Chunky Monkey Cupcakes and My First Cake

Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing and a look back at my very first cake.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Cupcakes to Cake

You guys know I am all about the cupcakes. Every week you guys watch me pull flavors together into bite-sized mouthfuls of joy and call them cupcakes. And being MsCupcakeasaurus, why wouldn’t I be?

Something you may not know is that I have been caking for almost eight years. By caking, I don’t just mean whipping a mix together and slathering icing over it.

The Art of Caking

Caking involves idea preparation by gathering source materials and analyzing size and shape to determine the best fit for the cake being prepared. It means drawing up plans and sketches and paying attention to all the little details. It means sculpting the cake like a statue emerging from marble. Caking is art after all.

 

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

Over the years, I have not always taken pictures or written step by step tutorials or documented every step of the journey along the way. I make cakes because I enjoy caking. I enjoy bringing the food to art and the art to food.

Flavor combinations are my chemistry experiments and dimensional cakes are my masterpieces. I love playing with new techniques, new materials or ingredients. One of the reasons I enjoy caking so much is that it feels like an art form that I can continuously learn from. That, and they taste good.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

 Today, I will be sharing with you my very first ever caking endeavor.

You may have noticed that I have been caking for as long as I have been a mom. The very first cake I really put my heart and soul into was for Little Cakeasaurus Rex’s first birthday. When he isn’t busy being a dinosaur, he is busy being a monkey. We lovingly nicknamed him Monkey since he was a baby.

As any over zealous mom would be, I created a theme of monkeys and immediately started developing ideas for his main cake and his smash cake. He had blow-up monkeys to toss around, monkey plates and napkins and of course a monkey cake. He had a cake for his guests and he had a personal smash cake.

The Smash Cake

Every little kid needs a smash cake for their first birthday. It is the tradition! I love smash cakes for the little ones. That first birthday is all about seeing their little eyes bulge out of their heads with sugar. There is nothing like taking that first fistful of delicious cake.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

For the smash cake, I decided to go with a German chocolate cake and have the coconut frosting serve as the textured monkey fur. Admittedly, my skills at the time were limited and the monkey face looked more like a bear but Little Cakeasaurus Rex loved it. He had no problem figuring out what to do with his smash cake. Hands in the cake and then straight to the mouth.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Little Chunky Monkey

I love watching little ones feed themselves at this age because they still fist their food and are practically licking their palms. Too cute!

I’ll remember next time that monkey ears should be more on the side of the face rather than on the top. Also, don’t mind the little yellow hair tuft I tried to create. Monkeys can be blonde too, right?

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

 

The Guest Cake

The cake for the guests was a large vanilla sheet cake with a large mound of banana cake on top. I was so inexperienced and had no clue what I was doing. I went totally overboard on measuring out how much cake I would need for a one-year-old’s birthday party. In true First Time Mom fashion, I made enough to feed everyone at the party, the park and halfway down the street.

To give you an idea, I had no clue how to even carry this large of a cake to a park two blocks from the house. I purchased a huge white plastic cutting board and that became my caking station. I still use this cutting board as my preferred surface for rolling fondant or cutting out biscuits.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

In all honesty, I baked two 9×12 inch cakes for the base. I slid them together and covered them with icing. If you are counting, that is a total of four standard cakes for one party. This was the first time I would bake that much cake for one party but it definitely wasn’t  the last.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

If you are wondering, it is no secret how I made the dome-shaped cake. I didn’t have a pan that shape that is for sure. I actually used a stainless steel mixing bowl and baked it right in the oven.

Obviously, be careful when using alternative baking pans but, the bowl worked out great and I still use it for other caking endeavors. I will remind you to take a good look at the shape of the bowl though. If you are wanting a hill shape like I was, you will want a shallower bowl to create a soft mound. However, I have also used a much deeper mixing bowl to create the Drunken Carolina Cake so that I had enough space for good sized cake layers.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Monkey Time

The idea I was wanting to create was a mischievous monkey sitting atop a huge pile of bananas. The pile of bananas had to be made of banana cake of course. The banana cake wasn’t going to be enough though.

Nothing quite looks like a pile of bananas than a pile of bananas. After icing, I also completely covered the mound in Banana Rama candy pieces I purchased from a local candy shop.

Heap of Bananas birthday cakeOriginally, all the bananas were going to be yellow bananas but this is a very mischievous monkey and he needed some colored bananas too. The monkey was a purple monkey bath toy so it was super safe for the kiddo to enjoy long after his party was over.  A funky colored monkey totally deserves a pile of funky colored bananas.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

To add a bit more decoration without going overboard any further, I added Piroulines around the outside edge of the sheet cake which provided great bamboo. A few green leaves and blades of grass with green icing and I had my masterpiece.

Heap of Bananas birthday cake

Can you tell I was proud of myself? I made a little card label with a silly monkey sticker for good measure. I am so proud that this was my first caking adventure. It brings back wonderful memories of my little one’s first birthday and it was the start of a wonderful adventure I still pursue today.

Still A Monkey

The kiddo still embraces his monkey side by collecting cute monkeys we find on our adventures. Currently, we have one from Cape Canaveral and Tampa Zoo.  Just a few weeks ago, I offered my little monkey a special treat.

I treated LCR to Chunky Monkey Cupcakes!

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

These moist banana cupcakes remind me very much of that original banana cake but in smaller cupcake form.  Top that off with a peanut butter cream cheese icing and you will be making all the monkeys smile.

Even walking down memory lane, I couldn’t leave you hanging without a scrumptious cupcake recipe to keep you satisfied.

You have now seen where the caking magic started. Tell me about your baking start. Do you remember your first real baking endeavor as an adult? I clarified that sentence because I was baking and cooking tons growing up. This one just sticks out in my mind as the first cake I researched and planned and put my heart and love into making.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Do you have that one dish or cake that sparked your love for it? I’d love to hear all about it or better yet, see it.

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Chunky Monkey cupcakes made of sweet banana cake topped with peanut butter cream cheese icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Banana Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Banana Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat bananas, eggs and sugar on medium high speed until forming a thick mash.
  3. Add vegetable oil to the banana mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  6. Using a spatula, fold in vanilla extract. Spoon batter into cupcake tim filling cups 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Toothpick will come out clean when cupcakes are done. Cool on a cooling rack before icing.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat softened cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add in half a cup of peanut butter and mix on medium speed until well bleneded.
  3. Add powdered sugar to cream cheese mixture a cup at a time mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  4. Add milk and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  5. *Taste it. Your icing can be more sweet or nutty depending on how much sugar or peanutbutter you add. I prefer a light and sweet flavor so I stuck with 2 cups powdered sugar and a 1/2 cup of peanutbutter. If you want a thicker peanut butter flavor, just add more peanut butter.*
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Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Outward Baking

There is one thing about baking that I just can’t dispute. Baking tastes best when you are feeding another person. There is some magic that mixes into the batter when you are focused on pleasing that special someone.

After mastering the tastebuds of my own home, I spent this Summer reaching out to others to try and please their taste buds as well. Whether I was grabbing inspiration from their direct quotes (Vera’s Peach Spice Cupcake with Kiwi Sparkler Icing), their passionate causes (Free the Nipple Black Forest Cupcakes), or their loving mom (Baby Z’s Perfectly Pear Cupcakes and Wonder Woman Egg Free Red Velvet Cupcakes), I enjoyed every minute of the journey creating their custom cupcake creations.

