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I love post-season basketball tournaments! Somehow, in that brief time between regular season and post-season, a whole new group of sports enthusiasts emerge and all anyone can talk about is brackets, brackets, BRACKETS!!!!
And the worst of it is when someone’s bracket gets busted in the very first round because a lower ranked team beats the higher ranked team in a one-point upset. Ouch! You’ll be hearing about that around the office for a the next few years!
But the competition really starts to heat up as we move into the oh-so-fun named parts of the tournament — Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four. That’s when hearts get broken. Friendships are tested. And families need to be reminded that blood is thicker than basketball!
So, whether your basketball fans are celebrating their team surviving the Sweet Sixteen matchup or you need to help them drown their sorrows of defeat, here are some fun Sweet Sixteen Sweets for your week:
Cherry Coke® Cupcakes
These are a fun variation of the standard cupcake that will add a little extra fun to your game day fun!
What you’ll need ~
- one can of Cherry Coke® — these Coca-Cola® NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart are perfect and will get you in the basketball spirit!
- one box of chocolate cake mix
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- maraschino cherries
Getting started ~
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Dump the chocolate cake mix in a mixing bowl. DO NOT add other ingredients listed on your cake box. Trust me
- Slowly pour in one can of Cherry Coke® into the cake mix. Again, go slowly because you don’t want it to fizz up too much (but it will fizz up). Mix cake mix and Cherry Coke® together until batter is smooth. Hint: You will probably want to mix by hand so it doesn’t go crazy with the fizzing.
- Line muffin tin with paper liners. We used plain ones but, if you have to shop for the other ingredients, maybe look for some fun liners with basketballs or your team’s colors!
- Pour batter into each lined muffin tin to 2/3 full and bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. After they are done baking, set aside and let cool.
- Using a mixer, beat cream until it becomes a little frothy. Then beat in the confectioners sugar until stiff peaks form when you lift your mixer. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- Once your cupcakes are completely cooled, fill a piping bag (or plastic bag with the corner cut off) with your whipped cream frosting. Frost your cupcakes and top with a maraschino cherry.
We also added a bit of shaved chocolate to our cupcakes or you could add some sprinkles in the color of your favorite team!
Of course our Cherry Coke® Cupcakes just wouldn’t be complete without something to wash them down. So we added a fun Vanilla Coke® Float!
Just scoop a few scoops of vanilla ice cream into a glass and slowly pour over a can of Vanilla Coke®. I love the extra creaminess the Vanilla Coke® adds! And, because you’ll have some extra whipped cream left over from your cupcakes, go ahead and add a dollop of whipped cream and top off with a maraschino cherry!
The perfect combination for your Sweet Sixteen celebration!
Again, you can find the very fun Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs of Cherry Coke®, Vanilla Coke®, and Coke Zero® on aisle displays at your local Walmart…4 for $5!
Don’t forget to enter the National Coke Zero® Final Four Selfie contest! Upload a selfie your favorite Coca-Cola® product and be entered to win 2016 NCAA Final Four tickets!
Who are you cheering for in the tournaments?