Cuphead Inspired Cake

It’s September 29th, and that means it’s CUPHEAD DAY! Cuphead is a highly anticipated game that is HAND. DRAWN. in the style of 1930’s cartoons. It’s weird, it’s a little creepy, and it’s supposed to be super hard. I can’t wait to try it out. (Check out the trailer below!)

I recently found out that one of the levels would be dessert-themed, and I thought it would be the perfect excuse to practice my cake skills. The cake incorporates elements found in the level, including the cake-castle, gum drops, jellybeans, pretzels, lollipops, and sprinkles, as well as the various things you have to fight, including a waffle, a cupcake, jawbreakers, and Baronness Von Bon Bon and her sugar cone hat. Take a look at the level and the cake toppings:

(I don’t know how I feel about those eyeball sprinkles. They’re always looking at me funny, no matter what angle I’m at!)

The cake itself is a combination of Funfetti and Strawberry cake mixes, which makes an incredibly sweet and almost Bubblegum-ish flavor. I then added pink gel coloring to a classic buttercream frosting recipe to make the pink frosting. The cake/frosting layers are reminiscent of the layers on the castle!

I love these types of cakes: You don’t need tons of skill to put it together, just a bunch of fun candies and sweet items. I’m still perfecting it all, but loved this opportunity to practice. What fandom should inspire my next cake design? And will you be grabbing a copy of Cuphead? (You can grab it today for Xbox One and Windows 10!)

Your Party Needs Galactic Lollipops

I have a confession. I’ve been eyeing these lollipops for forever. Have you had something like that? A small item that makes you want to drop everything and plan a party around it? They’re so pretty and nerdy and they’re CANDY. The best. Anyway. I was looking through one of my fave sites TheApolloBox.com recently, and saw that they had a few different options. They obliged my wishes to try some out and share some pics (and promo codes!) with you all.

I wanted to incorporate the lollipops into some napkin holders/place settings. I love the idea of adding a gift or a treat into the setting. It’s a great way to get the party started right, show off the theme, and thank your attendees for coming. So take a look below at two different options with the two lollipop types I tried from Apollo Box!

Starry Night Pops

galaxy-pops-box

First of all, the presentation of these lollipops is gorgeous. They came in a beautiful box, and each lollipop is individually packaged in its own box, perfect for gift giving. These are going to be go-to stocking stuffers for me this Christmas!

galaxy-napkins

I wanted to keep the lollipops in their cool boxes, so I put them in large silver napkin rings with alternating black and gray napkins. This adds a slight color variation, but lets the focus be on the colors of the lollipops. You can accent with blues, purples, or even a splash of red or yellow if you’d like. These would be beautiful centered on a plate at each place setting.

Solar System Pops

planet-pops-box

Although the initial packaging for the solar system pops isn’t as grand as the starry night version, the pops themselves are great. They’re slightly larger than the starry ones, and the images have a slight shimmer to them.

planet-napkins

Since the lollipops don’t come in their own boxes, you have a bit more freedom with the place setting design. I could even fit some silverware with these pops in these napkin holders! If you’re using the planets, I recommend using numbers and making each place setting a different planet. Your attendees will learn a little something (in this case, the distance of the planet from the sun) while at the party! If you decide to put placards at the settings, you can include a little fact about the specific planet at each.

These lollipops are also gorgeous bunched together like a bouquet or placed around the table. And they’re delicious to boot!

unwrapped-lollipops

(Solar System lollipop on the left, and Starry Night lollipop on the right)

You can find the Starry Night Lollipops and Solar System Lollipops, among other fun types, at The Apollo Box. And as a Geeky Hostess reader, you get 25% off AND free shipping off of these lollipops! Just use code “GEEKYHOSTESS” at checkout. (Valid until 9/30/16, so grab them fast!). The lollipops are normally $29.99 for a pack of 10. The discount will let you get them for $22.50.

Do you decorate with candy? How would you use these lollipops in your party decorating? Let me know in the comments!

Recipe: Edible Fireballs

Edible FireballsTruffles are one of my go-to treats for the holidays. They’re a delicious treat that would be considered a bit of a luxury when bought from a chocolate shop. Once you get the hang of the recipe, it’s a lot of fun to create custom flavor and presentation combos to suit the recipient. These fireball truffles were created for a Dungeons and Dragons lover. The truffle, named after a popular spell from D&D, has a hint of spice and a bit of a kick from the Pop Rocks. Use them to butter up a new DM or make them for everyone in your adventuring party!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream,
  • 2 12 oz. bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • red Pop Rocks

Directions:

In a medium-sized saucepan, mix the cream, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon together over medium-low heat. Heat until it starts simmering.

