This is a bit of a departure for me - I've never posted a recipe before!  But when I put the picture of this silly cake on instagram, people started asking.  So here I go - venturing into the unknown.

My husband is Mtn Dew obsessed.  He doesn't drink it regularly enough for me to call him an addict - it's more like his special treat.  For Valentine's, instead of chocolate, he got Dew.  Said it was the best Valentine's EVER.

So when his birthday came up, I decided to surprise him with a Dew cake.  I looked at several recipes, and, as I usually do, ended up combining ideas from a bunch and then added my own twist.  Which is why I'm posting rather than just providing a link. (Not that the world needs one more Dew Cake recipe. I was surprised to find so many!)

The big difference between mine and every other recipe I saw is orange juice.  I didn't see any that included orange.  Lemon, vanilla, almond, even coconut - but no orange.  Yet Mtn Dew isn't a lemon-lime soda - it's orange based.  In fact, a friend of ours (also a Dew lover), told me that he remembers when Dew used to have orange pulp in it.  I don't add a lot of orange to this cake/glaze- and I think I'd like to even experiment more with upping that quantity (though the cake is already so moist I'll have to be careful about my liquid ratios), but the results are quite good.

Out of my 8 tasters, 5 say the cake tastes just like Dew.  The others say it doesn't, taste like Dew, but is one of the yummiest cakes ever.  I'll take that!  So without further ado:

Mountain Dew Cake:
1 box lemon cake mix
1  3.4 oz box lemon pudding mix
4  eggs
1 1/4 c Mountain Dew
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c oil

Preheat oven to 325 if cooking in a bundt pan like I did. (Don't bother asking about different pans - I haven't tried yet so I don't have a clue!).  Spray and flour pan.

Combine dry cake mix with dry pudding mix. Add eggs, oil, lime juice and orange juice.  Very slowly add Mtn Dew. (V-E-R-Y slowly, unless you like cake mix foam all over your counter top).  Mix at medium until blended and there are no more lumps.

Pour into bundt pan and bake 45-50 min. (again, I'm clueless as to times for other sizes of pans - maybe follow directions on cake mix box?)

Let cake cool a bit (5 min or so) then turn onto plate or platter.  Cool a little more while making glaze, then poke holes in cake using a fork.

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c Mountain Dew
2 Tbs orange juice
1 tsp lime juice
Neon green food coloring (optional)

In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter.  Add sugar.  Stir to incorporate. SLOWLY add Mtn Dew, then add lime and orange juice.  Bring to a boil, turning up heat if needed, stirring often.  Boil for a few minutes until glaze is clear and begins to thicken to a syrup.  (At this point, I added a few drops of neon green food coloring to make it Dew colored.  It doesn't show up much on the exterior of the cake, but on the slices, it gives the edges a fun Dew-green halo)

Spoon glaze over cake previously perforated with a fork.  Cool cake completely before serving.  In fact, it's better the next day after sitting in the fridge overnight.

Final note, it may be overkill, but a dollop of whipped cream (or some spray cream in my case) on each slice of cake is just heavenly!

**UPDATE** Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing:
In the year since making this cake, our family has discovered the dangerously delightful combination of vanilla flavored additions to Mt. Dew.  Adding vanilla creamer to Dew, or making a Dew float with some vanilla ice cream.  Thus it followed that if I added a vanilla cream cheese icing to my Dew Cake, it couldn't help but be fabulous...and I was right.  Here's the recipe I used:
1/4 c butter (softened)
4 oz cream cheese (softened)
3 tsp vanilla
1-2 c powdered sugar
milk (if needed for consistency)

Beat together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar.  If necessary to achieve a spreadable consistency, add milk a very little at a time - not exceeding 2 Tbsp. The icing should be thick enough to not run, but thin enough not to form stiff peaks.


(Funny little inside story, just because it makes me laugh.  Several years ago I begged my husband for a bundt pan for Mother's Day because there was a specific recipe I needed it for.  He has a policy of not giving me kitchen supplies as gifts, so it wasn't until Christmas that he actually gave in and got me the pan I refused to buy myself- by which time I had completely forgotten why I wanted it!  To this day I cannot remember the recipe that made me NEED a bundt pan.  Consequently, THIS CAKE is the FIRST time I've ever used the pan I harassed my poor husband into breaking his gift policies for.  It's fitting that it was for his birthday.)

One of our go-to crafts around here is shrink art.  Ever since my sister gave us the mind-blowing information that #6 recyclable plastic is shrink capable, whenever my kids want a craft, and I'm feeling non-mess, more independent crafting shrink art is what I can pull out.  Wait, you say, did I hear that right?  #6 plastic is shrink art? YES, it is!  I save packages from deli sandwiches,  some produce, lots of take-out - wash it out and VOILA! Shrink art extravaganza! Free crafting is the best crafting!!  

A few cons I've discovered - #6 doesn't shrink as uniformly as the store-bought stuff, and even if you rough it up with sand paper, colored pencils don't work as well on it (colored pencils don't work AT ALL if you don't sandpaper it).  So we use a set of permanent ink markers and all is well.  My kids like to trace their favorite characters or make freehand art.  Punch a hole before baking, and make necklaces, charm bracelets, sun catchers, whatever!  They love the detail they can get in such tiny charms.  You can tell the detail varies with the age of the artist - as always!


