge of chocolate frosting to appear like “loosened dirt.”

Pipe dabs of chocolate frosting onto truffle where eyes and ears and tooth and chubby cheeks and hair of groundhog head will go (I put some in a Ziploc sandwich bag and cut off small tip of corner) Add eyes, chocolate chips for ears, eye with edges cut off for tooth, and jimmies to top of head.  Finish with black frosting dab for nose.  Place in center of cupcake to appear like the groundhog is emerging from it’s hole in the ground.

Here’s to hoping Phil sees his shadow!

Cheers & Hugs,




A Carnival Baby Shower for Jackie & Matt


Oh what fun we had planning, preparing, and celebrating the soon-to-arrive Baby Ben with our McHendy daughter and son-in-law, Jackie & Matt.

I was designated the “official” photographer, so get ready for lots of photos.  I was so busy worrying about capturing it and so busy just enjoying it, that it is just now hitting me, after I shared the photos with Jackie (and she posted on her Facebook page), how close I am to being an “almost” grandma!

When Jackie shared the photos, she wrote:

Matt and I have always hoped we could welcome our baby boy into a community of people who will love, encourage, and support him. On Saturday, we were shown a million times over that we without a doubt have that for our baby boy, Ben. Thank you to everyone who braved the snowstorm and made it out to the shower. We are so blessed for all of you (and for all the people who couldn’t make it)! A special thanks to my mom,Jill Henderson, my mother-in-law, Carol Kallis, my future sister-in-law, Becca Cura, and my second mom, Jodi McKinney for throwing us one creative, awesome shower!!

So for the past half hour ( I am drafting this Sunday evening), I’ve been bawling happy tears and cherishing these very special moments.

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as we had in creating and being a part of them.

(If you click on the first – or any one of the pics – you can scroll through the photos in full size.)

Cheers & Hugs,


Jack & Coke Chocolate Cupcakes

jack daniels and coke cupcakes 1

Jack & Coke Cupcake

Imagine…  moist chocolate cupcakes flavored with Coca-Cola… then filled with fudgy Jack Daniels whiskey flavored ganache… top that with sweet Jack Daniel’s flavored buttercream frosting… and add a gummy cola candy for good measure…
jack daniels and coke cupcakes 2

Jack & Coke Cupcakes

Yep – this is what I made last night for a special buddy we’ll be seeing today.
jack daniels and coke cupcakes 3

Jack & Coke Cupcakes

These Jack & Coke cupcakes are from a recipe I found a while back on and modified a bit to my liking.

Jack & Coke Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 12 oz can Coke (Not Diet Coke – you need the sugar in the original)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
Ganache Filling:
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 8 Tbsp Jack Daniels whiskey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 18 gummy cola bottles (only if you want them to be extra cute)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line 18 cupcake cups with paper or aluminum liners.

Combine Coke and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar and whisk until sugars are dissolved and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add cooled cocoa mixture.  Stir to combine. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into cupcake liners to 3/4 cup full.  Bake 15 mins. until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare ganache by melting chocolate chips, cream, butter and Jack Daniels in a small saucepan on low-medium heat.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat, and let cool completely (you can even stick in the freezer to quick cool it).
Cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes with an apple corer, and pipe ganache into the holes in each cupcake.

Prepare frosting in electric mixer by combining butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and Jack Daniels.  Pipe onto cupcakes as simple or fancy as you like and top with a gummy cola bottle to make it extra cute.

Enjoy!  And remember don’t eat Jack & Coke Cupcakes and drive!  🙂

Cheers & Hugs,


Thanks Leslie @ for a great idea and recipe!

Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

thin mint cupcakes

Imagine fresh baked chocolate cupcakes topped with icing that is “spiked” with Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies (and then topped with one more to grow on!)

Yep – that’s what I baked yesterday…  in between a trip to the gym, putting out the patio furniture, a walk with Mikey, and caring for the toughest guy I’ve ever known (dear hubby) who is recovering from some shoulder repair surgery he had this past week like nobody I’ve ever seen!  (That’s my Marty!)

