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Halloween Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcake Recipe

I love this vintage recipe for chocolate mayonnaise cake. These are moist and stay for days fresh the problem is they don't last long on our table! One of my all time favorites recipes. I used my old time recipe batter for making cupcakes this year for a Halloween festive treat. You can use canned or homemade frosting. The kids will love you for these!

Have a fun and safe Halloween Happy Hauntings! 

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe

3 eggs
1 devils food cake mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup water 


Homemade or store bought frosting
Halloween sprinkles

Mix all the above cake ingredients beating with an electric mixer for 3 to 4 minutes then pour into paper lined cupcake tins. You can also use a bundt pan or 13x9 sheet cake pan that is heavily greased. Bake at 350 until toothpick comes clean in middle around 35 to 45 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes .  Garnish and decorate however you like.

 Chocolate Frosting Recipe

1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cup (3 sticks)  butter softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Whip the butter with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time alternating with milk until all blended and incorporated then add vanilla last. Beat until creamy and smooth around 5 to 10 minutes. If too thick add more milk until is spreads easy. Spread on the cooled cake.

Vanilla Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
4 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt
 Optional: Food coloring of choice. Either use gel orange coloring or regular food coloring to make orange use red and yellow.

Beat all together all ingredients together. 
Add food coloring to get orange I used 1 drop red and 3 drops yellow.

Doll Cakes and Family Baking Fun Recipes

When I decided to go up to New York to visit my family this year, I knew from the last visit I had to do something special and memorable with my great nieces. We always do a cooking project of some kind the make great memories. Something they would be able to pass on to their children someday. I decided to make doll cakes just like I made for their moms when they were little. I made them this time using the tips from a very good friend and blogger. Being it was Halloween I saw this great doll cake made by Kelli Davidson from Kelli's Kitchens!  Check out her site it's amazing and she helped me make a great memory with my nieces with her ideas that will be etched in their minds for years to come! Thank you Kelli for letting our family get together using your easy techniques we loved the project and it was so perfect for the girls to do this!

I have two nieces that have undergone Cancer surgery Alicia Pluke having thyroid cancer and Pamela Ward with breast cancer . Samantha (below) who is Pamela's daughter made this cake to support Breast Cancer Awareness month for her mom Pamela and Aunt Alicia to support the cause.

did a great job we are so proud of her!

My two great nieces in the front Samantha and Adriana had a blast making the cakes. My niece Pamela Colenzo Ward is in the back left this is her home we did the project in and she cooked a great dinner for us all making rigatoni alfredo which was awesome.  My son Chad Iffert next to her he was thrilled to be home with the family and my niece Mary Colenzo Guarascio who rolled out those pumpkin heads using rice krispie treats and tootsie rolls. My great nephew Vincent Ward made a graveyard cake with leftover cake batter from the doll cakes. Ryan my great nephew got me safely to this great family event from the airport,  thanks Ryan! Everyone had something to contribute in making our day very special. You all made this day so special!

Mary Colenzo Guarascio daughter Adriana made this witch cake in celebrating Halloween to kick off this fun memory making cooking party!  Great job Adriana so proud of you!

How cool is this using the legs for a graveyard cake leftover from the doll cakes! Great job Vinny. A cake with crushed oreo on top of a frosted cake and decorated for Halloween with tombstones made from oreos tops and monster suckers. Everyone loved Vinny's cake ideas with the leftover cake batter.

Samantha and Adriana you girls rock!

Of course the day wouldn't be complete without a toast to our reunion right girls and guys? I love cooking with the family they are memories that will last a lifetime! The wine was from their dad Luke Colenzo he lives in Florida but coming up to make more memories on their cookie baking day in December.
 This made my trip complete love you all so happy we got to bake together with the kids!

This is my sister in law Theresa Colenzo. Alicia, Mary and Pam's mom. Also the grandmother of all the kids in my blog post. She has certainly been their rock through all the emotional ups and downs in all their lives. I had the pleasure to stay with her on my trip. We shared a great fish fry dinner in my hometown Utica, New York. Thanks for everything we appreciate the love  and support you give us all!

Doll Cakes:

(If you would like to make the cakes above here is what you will need:)

1-  4 cup glass measuring cup
1 cake mix made to package instructions any flavor
1 can of colored store bought frosting
sprinkles of choice
coordinating ribbons
dolls bought from the dollar store that come apart at the waist ( you will only need from the waist up)
popsicle sticks

For the witch. I made a chocolate cake using cake batter poured into the 4 cup glass measuring cup to the 3 cup mark heavily greased with lard. After baking this to package instructions, I immediately dumped it onto wax paper to cool completely. After it cooled I used store bought  purple frosting. Bought the ribbon from a local dollar store. Wrapped the top with Halloween ribbon and taped it on with clear tape. My niece said to hot glue it.
I cut a piece and made a hat for the doll's head and taped that in the back to hold together.
I put the popsicle stick in the center of the doll's waist. Insert that to the middle of the cake.
Frost and decorate to whatever theme you like. I am sure you will get creative!