Turn off the stove and start adding 12 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the mixture. Stir until the chocolate has melted and everything is smooth and mixed together.

Pour the mixture onto a wax paper lined pie plate or shallow casserole dish. Place in the fridge to chill for 1+ hours or until firm but scoopable.

Remove the plate from the fridge and roll the truffle filling into small balls using a spoon and your hands. Sizing of the balls is up to you, I’d recommend sizing them somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. Place the balls on a plate covered in wax paper and place back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Place the other 12 ounces of chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave in 10 second intervals while mixing in between until the chocolate is smooth.  Microwaving for longer can result in burnt chocolate. Trust me–you don’t want that. (If your chocolate stops melting/mixing and starts looking clumpy/gritty while smelling bad, you’ve burnt it.)

Pull the truffle balls out of the fridge and dip into the melted chocolate. (Use a fork to fish the truffles out of the chocolate so any excess can go through the tines.) Place the dipped chocolates on a wax paper lined plate or cookie sheet.

While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle red Pop Rocks on the top.

Place back into the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

 

Cakes Cove – Making Every Genre Delicious

Cakes Cove

It’s another day at Desert Bus and we have ANOTHER amazingly delicious sponsor: Cakes Cove!

Cakes Cove makes cakes, chocolates, and other goodies to fit any fandom/party. I’m in love with their life-size R2-D2 cake, their gorgeous chocolate dragon eggs, and their zombie virus rock candy. Ok, that’s a lie. I love everything they make.

I got to try some of the espresso chocolate they make while at Desert Bus, and it’s delicious and caffeinated. If you’re looking for a sweet treat for your party or a gift, you want to reach out to Cakes Cove. (They do custom orders as well!) Visit them at CakesCove.com!

Recipe: Nerd Cupcakes

Nerd Cupcake 1

If you are what you eat, I should have made these a long time ago.

Nerd Cupcake 2

These tart lemon cupcakes have bursts of Nerd flavor as you bite into them. The frosting is a buttercream flavored with a bit of Tropical Punch Kool-Aid liquid. It’s fruity and delicious, whether or not you consider yourself a nerd. Best of all? They’re pretty ridiculously easy to make.

Nerd Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • Box of Lemon Cake Mix
  • Ingredients listed on the cake mix box (usually oil, water, and eggs)
  • A box of Rainbow Nerds (about 1/2 cup)

Directions:

Preheat the oven per the cake box instructions. Line 24 cupcake cups with wrappers.

Mix together the cake mix and the ingredients listed on the back of the box.

Once it’s fully mixed, fold the Nerds into the cake batter.

Fill the cupcake wrappers 2/3 full with the cupcake batter.

Bake according to instructions on the back of the box, or until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool on a baking rack while you prepare the frosting.

Tropical Punch Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (6 sticks) of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 6 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 TBS Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Liquid (comes in a tiny squeezable container)

Directions:

Place the butter in a mixer and mix until light, smooth, and fluffy.

Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing in between each cup.

Using a spatula, scrape the sides and the mixer and mix again until butter and sugar are fully mixed.

Add the Kool-Aid liquid and mix on low until incorporated.

Mix at a higher speed for a couple minutes until frosting has an even consistency and appears light and fluffy.

Add more Kool-Aid to taste, mix thoroughly.

Using a large pastry tip, frost the cooled cupcakes. Top with more Rainbow Nerds.

Enjoy!

 

Creepy Candy for Halloween

While a handful of fun size candy bars will always be an acceptable gift in this home, there are some items out there that will rock the socks off of your average Halloween treat. If you’re looking to impress your party attendees or want a fun and creepy host/hostess gift, I’d recommend one (or more) of these fun and spooky treats that are perfect for All Hallows Eve.

Zombie Bars

Zombie Bar

These white chocolate crispy bars are green with a blood red “Bite Me” message on top. It’s a perfect gift for anyone who loves zombies (or anyone you’ve always wanted to say “Bite Me” to!). The bars were recently featured on the Food Network. It’s pretty cool to see how they’re made! Get 10% off your order with code “GEEKGIRL10”. Pack of 4 for $19.95.