You may remember I recently made some Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Cookies (my youngest son, Nick’s favorite ever); so when I had the urge to bake some cupcakes and was considering what to make, I knew I had to try these when I came across this recipe by  Lizzy @ YourCupofCake.  Lizzy’s recipe called for using a boxed Devil’s Food Cake Mix, but I didn’t have that, so I made mine from scratch.

thin mint cupcake

I also baked mine a minute or two too long (darnit!).  I’m more of a cookie and pie baker than cake/cupcake, but I’m working on it.  And truthfully, I’m not sure you can beat a Duncan Hines Cake Mix, so don’t hesitate to use your favorite chocolate boxed cake mix or cake recipe for this.  The real KEY to this cupcake recipe is all in the icing!

thin mint cupcake and milk

So bake your favorite chocolate cupcakes, and then frost with this yumminess from YourCupofCake.

Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Servings: 14 cupcakes
  • Print
14 Chocolate Cupcakes – baked and cooledthin mint cupcake 2
Thin Mint Frosting:
1 cup softened butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 cup milk
10 Thin Mint cookies, finely crushed & sifted
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add cocoa powder, vanilla and peppermint extract and milk.  Beat again. Add crushed cookies and powdered sugar, and beat until smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.  Top with sprinkles and and an extra cookie if desired.
This is my second entry for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, because I just had to share something FRESHly baked!
Thanks to everyone who “liked” my photo yesterday, by the way!  In my 10 months of blogging so far, I received notice that yesterday’s post was my all-time favorite post for “Likes.”
I hope you like this one as well!  🙂
Cheers & Hugs,

Eat Something Cute

birthday bakery card

Marty (hubby) came home from work one day last week with a beautiful box of homemade cupcakes from a coworker’s wife.  He asked if I would make a “cupcake” thank you card, because these little gems were seriously worth a homemade thank you card!

I had this old StampinUp Birthday Bakery hostess stamp set that seemed just the ticket.  I love the sentiment, “If you are what you eat, eat something cute!”


And how amazing are these cupcakes?!?!!

cupcakes and birthday bakery card

I was inspired by a very similar card I CASE’d (technical stamping term for “copy and share everything”)  from Splitcoaststampers.

I kept it pretty simple because I felt the sweet bakery treats should be the showcase on this card.

Hey – it’s Sunday!  Eat something CUTE!

Cheers & Hugs,

New Birthday Balls

I have to admit.  I love a good theme.
Party that is.


Birthday, holiday, any ole’ special occasion.

You would think I’ve had my fix raising my two sons, celebrating birthdays, creating Halloween costumes, being homeroom mom every elementary school year.

But nooooo – my boys are in their twenties, hubby in his fifties, and I’m still “theme”ing it up when I can.  They always harass me about it, but “I’ll betcha a nickel,” (as Pap used to say) they would be disappointed if I didn’t….

So when Marty said all he’d like for his birthday this year is some new RED felt for a beautiful gently-used pool table Nick helped him find on Craig’s list for the “man cave,” I couldn’t resist going with it.

The kids came over one evening while Marty was at a meeting and did an amazing job re-felting the table from an ordinary green to an extraordinary burgundy red.  (and saving me $300+ labor to boot!)

pool table red felt

Going with the theme, the boys bought Marty some beautiful new balls (which we had fun with all evening) 🙂 and some other pool table accessories.

pool balls

Of course I made a pool ball cake…

pool balls cake 1

…which consisted of RED velvet cupcakes (they don’t make red felt cake mix) decorated as stripes and solids (even if not the exact colors and numbers to match as was pointed out to me – and THEY give ME a hard time about my themes!?!) with white Necco wafers I numbered with black icing.

And you don’t want to know how many rolls of those things I had to go through to get 15 whites – that were NOT broken!?! 🙂 I now have a pint jar full of all the other colors if anybody has any creative ideas for using these little disks of hard sugar that pretty much taste like nothing.  (C’mon Jill – I know you’ve got something in you!!)

And by the way – no need to purchase all the different colors of sugar.  Did you know you can simply add a couple drops of food coloring to a scoop of sugar in a jar, shake, and Voila! – colored sugar!

pool balls cake

And, of course,  I had to make a little card to go along with the theme too.

pool table cake

I got lucky and won ONE game of pool….

and ZERO games of “Smart Ass” – but we sure had a lot of fun.

Happy Birthday Merv!

Cheers & Hugs & Lots of Love,