For the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness doll cake:

I did the same thing as above baking the cake in the 4 cup glass mixing cup following the same directions. After it was cooled I used pink frosting, pink sparkle sprinkles and used the symbols found to accent the doll's hair tie and from the waist up dress with the breast cancer sign I found shoe laces that worked perfectly.

Here are some of the many foods we love from my hometown #uticanewyork:

Garlic Knots

Tomato Pie 


This is what we took home wrapped up in our suitcases back to Florida. Plus pusties, cannoli and half moons is what my hometown is famous for. No better little Italy in the world but #uticanewyork.
Will miss everyone love you all thanks for a great time!

More Halloween idea's?

 Upstate NY  Utica/Rome Specialities:

Chicken Riggie Fest
Upstate NY Greens
Tomato Pie Upstate NY Style
Italian Lemon Ice
Watermelon Sorbet with Rum 
Pizza Fritte Feast Fried Dough
Italian Gravy or Sauce the big debate
Feast Upstate NY Style Sausage and Peppers Sandwich
Upstate NY Apple Pie
Pizza Dough
Cafe Almond Paste Cookie
Cannoli Stuffed French Toast
Zeppole St Joseph's Day
Cannoli Homemade
Sicilian Style Pizza
Restaurant in New Hartford NY Dont go!
Upstate ROME New York Great Food Dining 
Meatballs Melted Provolone and Roasted Pepper Sandwich
Italian Rainbow Cookies
Italian Cream Cake
No bake 4th of July Pie
Upstate New York Utica/Rome Greens Video
Pusties with Coconut Cream Filling a knockoff from the Florentine
Mushroom Stew
Cucumber Tomato Salad

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bar Recipe

If you want to see a bar cookie vanish quickly because it was so delicious, look no more. These are the perfect fall dessert to bring along to a friends party and the kids love them around Halloween too! A hint of spice but the chocolate combination with pumpkin compliment each other. Everyone here including my grandson enjoyed them and he's only two. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bar Recipe

1 cup butter softened

1 cup fresh pumpkin puree or canned I make it fresh click here

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon each salt

1 1/2  teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Garnish: powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Grease a brownie pan.

Beat together the sugar and butter. 

Add the egg and vanilla. 

Stir in the pumpkin. 

Add the dry ingredients blending well.

Add 1 1/2 cups of chips to batter. 

Pour batter into pan. 

Add the remaining chips on top.

Bake 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from 

the  center. 

Cut into squares when cooled. Dust with powdered sugar.

Baked Pecan Pumpkin Doughnuts with Cinnamon Ganache Frosting

One of the best things about fall is pumpkin and cinnamon! They both bring comfort to the cooler season. This is one delicious treat that will give you that warm feeling!

Baked  Pecan Pumpkin Doughnuts with Cinnamon Ganache Frosting

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup chopped pecans (Optional)

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup butter
3 ounces white chocolate
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons water

Mixture of cinnamon & sugar
Optional: chopped pecans

For Glaze:  In a microwave safe bowl, add white chocolate and butter till melted. Mix in sugar and water, stir mixing just till blended, add more water if too thick. Dip donuts in ganache and sprinkle with  cinnamon and sugar. Makes 12.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease two doughnut pans. In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.In another medium bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, milk, and pumpkin puree. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined. Fill doughnut pan 3/4 full with batter. Bake until the doughnuts spring back when touched. Remove from the pan and cool completely.

Dip the donuts into the ganache. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Here are more donut recipe you may like just click on the links below:

Baked Vanilla Donuts

Dark Baked Chocolate Donuts

Corn Fritters (Fried)

Italian  Fried Apple Fritters

For more pumpkin recipes visit some of the links below:

Pumpkin Pistachio Biscotti
Pumpkin Whip Dip Recipe
Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Breakfast Scones
Pumpkin Spice  Rum Cookies
Pumpkin Mini Turnovers
Baked Mini Pumpkin Donuts
French Pumpkin Mini Muffin Puffs
 Italian Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Smoothie
Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies
Pumpkin Soup
Tex Mex Pumpkin Corn Muffins
Pumpkin  and Sausage Bow Tie Pasta
Pumpkin Rum Shortcake with Caramel
Pumpkin Drop Cookies
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Crockpot Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Amaretto Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Roasted Pumpkin Puree
Savory Pumpkin Cheddar Scones
Pumpkin Pie
Easy Pumpkin Cheese Pie
Best Ever Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
Pumpkin Fritters
Baked Pumpkin Pecan Donuts

Halloween Pumpkin Popcorn Balls

These Halloween Pumpkin Popcorn Balls are the perfect centerpiece this fall!

Popcorn always goes great at a Halloween party. These are festive and make great table decorations even at Thanksgiving and they taste darn good too! You can spruce them up with some frosting leaves or decorate them with scary faces with the kids either way a fun and easy project.

