DIY Sweet Birthday Treats

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Save money and get exactly what you want by making birthday treats at home. Making your own treats is usually cheaper than buying them and gives you control over the ingredients to include. There's nothing wrong with a birthday cake, but cupcakes and fancy cookies are just as celebratory. Use in-season ingredients for the most flavorful -- and cost-effective -- birthday desserts.

Spring

  • Spring is associated with an assortment of fresh fruits, all of which can be included in a birthday dessert. Toss fresh apricots with orange marmalade and bake them into little tartlets served with tea. Stuff strawberries with cream cheese and dip them in semi-sweet chocolate. Add diced mango to a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe for a tropical twist on a classic treat. Cover key-lime cupcakes in vanilla frosting with lime zest, or use fresh pineapple to bake pineapple upside down cupcakes. Frost the tops with “Happy Birthday,” as you would the top of a regular cake.

Summer

  • Serve treats that feature fresh berries in summertime. Toss blackberries with a little sugar and cover with a pie crust for a juicy cobbler. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Bake blueberries into oatmeal cookies and top with lemon frosting for a tangy dessert. Decorate cherry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and bright sugar flowers. Dip fresh raspberries in chocolate and roll them in coconut for a delicately flavored sweet.

Fall

  • Fall lends itself to warm and room-temperature treats, as well as sweets with a spicy kick. Add cinnamon and candied ginger to pumpkin cheesecake bars for a candle-worthy dessert. Toss cranberries with cinnamon sugar and top with a flour, butter and sugar mixture to create a tangy crumble. Bake apple-cinnamon muffins for a healthy take on a birthday treat. Dip apples in pure caramel and let them dry for a youthful dessert. Simmer peeled pears in white wine for an adults-only dessert with a gourmet twist.

Winter

  • Serve warm winter treats to fend off the chill in the air. Don't worry if they're decadent; no one is dieting to fit into swimwear at this time of the year. Top a mocha cheesecake with crushed peppermint candies for a Christmas-themed dessert. Decorate white chocolate cupcakes with coconut frosting to create a lightly flavored treat with a snowy look. Dip fresh tangerine segments into dark chocolate for a quick and juicy treat. Slide passion fruit and kiwi slices between two sugar cookies for an exotic dessert sandwich.

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