Cupcakes are special treats by themselves, so surprise-inside piñata cupcakes are extra special for birthdays and special occasions. You can customize these with any flavor of cupcake and any type of candy or chocolate treat you want to stuff them with.
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- Plain, unfrosted cupcakes (homemade or from a mix)
- Candy for filling
- Any other decorations you need
Make cupcakes, from a mix or from scratch.
A wire rack is great for this task. If you don't have one, be sure to at least remove the cupcakes from their tin to speed up the process.
After they are completely cool, hollow out a small hole in the center of each cupcake using a melon baller or sharp paring knife. Make sure not to carve all the way to the bottom; you want a scoop, not a tunnel.
Save the cut-out parts for later.
I used Nerds in the cupcakes pictured here, but you can use any other small candy. The smaller the candy, the better the spill-out piñata effect.
Note: The candy does lose some of its crunchiness after a few hours, so don't let them sit too long after filling. If you need to, you can bake the cupcakes in advance and fill them the day you will serve them.
Trim the cut-out parts so that only a lid remains, then cover the holes in each of the cupcakes. Try to make the "lids" fit as snugly as possible.
Gently brush any crumbs away from the top of the cupcakes and frost the cupcakes.
Decorate your cupcakes as you wish, with sprinkles, additional candy, or any other decoration.
If you'd rather have a soft surprise instead of one that spills out, then you can also bake cookies inside your cupcakes. Just choose a nicely contrasting color. These pretty ones by Betty Crocker use heart-shaped sugar cookies inside red velvet cupcakes for a sweet surprise.
For a healthier version, you can also stuff your cupcakes with strawberries. These strawberry shortcake-inspired cupcakes by That's What Che Said are made of white cake mix, strawberries, and cream cheese frosting.