Sugar-Dusted Chocolate Cupcakes

Sugar-Dusted Chocolate Cupcakes

I am not the biggest cupcake fan, but these are delicious. No need for frosting, simply dust with confectioner’s sugar! Recipe yields 12 cupcakes.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1 large egg
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2-3 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with cooking oil spray.
In medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In large bowl, whisk together egg, oil, and sugar until thick and creamy. Stir in vanilla and milk. Add dry ingredients and whisk vigorously until well mixed.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Each cup should be about 1/2 full. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack.
Cool completely. Pour confectioner’s sugar into tea strainer or sifter and shake over each cupcake until lightly dusted with sugar. Enjoy!

Make-Shift Cupcake Liners

Make-Shift Cupcake Liners

It happens to me all the time…I get all the ingredients for some cupcakes and whip up a tasty batter only to discover I have no cupcake liners in the cabinet. So rather than eat all the batter myself or simply throw it away, I created a relatively simple fix.

I’ll admit that parchment paper liners aren’t the prettiest substitute (The cupcakes always come out a little misshapen), but they still do the trick!

Here’s how to make them:

Cut squares of parchment paper about 5 inches by 5 inches. They do not need to be perfect! Lay them over each cupcake mold and gently press them in with a glass or plastic cup. immediately fill with batter so that the liner will keep shape. Repeat for each cupcake mold. Bake as directed and enjoy your silly-shape cupcakes!

Red, White, & Blue Cupcakes

Red, White, & Blue Cupcakes

White Cupcakes:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. and 1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
liquid food coloring: red and blue

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
In medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in milk until batter is smooth.


Divide batter into 3 bowls. Add 4 drops of red food coloring in one bowl. Stir well. Add additional drops of coloring if desired. Repeat for another bowl of batter, this time with blue food coloring. Leave third portion white.


Spoon about 2 tablespoons of red batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Be careful not to get any batter on the sides of the liner. Repeat with white batter, spooning it carefully on top of the red batter in each liner. Repeat lastly with the blue batter.

Bake in oven for 17-22 minutes (depending on how much batter is in the cupcake liners). The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting. Recipe makes 24 cupcakes.


S’mores Cupcakes

S'mores Cupcakes

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp. white sugar

Graham Cracker Crust

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Folding in the chocolate chips

Additional Ingredient:
24 standard-size marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar until well blended. Place 2 teaspoons of this mixture in the bottom of each liner and press down until firm. Bake 3-5 minutes or until a golden brown crust has formed in each liner. Remove from oven and let cool.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a medium size bowl. Set Aside.

In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Add in flour mixture and milk, alternating until both are completely mixed into the batter. Fold in chocolate chips.

Marshmallow Center

Spoon a heaping teaspoon-full of batter into each liner. Place a marshmallow sideways in the center of each liner (if you have a Cupcake Surprise Pan simply skewer a marshmallow sideways onto the prong). Use a spoon to scoop more batter on top of the marshmallows until they are covered and no white shows through. They will be more than 2/3 full.

Ready for Baking

Place in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes at 350 degrees until the marshmallow peeking through has a nice golden brown color. Let cook for 5 more minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.


*Best served warm.

**Makes 24 cupcakes.

***Total time for these cupcakes ranges between 1 and 2 hours depending on your baking style and your number of cupcake pans.

Finished Cupcakes

Cream Cheese filled Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Cream Cheese filled Carrot Cake Cupcakes

4 oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar

any carrot cake or chocolate cake mix – (yields 18 cupcakes)


Start by mixing the cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix in sugar with mixer until blended. Spoon mixture into a small bowl and refrigerate.


Follow the directions for your cake mix/recipe. Line cupcake surprise pan with paper liners. You do not need to grease the prong in the middle of each cup. Spoon batter into each cup until 1/3 full. Remove cream cheese filling from the refrigerator. Carefully spoon filling onto each prong. You can use how much or how little filling you want; I used about the size of a standard bouncy ball that you would find in a vending machine. Once each cup has filling, add batter to each cup, ensuring they’re about 2/3 or 3/4 full. Bake according to your recipe. Let the cupcakes cool for at least 15 minutes before tasting!

*To purchase a cupcake surprise pan look here:

**Check back for other varieties of surprise cupcakes, and feel free to share any ideas in the comments!