I love to bake and decorate cakes! You can design a fun birthday cake just using candy melts for the decorations. Candy Melts come in lots of colors…that are vanilla flavor, but there’s light cocoa candy melts too. In this post, I may call them melts, or I may call them wafers.
Candy Melts are those candy wafers that you can melt in the microwave, pipe in useable shapes freehand onto parchment paper, or pour into molds.
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Decorating cakes with candy melts is easy and I want to show you several ideas and cakes that I’ve made. Hopefully, I will inspire you by showing five different cakes that I’ve created: Havanese Dog Cupcake Cake, Garden Flower Cupcakes displayed in a flower pot of grass, Cute Reindeer Cupcakes, Horse Cake made using a Pantastic Pan, and Football-Themed Crunch Bars…..all decorated using Candy Melts.
First, we have to celebrate our store mascot, Trapper, our wonderful Havanese. And I have to throw in a couple of cute pics of him because apparently he’s one of our most popular topics on this blog. If you want to read more about our Havanese, check out the post Rinne wrote: Why My Havanese Dog Is Our Perfect Family Pet.
A couple of years ago for my daughter, I created a birthday cupcake cake that looks just like our Havanese dog, Trapper.
Depending on how recently Trapper has had a haircut, he can look quite different. This cake works best with his ‘long hair’ look. I used a photo of Trapper with shaggy hair to have a reference for the cake shape and design.
I baked a box chocolate cake mix that makes 24 cupcakes, so I planned out the design with 24 cupcake liners. I had both black and white liners and used those to help with the design since Trapper’s face, belly, legs and tail are white and the rest of him is black.
I don’t know about you, but black icing is NOT appealing in my opinion. I decided to use white vanilla and light cocoa chocolate candy melts as well as, vanilla and chocolate frosting for this Havanese cake design.
You’ll first want to bake the cupcakes and allow them to cool. Following your dog shape plan, arrange the cooled cupcakes onto a large board or pan. Make sure they touch one another so that when you frost them it’s difficult to tell that they are separate cupcakes. I mixed two colors of frosting and placed each in a pastry bag with large star tips. Frost the cupcakes with random swirl patterns that follow the coloration of the dog.
Note, I also paid close attention to the face area and made sure to pipe long strokes to resemble his hairy mustache and beard.
Now to create the wild hair! The candy melts can be easily melted in the microwave. I place candy melts in a freezer zipper bag, microwave 30 seconds, mush the bag with my fingers, microwave a bit more and mush again until all the chocolate has melted. Snip a corner end of the bag and drizzle squiggly lines all over a piece of parchment paper. There’s no strict rules to this. Have fun with it!
When the drizzles have hardened after cooling, they easily peel off the parchment. Place them all over the frosted cupcakes to copy the pattern of the dog’s hair.
For final touches, I used an inverted chocolate kiss candy for his nose and either Whopper malted chocolates or large M&Ms for his eyes. (can’t remember) Just use chocolate candies or pipe large circles of the melted candy for those parts. Large pieces of drizzled cocoa melts were used for his toenails.
Hopefully, the final result picture speaks more to the process than my details!
I use these techniques of melting the candy melts and piping them into shapes for all of these cake examples.
For a fun December birthday, I made reindeer cupcakes. They even all had brown noses except for one Rudolph with a red M&M nose. (Decorating with M&Ms is another fave trick of mine)
Using the same technique of filling a freezer plastic zipper bag (I use freezer ones because they are stronger), melt the candy wafers and snip off a corner end of bag. Pipe antler shapes onto parchment paper.
Next, pipe blobs of white melted wafers for the eyeballs. When decorating the cupcake, use the eyeball blobs with the flat side up. Then you can pipe a small dot of black tube icing for the pupils.
Did you know that you can color white candy melts? I didn’t have any red candy melts but I wanted red mouths for my reindeer. You can color candy melts! BUT, you must use gel colors made for coloring icing. Candy melts are likely to seize up if you use the traditional liquid food colors. You only need a little red gel in a bowl of melted white candy melts. Stir around and you can use this mixture to pipe red ‘U-shapes’ onto parchment for the mouths.
For final touches, I used halved almonds for the ears and M&Ms for the noses.
About 12 years ago, I threw a huge first birthday party for my daughter with a garden theme. I designed the cutest seed packet invitations (which I’m sure to post about some day). For now, let’s talk about her adorable flower cupcakes using…you guessed it…candy melts!
I melted bags of four different colors of candy melt wafers: lavender, yellow, light pink and red.
On parchment paper, I piped six flower petal shapes in a circle and then added a red circle center. After frosting the cupcakes, I simply placed the candy melt flower on top of each cupcake.
The most fun part of this cake was how they were displayed in a planter, alongside cute picnic decor, and fun food like my P, B & J flower sandwiches. I used a plastic rectangular flower pot/planter. (and after the party you can use it on the patio!) Next, I put bricks of dry floral foam in the bottom of the pot. Using a plastic monkey grass plant that had long grassy stems, I cut them and poked them into the floral foam to resemble a bed of grass.
Recently, I found this product that would work even better (and require less work for you). It’s a grass sphere that you can lay on the top of the foam. You’d need more than one to cover the foam, depending on the size of your display pot/planter. Then put each cupcake on a long wooden skewer or large milkshake straw to poke into the foam on top of the ‘grass.’
Rinne LOVED horses when she was little. On her 6th birthday, I purchased a cake mold/pan called a ‘Pantastic Pan.”
It has this horse topper mold designed right into the cake pan. You simply bake the cake in the pan. Then, you melt the candy melts and brush them into the cake pan to create the horse chocolate topper.
I used white candy melt wafers for most of the horse and then pink wafers for the hooves and bridle using a paint brush to fill in the mold. For the finished cake, I frosted the cake first. Then, I laid the hardened chocolate horse on top of the cake, which also has the convex impression of the horse because of baking the cake in the pan. For final touches, I used a small star tip to pipe the horse mane and tail right on top of the ‘chocolate horse topper.’ It turned out quite well.
I no longer have that pan, but managed to find it online. Here’s a link: Horse Pantastic Pan
FOOTBALL CRUNCH BAR CAKE
There are lots of names for this ‘Sweet ‘N Saltine’ style bar dessert. I amp it up by adding peanuts and rice krispies (a recipe for another time).
The top is melted semi-sweet chocolate chips. For the decorating of this birthday treat, I piped the melted candy melts directly on the top to create the design.
Whew! This was a long post and I’m so glad you hung with me until the end. I feel like I have so much to share and it’s just hard to stop sometimes. Please comment and let me know if you have any questions and/or suggestions about using candy melts to decorate your desserts!