guest post

Orange Crush Soda Cupcakes

Greetings from Lisa Keys from Good Grief Cook. I’m here today as a guest blogger, but before I share my recipe, for Orange Crush Soda Cupcakes, I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself. I have been an award-winning self-taught home cook since 1990, when I began entering recipe contests. Recently, I became a Food Network CHOPPED Champion, here today as a guest blogger.


I started my blog, Good Grief Cook after losing my son William in an accident in 2011, to follow in his light and share my thoughts about life, love and the healing power of food. Cooking and baking are very therapeutic for me. Since I started Good Grief Cook, I’ve been able to celebrate my son in a most unique way, with recipes inspired by the places I’ve been and the people I love.

Speaking of love, here comes Valentine’s Day. It is one of those love-hate holidays for most. Hopefully, you have a “crush” on someone and here is a simple way to show it.

Buy a can of Orange Crush soda and with a Sharpie, pen a sweet message on the can. Then…..print out this recipe and give it to them so they can bake you these cupcakes.

I prefer baking from scratch and cooking with seasonal ingredients. During the winter months citrus is at its peak. Oranges are hands down one of the best ways to add a fresh and zesty spin to cupcakes.

Using all parts of the orange (zest, juice and fresh slices) add up to one fun and refreshing treat.

unnamed (2)

Orange Crush Soda Cupcakes

Yield: 16 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • For the cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon orange oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup orange Crush soda
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 drops orange oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • Touch of orange food coloring


  1. To make the cupcakes: Heat oven 350F. Line cupcake tin with paper liners. Cream butter, sugar, zest and orange oil with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time beating until well incorporated. Mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Gradually add in dry ingredients alternating with orange soda, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat one minute until all is thoroughly mixed.
  4. Scoop batter into prepared liners filling ¾ full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and frost.
  5. To make the frosting: Beat all ingredients together adding just enough orange juice to make a fluffy frosting.


Christmas Tree Marshmallow Pops by The Decorated Cookie for

Christmas Tree Marshmallow Pops

If you’re in need of a fun, quick, delicious treat for your next holiday party then you’ll need to make these adorable Christmas Tree Marshmallow Pops!  Thanks to Meaghan of The Decorated Cookie for providing this guest post and such an adorable holiday treat!

Christmas tree marshmallow pops

Greetings dear readers of JavaCupcake! I’m Meaghan, of The Decorated Cookie, where I blog about sweet and easy food crafts. It’s not easy to fill the shoes (fill the measuring cups? let’s go with measuring cups) of baker extraordinaire Betsy, so I’m thrilled she let me visit today.

I share Betsy’s love of baking, but I also love shortcuts. Because aren’t we all so busy all the time? I mean, not for checking facebook, which I always have time for, but for everything else. One of my favorite sweets to decorate is store-bought marshmallows. I do a lot of marshmallow decorating. Too much marshmallow decorating, though my two kids would say you can never have enough marshmallows.

Christmas tree marshmallow pops

These Christmas tree marshmallow pops are simple to make, yummy to eat, and impressive to display or give. To serve at a holiday party, wrap a Styrofoam block (found at the craft store) with red or green tissue paper and prop in the block. To give as gifts, once the candy has fully hardened, place a small cellophane bag (also at the craft store, gosh I love the craft store) over the marshmallow and tie with ribbon.

Christmas tree marshmallow pops

You can also pipe any design you like on the marshmallows. Try holly or wreaths. For a non-denominational marshmallow, dip the marshmallows in blue, pipe green evergreen trees and dust with confectioner’s sugar for snow. See? Marshmallows have endless possibilities.

Christmas tree marshmallow pops

If you’re new to marshmallow pops, here are a few tips. I added vegetable shortening to the candy melts, which is optional, but it makes for much easier dipping, as the melts are thinner. I didn’t add vegetable shortening to the green candy melts, because I didn’t want the candy too runny. And I only snip a tiny bit off of the decorating bag so I have control over the piping. Candy melts dry pretty quickly, so add the sprinkles after each tree you pipe, not at the end. Once you get the hang of dipping and piping, these marshmallow pops are a quick and easy Christmas dessert you can whip up in minutes.

Christmas tree marshmallow pops

Christmas tree marshmallow pops

Yield: 10 pops

Christmas tree marshmallows are a quick and easy treat to make for the holidays.


  • 10 marshmallows
  • 10 lollipop sticks or straws
  • 1 cup red candy melts
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup green candy melts
  • 1 disposable 12-inch decorating bag
  • rainbow non-pareil sprinkles
  • Styrofoam block


  1. Skewer the marshmallows with the lollipop sticks or straws and set aside.
  2. In a deep, microwave-safe container, place the red candy melts and the shortening. A glass measuring cup works well. Microwave at 70 percent power for 90 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave at 30 second, then 15 second, intervals until fully melted and smooth when well stirred.
  3. Dip a marshmallow into the melted red candy, gently tap on the side of the container to remove excess, and prop in the Styrofoam block. Dip all the marshmallows and let dry well, about 30 minutes.
  4. Place the green candy melts in a disposable decorating bag. Place the bag on a paper towel in the microwave. Microwave for 90 seconds at 70 percent power. Massage the bag and continue to microwave at 15 second intervals until the candy melts are fully melted.
  5. Snip 1/4 inch from the tip of the bag. Place a marshmallow on its side and pipe a Christmas tree on a marshmallow. Immediately sprinkle with sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining marshmallows. Prop in the Styrofoam block and let dry well, at least an hour.
  6. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Enjoy! And have a wonderful holiday season!

Stop by and see me some time at the decorated cookie.


Find me here:

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram.

Check out some of seasonal favorites:

snowman cookie sticks

snowman cookie sticks


Rudolph marshmallows for Christmas

Rudolph marshmallow art