New decorating ideas from the "Hello, Cupcake!" authors that you'll only find at Ginny's.

We spent a day with Karen Tack and Alan
Richardson,authors of "Hello, Cupcake!", and
they showed us how easy it is to create cupcakes
with a fabulously fun twist. What a treat—literally!
Plain cupcakes take on new dimensions simply
by adding easy-to-find candies and other

Check out Karen and Alan's cupcake how-to book,
"Hello, Cupcake!", or try your hand at the cupcake
recipes that they created especially for us. Click
on each cupcake for complete instructions.

Read more about the authors, Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

Acorn Cupcake

  • 1 tube chocolate decorating frosting
  • 4 chocolate candy, Hershey Kiss
  • 4 mini vanilla wafers
  • 1 unfrosted vanilla cupcake
  • 3 Tbsp. vanilla frosting
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

1. Pipe a dot of chocolate decorating frosting on the flat side of the chocolate candies. Place a mini vanilla wafer on top, flat side down. Pipe a small dot of chocolate frosting in the center of each cookie as the stem.

2. Spread the vanilla frosting on top of the cupcake and make smooth. Roll the edge of the cupcake into the chopped nuts to coat the side. Arrange 3 of the acorns on top of the cupcake and place an additional acorn at the base of the cupcake.

Apple Cupcake

  • red food coloring
  • 1/4 cup vanilla frosting
  • 1 mini plain doughnut
  • 1 unfrosted vanilla cupcake
  • 1/4 cup red decorating sugar
  • 1 chocolate caramel, Tootsie Roll
  • 1 spearmint leaf

1. Tint the vanilla frosting red with the food coloring. Cut the doughnut in half crosswise to get 2 circles (the same way you'd cut a bagel into two halves). Spread some of the red frosting on top of the cupcake. Place one doughnut half on top of the cupcake, rounded side up, and cover with the remaining frosting to create a rounded top with an indent in the center. Make the frosting as smooth as possible.

2. Place the sugar in a small shallow bowl. Gently roll the top of the cupcake in the red sugar to coat evenly. Smooth the sides by gently pressing with fingertips.

3. Cut the Tootsie Roll in half lengthwise and gently roll one end between your fingers to make it pointed. Curve slightly to make the stem. Cut the spearmint leaf in half crosswise to get 2 leaves.

4. Insert the Tootsie Roll stem, pointed end into cupcake, in the indentation as the stem. Place a leaf near the stem.

Turkey Cupcake

  • 1/2 cup vanilla frosting, divided
  • orange and yellow food coloring
  • 1/2 cup chocolate frosting, divided
  • 1 marshmallow
  • 2 cookies, each 3" in diameter
  • 1 vanilla wafer
  • 1 red fruit chew, Starburst or Jolly Rancher
  • 2 mini chocolate chips
  • 1 orange candy coated sunflower seed, or orange mini M&M
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

1. Spoon 1 Tbsp. of the vanilla frosting into a small re-sealable bag. Tint 2 Tbsp. of the vanilla frosting yellow and spoon into a re-sealable bag. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting orange with the food coloring and spoon into a re-sealable bag. Spoon 3 Tbsp. chocolate frosting into a re-sealable bag.

2. Using a serrated knife, cut one of the round cookies in half to make the wings. Cut the marshmallow in half on the diagonal. Spread the top of the cupcake with the remaining chocolate frosting. Roll the edge of the cupcake in the chopped nuts to coat edge. Place the marshmallow piece at one edge, cut side down.

3. Snip small corners on all of the bags with the frostings. Pipe a small dot of chocolate frosting on the marshmallow and press the whole cookie against it as the tail feathers. Starting about 1/2" from the edge, pipe a row of orange feathers with the orange frosting along rounded edge of whole cookie and wing cookies. Continue with a row of chocolate feathers. Finish on the tail feathers with a center of yellow feathers.

4. Pipe a small dot of orange frosting in the center of the vanilla wafer and attach the orange candy. Shape a small piece of red fruit chew, about 1/8 of the candy, into a tear-drop shape. Press it onto the wafer as the gobble on one side of the beak. Pipe the white frosting as the eyes and attach the chocolate chips.

5. Carefully press the decorated wing cookies on either side of the tail feathers. Press the vanilla wafer face in front of the tail feathers. Pipe some chocolate feathers on top of the cookie.

Indian Corn Cupcake

  • 2 sheets phyllo dough
  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup vanilla frosting
  • yellow food coloring
  • 3/4 cup mixed small jelly beans, red, yellow, brown, speckled... (Jelly Belly brand)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stack the 2 sheets of phyllo dough on a clean work surface. Spray the top of the phyllo dough with the vegetable cooking spray. Cut the dough crosswise into 3" wide strips. Taper each end on each strip to make a corn husk shape. Arrange on a jellyroll pan allowing the strips to twist of curl to give them shape.

2. Bake in oven until lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

3. Tint the vanilla frosting yellow with the food coloring. Spread the tops of the cupcakes with the yellow frosting. Arrange the jelly beans, alternating colors, in 5 rows on top of the cupcakes (see photo).

4. Place the cupcakes in a row, close together on a serving platter. Arrange the crisp phyllo pieces as the husk on either side of the cupcake arrangement.

More About the Authors

Karen Tack is a Connecticut cooking teacher and a food stylist for Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Good Housekeeping, Martha Stewart Living, Parents, Real Simple, Family Fun, Nick, Jr., and many more magazines. She has a passion for playful cupcake designs and easy cupcake decorating ideas.

Alan Richardson is a best-selling cookbook author and photographer living in New York. His photographs can be seen in many major magazines and in dozens of books and cookbooks. He is the coauthor of The Breath of a Wok, winner of two prestigious awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and The Four Seasons of Italian Cooking.