March Madness Archives - Hoosier Homemade

Zesty Ranch Chex Mix

By | Cooking, Snacks | 7 Comments

One of the most loved recipes at Christmas time is my Mother-in-laws Party Mix. Doug and my boys absolutely love it! The savory seasonings and the little bit of sweetness from the cereal is pure perfection!

Another favorite in our house is Ranch dressing. I think we go through more bottles of Ranch than several families put together. So I decided to put our two favorites together!

And the new hit in our house…Zesty Ranch Chex Mix!

Zesty Ranch Chex Mix :: Recipe on HoosierHomemade.com

This Zesty Ranch Chex Mix is perfect pretty much any time…movie night, game night, while you are watching the College Basketball Tournaments for March Madness, during the holidays, party snacks, and it even makes a great gift too!

I’ve served it up in some fun basketball cupcake liners that I found (these are similar), also making clean up a breeze! I just kept refilling my cupcake liner- I could not get enough of how good this stuff was!

Zesty Ranch Party Mix :: Recipe on HoosierHomemade.com

This snack mix goes together in minutes and by adding your favorite ingredients, you can make it your own. I love snack ideas that are simple, easy, customizable and delicious!

Here is what I used:

Rice Chex

Corn Chex

Cheese Crackers

Oyster Crackers


Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Packet

Give it a good stir and you are ready to go!

Zesty Ranch Chex Mix :: Recipe on HoosierHomemade.com

What do you add to  your Chex Mix? I am thinking about adding pretzels for the next time- just to add a little bit of of extra salty and a different texture to the mix! There are so many options for this great snack! And change out the cupcake liners to fit any theme!



Zesty Ranch Chex Mix

Perfect snack for movie night, game night or while you are watching your favorite game. Recipe from HoosierHomemade.com

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 4 cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • 4 cups Corn Chex Cereal
  • 2 cups Cheese crackers
  • 2 cups Oyster crackers
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cereal and crackers
  2. Melt butter in microwave and pour about half over cereal mixture
  3. Sprinkle with Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  4. Toss to coat
  5. Repeat with remaining butter and dressing
  6. Toss to coat


Basketball Cupcakes for March Madness

By | Birthday Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Flavored Cupcakes, Home page - Slider, Special Celebration Cupcakes, Special Events | 20 Comments

Welcome to Cupcake Tuesday! Be sure to check out the ALL NEW Cupcake Heaven page! And if you are in need to a special cupcake design, use the “Be a Hero” area!

Are you a Basketball fan? Well, even if you don’t usually watch the games, you may have heard, March Madness is upon us. And the Sweet Sixteen starts this weekend. For those of you throwing a March Madness Party, or celebrating…I created some Basketball Cupcakes, specifically IU Cupcakes for Hoosier fans!

The most important game of all {well at least to us} is on Friday when Indiana plays Kentucky. You see my good friend and fellow blogger, Tiffany from Eat at Home is from Kentucky…and of course…we are Hoosiers. So we have a little rivalry going on, not just a Basketball competition, but a CUPCAKE competition!

Blue Velvet vs Red Velvet = Kentucky vs Indiana

This is just a little ribbing between friends…Kentucky vs Indiana. But I think it’s pretty fun!

First, let’s chat a bit about the Indiana University {IU} decoration on the cupcakes. They are made with Candy Clay. I’ve mentioned candy clay a couple times before, so I thought it was high time I share with you how to make it.

In case you are like me, and don’t care for the taste of fondant or don’t like working with it, then Candy Clay is your answer!

I first learned how to make Candy Clay from a couple of my favorite cupcake decorators, Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, in their new book, Cupcakes, Cookies & Pies! oh my! It’s easy to work with, but does takes some planning since it needs to rest for 3 hours after you mix it. So no last minute cupcakes with the Candy Clay. You can certainly make up a batch, store it in a resealable bag and use what you need.

I use white candy melts, then I can divide the batch and color it as I need it.

Candy Clay Supplies:

  • 1 (12 oz) bag candy melts
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
Directions for Candy Clay:
  1. Melt candy wafers in the microwave, stopping every 20 seconds and stirring. It should take about 1 minute total. I stop when there are a few small pieces left and stir until completely melted, that way I don’t over cook it.
  2. Add 1/3 cup corn syrup and stir until well combined. It will look a little grainy.
  3. Place clay on a piece of plastic wrap, cover and let set for at least 3 hours at room temperature.
  4. Add color if you are using white candy melts, add a little with a toothpick, it doesn’t take much {I learned that really quickly}
  5. Need clay with your hands. You can wear plastic gloves if you want, the coloring did wash off my hands, but you may want to.
  6. After the clay is completely colored, wrap in plastic wrap and let set about 15-20 minutes. I found it was a lot easier to work with after it had firmed back up.
  7. Roll clay between 2 pieces of parchment paper to about 1/8 inch thick.
Directions for IU logo:
  1. Print out logo from the computer
  2. Cut out logo and place on candy clay
  3. Cut out with sharp knife
  4. Let it set on the parchment paper for a few minutes before you remove it, again, I found it easier to remove if it firms back up a little.
  5. Place on cupcake

For the Basketballs, I frosted the cupcakes with a dark orange icing, combining orange and a little copper color, and then rolled the cupcake in orange sugar. The laces are black icing, piped on with a #3 decorator tip.

Now let’s make some Red Velvet CupcakesGO HOOSIERS!! 


Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Delicious cupcakes. Recipe from HoosierHomemade.com

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes


  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspooon Wilton No-Taste Icing Color (no-taste is important to use, because red coloring can be very bitter)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, fill muffin tin with cupcake liners
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, icing color and vanilla, mix well.
  5. Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, add water and mix well.
  6. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and baking soda, add to batter, mix well.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean..
  8. Cool completely


  1. The IU decoration was made with Candy Candy, you can see how to make them in the post above.
  2. Frost with Decorator Icing or your favorite frosting using a Giant Round Tip
  3. Sprinkled with red sugar


Liz says…
The traditional frosting to add to Red Velvet Cupcakes is cream cheese. You can find the Cream Cheese Frosting here, you will need to double the recipe though.

So what do you think?

Will you be rooting for the University of Kentucky or Indiana Hoosiers on Friday?

Which cupcake flavor is your favorite…will it be Blue Velvet or Red Velvet?

In case you aren’t a Kentucky or Indiana fan…here are the March Madness Basketball Cupcakes I shared last year, complete with the Basketball Backboard and a video to show you how to make them.

Now it’s your turn…show off your cupcake creations! I’d appreciate a link back and be sure to check out the other cupcakes!

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Ultimate Fan Pack: The UPS Store #PrintMadness

By | Reviews/Giveaways | No Comments

Do you love basketball? Is your house full of March Madness right now? Well…I’m sure you know our house is! Living in this house full of men…I really don’t have a choice. BUT, I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Collective Bias recently asked me to visit The UPS Store and create an Ultimate Fan Pack. I had never been to The UPS Store before, and I’ll have to say, I was pretty impressed. It was clean, well organized and the staff was helpful. The only problem we ran into, they opened 10 minutes late. We happened to be taking my son to a dental appointment in the same town as The UPS Store, so we decided to head there and make it all in one trip. It wasn’t a huge issue, but had we been in a hurry, it could have been.

So…what did we create? Well, you will have to wait until next week when we share our March Madness Party over at It’s A Blog Party, complete with a party outline from Party BluPrint Blog. But here is a sneak peak…

Check out The UPS Store we visited on our Whrrl!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Collective Bias for this project, all experiences and opinions are my own.

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