The last time they got out the plastic, I wanted to try something I'd seen on Pinterest - making rings.  Only I couldn't find where I'd pinned it, so we made it up as we went along.  (note to self: clean out and organize Pinterest boards!)

The first thing we discovered, #6 plastic DOESN'T WORK WELL FOR RINGS.  It was OK, it shaped fine and looked fine, but the inconsistent shrink rate meant that every ring was a whole different story.  Sometimes it worked great, sometimes a warped mess.  Also it's a bit thicker, which was not ideal. So while we still love #6 for other art, we had to try something else if we wanted rings.

Solution?  Pull out the professional stuff.  I had a package of Shrinky Dinks Frosted Ruff n'Ready, and we were set to make rings.  A little experimentation with size and we were off.
For my older kids (9-13 years old), we found the right pre-shrunk size to be 5 1/2" x 3/4".  For my younger girls (5 & 7 years old),  5" long was perfect.  The 5" length is great because the sheets of shrink art are 8" x 10", so cutting a sheet right down the middle gets a high yield of rings per sheet.
We chose to make CTR rings with our shrinky dinks - though after they were done, there were many other varieties of original art rings as well!  The first and VERY IMPORTANT thing we discovered was that the rough side, the side you draw on, is the inside of the ring.  This means that any writing needs to be done MIRROR IMAGE. I printed out a backwards CTR, and the kids chose their colors and got tracing.
The kids went to town on their designs.  I love how their personalities are reflected in their unique rings.  For my youngest, who lost interest, I finished her sunshine ring.  Just remember to draw on the ROUGH SIDE of the shrink art, and you can use colored pencils on this stuff, but if you use ink use PERMANENT INK.  One of my daughters just grabbed a felt tipped pen and after wearing the ring for a while, her finger was black with ink and the ring was smudged.
Shrink the rings according to the package directions (mine says 325 degrees for a conventional oven for about 3 min or until it lays flat).  This is the fun part for kids, so turn on the oven light and let them watch the antics of the shrinking plastic!  Remember to place on brown craft paper for baking - I use grocery bags cut in half.  NOTE - these do sometimes stick to themselves while baking.  Carefully, and I wore light knit gloves for protection, pull the pieces apart and return promptly to oven.

Remove from oven and quickly (again I wore gloves), wrap around a round object of the right size.  
You've got about 10 seconds to get this done, so have your mold ready.  We looked around the house
and ended up with markers and fingernail polish lids as offering the best diameters for rings.  If you mess up, it cools too quickly, or something else goes wrong, just put the ring back in the oven for a couple more minutes and try again.  We did learn though that this has its limits.  Notice the difference in color in the floral ring above - it was baked repeatedly because we couldn't get the size just right.  Repeated baking affected the color, but it also made it brittle.  The ring broke a couple days later and we had to try again with a new ring.

Finished Rings:

Had to throw in the Green Lantern ring too - for good measure!   My kids made magic rings, name rings, rings until I ran out of patience!  The only ring they couldn't get to look just right for them was the One Ring ;)
As always, I love to hear comments, especially if you try it yourself.  Send me pictures and I'll post them!  Have fun!!

Top o' the mornin' to ye.  Not much to say about this wee crafty.  My kids were hankerin' for a craft - I was feelin' the lack o' the green round our house now that March is here.  Went lookin' for ideas and came across this Valentine craft on Pinterest, which I adapted for St. Patrick's Day simply by changing the shape and the color of the crayons.

It's a super simple craft, and it's extra fun because it surprises the kids - they don't know what's going to happen to the crayon bits, making it sort of science-experiementy to boot!  The final results are so pretty!  I keep finding myself in front of my window studying the individual patterns in each shamrock.

Supplies Needed:
Wax Paper
Pencil sharpener or knife
Iron & ironing board
Craft paper

  1. Place a sheet of craft paper on the ironing board to protect it from the melting wax (I ended up doubling this, just in case)
  2. Place a sheet of wax paper on top of the craft paper.  This will be one side of your "stained glass" shamrock.
  3. Shred crayons onto wax paper.  We started out using the pencil sharpener like the valentine's tutorial explained, but found that it was easier, quicker, and more effective to chop the crayons finely using a knife and cutting board (mom job, not kid job!). **NOTE: Use multiple shades of colors for the best effect.  You'll notice that we have some yellow, some blue, and several shades of green.  These blend together to end up green overall, with spots of neat variation, but otherwise it's drab.
  4. Place a second sheet of wax paper over top of the shredded crayons.
  5. Cover your wax paper - crayon sandwich with another sheet of craft paper to protect your iron. (Just so you know - it doesn't REALLY hurt the iron, and looks really cool to see the crayons melt and blend if you want to show the kids what's going on for just a second before you cover it all up to really go to town on the whole thing.  I tried it ;) )

6. Using the iron on a low to medium heat, and working from the center to the outside edges, press the crayon shreds until they are all melted to desired effect. 
8. Cut out traced shamrock shapes

Hang and Enjoy!!

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