If you are interested in having a custom cupcake recipe created for you or someone you love, send me an email and we can work out the details. I would love to hear from you!

Baking Season

As Autumn fast approaches, baking season is fully underway. To stay ahead of the game, you will want to grab my Free Baking Conversion Cheatsheet to hang in your cabinet or up on the frig. Convert measurements and adjust your favorite recipes in minutes so you aren’t getting schmutz on your phone or tablet mid-recipe. An extra bonus is that you will also have exclusive access to my Sweet Resource Library that is constantly growing.

Free Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet

To finish the Summer strong, I wanted to feature another custom cupcake recipe. Just like Beauty Bae’s Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes, this one was for another young woman from the United Kingdom.

If I keep making these international connections, I am definitely going to be needing a food scale so I can provide the recipes in grams and milliliters instead of cups and teaspoons. Utilizing the Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet as well as the Basic Ingredient Baking Conversion Cheat Sheet (both located in the Sweet Resource Library), all of my recipes can be converted, however, results may vary slightly.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

As Seen On Jean

This week I was baking for Jean of As Seen On Jean. She is a teacher who decided to write a blog and I am so glad she did. Her posts provide tips, reviews and real-life advice about all sorts of products and services.  I am especially in love with her Monthly Favorites section where Jean tells you her favorite products of the month and usually includes ways to win some of those items too. How cool is that?

I have a special soft spot for teachers since my mother is a lifelong teacher herself. I was excited to get to work on Jean’s cupcake so she can enjoy it as her students begin to return to school.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Recipe Development

Her requirements seemed simple. She wanted a gluten-free chocolate cupcake.

Guess who had to make it complicated? If your first and only guess is me then you’d be correct!

Though I enjoy exploring recipes outside of my comfort zone like the Bold and Free Vegan Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes, they do take a bit more research and development. I had never made an intentionally gluten-free recipe before, let alone created a recipe for one.

What’s  Gluten?

There are many reasons that people choose to remove gluten from their diet. For more information regarding gluten and the health effects of consuming gluten, I found this article very informative. 

Gluten is a group of proteins that are found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. When baking cupcakes, the gluten component would be in the all-purpose flour that is traditionally used. The trick here is to find an alternative that performs like flour but does not have gluten.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

All in the Coconut

Gluten-free flour alternatives are fairly easy to obtain, which was a pleasant surprise. I chose to explore an Organic Coconut Flour because I have worked with coconut oil and coconut spread before and have enjoyed those results.

I will warn that these alternative flours sometimes require additional tweaks to your favorite recipes because they are not a one for one substitution for all-purpose flour. In the case of coconut flour, I reduced the amount of flour used overall and I needed to add additional liquid to make the consistency of the cupcake more desirable.

Maybe it is common sense but it definitely did not occur to me until after the taste test. Coconut flour will make the recipe taste like coconut. I know, novel concept, right?

Well, the original idea was to have a somewhat traditional chocolate cupcake (even if gluten-free) and then top it with an edible chocolate chip cookie dough. I mean, all cookie dough is edible but we feel better if it doesn’t have raw eggs included.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Almond Joy Love

After creating this delectable Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcake combo, I took one bite and my only thought was, “Wow this tastes like an Almond Joy!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a delicious chocolate coconut treat like an Almond Joy any day. This just wasn’t quite my intended outcome with the Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Had I realized sooner, I would have probably played up the Almond Joy aspect and decorated the tops with a chocolate covered almond or something similar.  It is certainly something to consider when you make this recipe at home.

Favorites

Captain Cupcakeasaurus is sometimes reluctant to try alternative diet recipes. Both he and Little Cakeasurus Rex LOVED these cupcakes. In so many ways, you can’t really go wrong with chocolate.

Due to the heavy coconut flavor, I would not recommend this recipe as an alternative to traditional chocolate cupcakes. However, they certainly hold their own as a tasty chocolate coconut treat.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I hope Jean enjoys the coconut flavor as much as my family did. You can check out her favorites for the month and enjoy one of the Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes for yourself.

Don’t forget to let Jean know how much you love her custom cupcake flavor at As Seen on Jean. As always, please share your results with me too. You can tag @mscupcakeasaurus on Instagram.

Today we made life taste sweeter gluten-free style.

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Print Recipe
These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Print Recipe
These Gluten Free Chocolate Cookie Dough Cupcakes are made with organic coconut flour. The chocolate cupcake is rich and soft while the edible cookie dough topping is creamy and delicious.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit In a large bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and sugar on medium-high speed.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, place about a half a cup of semi sweet chocolate morsels. Microwave on high heat for ten seconds. Stir. Microwave for an additional 5-10 seconds until chocolate is melted and smooth. A half cup of semi chocolate morsels will be more than one Tablespoon melted, the remainder will be used for the Cookie Dough topping.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture a little at a time and mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  5. Add coconut oil, brewed coffee, and melted semi sweet chocolate morsels. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  6. Fill lined cupcake tin 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on baking rack before adding topping.
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Beauty Bae Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

A custom recipe creation for Beauty Bae’s Miamii Monsour. A mixture of sweet and tart swirled into this Blue Velvet cupcake chocked full of blueberries and topped with a blue raspberry cream cheese frosting.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Beauty Bae

Miamii is the spunky Broadcast Journalism major and blogger of Beauty Bae. She shares everything she thinks about the latest beauty, fashion and entertainment trends with all the humor and sass you could ask for.
I love her lack of brain-to-mouth filter when it comes to what she loves and what she hates. She is like that best friend that will absolutely not let you leave the house looking like a hot mess. Miamii’s humor and spunk radiate from every post and tweet.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Blue, Blue, Blue

For such a fun and spunky personality, I had to create a flavor combo just as electrifying.
One of the first things Miamii shared with me was that she LOVES the color blue. I always love a good place to start but I may have gone overboard!

First and foremost the cake had to be blue. What better cake than a Blue Velvet cake? If red velvet is everyone’s standard favorite, then Blue Velvet is Beyonce. Everyone loves it and they are always impressed.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Blueberry Blast

At some point, I asked myself, “How can I make these cupcakes more blue?” My answer: Blueberries! But, of course!
In all honesty, we are a bit limited in our natural blue fruit options. You have a blueberry and a- nope, just a blueberry.

Tossing a few blueberries into each cupcake adds just the right amount of sweet surprise and makes these divinely blue cupcakes all the more blue.

The icing was just….well, when you think of what blue might smell like, what do you think of?

Taste of Color

For me, colors definitely have smells and tastes. Isn’t Skittles always telling us to taste the rainbow? Though I love purple, the color purple smells like Dimetapp to me.  Green usually smells like spinach or sometimes even like dirt. I understand dirt isn’t green but plants are and they grow from the earth. When it comes to tastes, Mellow Yellow and Mountain Dew both have a distinctly yellow taste to me. Seriously, close your eyes and take a sip. Can’t you taste the yellow?

So, what does blue smell or taste like to you?

