Halloween Piñata Cupcakes

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A friend approached me about helping with a church bake sale, the weekend before Halloween. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring a little holiday-seasonal flare to the fundraiser. After passing by the White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms, inspiration struck. I’ve been looking for an excuse to make piñata cupcakes, so what could be better for a holiday focused around candy, than candy exploding out of a cupcake?

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I kept it simple by using box mixes for the cake (I struggle over doing this when it comes to bake sales, but I just can’t seem to get that light, fluffy texture from anything else…yet). I made the holes a little larger than I would for a filling, to accommodate the larger candy. For the frosting you can use your favorite vanilla or chocolate buttercream recipe.

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I thought an appropriate (or maybe just obvious) topper for cupcakes filled with Candy Corn M&Ms would be…Candy Corn!

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While I was shopping for my candy fillings and toppers, I passed the mini M&Ms. I was hoping to find chocolate M&Ms that were Halloween/Autumn colors, but failed. However, I figured that if the larger Candy Corn M&Ms didn’t work out I couldn’t go wrong with these tiny ones. Having the white chocolate and milk chocolate also offered up a nice variety for the sale.

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When I was considering what other candy could top the chocolate M&M cupcakes, I wanted to keep it nostalgic. After seeing the mini Hershey bars, I was sold. They’ve always been a favorite of mine and, just like with the candy corn on the other cupcakes, it seemed to make perfect sense.

The chocolate M&M cupcakes are the ones that SOLD OUT. I would have liked to get my hands on one, but I sacrificed for the greater good.

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In addition to the piñata cupcakes, I also made a bunch of simple, but festive, mini cupcakes with various combinations and toppers. Minis are always popular at bake sales because you can sell them a lower price and they are great for kids.

But I’m sure you are wondering, “So what did the piñata cupcakes look like on the inside? How did they work?”

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Well, they faired pretty well! I was a little concerned about the moisture from the cake affecting the candies. It did a little on the Candy Corn M&Ms, but not enough to make much of a difference. And I heard through the grapevine that the cupcakes with mini M&Ms were great!

But most importantly, the bake sale was successful and I was even asked to make more cupcakes for another fundraising event this weekend!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

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Cupcake Bites

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Attempting to capture the wonder of cupcakes into a tiny candy morsel, the makers of CookieDough Bites created Cupcake Bites and Red Velvet Cupcake Bites. I found each of these at our local dollar store and curiosity got the best of me.

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They come in little boxes, like movie theater candy (and just like movie theater candy these days, the boxes are larger than necessary for the contents because the candies are housed in a bag, and then boxed).

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The Red Velvet Cupcake Bites are definitely red on the outside. Unfortunately so much red on such a tiny bite leaves the the candy with that unmistakable red dye flavor. The inside of the candy, to my surprise, was not red, but cookie dough colored. After popping a few more in my mouth, I realized that the flavor was more like cookie dough than cupcakes. I suspect that the insides might be a very similar recipe to the original CookieDough Bites.

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I had higher hopes for the regular Cupcake Bites. They were certainly fun, with their colorful sprinkles, with extra scattered in the bag like confetti. The soft candy coating on the outside tasted like white chocolate but the inside looked like the Red Velvet candies and tasted more like cookie dough.

Although these candies don’t necessarily live up to their name, they are festive and easy to indulge in. Not overly sweet, especially for a candy, they are easy to pop in your mouth one after another, without paying much attention to how many you’ve eaten. I think they’d be great dropped into a tub of buttery popcorn!

If you’d like to try them for yourself, head over to our contest page because we are giving away a box of each in our Two Year Anniversary Grand Prize Giveaway package, and you could be the winner! The contest ends tonight, Monday July 22nd, at midnight. Good luck!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

Two Year Anniversary Giveaway!

** THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED**

July is a month of birthdays for the Crusaders’ family. Crusader Stacy and Jenn will be celebrating their 31st birthday next week. Our littlest crusader, Leah, just turned two. Our dad (who might as well be an honorary crusader since he goes on so many adventures with us) has a birthday at the end of the month. And…Our blog just celebrated it’s 2nd anniversary on July 7th!

We can’t celebrate without including our followers, and the best way to do that is a giveaway! We think you’ll love some of the great summertime items in our Grand Prize package!

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For starters, we are including Pillsbury’s Orange Creamsicle cake mix and frosting, which Crusader Stacy used as a base for her Orange Creamsicle cupcakes.

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We also picked up extra boxes of these cupcake candies just for our winner. Check out our review here!

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Some other items we’ve included, that are always popular, are:
– Cupcake Chapstix (there was a lot of excitement over this with our last giveaway!)
– A Cupcake-To-Go container
– Fun summer cupcake liners

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And then there are the cupcake items we just can’t resist:
– Cupcake gift bags
– Cupcake duct-tape (because duct-tape fixes everything, so why not have cupcakes on everything?)
– And more!

This year we also doing a 2 FOR TWO! What that means is, since this is our second year we are going to send a goody bag to a 2nd place winner! So now…how to win?!

There are several ways to enter and each entry counts:

– Comment below telling us your favorite cupcake flavor
– Like us on Facebook*
– Follow us on Twitter*
– Follow us on Foursquare*
– Follow us on Pinterest*
– Sign up to follow our blog via email or WordPress (sign up located in the right column on the homepage)*

* Please comment below after you sign up to follow our blog, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Foursquare, and/or Pinterest. Your comment below will act as an entry into the content. If you already have connected with us via social media, please make note below for your entry.

The contest will close on midnight next Monday, July 22, 2013. A winner will be drawn at random and announced on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Good luck!

– The Cupcake Crusaders

NOTE: We are only able to ship within the USA. Sorry to those who don’t qualify!

** THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED**

Guest Review from Fizzy Party | Cupcake Salt Water Taffy | Long Beach, Washington

Sticking with our cupcake flavored candy theme we started last week, today we are sharing a guest review from our blogging friend, Tiffany from Fizzy Party. Thanks Tiffany!

Memorial weekend I went to Long Beach, Washington with my parents. The weather was non-stop rain so on Saturday morning, while my dad went into town to check on his clients, mom and I stayed in the house reading. Dad came home with a bag full of salt water taffy. Can’t go to the beach without getting some taffy.

Now you may be asking yourself, why is she talking about taffy when this blog is about cupcakes? My sweet dad bought cupcake taffy just for me, because he knows I like cupcakes. Thanks dad!

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The taffy reminded me of Funfetti cupcakes with its sprinkled flecks. As I twisted the ends of the taffy wrapper, a cakey smell wafted up to greet me.

The cupcake salt water taffy had a cake-flavored base with a sweet note at the end, reminding me of frosting. This taffy was a nice way to blend my love of the beach and cupcakes.

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This salt water taffy was bought at Scoopers Market. Located at 101 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, Washington.

– Review by Guest Crusader, Tiffany from Fizzy Party (Visit her blog here. Currently she has a recipe review for Root Beer Cupcakes! Yum!)