Today is my son's 4th birthday and he decided that he wanted a pirate-themed party this year. We had all of our family over yesterday for a celebration in Jake's honor and I decided that in addition to making a cake, I would make these adorable pirate cupcakes that I found online. I'm not going to lie...they were a bit time consuming, but Jake said they were "very cool", so of course that made it worth the while! The only thing I omitted was the peanut butter cups that were supposed to be hidden inside, out of fear of sending a party guest into anaphylactic shock...several people have severe nut allergies in my family! I also had a difficult time finding black string licorice, so I used black decorator icing. (I'm not a huge fan of licorice, let alone black licorice, so it ended up being a better option in the end!) Also, this is a "Betty Crocker recipe", so they naturally recommend using all Betty Crocker brand ingredients, but you can certainly substitute--I did! Since I omitted the peanut butter cups, I actually just followed the cake mix instructions on the box and then followed the cupcake recipe instructions on how to decorate them. Good luck :)
Pirate's Hidden Treasure Cupcakes
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix 1 cup water 1/2 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 24 miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies (from 12-oz bag), unwrapped 1 container (1 lb) Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting 2 rolls (from 4.5-oz box) Betty Crocker® Fruit by the Foot® chewy fruit snack (any red color) 24 pieces Cheerios® cereal or small ring-shaped candies (about 4 teaspoons) 3 tablespoons miniature candy-coated semisweet chocolate baking bits 1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips 2 pieces black string licorice (each 34 inches long)
Heat oven to 350°F for shiny metal pans (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
In large bowl, make cake mix as directed on box—except use 1 cup water, the oil and eggs. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Place 1 candy in top of batter for each cupcake (candies will sink as cupcakes bake).
Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Frost cupcakes with frosting. Cut 12-inch piece from 1 fruit snack roll; set aside. From remaining fruit snack, cut 24 (2-inch) pieces; cut crescent-shaped piece from each. Peel off paper backing; add 1 piece to each cupcake for top of kerchief.
Cut reserved fruit snack into 12 (1-inch) pieces; peel off paper backing. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Twist each piece in middle; add to 1 end of crescent-shaped fruit snack on each cupcake, forming tie of kerchief. Add 1 piece of cereal under each tie for earring. Use baking bits, chocolate chips and licorice to make facial features and eye patches.
If you were to look up the word "picky" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my husband off to the left. Growing up, I was exposed to all sorts of different foods and encouraged to experiment with different flavors, but after meeting my husband, I somewhat locked myself into an eight to ten meal rotation and was reluctant to deviate. I have since given birth to two of the least picky eaters on the face of the Earth, thus inspiring me to transform my cooking style. I know many people, like myself, lead such hectic lives, so I strive to find recipes that are quick and easy--especially those that you can whip up with ingredients that you ordinarily have on hand!
A bit about me...I married my husband, Marcus, on June 1, 2003 and we welcomed our son Jacob on March 22, 2005. Our daughter, Madeline, was born on March 1, 2008. I stay home with the kids for the most part, but also work occasional shifts as a registered nurse at a local hospital. I truly hope you enjoy my blog. A special "thank you" to my sister, Sarah, for giving me the idea! Her creativity is hard to live up to, but I'm a very determined person and hope to make her proud :)