Blue, for me, smells like blue raspberry flavoring. You know like you get as a slushie flavor at the 7/11? Or maybe that Blue Razz Berry Charms Blow Pop that leaves your tongue stained? Yeah, that one! I really wanted to make an icing flavored like a dang Blow Pop.
So I put on my blue suede shoes (I don’t really have those) and got to work.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

UK Conversion

Reading Beauty Bae, I realized that she is based in the United Kingdom. This means that an ideal recipe for her would be converted to grams and milliliters. Unfortunately, at this time, I do not have an easy way to post a recipe that has both the measurements available. However, I did create a handy basic ingredient conversion cheat sheet so hopefully converting this recipe to grams and milliliters is not too difficult.

The Basic Ingredient Conversion Cheat Sheet is one of several free resources I provide in my Sweet Resource Library.  You can gain full access here.

Basic Ingredient Conversion Cheat Sheet

The Cake

Oh, this blue velvet cake seems familiar? Well, it should! The eggless version we just made a few weeks ago for the Wonder Woman Eggfree Red Velvet Cupcakes. A few changes though, obviously. This blue velvet cake has eggs and blue food coloring instead of red. However, they share the same great taste.

The addition of blueberries does not change the consistency of the cake but they do add a nice fruity perk and may bulk up your batter to make a few more cupcakes than usual.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

That Frosting Though

The frosting is sweet and sour and oh so blue! Seriously though, not only does it taste AMAZING but the scent permeates and makes you start craving those slushies and Blow Pops. I might have to start slathering this stuff on everything!

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

To Top It Off

You may have noticed those blueberries on top don’t exactly look natural. I spruced those babies up to be as glam as Beauty Bae. A spritz of Wilton Silver Color Mist and they are shimmering and glowing. Little Cakeasaurus Rex (the kiddo) got to eat my leftover berries. He loved that they were shiny and said he felt like he was eating fancy food.

Who doesn’t love a glimmering blueberry?

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes

How Do You Do Blue?

Are you absolutely in love with these Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes? Is there any way you could make them MORE blue? Let me know your ideas in the comments.

If you love them, let Miamii know you love her cupcakes too at Beauty Bae. I know she would love to hear from you!

Stay true, stay blue and make life taste sweeter!

 

 

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A custom recipe creation for Beauty Bae's Miamii Monsour. A mixture of sweet and tart swirled into this Blue Velvet cupcake chocked full of blueberries and topped with a blue raspberry cream cheese frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Print Recipe
A custom recipe creation for Beauty Bae's Miamii Monsour. A mixture of sweet and tart swirled into this Blue Velvet cupcake chocked full of blueberries and topped with a blue raspberry cream cheese frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
20-25 minutes
Ingredients
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Blue Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Blueberry Blue Velvet Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit Line a cupcake tin with 24 liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter, eggs, and sugar together.
  3. In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix food coloring, salt and cocoa into a paste. Wet food coloring will want to bead up. Press spoon firmly against bottom of the bowl to press coloring into cocoa. Keep blending until a paste-like consistancy is formed. This may mean adding a bit more coloring as needed.
  4. Add colored cocoa to the sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together flour and baking soda.
  6. Add flour mixture a little at a time to the sugar mixture, alternating with the addition of the buttermilk. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  7. Fold in vinegar and vanilla extract using a spatula. Do not over mix.
  8. Fold in blueberries gently.
  9. Fill each cupcake tin 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack before icing.
Blue Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attchment, beat softened cream cheese unti smooth.
  2. Add dry Jell-o mix directly to the cream cheese. Beat on medium- high to high speed until well blended.
  3. Add the milk to the cream cheese mixture a little at a time. Mix on medium-high speed. Frosting will become more wet.
  4. Add sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat on medium-high speed until frosting becomes thick and fluffy.
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Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Christmas festivities need a warm melting hot chocolate cupcake to keep spirits warm and bright.

Hey Guys!

Christmas is almost here and hopefully everyone is staying safe and not getting too overwhelmed this holiday season.

If you do feel a bit stressed, just grab a piece of chocolate and take a deep breath. The holiday is about love and giving not stressing out over gifts and making everyone happy.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

The Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex started Boy Scouts a few weeks ago and will be celebrating with them soon for a Christmas party. What kind of Cupcakeasaurus would I be if I didn’t volunteer to bring the cupcakes? I asked the kiddo for his favorite flavor as my jumping off point for this one.

Chocolate!

Can you blame him? Also, I enjoyed the Lindor white chocolate truffles so much in the White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes that I was excited to incorporate them again using milk chocolate this time. So, if we were in North Carolina or perhaps even farther north, then it would be cold enough to be enjoying hot cups of cocoa.

 

The Best Hot Chocolate

Now, I don’t know how you’re used to making your Hot Chocolate but I love making it for the little man by adding a few extras to make it really delicious and over the top. I do usually use a base of Swiss Miss and milk, not water. I’ll heat it on the stove and add in some chocolate syrup and a good bit of cinnamon.

After pouring into his favorite Spiderman mug, I add one milk chocolate truffle to melt into smooth rich chocolate. I top his with marshmallows though I typically prefer whip cream for myself. Then a little drizzle of chocolate syrup on top to really finish it off.

Ideally these are enjoyed just before dropping him off somewhere else so they can endure the sugar high from all the chocolate. I’m kidding of course but I realize I’m fairly serious about my Hot Chocolate.

 

The Best Hot Chocolate Cupcake

Thankfully cupcakes don’t need specific temperature requirements to really be enjoyed. So I can bring all those wonderful flavors from our Hot Chocolate right into an easy to eat cupcake. I hate waiting for my Hot Chocolate to cool down enough to drink. I’m so impatient I end up burning my tongue on it and having a sore spot for the next few days. No risk of that with cupcakes.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

The cupcake base is a chocolate cupcake recipe I edited to bring out more of the cinnamon flavor. Amazingly the cake does not use butter or eggs. Instead your liquid ingredients in this one are going to be Greek yogurt and milk. The batter is extremely thick but it is also super easy to mix. I didn’t even use my mixer this time; just my whisk and a little elbow grease.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

I started by mixing my dry ingredients of flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. I whisked that together until well mixed. Then I added in the milk, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Like I said, the batter is really thick. It does get softer as you mix it though. The last step is to fold in the chocolate chips. I suppose technically chocolate chips would be an alteration to the Hot Chocolate recipe but we’ll pretend they are subbing in for the chocolate syrup.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Just like we did in the White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes, take your kitchen shears and cut into the top of the cupcakes an X shape and push an unwrapped milk chocolate truffle into the top. Press down slightly so that the top of the truffle is almost flush with the top of the cupcake. If it sticks up a bit that is okay too.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Icing

These cupcakes do not need a significant amount of icing. Pretty much we are just icing them enough to hold the marshmallows on and to add a bit of contrasting flavor.

Hot_Chocolate_CupcakesIn a large mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, mix on medium high two sticks of butter, two teaspoons of vanilla, ½ a teaspoon of salt and 1.5 lbs of powdered sugar. The icing will be quite thick as well but the butter will be creamy. Make sure that there are no chunks of butter remaining and everything is smooth.