Popcorn marshmallow balls:

Old Fashioned way:
Add vegetable oil to a 4 quart saucepan, and heat over high heat. When oil is hot, add popping corn. Keep pan moving constantly. When corn stops popping, remove from heat. Put popcorn in prepared pan.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn approximately 8 cups of popped 

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.

Popcorn options:
Microwave the popcorn or use a hot air popper.

Marshmallow Recipe:
6 tablespoons butter
5 cups miniature marshmallows
Red and yellow food coloring (use 2 drops of red 3 drops of yellow)

Optional flavoring:  1 or 2 cinnamon oil drops, orange extract or any other flavor you like to add

Garnish for making the pumpkin:
mini tootsie rolls
eyeball candies
optional: sprinkles, melted chocolate to dip bottoms with
nuts chopped, candy corn, m & m for eyes. Also green frosting to make leaves for stem on pumpkin

Melt butter In a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in orange food coloring(mixture of red and yellow)  marshmallows and cook until melted, stirring constantly. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and mix with a wooden spoon to coat evenly.

Let mixture cool slightly. Make balls popcorn with your hands or

form popcorn into 8 balls using a rounded glass container like the one in the photo shown. You also can make mini ones using an ice cream scooper. I used a ceramic measuring cup to form mine.  Add mini tootsie rolls and candy corn to decorate or whatever you like with options above. I then let them cool completely and place into plastic sandwich bags and zip tie them to hand out of give away. They stay fresh a long time. Keep in a cool dry place.

Chicken and Bean Escarole Soup

Chicken soup is part of my weight loss program. I lost 25 pounds eating healthy soups and vegetables within 6 months. The beans are added for proteins and make a delicious addition to this soup. 

If you add pasta to this dish of course it's no longer diet food but every once in awhile splurge and add some tortellini it's a wonderful addition!

Chicken and Bean Escarole Soup

2 heads of escarole boiled in salt water and drained, rinsed then chopped into small pieces
3  boneless chicken breasts cubed
1 cup sliced or finger carrots
4 stalks celery
1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes or if you have fresh I use 5 plum tomatoes chopped
salt, pepper, to taste
3 whole cloves garlic peeled cut in half
2 teaspoons  granulated garlic 
4 tablespoons fresh or dried parsley
3 cans of white beans of choice drained and rinsed

Garnish topping:
Grating cheese, pecorino romano.

Wash escarole cutting off the large stem on the bottom and boil it in large pan (of salt water to cover the escarole around 1 teaspoon salt) for around 1/2 hour drain and set aside. This is to remove any dirt in the escarole.

 Fill a 5 quart saucepan with water,  leaving around 4 inches of space from the top of the pan making sure you have room for all your ingredients.
Add the chicken, salt, pepper, a little cayenne if you like heat, some fresh parsley, garlic powder and 3 whole garlic cloves and boil at least 1 hour to make a rich broth, scooping off the foam that it creates, sometimes it takes longer. Remove the chicken and the garlic (if you don't want to eat the cloves) from the pot and after it's cooled cut the chicken into small pieces, you can mash the garlic and put it back in or throw it away if you don't like too much garlic taste.

Add the boneless chicken,  carrots, celery, spices, tomatoes and escarole, beans and simmer on low for around 1 hour.

Serve soup with grating cheese on top. If desired add cooked pasta of choice. Tortellini is the perfect combination of flavors.

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Bar Recipe

I love pumpkin recipes! These white chocolate pumpkin spice bars are the best!
When we were growing up mom would buy a pumpkin every year for me. I knew that when my pumpkin was done being cute and part of the Halloween scene it would get cooked into something special. Of course the usual was a pie.  Here is what she did with the puree, well one of the the things. These are not too sweet, just right! These are so easy!

Pumpkin Spice Bar Recipe

1 cup butter softened

1 cup fresh pumpkin puree or canned 

I make it fresh click here

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon each salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Grease a 13 x 9 pan.

Beat together the sugar and butter. 

Add the egg and vanilla. 

Stir in the pumpkin. 

Add the dry ingredients blending well.

Add 1 1/2 cups of chips to batter. 

Pour batter into pan. Add remaining white chips.

Bake 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes 

clean from 

the  center.

Pasta Sausage Fagioli Recipe

Baby shells, sausage in a rich homemade tomato sauce with beans. Perfect comfort food.

Pasta Sausage Fagioli Recipe

2 pound link sausage sliced 
1 pound cooked baby shell pasta to package instructions and drained (or use any small pasta like ditalini)
3 cans cannellini beans washed (or use dried cooked homemade beans around 1 pound)
2 stalked chopped celery
4 pounds fresh plum tomatoes put through food processor
3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
dried oregano to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

In a large saucepan add 3 tablespoon olive oil and saute the sliced sausage links. Add the garlic, celery and stir fry for 1 minute. Add beans and the tomatoes if using fresh or (canned use 3 - 28 ounce cans plum tomatoes). Cook until the liquid evaporates around 30 minutes. Add the granulated garlic, cheese and spices, sugar to taste. 
Continue cooking until sauce is thickened around 25 more minutes. Boil the pasta and add last. Stirring to combine.