Dress Up Simple Sweets to Make Dessert Extra Special

With just a few artful sprinkles, drizzles or dips, simple sweets suddenly get glam.

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Choose Your Base + Pro Tips

Chocolate Bases

Photo by Con Poulos

Photo by Con Poulos

Choose either no-bake cake balls, quick-dip pretzels, or easy brownies.

Make your favorite boxed mix and cut it into 2- to 3-inch hearts. Have more time? Bake a batch of ours using the recipe below.

Melting 101

  • Place 1 pkg (12 oz) bright white and 1 pkg (12 oz) cocoa candy melts (aka candy discs or wafers) in 2 bowls. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to each bowl. 
  • Microwave each at 50% for 1 minute. Stir and continue to melt at 50% in 30-second increments until a few lumps remain. 
  • Stir until smooth. Repeat with 4 oz each red and pink candy melts.

The art of coating

  • Pretzels: Dip each pretzel rod halfway into melted coating (we used Wilton candy melts), letting excess drip off. Sprinkle with candy toppings (see slides below for details!) and place on parchment-paper-lined sheet or cooling rack. Let dry. 
  • Cake balls: Using either a fork or a skewer, dip a cake ball in melted coating, then gently tap so excess drips off. Carefully push ball off skewer onto parchment and let dry. 
  • Fast fix: If melted coating starts to harden, microwave for 20 seconds, then stir until smooth.
  • Parchment paper: To make cleanup easy, line your work area with sheets of parchment. Roll up and toss when done. 

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Brownie Hearts

brownie hearts with colorful glitter and powdered sugar on top
Makes 18
Prep 10 m
Microwave 2 m
Bake 30 m

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No-Bake Cake Balls

nine cake balls decorated with sprinkles
Makes 20
Prep 15 m
Refrigerate 15 m
Microwave 2 m
Microwave per batch

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Red Velvet Cake for Two

couple taking bite out of slice of red velvet cake
Makes 4
Prep 15 m
Bake 20 m

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Sweet Heart Waffles

sweet heart waffles topped with strawberries chocolate syrup and whipped cream
Makes 5
Prep 5 m

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Make It Sparkle

Sparkles for Dessert

Photo by Con Poulos

Photo by Con Poulos

The decorating possibilities are nearly endless. Here are a few we love:

  • Glitter dust
  • Jimmies
  • Sparkling sugar
  • Heart candies
  • Candy melts
  • Nonpareils
  • Crushed cookies
  • Pop Rocks
  • Toasted coconut
  • Freeze-dried raspberries
  • Cocoa nibs

Decorating How-Tos:

  • Marbling: To get the marbled effect on the cake balls seen on previous page and on cover, drizzle contrasting coating colors over base coating color in bowl before dipping. (Watch this video to see step-by-step video instructions.) 
  • Stripes: For contrasting stripes (see cake ball at lower right), let base coating dry completely, then drizzle on second color. 
  • Sugars, jimmies & glitter: These all need to be sprinkled on immediately after coating so they’ll adhere. They look best on a single-color base. If opting to use jimmies on the brownies, sprinkle them over the batter before baking. 
  • Dusting powders: Confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder should be sifted over cooled brownies. 

Storage & Gifting 

  • Cool or dry treats for an hour.
  • Store brownies on the counter in an airtight container; pop pairs into sandwich-size ziplock bags. 
  • Drop cake balls into mini muffin liners and pack in a box. 
  • Wrap a grouping of 4 to 5 pretzel rods in plastic or tie up in cellophane bags.