It’s bake sale/fundraising time at my daughters’ school. You know, the time of year when your kid need to take an extra buck to school to eat/smear a cupcake all over their face? Well, it probably is that time at your kid’s school too. Are you getting notes sent home asking for donations of various baked goods? We are. I have a few ideas to show you that are easy and fast. In fact, I am going to show you three recipes that are easy, easier and easiest. You don’t have to buy something that the good bakers at the grocery store made a few days ago! You can be the mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, etc. that makes all the others jealous! Because you can bring one of these little gems that I’m about to show you.
I’ll start with “easy”. “Easy” is my caramel apple cupcakes. I use a store bought mix that I’ve jazzed up with apple fruit spread. My frosting is homemade, but I promise it is easy too. I am a fan of cake mixes….not so hot on store bought frosting. The best part of these cupcakes is that they actually look like caramel apples, sticks and all.
The cupcakes are made from a spice cake mix, blended with buttermilk and apple butter. I use Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple spread, (because it’s mine), but I won’t be too offended if you use any apple butter you can find. The cupcakes turn out sweet with a slight cinnamon spice. The buttermilk gives a mild tang that cuts through the sweetness. These cupcakes taste like the Holiday season in a cupcake wrapper.
The frosting is a yummy cream cheese frosting blended with caramel sauce. I drizzled caramel over the tops too…..kids can’t get enough sugar, right?
For a bake sale, I would pop this in a clear plastic disposable cup, and then put that cup in a clear cellophane bag. Tie on some ribbon and these babies are easily worth a couple bucks.
For my “easier”, I have a crazy good recipe for Pumpkin Spice Crispy Rice Treats.
I used pumpkin spice marshmallows. Yes, that’s a real thing! You can find them at most grocery stores around this time of year. I also used cinnamon chips, which are also only available around the holidays……fall through Christmas. These treats are across between pumpkin pie and regular crispy rice treats. So, so good. And let’s be honest….crispy rice treats take about five minutes to make. You can’t even get to the store that quick! Easy, peasy.
Lastly….my “easiest”, if you are super short on time, but still really want to bring something homemade to the table, I have a fast recipe for what I call “Harvest Snack Mix”. This usually goes over pretty well at bake sales….there is always a couple of kids who don’t like baked goods.
I used caramel corn, cinnamon roasted pecans, chocolate covered pretzel candies and candy corn. You don’t even have to make your own caramel corn if you don’t want too, although I do have an awesome caramel corn recipe on my blog…..You can use a box of caramel corn!
This is just dumping and mixing, but you end up with a snack mix that is sweet, salty and crunchy. This was right up my kid’s alley, and not just because it has candy in it. Slap a label on a bag of this stuff and you are set! My recipe makes twelve one cup servings, or six two cup servings (if math isn’t your strong suit).
I think that after you read these recipes, you definitely won’t be hauling yourself to the grocery store at nine at night to buy a box of cupcakes. I think I see Caramel Apple Cupcakes in your future. I also see you sharing them with me……
Caramel Apple Cupcakes
1 boxed spice cake mix
½ cup oil
1 jar Gourmet Rooster Whiskey Apple Spread (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup caramel sundae topping
About 4 cups powdered sugar
Caramel for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place 24 cupcake liners in 2 muffin tins.
In a large bowl, blend together cake mix, oil, eggs, apple spread and buttermilk with a hand mixer. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Fill each cupcake liner with batter. Bake cupcakes for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until done. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, blend together, with a hand mixer, softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly blend in caramel. Finally, slowly blend in powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
Frost cooled cupcakes. Drizzle cupcakes with caramel and insert a popsicle stick.
Pumpkin Spice Crispy Rice Treats
4 Tablespoons butter
8 ounces Pumpkin Spice marshmallows
8 ounces mini marshmallows
1 cup cinnamon chips
5 cups crispy rice cereal
In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add Pumpkin Spice marshmallows. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until marshmallows are melted.
In a large bowl, mix together crispy rice cereal, mini marshmallows and cinnamon chips. Stir in melted butter and marshmallow mixture. Stir until coated.
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan, using damp hands to press into pan. Let sit for 3 hours before cutting.
Makes 18 treats
Harvest Snack Mix
8 cups caramel corn
1 cup caramel corn flavored candy corn
1 cup cinnamon roasted pecans
1 cup chocolate covered pretzel candies (M&M’s)
Gently mix all ingredients. Using a 1 cup measuring cup, scoop into individual bags.
Makes 12 one cup servings