Spider Lollipops

Spider Lollipops

Freak your friends out with these spider lollipops that look a lot more scary than they are! Instead of a spider, you’ll actually just be eating a cotton candy lollipop. That’s not so bad! Pack of 6 for $15.

Ground Gremlin Meat

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 5.17.04 PM

This ground gremlin meat from Dylan’s Candy Bar is actually 2 pounds of Strawberry licorice laces. Delicious! 2 pounds for $14.99.

Bloody Brain Lollipops

14f9_bloody_brain_lollipop_6pack

Complete your zombie costume with these fruit punch flavored lollipops. Or give them to someone whose brain you love. 6 for $9.99.

Silver Bullet Mints

silver_bullet_mints

Lastly, protect your loved ones and your breath with these silver bullet mints. Guaranteed to keep werewolves away! (Well, people who have eaten these have never been seen with a werewolf.) Tin of 45 mints for $2.50.

Are you planning any fun gifts for Halloween?

Chocolate Crisis Center: You Need It.

Christmas is 12 days away. Everyone I know is shopping, putting in longer hours at work to prep for some vacation time, getting started on their resolutions for the new year, and trying to wrap up projects before the new year. Clearly, everyone needs a chocolate break. The Chocolate Crisis Center can get you your fix, and can suggest gifts for others who are going through the same crises. Their packaging is super cute, and their treats sound amazing. (Who wouldn’t want Tiramisu Cocoa Caramels?)

I recommend finishing up your holiday shopping here and getting a treat (or two, or three) for yourself while you’re there. You deserve it.

Instagram Your Chocolate

I just downloaded Instagram for the first time today. I know, I know. I have an older Android phone, and I had to manually update the OS to even get access to Instagram. I haven’t even taken a picture yet. BUT, Cocoagraph is giving me a reason to get snapping. I can turn my best Instagrams into works of edible art by putting it on a chocolate bar! This would be a fantastic holiday gift, party favor, or “thanks for putting up with me and my wedding” gift to your bridesmaids after your wedding is over.

What would you put on a cocoagraph? And what are some good Instagram tips/tricks for a noob like myself?

Instagrammed chocolate bars, $18-30 based on size and amount, are available at Cocoagraph.com.

Geeky Lollipops

Vintage Confections makes some of the coolest lollipops I’ve seen. Space, dice, skulls, superheros, emoticons and insects are just some of the decorative options they have available. Most lollipops are available in the flavor of your choice (I’m loving options like champagne, cinnamon roll, and banana cream) and many are customizable. I think these would make the best hostess gift, party favor, or Halloween candy. Just beware–the shop has gotten a lot of attention and has some delayed times for certain lollipops because of it.

Geeky Lollipops, ranging in price from $1-2 each, are available on Etsy.com.

The GH Wishlist: Vat19

The Geeky Hostess will be posting her holiday wishlists at some of her favorite online shops over the next week. Use them as a guide to creating your own holiday wish list or find the perfect gift for the geeky host(ess) in your life!

Vat 19 claims to be “Purveyors of Curiously Awesome Products,” and that they are. Between their fun products and awesome marketing videos, I’m in love. Here are a few items from them that have made my wishlist:


PAC-MAN Pot Holder, $14.99.
It’s geeky, it’s a pot holder, it’s dishwasher safe, and it has an awesome embossed inside to keep your grip. One please.


Ice Cream Scoop and Stack, $15.99.
The scoop and stack allows you to make really nice, neat cylindrical scoops of ice scream. This makes desserts look extra neat, and allows you to meld multiple flavors of ice cream together into one cylindrical dessert. Nifty!


Cooking Guide Apron, $24.99.
It happens often that I’ll be in the middle of cooking and will need to run out to look something up online. With this apron, I’d have tons of kitchen tips at hand! The apron includes a glossary, measurement index, average cooking times, and tips on how to best prepare food. Plus, it’s all written upside down so you can grab it and reference it easily!


Skeleton Key Bottle Opener, $9.99.
You’ve already learned I love skeleton keys, so this bottle opener key chain would be perfect for me. It’s cute and functional!


Giant Gummy Bear on a Stick, $9.99-$11.99.
You can’t make a purchase off of Vat19 and NOT order some sort of giant gummy candy, can you? Didn’t think so.

What I’m Giving:

Flying Wish Paper, $8.99-$14.99.
I think this would make a fantastic New Year’s Eve gift/activity. Make your wish as the clock is about to strike midnight, and watch it drift away!