Bonfire Cupcakes

The best thing about cupcakes is all the cute ways you can decorate them. Here’s a fun little idea for summertime: Bonfire Cupcakes.

Bonfire Cupcakes

For these cupcakes, I used a chocolate cake mix perked up with extra spices—cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. I also added heavy cream and an extra egg to make them super rich and moist. Then came the fun part: decorating.

Bonfire Cupcakes on a plate

I piped on swirls of yellow and orange buttercream to make the flames for my little “bonfires.” I topped each one with a pyramid of pretzel sticks for the logs. And for the finishing touch, I gave them each a toothpick with two mini marshmallows, sprinkled with cinnamon to make them look toasted. These little treats would be perfect for a summer cookout. Come on baby, light my fire!

ingredients for Bonfire Cupcakes

Recipe Notes:

  • Only cook your cupcakes until just done. I like to have a tiny bit of batter show when I pull the toothpick out of the center. I let them cook in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
  • To make the frosting, make sure to use a room temperature butter. When you cream it, it should be nice and fluffy. Beating it for an extra minute or two really makes a difference! 
  • Short on time, you can use premade cupcakes and frosting

Chocolate cake mix: I used a Betty Crocker milk chocolate cake mix; you could also use a devil’s food or chocolate fudge variety. Please keep in mind cooking time and density will change with different brands. 

Cinnamon: Using a pumpkin pie spice mix will also yield a similar result as using a combination of spices.

Nutmeg: Using a pumpkin pie spice mix will also yield a similar result as using a combination of spices.

Allspice: Using a pumpkin pie spice mix will also yield a similar result as using a combination of spices.

Heavy cream: Whole milk or half and half can be used instead of the cream in the cake if desired. You can also use it in the frosting; however, the texture of the frosting may be different. You should reduce the amount of milk added. 

Vegetable oil: use your favorite oil

Salted butter: You can use unsalted butter and add a pinch or two of salt. 

Vanilla: This can be omitted, or some excellent substitutions are maple syrup, bourbon, rum, or almond extract.

Confectioners sugar: This can be interchanged for granulated sugar, but please note the texture will not be the same and will create a more grainy finish to the frosting. 

Food coloring: I used gel pigments for this recipe; a dropper of food coloring will also work great. 

Pretzel sticks: Any kind of stick pretzel will work. 

Eggs

Mini marshmallows

Toothpicks

Bonfire Cupcakes

Cupcakes

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line two muffin tins with cupcake liners, and set aside. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix together the chocolate cake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice on low, just until combined. cake mix and spices in a bowl
  3. Beat in the heavy cream, mixing just until it’s blended through. cream added to bowl
  4. Beat in the vegetable oil until the batter is smooth. vegetable oil added into cake mix
  5. Add the eggs beating thoroughly. eggs added into cake mix
  6. Scoop the batter into prepared cupcake liners using a Tablespoon, cookie, or ice cream scoop.cake mix added to muffin tin
  7. Fill about ⅔ of the way and bake for 15 minutes or until cupcakes are firm and bounce back after tapping or a toothpick comes out clean from the center. 
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool on a wire rack for at least one hour to ensure the frosting goes smoothly without melting.cooked cupcakes in muffin tin

Frosting

  1. Add the softened butter to your bowl in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer. Cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.sticks of butter in a mixing bowl
  2. Turn the speed down to low and beat in the vanilla.vanilla added to bowl
  3. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating at low speed, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated. confectioners' sugar added to bowl
  4. Beat the heavy whipping cream with a Tablespoon until the desired consistency is reached.frosting in a bowl
  5. In two small bowls, divide the frosting evenly. frosting in two bowls
  6. Using a toothpick, dip it into your gel food coloring, or if using a dropper, use one to three drops of each color per bowl. Gently stir in color until your desired shade of orange and yellow is reached. You can also do one drop of red and one drop of yellow to create an orange if needed.orange and yellow frosting in bowls
  7. Press alternating colors along either side of the open bag using a clean piping bag and a star-shaped tip. Twist the bag at the top to seal it and push the frosting down the bag. two color frosting in piping bag
  8. Pipe each cupcake with orange and yellow swirls to mimic a fire.frosting put on top of cupcake
  9. Place pretzel sticks upright around the frosting fire. pretzel sticks added to top of cupcake
  10. Using one toothpick per cupcake, thread two marshmallows on each toothpick. toothpick with mini marshmallows added to top of cupcake
  11. Roll or sprinkle cinnamon on the marshmallows to create a toasted effect, optional, and place in your completed cupcake. Best served immediately!Bonfire Cupcakes
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Bonfire Cupcakes

The best thing about cupcakes is all the cute ways you can decorate them. Here’s a fun little idea for summertime: Bonfire Cupcakes.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients
 

Cupcakes:

  • 15.25 ounce box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs room temperature

Frosting and Decorations:

  • 1 ¼ cups salted butter softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Orange food coloring
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 16 ounce bag of pretzel sticks
  • 10 ounce bag of mini marshmallows
  • 24 toothpicks
  • Cinnamon optional garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line two muffin tins with cupcake liners, and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix together the chocolate cake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice on low, just until combined.
  • Beat in the heavy cream, mixing just until it’s blended through.
  • Beat in the vegetable oil until the batter is smooth.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  • Scoop the batter into prepared cupcake liners using a Tablespoon, cookie, or ice cream scoop.
  • Fill about ⅔ of the way and bake for 15 minutes or until cupcakes are firm and bounce back after tapping or a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool on a wire rack for at least one hour to ensure the frosting goes smoothly without melting.

Frosting

  • Add the softened butter to your bowl in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer. Cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn the speed down to low and beat in the vanilla.
  • Mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating at low speed, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated.
  • Beat the heavy whipping cream with a Tablespoon until the desired consistency is reached.
  • In two small bowls, divide the frosting evenly.
  • Using a toothpick, dip it into your gel food coloring, or if using a dropper, use one to three drops of each color per bowl.
  • Gently stir in color until your desired shade of orange and yellow is reached. You can also do one drop of red and one drop of yellow to create an orange if needed.
  • Press alternating colors along either side of the open bag using a clean piping bag and a star-shaped tip. Twist the bag at the top to seal it and push the frosting down the bag.
  • Pipe each cupcake with orange and yellow swirls to mimic a fire.
  • Place pretzel sticks upright around the frosting fire.
  • Using one toothpick per cupcake, thread two marshmallows on each toothpick.
  • Roll or sprinkle cinnamon on the marshmallows to create a toasted effect, optional, and place in your completed cupcake.

Nutrition

Calories: 454kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 481mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 536IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: Family Fresh Meals is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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