Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

Free Printable Cupcake Topper for #SecretSanta or #SillySanta @

Visit for more free printables for Secret Santa  or Silly Santa. Image of bright yellow sun on a soft yellow background. Watercolor.

Visit for more free printables for Secret Santa or Silly Santa.

You might be thinking: “What the–” because a sun seems out-of-place for a Secret Santa gift. However this little printable cupcake topper goes with a very silly winter poem that I will post next week.

Think of it this way; for people who live in Hawaii, a snowman seems sort of out-of-place, right? Well what about wishing someone a sunny Christmas? Is that possible? Of course it is!

The poem I’m planning to post next week will make it all go together nicely.

For now, bake your cupcake gifts, print this little watercolor sun, tape it to a toothpick, and jam the toothpick into your cupcake. Then wait for the poem… It’s coming soon!

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#SecretSanta Goes Into #Hibernation in Anticipation of #SecretPal Events

16424613835_867c66ab9d_zDuring the holidays, this blog,, gets its peak viewership. That makes sense, right? Everybody loves to give Secret Santa gifts.

When January comes, I only post once a month, for those who continue to do Office Buddy or Secret Pal gift-giving. So yes, I’ll still post my gift ideas, but no, you won’t be inundated with unwanted emails and tweets about Secret Pal gift ideas. (Nobody likes an overloaded inbox, right?)

My first post actually looks forward to next month’s February “Secret Pal” or “Office Buddy” gift idea. How do you give your Secret Pal a February gift without seeming too romantic in lieu of Valentine’s Day? Focus instead on Groundhog Day! Bake your Secret Pal some Groundhog Day cupcakes with just a few brown M&M’s, a box of chocolate cake mix, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Or, if you don’t have a box of chocolate cake on hand, here’s a recipe from Bakerella (see her website for some great step-by-step pictures and tips):

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 Tablespoons milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Fill cupcake tray with 18 cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined. Add hot water and mix. It will be very liquid.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Pour into liner with a large spouted measuring cup for ease.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
  • For chocolate frosting, beat 1 cup butter until creamy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and cocoa and mix until combined. Add 1-2 Tablespoons milk and mix until creamy and smooth.

The image and recipe shown here come from blogger and baking guru, Bakerella.


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Make Sun Cupcakes With Candy Corn

sun cupcakeSo your secret pal teacher friend has been having a tough time getting through his school days?

He needs a little sunshine in his life! Why not make these wonderful sun cupcakes I found on Pinterest? (That link will take you to the right page so you can re-pin, follow, or visit the original designer.)

Here’s a little springtime poem you can include with your cupcake:

When the sky is clear

We know spring is near

May this little sun

Bring you lots of fun

And plenty of springtime cheer

Remember, if you use my stuff, it’s always nice to show your appreciation! Like it. Tweet it. Tell a friend. Thanks!

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Cupcakes for January Gift Basket

melting snowmen cupcakes January gift for secret pal office buddies teacher gift present

Image: Cake Central

I’ve noticed that traffic to Secret Pal Teachers typically slows down quite a bit after the holidays. So from now on, I’ll be posting once a month instead of once a week.

There are lots of great Secret Pal ideas in the archives though, so be sure and come back to search for gift cards, bag and box patterns, and, of course, more gift ideas, whenever you’re in need of a gift for your Secret Pal or Office Buddy.

For January’s gift idea, how about these “melting” snowman cupcakes? This idea comes from Cake Central, where you can find some pretty amazing cake-making ideas. I stumbled across it via Pinterest though.

I can imagine filling a gift basket with Easter “grass” and plunking these guys on top of the greenery. Then maybe tape a little orange cardstock “sun” to the basket’s handle, to show that the snowmen are melting. How cute would that be?

In January, we all need a little sunshine, right?! 😉

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