I then piped a thin amount of icing on top of each cupcake in a circular motion starting from the outside of the cupcake and wrapping my way to the middle. I pretended it was like whip cream swirling at the top of the mug.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

What’s Hot Chocolate Without Marshmallows?

The marshmallows really have no rhyme or reason. I mean I didn’t count them or have a method of how I attached them or anything. I just took a handful and placed them on so that it looked like a dome of marshmallows on top of Hot Chocolate. That is the whole look we are going for after all.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

I had some leftover chocolate from the Rum Soaked Chocolate Covered cherries the other day, so I heated some of that up. There are several ways to do a drizzle. If your chocolate is cooperating, you can take your stirring spoon and drizzle the chocolate right over the cupcakes.

If it isn’t, then you can use a mini squirt bottle like I did or I’ve even used a sandwich bag before. I don’t recommend a sandwich bag because if the chocolate is the slightest bit too hot it can melt a hole in the bag and go everywhere. I learn from experience folks. In a pinch though, it does work if you are careful about the temperature of your chocolate.

 

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

The last finishing touch that really sells the Christmas party theme for these Hot Chocolate Cupcakes are the little mini candy canes. I remember going to Black Hawk Hardware and sitting on Santa’s knee for pictures. He would always give out these little mini candy canes. It is funny to me how important talking to Santa was back then but I could not for the life of me tell you one thing I ever asked for him to bring me for Christmas. I do remember he had a real beard and I was fairly convinced he was the realest of all the Santas.

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes

Speaking of Santa, I am sure he would love one of these Hot Chocolate cupcakes left out for him with a tall glass of milk.  That’s how you get the fun stuff kids!

Hot_Chocolate_Cupcakes
What a way to make the holiday magical? Whip up some Hot Chocolate Cupcakes and maybe enjoy them with your own mug of Hot Chocolate as well. Curl up with your family and enjoy the holiday. This is how I’m making life taste sweeter.

As always please like, share, and follow to spread the Christmas cheer.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes stuffed with Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles topped with a simple vanilla butter cream and mounds of marshmallows. Finish with a milk chocolate drizzle and mini candy cane for holiday delight.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes stuffed with Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles topped with a simple vanilla butter cream and mounds of marshmallows. Finish with a milk chocolate drizzle and mini candy cane for holiday delight.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes
Simple Vanilla Butter Cream
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients of flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add in Greek yogurt, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. Fill 24 lined cupcake tins 3/4 full with batter.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean. Using kitchen shears cut a cross into the top of each cupcake. Insert an unwrapped Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffle in to the opening and press down slightly until the top of the truffle is nearly flush with the top of the cupcake.
Simple Vanilla Butter Cream
  1. In a large mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, mix on medium high butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. Swirl a very light flat coating of icing over each cupcake. Add about 10-12 marshmallows to the top of the icing.
  3. Melt Almond Bark in a microwave safe bowl on High in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and add 10 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Using a spoon or squirt bottle, drizzle Almond Bark over the top of cupcakes. Garnish with a mini candy cane on each cupcake.
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White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and we are all plum full of turkey and fixings, it is time to turn toward Christmas. Maybe it is being one of the few Christmases I’ve ever spent away from home, or maybe it is the still 90 degree heat here in Florida, but I have been craving the Christmas season like no body’s business. I love seeing the stores decorate with lights and ribbons. Well, I am an ADD kid, I’m always going to love sparkly lights no matter the reason.

As soon as we returned home from our family travels this year, I had Captain Cupcakeasaurus pulling down the tree and decorations from the attic. So my little four foot prelit tree is up and shining. It was fun deciding which ornaments made it on the tree this year. This is the first Christmas Captain and I have decorated and celebrated together. Last year we were still living 600 miles apart.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex also got in the spirit  by hanging up his chocolate advent calendar. Aldi had a cute one available that lets him pull out a small milk chocolate each day counting down to Christmas.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

To really make the house festive I had to whip up some thematic cupcakes. I may not see a white Christmas this year but that is okay because these White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes make it feel like a white Christmas regardless.

Everything about these cupcakes are white. A white vanilla batter with sour cream for extra whiteness. Then a delicious white chocolate Lindor truffle is placed inside of each one. Top with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting and you’ve got yourself the perfect White Chocolate Christmas cupcake.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

I have to share something a bit embarrassing but supremely funny with you guys. When Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex tried one of these Cupcakes he was surprised, naturally, by the truffle inside. I then tried to explain to him what a truffle was and relate it to something he knew. He says, “Oh, truffles are those things that help your uterus calm down!”White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

I often enjoy the milk chocolate truffles during a certain time of month and apparently even the six-year-old has picked up on it. I suppose I’m training him right because knowing a woman’s favorite chocolate can certainly get him out of all kinds of trouble in the future.

 

Some of our recent cupcakes have had some extra steps that made them a bit more difficult than your average cupcake recipe. This one is not one of those. It is super easy especially if you have everything on hand. I wanted these cupcakes to be as pure white as possible. I was really going for full on snowy Winter Wonderland effect here. 

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

 

So I even used my colorless vanilla extract by Wilton in order to ensure the cakes turned out as white as possible. It is also important to make sure to fold in those egg whites towards the end. You want a nice light and fluffy batter. If it is over worked, your cake will be more dense rather than light and airy.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

One of the best parts about these cupcakes are the freaking melt in your mouth Lindt Lindor truffles that just take this cake over the top. Truffles are delicate and melt easily so this is definitely not one of those things you want to try and bake inside the cupcake.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

But while the cupcakes are still hot just take some kitchen shears and cut down into the cake about a half an inch. Make another cut crossing your first and it can look like a plus sign or an X which ever you prefer. Then just nestle one of your truffle babies right down inside and press a little bit to get it in there nice and tight. I would love to see what these cupcakes would look like with a chocolate or caramel truffle in them as well. Mmmmmm.

 

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

The White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is a perfect pairing with this cake. It is thick and chocolate-y and the cream cheese adds that refreshing flavor. This would also be a great frosting for decorating a Santa beard or adding snowballs to other decorating endeavors.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

Now, like I said, I was going for a pure white Winter Wonderland feel. So I wanted my icing to be as pure white as possible and really almost glisten like snow dunes do beneath the moon light. I sprayed a light coating of silver Color Mist food spray over the frosting to really make the icing shine and it  resembles the lights reflecting off  icy snow.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

And because these cupcakes are so pale in complexion, you can decorate with almost any color and really make them pop. These would look amazing on a bright red serving platter or even done up as gifts on colorful plates. The possibilities are endless. As an extra little texture to the top, I added a little shaved white chocolate which gives a nice preview of the tastes inside.

White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes White_Chocolate_Christmas_Cupcakes

What are some images that immediately come to mind for you when you think about Christmas and this time of year? Do you think of a Winter Wonderland or hot peppermint cocoa? Do you imagine blues and silvers or is everything in red and green? We all have those memories, whether from sights or tastes, that take us back to the childhood excitement of this time of year.

I hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as we did. This time it was Lindor chocolate truffles that made life taste sweeter.

