Sunday, February 19, 2017

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

"Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? 
In the lane, snow is glistening. 
A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight, 
Walking in a winter wonderland."
Just kidding, I'm not still singing Christmas songs. I promise. October through January was full of enough Christmas music to last the year, even more me. For the past 3 years, Nhan and I have hosted our residency program's annual Unofficial Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Cramming 30-40 residents into our house for a potluck, fun holiday drinks, white elephant, christmas karaoke and the whole shebang leaves us swearing off hosting ever again, yet somehow when Christmas rolls around the following year, we never learn our lesson. And what is a party at the Vuongs' without a dessert spread? Last year, we did a Smore's Bar, but this year we decided to do a little less fire, a little more snow--Winter Wonderland to be more specific. 

Vicky and I did the set up and made the cupcakes and cake pops. The desserts in the front were items brought for the potluck. 

Penguin Cake Pop Tutorial

Yield: 36 cake pops
Cook time: 30 minutes
Decorating time: 3 hours

What you will need:
1 box cake mix and ingredients listed on box to make 1 cake
1/2 can frosting
1 bag white candy melts
1 bag black candy melts
1 package sour belts
Assorted sprinkles for feet, nose, and earmuffs
5 toothpicks
Black food coloring/ food marker
Foam/cardboard to hold cake pop sticks
36 cake pop sticks


  1. Bake cake according to instructions on box and let cool
  2. Once cooled, using a fork, crumble entire cake into a bowl
  3. Mix in 1/2 can frosting until throughly combined. At this point you should be able to press and roll a cake ball. If your cake ball is not sticking and is too crumbly, add a little more frosting until you get the desired consistency. 
  4. Shape the cake dough into round, slightly oval shaped balls to create penguins
  5. Melt white candy melts according to melting instructions on bag (I usually microwave on 1/2 power for 20-30 second intervals stirring in between until desired consistency is reached. )If you overheat the melts, they will harden and crumble (you can add a teaspoon of vegetable oil or shortening to it to return it to its original consistency). 
  6. Next dip a cake pop stick into melted candy and insert stick into the bottom of the penguin body. Allow candy to dry to secure cake to stick before proceeding (about 5 minutes).
  7. Dip entire cake pop into white melted candy tapping stick lightly after each dip to remove excess candy. Allow 5-10 minutes for candy to dry prior to proceeding to next step. 
  8. Next melt your black candy color. Using a toothpick dipped in candy coating, draw a V at the top of the penguin body to make the "hairline." Then dip each penguin body in the black candy melt at a diagonal on each side to make the penguin wings. You can use the toothpick to fill in the rest of the V. 
  9. Trim sour belts to make a scarf and headband. Use candy melt as glue to adhere the candy onto the penguin. Do the same for the sprinkles. 
  10. Using a toothpick and the black food coloring, draw on eyes. 


  1. That is a wonderful idea. I'm busy with uk so I won't get the time to make these cupcakes, but I'll ask my wife to try it out.

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