Turtle Cupcakes

Turtle Cupcakes

2nd Place Winner- Adult Cupcake

Submitted by: Shirley Gonzales


Turtle Cupcakes

1 German chocolate cake mix

14 oz caramels

1/2 c. evaporated milk

3/4 c. melted butter

2 c. nuts

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips


Prepare cake mix as directed. Line cupcake pans. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into cupcake liners. Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool. While cupcakes are cooling, melt caramels with butter and milk over low heat. Pour a tablespoon of caramel mixture over each cupcake to cover. Top with a tablespoon each of chocolate chips and pecans. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter over chips and pecans. Return cupcakes to the oven for 10 – 12 minutes. Optional, top each cupcake with additional pecans before baking.



Caramel Icing

1/2 c. chopped caramels

2 T. heavy cream

8 T. unsalted butter, softened

4 c. confectioners sugar

1/4 c meringue powder

1 t. vanilla extract


Melt caramels with the heavy cream over low heat. Allow to cool. Beat butter, confectioners sugar, meringue powder, and vanilla extract in large mixing bowl. Add cooled caramel mixture and beat on low to mix. Can add more cream to achieve preferred consistency. Beat for 5 minutes on high speed. Spread icing on cooled cupcakes.


Photography by: A Table Full of Joy

Caliente Snickerdoodles

Caliente Snickerdoodles


Submitted by: Deborah Juarez 1st Place Adult Drop Cookie




All-purpose flour 7 oz

Baking powder 1/2 tsp

Cinnamon, grounded 1 tsp

ginger, grounded 1/2 tsp

Pecans, ground 1/2 c

Unsalted butter, room temperature 4 oz

Granulated sugar 3 oz

Light brown sugar 4 oz

Eggs 2

Dark walnut extract 1 tsp

Salt 1/2 tsp

Hydrated chili powder 1 Tbsp

HYDRATED CHILI POWDER: Water 4 fl oz,  Chili powder 1 oz


Granulated sugar 2 oz

Cinnamon, ground 1/2 tsp

Ginger, ground 1/2 tsp

Chili powder 1 tsp

1. Preheat oven at 350 F. 2. Hydrate chili powder, boil on a small sauce pan the chili powder and water. Reduce by 3/4, until a paste forms. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 3. To make dough mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and ground pecans in a bowl. Set aside. 4. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the dark walnut extract and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture. Add the tablespoon of hydrated chili powder and mix until well combined. 5. Combine the sugar, ginger, cinnamon, chili powder in a large bowl. Using a #30 portion scoop, drop the dough in 1-ounce mounds in the mixture. Coat the pieces of dough in the sugar mixture, and place on paper-lined sheet pan. Flatten the dough using the bottom of a cup to 1/2 inch. 6. Bake at 350 F until golden brown but still moist, approximately 9 to 12 minutes.



Photography by: A Table Full of Joy

Upside Down Pecan Cake

Upside Down Pecan Cake

Submitted by: Ella Gamache 1st Place Un-Iced Cake- Youth



• 1 cup unsalted butter, divided

• 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

• 1/4 cup light corn syrup

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

• 1 box butter flavored cake mix

• 3 large eggs

• 1 cup water


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.


2. Add half of the butter, the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, and pecans to a pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.


3. Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Add it to a large bowl with the cake mix, eggs, and water. Beat for about 2 minutes to combine. Pour the pecan mixture in the bottom of your baking dish. Bake for45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


4. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes then place a large plate and carefully flip it over to turn the cake out onto the plate.



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Chocolate Pecan Bars

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Submitted by: Abby Eden 1st Place Bar Cookie- Adult



Cookie Layers

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder



6 Tbsp. butter

6 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. corn syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy cream

1 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped



1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix to incorporate. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking soda. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter and mix until combined. Divide in half. Press half the dough into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

3. While bottom layer is baking, make pecan filling. Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, heavy cream and pecans.

4. Pour pecan mixture over hot bottom cookie layer. Top with remaining dough and bake for 15 minutes or until cookie layer is set.




Photography by: A Table Full of Joy

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake

Submitted by: Elizabeth Gravenstein 1st Place Iced Cakes- Youth

Servings : 12

Author : Melissa Sperka


2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup salted butter softened

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pure almond extract

5 large eggs

1 cup whole buttermilk

14 oz package sweetened flaked coconut divided

1 1/2 cup pecan pieces toasted divided


2 [8] oz cream cheese softened

1 cup [2 sticks] butter softened

2 lb powdered sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pure almond extract

reserved coconut toasted

1/2 cup reserved toasted pecans




Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 3 [9] inch round cake pans or spray with baking spray. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pure vanilla and almond extracts. Beat until creamy and light beige in color, around 3-4 minutes

Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. After all has been added, increase the mixer speed and beat until fully combined.

Mix in 1/2 of the coconut and 1 cup of toasted pecans by hand.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

For the frosting: Cream together the cream cheese and butter until light, fluffy and pale yellow in color. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until creamy and smooth.

Line the edge of the cake plate with wax paper strips.

Frost the cake between the layers sprinkling each with reserved toasted pecan pieces. Add the final layer and frost the top and sides.

Press toasted coconut on the sides. Decorate the top as desired with the remaining chopped pecans.

Store chilled until serving.


a) To toast the pecans: Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely before adding to the batter.b) “How to” for toasting the coconut here) Alternative frosting technique: Mix the toasted pecans into the frosting by hand and spread onto the top and sides of the cake.



Photography by: A Table Full of Joy


Carmelitas Carmelas Chocolate Rojo

Carmelitas Carmelas Chocolate Rojo

Submitted by: Sana Handley 1st Place Candy- Adult

½ cup shortening

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup chopped pecans

1 ounce package chocolate chips

Preheat waffle iron. Spray with non-stick spray. Scoop dough by 2 Tablespoon balls into waffle iron. Close the lid and cook for 1 ½ minutes. Carefully remove from waffle iron when set and golden brown. Place on a wire cooling rack.



Photography by: A Table Full of Joy