White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes
Print Recipe
White fluffy vanilla cake with a white chocolate Lindor truffle center and topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes
Print Recipe
White fluffy vanilla cake with a white chocolate Lindor truffle center and topped with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 20 minutes
Cook Time
15-20 minutes
Ingredients
White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
White Chocolate Christmas Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients of flour and baking powder. Set to the side. Measure out the milk and add vanilla to the milk.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and sugar on medium high speed until smooth.
  4. Add a third of the flour to the sugar mixture. Then add half of the milk. Alternate additions, ending with the last third of flour. Mix well between additions until smooth.
  5. Add a third of the egg whites and whisk into batter. Then, take the remaining two thirds of egg whites and fold them in with a spatulas as to not over work the batter. Place liners in 24 cup liners and fill 3/4 of the way fill with batter.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 17-20 minutes. Use kitchen shears to cut a plus sign in the top of each cake. Place a Lindor White Chocolate truffle inside and press down slightly so that the tops of the truffles are at about the same height of the cupcake.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for about a minute. Stir and heat in 30 second increments until fully melted and smooth.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix on medium speed cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add in white chocolate and mix until well blended. Add in powdered sugar in increments and beat until smooth.
  3. Optional garnish is to add white chocolate shavings to the top. Another optional garnish is to spray lightly with silver Color Mist Food Color spray for a shiny finish.
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Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes

Hey Guys!

Thanksgiving

It is the week before Thanksgiving and we are all getting ready for our family and friends and good eating. Besides all the pumpkin we’ve been making with Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pecan Praline and Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, the next family favorite is always the Sweet Potato Casserole. Who doesn’t love the sweet crunchy goodness of brown sugar and nuts over sweet potatoes and my personal favorite the gooey toasted marshmallows? Yum!

Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes

 

Well, I say family. Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex swears up and down that he hates sweet potatoes. After these cupcakes, he is going to have a hard time getting away with that again. He ate it so fast he barely chewed and then wanted to argue with me when I told him the ingredients. Little Stinker! Suffice it to say, I think the boy likes sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato or Pumpkin?

In many ways I treat sweet potatoes like pumpkin. I mean think about it, they are similar in color and once cooked pretty similar in texture. Their flavors are similar in many ways especially when you spice them up with things like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves,  and allspice. In fact, unless they are side by side, bite for bite, I think sweet potato pie can easily pass as pumpkin pie.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_CupcakesI like to do this recipe in one consecutive baking session. Sometimes I will bake the cakes, then do a topping and then come back to frost them. This recipe is just much easier all at once.  First preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Even though they won’t be needed until later, I went ahead and placed my pecans on a little baking sheet to toast.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

While those are becoming nice and toasty, I then start on the sweet potato purée.  Cut the sweet potatoes into about one inch cubes. I think the smaller pieces make them easier to mash but don’t stress on exactness here. Then just barely cover the potatoes in cold water and place on high heat. Similar to making regular mashed potatoes, just let them boil and get real tender. I used my wooden spoon to mash them into a purée but a fork or potato masher would work fine too. I felt like I was making homemade baby food or something while mashing these sweet potatoes.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

The next step is to mix up the Pecan Topping. Mmmmm. There is quite the debate on whether this is the best part or the marshmallow is the best. I’ll let you decide. Mix together the Pecan Topping ingredients and just set to the side. It will be crumbly but that is the way we want it.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

All In the Mix

Like many of my recipes, I whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl which is later added to the wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, the sugar, butter and lemon zest will be creamed together. Add in the applesauce a little at a time. For conversion sake, if you are planning on making a cake and want to take the eggs out of it (or you ran out of eggs like a silly baking goose), then 1/4 cup applesauce is equal to one egg. However, you’ll want to add a bit more baking powder to balance it out. I would estimate about an 1/8 of a teaspoon of baking powder per egg being replaced. It is a fairly handy trick when you don’t have eggs or have a vegan in the house.

Add in the sweet potato purée and mix well. It is almost time for those dry ingredients to start making this batter look more like batter and less like sweet potato pudding.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

Alternate adding the dry ingredients in with adding in the milk. I usually add in a third of the flour mixture and then half of the milk. Then, I will repeat that cycle by adding in another third of the flour mixture and the rest of the milk. The last third of the flour mixture you will want to fold in manually with a rubber spatula so as not to over mix the batter.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

Fill the liners 3/4 of the way full of batter and then spoon the Pecan topping on top. Do not worry if the topping domes over the top of the cupcakes, just lightly press it down so that it really seeps in to the cupcake. Bake those for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with just a few clinging crumbs.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

Now, the original idea behind these cupcakes was to take the traditional Sweet Potato Casserole and turn it into an easy to eat delectable treat. However, at some point during the planning process, I overlooked the fact I was missing a baking essential! I didn’t have eggs! This did not pose a problem for the Sweet Potato Casserole cupcakes. In fact, by using applesauce instead of eggs, I feel like it really enhanced the flavor of the spices in the cake.

Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes

The problem really arose when I went to make the Whipped Marshmallow Frosting. Here is my disclaimer: The toasted marshmallow fluff in the picture is not the recipe posted below. Why? Well, here comes the embarrassing part. So, I get the bright idea to make Whipped Marshmallow Frosting. I have never made it before. Without reading a recipe (NOTE TO SELF: READ THE RECIPE), I began whipping up what I believed to be marshmallow fluff.  Did I start with sugar or gelatin or marshmallow spread? Of course not. I started with a bag full of marshmallows. I have my off days guys. I’m allowed. 🙂

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

Anyway, as I’m mixing away at my bag of marshmallows, I finally decide to pull up a few recipes on how to make Marshmallow Frosting. Low and behold, that is when I see that I may need eggs for this project and now what is a girl to do? As a baker, I have powdered meringue on hand for just such occasions when I need egg whites and I don’t have them. So then I kind of try to follow the recipe but still including my original bag of marshmallows.  None of it was really working. So I decided to save you the trouble of making my mistake so you can have beautiful tasty cupcakes instead of the mess I created.

Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes

Oh, you think that doesn’t sound all that bad? You haven’t heard the half of it. Since I did not follow directions, or started following them too late, or whatever, my marshmallow fluff was way wetter than it should’ve been. Even though I piped it onto the tops of the cupcakes, they quickly dispersed and spread across the tops of the cakes and down the sides of my tins.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

I also learned a handy lesson about broiling during this endeavor. Marshmallows only take a few seconds to toast. If you walk away for even just a minute, they could catch on fire like campfire marshmallows and you’ll have an oven full of fire and a smoke detector going off and trying to explain to your Fire Captain fiancé how you almost burnt the house down. That’s all speculation of course. But, please learn from my mistakes and lightly toast your marshmallows instead of torching them.

Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes

Thankfully, my friends are those funny people who like the more blackened pieces of the campfire marshmallows and they actually loved the taste of the Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes with the added charred marshmallow topping. But, if you’d rather not explain that your cupcakes are just charred and not chocolate, then I suggest a light toasting doing the trick.

Sweet_Potato_Casserole_Cupcakes

Maybe this year, instead of pulling out the casserole dish, pull out the cupcake tins instead and enjoy the traditional family favorite of Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes with all the sweet delicious flavor and the added benefit of easy individual servings.

Enjoy the time with your family folks. I know I will be. Make life taste sweeter by sharing this recipe with the ones you love.

Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Spiced Sweet Potato Cupcake with toasted pecan topping and whipped marshmallow frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Spiced Sweet Potato Cupcake with toasted pecan topping and whipped marshmallow frosting.
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes
Pecan Topping
Whipped Marshmallow Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on cookie sheet and put in oven to toast while preparing batter.
  2. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into one inch cubes. Cover in pot with cold water, just enough to top sweet potatoes, and boil on high until sweet potatoes are soft. You can blend them or mash them with a fork once tender. They are so soft it really doesn't take much to mash into a puree.
  3. If pecans are toasted, pull out of oven. Leave at 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with 24 liners. Mix Pecan Topping ingredients in a medium bowl. They will be crumbly. Set to the side.
  4. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the rest of the spices. Whisk together and set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat light brown sugar and granulated sugar with the melted butter and lemon zest. Mix well. The mixture will become thick after 3-4 minutes. Add in a applesauce a 1/4 at a time. Mixing well between each addition.
  6. Add in sweet potato puree and vanilla extract until batter is creamy.
  7. Take dry ingredients and alternately add them to the mixing bowl with the milk. Add a third of the flour mix, then 1/2 of the milk, etc. The last 1/3 of the flour mix you'll want to hand fold in with a spatula so as not to over mix the batter.
  8. Fill liners 3/4 full with batter. Spoon Pecan topping on top of each cupcake and press down slightly to really get the topping down into the cupcake. Bake 15-20 at 350 degrees. A toothpick should come out clean with maybe just a few crumbs.
Whipped Marshmallow Frosting
  1. Place egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heatproof mixing bowl. Set over a saucepan with boiling water and whisk ingredients until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Move mixing bowl to electric mixer. Add in vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix starting at low and gradually moving to high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. The frosting is very sticky. Using a piping bag, pipe a dollop of Whipped Marshmallow Frosting on the top of each cupcake. Put in oven on high broiler for just a few seconds to toast marshmallow. You can also do this manually with a kitchen torch if one is available.
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Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Hey guys!

If you weren’t feeling it last week, you should definitely be feeling it this week. We are in full Fall swing now. Nothing makes me think of Thanksgiving quite like Pumpkin Pie. Since we made Pumpkin cupcakes last week, I was going to switch it up with some sweet potatoes this week.

 

But, you really can’t say no to these Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. That’s Pumpkin Pie AND a delicious cupcake. Two desserts in one. Double the dessert without doubling the calories. I’m pretty sure since Snickerdoodles are a cookie, it could technically be THREE desserts in one. I just couldn’t resist and had to share. We can always save the sweet potatoes for next week.

 

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

So as difficult as baking a pie inside a cupcake sounds, it really isn’t too bad. A few extra steps but nothing that will make you feel chained to your stove. First, we bake pies. Yay Pumpkin Pie! Handmade crust in little mini muffin tins and voilà, mini Pumpkin Pies! I am , of course, sharing my Go To recipe for homemade pie crust which is great for quiches too by the way, but you are welcome to use pre-made pie crust dough if that suits you.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pie crust dough is fairly easy to whip up but temperature is really important. You want to make sure that your butter and the water added are both cold. I don’t even thaw my butter I just cut it into tiny pieces to make it easier to mix into the dough. Some recipes may call for a pastry cutter to do the mixing for your pie crust but I have two good hands that work just fine.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

I will let you know that I do have to put my engagement ring in the cabinet when I cook. I am terrified of it being on the counter or anywhere where it could be bumped or knocked off. So sometimes, Captain Cupcakeasaurus will be putting away dishes or something and happen upon my ring. I figure that’s better than having it be all buttered and floured or worse yet end up down the drain or baked inside a cupcake. Though the latter may sound romantic, I promise, it isn’t.Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

 

When pressing the pie crust in to the mini muffin tin, make sure to keep it as thin as possible. No one wants to bite into a delicious cupcake only to get a mouthful of pie crust. The crust will puff up a bit so just keep that in mind while crusting the tins.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

I ended up putting about two teaspoons of pie filling in each mini pie. I tried to fill them as much as I could without running over. You will have quite a bit of filling left. You can either make a pumpkin pie with your remaining crust dough and filling or come up with something else to utilize the extras. I made a Pumpkin Pie “tart”. Meaning I couldn’t locate my pie pan and decided a bread pan would work just fine. I lined my bread pan with the remaining pie crust dough and after baking for a few minutes to harden the crust, I filled it with the remaining pie filling. So not only will I be serving Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes, but MsCupcakeasaurus will have her own Pumpkin Pie to enjoy as well. Yum!

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_CupcakePumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

 

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Alright, so once your little pies are cooling, now we get to do the cupcake bit. You can leave the stove on 350 degrees because it won’t take us long to whip up the batter.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

The batter is a type of vanilla cake batter but I find that it comes out a bit more golden than a regular vanilla cupcake.  By “golden” I don’t just mean in color. I guess, to me, it would be like the difference in a biscuit and toast. Both are bread and eaten during similar times but clearly a difference.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_CupcakeAt the end of the recipe, you’ll notice where it says to beat the egg whites and fold them into the batter. If you are curious as to how stiff they should be, I took a picture just for you. This is an important step that really lightens up the batter. I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty sure without this step the batter would be way too thick and your cupcakes would come out really dense and heavy. We are already shoving a pie inside there, we don’t need it any heavier.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Put your pretty little liners in for 24 cupcakes.  You’ll want to spoon about a Tablespoon of batter into the bottom of each cup. We don’t want the pies to sit on the bottom of the cupcake but rather float in the middle. Nestle your little Mini Pumpkin Pies on top of the batter and lightly press to secure. Then add another Tablespoon of batter to the top. I used a butter knife to spread out the batter evenly across the cupcake and help join the top layer with the bottom. I’m sure a spoon or any other preferred utensil would work as well.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

I baked these for about twenty-five minutes. I checked on mine at fifteen minutes and realized that the outer cupcakes were looking more done than the inner ones. So, simple fix, I just turned both pans around for the final ten minutes to help them bake more evenly.

Be warned, these cupcakes will rise over the lip and create a bit of a muffin top. It is inevitable. We stuffed a pie inside of a cupcake. There is bound to be some spill over. I can only imagine how that poor Turducken must feel.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_CupcakeOnce cool, I lightly brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The tops will quickly look like every picture you’ve ever seen of a Snickerdoodle. They are so pretty, you could almost leave them just like that. But, to clearly distinguish cupcakes from muffins, we have to add that irresistible frosting.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

This frosting is a nice smooth cream cheese frosting with added Pumpkin Pie spices to really bring the whole cupcake together.  First, you’ll want to cream your cream cheese and butter. It is important to really cream it well or else you’ll end up with little butter or cream cheese chunks in your frosting. Though that may not bother your taste buds, it can easily clog your Wilton 2D decorator tip. Pro tip though, I do use a knife to carefully pull open the prongs to help frosting not get stuck in there.

 

 

I am so excited about these Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes I can barely contain myself. My taste tester, Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex, has already demolished one for snack today. The rest will be accompanying me this weekend to that Turkey Shoot I mentioned. I’m sure they will be a crowd pleaser.

