SOURCE: McCormick

April 12, 2010 08:00 ET

Baking Creatively With Color

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - April 12, 2010) -  (Family Features) Spring is the perfect time to find inspiration in the fresh colors of the season, from pastel pinks to bright shades of green and yellow. To help your creativity blossom, McCormick created an online workshop with fun and flavorful activities that you can do right in your own kitchen. Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, co-authors of the new book, "What's New Cupcake?" (April 2010), have provided tips and tools that will help you and your family embrace the hues of spring.

"Playing with color is an easy way to add that 'wow factor' to baking," says Tack. "In fact, sometimes all it takes to add pizzazz is just a little imagination and a few drops of food color."

Need help getting your creative juices flowing? Visit the online workshop to find inspirational ideas for baking and decorating throughout the season. From easy-to-follow recipes and decorating tips, to fun party ideas, the workshop has it all, including a new cupcake recipe from Tack and Richardson.

With a few simple techniques, you can incorporate color into any spring celebration, including Mother's Day, bridal showers, birthday parties and more.

  • Make dessert the centerpiece "arrangement" with a multi-layered cupcake tower. With a tiered serving platter (available at home decorating stores) assemble cupcakes -- alternating colors and shapes between layers.
  • For a personalized bridal shower, monogram cupcakes in the bride's wedding colors. Or, give her "something blue" by throwing her a blue-themed shower, complete with blue frosted cupcakes topped with white rock candy to look like diamonds.
  • Bake cupcakes and cookies, and leave the decorating for the kids. Fill each section of empty plastic ice trays with different colors of sugar, sprinkles, shredded coconut, candy and nonpareils.

To learn more about how to create a colorful and flavorful spring, visit

Hello, Flower! Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

24 yellow cake cupcakes baked in white paper liners
30 marshmallows
1 cup tinted sprinkles, chopped coconut or sugars,
1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
McCormick Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye or McCormick Assorted NEON! Food Colors and Egg Dye
1 cup coarse green tinted sugar, (See recipe that follows)
24 yellow spice drops

  1. Place the colored sprinkles in a medium bowl. Cut several marshmallows crosswise into 4 slices with sharp scissors. Place cut marshmallows in sprinkles and toss to coat the cut area with the sprinkles. Transfer to a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining marshmallows and sprinkles to make 120 marshmallow petals.
  1. Tint vanilla frosting bright green with blue and yellow McCormick food coloring. Place green sugar in a shallow bowl. Spread the tops of several cupcakes with green frosting and make smooth. Roll edge of frosted cupcakes in green sugar to coat. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.
  1. Arrange 5 marshmallow petals on top of frosted cupcakes, pressing marshmallow into frosting to secure. Add a spice drop in the center of cupcake to complete flower.