Pumpkin_Pie_Inside_Snickerdoodle_Cupcake

 

Let me know what your family favorites are this time of year. Are there any special dishes that MUST be on your Thanksgiving table?

Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1-2 hours
Cook Time
65 minutes
Ingredients
Go To Pie Crust
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Go To Pie Crust
  1. Place flour in mixing bowl. Cut butter into slices for easier manipulation. You can use your hands to mix the flour and butter together.
  2. Add salt and cold water to the mixture. Hand mix until dough is formed.
  3. At this point, it could be rolled out for regular size pies. For our purposes, I hand mashed little discs for the mini muffin tin. Poke with a fork in the bottom and bake at 375 degrees until light brown (about 10-20 minutes).
Mini Pumpkin Pies
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  3. Add in eggs and pumpkin puree and whisk until well mixed. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
  4. Pour pumpkin pie mixture into pre-prepared mini pie crusts still in mini muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes. Toothpick in center of pie should come out clean.
Pumpkin Pie Inside Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
  1. Continue to leave oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake tin with 24 liners.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolks only and mix well. Mix in the vanilla extract as well.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients in with the creamed ones. Mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl and with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula.
  7. Spoon one tablespoon of batter into each cupcake liner. Gently set a Mini Pumpkin Pie on top and lightly press into the batter. You do not want the pies to sit at the bottom of the cupcake. Spoon a second tablespoon of batter over top of the Mini Pumpkin Pies. Use a spoon or spatula to spread batter out evenly in cupcake liner.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Edges will be light golden brown. Cool on baking rack.
  9. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter. Lightly brush the tops of each cupcake with melted butter. Sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar mixture over cupcakes to create the Snickerdoodle effect.
Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until well mixed. Add in vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. Using piping bag and decorating tip of choice, frost medium peaks on top of cupcakes. Leave the rim showing to reveal the Snickerdoodle topping.
Recipe Notes

Since we are making mini pumpkin pies, you will have a significant amount of pumpkin pie filling remaining. You will also have enough crust remaining to make a personal Pumpkin Pie if you wish while making these cupcakes.

The frosting above is doubled. In order to have enough icing for all 24 cupcakes, it required more than just one batch. However, at the doubled rate, you will also have some extra frosting. I'm sure we can think of something fun to put that on.

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Pumpkin, Praline and Palm Trees

Will someone please phone Florida Weather Control and let them know that it is Autumn? That means temperatures should not be above 75 degrees and even that is high. How the heck am I supposed to get into the holiday spirit when I’m roasting in 90 degree temperatures? At least I have my pumpkin to help me feel better.

Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex carved his up and we got to watch it whither and melt over Halloween. I decided not to carve mine. So he’s just been chilling out in a corner of my kitchen. This pumpkin does not look like a carving pumpkin anyway. He is large and really really lumpy all over. He is my Lumpy Pumpky!

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It’s Friday y’all and as always I’m baking some tasty treats to share. In true Fall fashion, we are baking up some pumpkin favorites that can be a great addition to your Thanksgiving tables. Next week, I’ll be attending a turkey shoot and these treats can be appreciated there as well.

I started with the praline. This is so super easy it isn’t even funny. This recipe is more than enough to top your cupcakes so feel free to snack on a little too. I did!

Go ahead and lay out a cookie sheet and cover in parchment paper. Wax paper could work but parchment is so much more baking friendly. It makes the praline super easy to remove.

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You’ll put two cups of granulated sugar in a saucepan on medium high heat and let it melt. I used my metal spoon to stir it up as it was heating and it was neat watching it turn from the white granules to the amber syrup. Then just add in two cups of whole pecans. I didn’t have to stir them in long, just a quick few flips with the spoon to make sure they were covered.

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Pumpkin_Cupcakes_with_Pumpkin_Brown_Sugar_Frosting_and_Pecan_Praline

Spoon out the amber sugar syrup and pecans on to the parchment paper. The nuts will want to stick together and may make this a little difficult. Just smooth it out and try to get just one single layer of nuts on the cookie sheet. Then just set that to the side to cool. It actually doesn’t take too long at all. I sat it to the side while whipping up the batter and by the time I put the cupcakes in the oven the Pecan Praline was ready.

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Making the praline brings back memories of baking and candy making with my stepmother years and years ago. During the holidays she would make a peanut brittle and a holiday peppermint bark. Maybe I can get into the holiday spirit after all.

Now for our delicious pumpkiny batter, we’ll start by sifting together our dry ingredients and then the wet ones. In a medium bowl, add in your flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Wait, do those last ingredients sound familiar? They should. That’s your Pumpkin spice flavoring. Almost the exact same ingredients are used for Apple Pie spice. I like to pretend I’m funny and make a joke about the difference between Apple Pie spice and Pumpkin spice. The ginger makes all the difference. Okay, so maybe that goes over better with my redheaded pals.

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In your mixing bowl cream the butter, one cup of granulated sugar and half a cup of brown sugar. Similar to our butter cream in Caramel Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcakes, it will become light and fluffy looking. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing between them. Then you will mix in your dry ingredients in three parts alternating with the milk and lemon zest. This you’ll want to do on low speed because we don’t want flour flying everywhere. Last, add in the pumpkin puree and mix until well blended.

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Fill the liners 3/4 full and then pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when they are done. They look like little pumpkin bread muffins and the whole house will smell heavenly.

I’ll be honest this icing is not what I expected it to be. At first it was supposed to be a light whipped cream type topping but my whipping cream was not cooperating. I will blame that on the 90 degree November I’ve got going on here. So a few additions turned this into a creamy, cheesy, brown sugary goodness.

I named it Pumpkin Brown Sugar frosting because I liked that the anagram would be PBS. I know that is silly but Whipped Cream Pumpkin Brown Sugar Cream Cheese frosting just seemed exorbitantly  lengthy.

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Pour your whipping cream into your mixing bowl. Set your mixer to medium and basically just walk off for awhile. I’m serious, I got the mail, had some lunch, watched some Arrow on Netflix and then came back to my cream. Then you will add in the brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract and Pumpkin spice. Again you can pretty much walk away while it beats itself to death. You’ll want to beat it until it is smooth, no lumps. Don’t be Lumpy Pumpky!

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If the frosting is a bit wet, like mine was, just add in the powdered sugar. It thickens it right up and makes it much more manageable for piping.

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Using Wilton’s 2A decorating tip, I piped the frosting on top. Then, it was time to add the crunch. Break off a few pieces of the Pecan Praline, try a bite, and then put the rest in a Ziploc bag. Since the praline tends to be glass sharp, I also laid out a kitchen towel and sandwiched the baggy between it. Then, SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER! I’m kidding. You don’t really need a hammer. I just used my body weight to crush the praline into little crumbly bits. Sprinkle as little or as much as you’d like on top of your beautiful cupcakes.

 

I also experimented at adding the Pecan Praline in a different way. I broke off a few larger pieces and stuck them up like Frozen’s ice walls. It looked okay, but it requires their removal before eating the cupcake. To get the full on flavor and texture effect, I find it best to crumble the Pecan Praline over the top, heavily.

Hopefully, you are able to enjoy these treats with a nice chill in the air overlooking beautiful Fall foliage. If not, you can still enjoy them almost as much with a nice AC breeze in the air overlooking palm trees. Either way,  they are a pretty sweet way to make life taste sweeter.

Pumpkin cupcakes with Pumpkin Brown Sugar Frosting and Pecan Praline
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Pumpkin cupcakes with Pumpkin Brown Sugar Frosting and Pecan Praline
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 1 hour
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Spice
Pecan Praline
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Frosting
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
Pumpkin cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 24 cupcakes with cute liners of your choice. Spray with cooking spray for easy removal.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients of Flour, baking powder, baking soda and Pumpkin spice.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add in four eggs one at a time mixing between them.
  6. Add flour mixture into mixing bowl into three parts. Alternate adding the milk and lemon zest. Mix until well blended.
  7. Add in pumpkin puree and blend completely.
  8. Fill 3/4 in cupcake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean.
Pecan Praline
  1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pour sugar into saucepan and melt on medium high heat.
  3. When sugar is amber colored and smooth, add in pecans.
  4. Stir pecans until completely coated. Pour sugar and pecan mixture onto parchment paper.
  5. Once cool, remove praline from parchment and break into sizable pieces.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Whip whipping cream on medium high until the cream stiffens.
  2. Add in brown sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract and Pumpkin spice. Beat on medium until smooth.
  3. If frosting appears wet, add in powdered sugar to stiffen.
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Caramel Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcakes

Hey guys!

It is fall and most importantly October. As much as I wanted to share all sorts of Halloween inspired cupcake ideas with you the Cupcakeasaurus household just wasn’t having it. So, I thought maybe we could still stay in at least the autumn theme of things by having a caramel apple inspired cupcake.

 

There are several of these recipes floating around the internet and I figured I would try one out and see how it goes. Well folks, I’m sad to say that the recipe I found didn’t exactly make me think of caramel apples at first bite. No worries though, because the result was still delicious and still falls in line with the apples of autumn. I just can’t in good conscience name and label it Caramel Apple Cupcakes (even if there are both caramel and apples in the mix) knowing full well you’d expect it to taste like the sticky mess of apples you almost break your teeth on at the fair. Instead of inciting disappointment with mislabeling, I’ll just call this Caramel Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcakes.

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      So the words “caramel” and “apple” are still in the name but I think this new name definitely better portrays the true flavors. Since cinnamon is such a distinct flavor I think it is essential to include in the name to let folks know what they are getting into before their first bite.

     Remember our Apple Bacon Cupcakes and how they could easily be mistaken for a muffin if not iced appropriately? Well, the same could easily be said for these too. At first glance you’d think these are Cinnamon Apple muffins. Don’t let their breakfasty look fool you though; these are full on delicious dessert cupcakes. Without that sticky caramel layer topped with a fluffy cinnamon butter cream, someone could very easily fall into the muffin trap. The whole house smells of apples and cinnamon. Who needs candles when you are a baker? Who needs perfume either for that matter? While lying in bed Captain Cupcakeasaurus leaned in to kiss my forehead and couldn’t help but notice that my hair smelled of baked goods. Of all the things a woman (or dinosaur for that matter) could smell like, I’m pretty sure tasty deliciousness is among one of the best.

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      I have to let you know up front this is another one of those recipes that has a few more steps than the average Joe recipe. It doesn’t require anything too fancy or complicated but it is more than just mix the ingredients together and pop in an oven.

       First things first though. The first majorly important step is to make the base cupcake. Well, there isn’t much we can do without that, is there? 

Caramel Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcake filled with cinnamon apple compote, dripping with sweet caramel sauce and topped with Fluffy Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
18-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
18-20 minutes
Caramel Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcakes
Print Recipe
Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcake filled with cinnamon apple compote, dripping with sweet caramel sauce and topped with Fluffy Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
18-20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
24 cupcakes 40 minutes
Cook Time
18-20 minutes
Ingredients
Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcake base
Cinnamon Apple Compote
Caramel Topping
Fluffy Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar and granulated sugar).
  2. If using a stand mixer, keep on low setting while adding in ingredients. If not, add each ingredient and then mix thoroughly before adding the next. Mix in butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla until batter is well mixed.
  3. Add in the chopped apples last. The batter will be slightly runny and lumpy.
  4. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners of choice. Quick spray with cooking spray to make removal of liners easier. Fill cups 3/4 of the way and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cinnamon Apple Compote
  1. Chop apples very small. Place apples and all other ingredients into sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Apples will become tender and the sugar will become like syrup.
Caramel Topping
  1. Combine full bag of caramels with 2 Tablespoons of milk in a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat stirring constantly until caramels are thoroughly melted.
Fluffy Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing
  1. Butter will need to be extra soft so let warm on counter top before starting. Place butter in mixing bowl and whisk on medium until fluffy. Add in sugar, flour, vanilla and cinnamon. Whip on medium until smooth. The icing will appear to be light and fluffy.
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Next comes the extra steps. One of the extra steps is to create this delicious apple compote. That sounds fancy, right? Well, the apple compote is pretty much apple pie filling and adds to the apple-y goodness of these little cakes. This is also the step that really makes your house smell like it was baked in Martha Stewart’s oven. Apple compote just makes you sound like you are a professional pastry chef, never mind the homework clutter on the table or the sink full  of dishes beside your work station. Maybe that’s just my work station. And by work station, I mean this little corner of counter space I’ve managed to clear off for myself and put down a cutting board.

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Once your cupcakes are nice and cool, using a melon baller, or eyeball scooper (see I can still be Halloweeny), or a knife like I did, scoop out a hole in the middle of the cupcakes. Similar to the Kahlua Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes, make sure not to dig too deep. Apple pie filling on the floor isn’t going to be good for anyone.

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Once holes are scooped, just spoon the compote into the holes. No special tools are required. I simply used a regular dining spoon for this part. Even though there are extra steps, it doesn’t mean they all have to be hard.

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Alright, so now we have all our cinnamon and apples. Where does the caramel come in? Well, that is another one of those extra steps but it too isn’t that difficult and completely worth the time and effort.

 

Just melt your caramels with a little bit of milk to get them all melted and smooth. The package says to use water for caramel apples but I felt the milk better suited our needs. Stir constantly because this stuff is super sticky and we definitely don’t want it to burn. And similar to the Apple Compote, just spoon the caramel over the top of each cupcake. I try to aim and cover the Compote holes first and then work my way out to the edge. Warning: the caramel may run off the sides and down the side of your cupcake. Make sure to have the cupcakes on an easy to clean surface just in case you have some caramel spillage.

 

The final step that really puts the finishing touch on these is the rich buttery Fluffy Cinnamon Butter Cream Icing. It is essential for the butter to be soft because it really allows it to be whipped into shape. This icing is so creamy that I didn’t even use a decorator tip to ice the tops. I just snipped the end off of a disposable pastry bag and swirled it on top of the Caramel Topping. I personally prefer to do a smaller amount of icing on the top so the Caramel Topping is still visible.

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These cupcakes may not have been what I was aiming for as far as being a caramel apple on a stick but they certainly delivered on flavor. Little Cupcakeasaurus Rex had one for snack today and even he approves of this delicious Caramel Cinnamon Apple Pie Cupcake treat.

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