Are these not the cutest treats you've ever seen? And they are just as delicious as they are pretty. I initially found the idea on Bakerella - she is so talented. I never actually try to bake anything from her website because it just seems too difficult but I love to look at her creations. Then I saw that The Pioneer Woman had made them and her step-by-step instructions and photos made it seem almost easy. So I tried. I have to say, my cupcake bites were a HUGE success. My nieces and nephews are always asking me to make them. While I will say that these are easy to make, they do require some time. You can't just whip up a quick batch. I now enlist the help of my husband - It's much faster and more fun when you have some help.
So let's get started:
- 1 box cake mix (I use Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix)
- Ingredients required for baking the cake
- 16 oz. can cream cheese frosting (I use Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 package chocolate almond bark (You can buy this at any grocery store and even Walmart)
- Wilton colored Candy Melts (I bought mine at Michael’s)
- Medium Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Candy Molds (You can buy these at craft stores like Michael’s or Joann's)
- Sprinkles and M&M’s for decoration
- Bake the cake according to the box instructions. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble with your hands into large bowl. (The texture should be fine/fluffy)
- Using the back of a large spoon, mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (I think it's easier to use my hands to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
- Roll mixture into quarter size balls (make sure they are smaller in diameter than that of your candy mold) and lay on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Your hands will get messy again. Just wash them when they get too sticky.
- Chill in the freezer for a few minutes, until they are slightly firm, not frozen.
- Melt the chocolate bark in the microwave per directions on package.
- Using a spoon or squeeze bottle, fill each mold cavity about 3/4 of the way with chocolate. Don't fill it to the top - leave room for the cake ball.
- As soon as you fill the mold cavity, go ahead and place one of your rolled balls into it. Carefully push it down until the force causes the chocolate to push up and fill in around the sides of the ball. Stop pushing once the chocolate reaches the top edge. Don't push it down all the way, otherwise you'll have a flat cupcake instead of a rounded top.
- Place the mold tray filled with cupcakes in the freezer for just a few minutes to let the chocolate set.
- In the meantime, melt the candy melts according to the package directions.
- Remove the cupcakes from the freezer and then gently pull up on the cake ball top to release from candy mold. You can also turn it upside down and pop the cupcakes out from the bottom.
- Now, holding the bottom of the cupcake, dip the top in another color of melted chocolate and decorate. The candy melt chocolate will harden quickly so decorate them before they harden.
This recipe makes about 100 cupcake bites. They will last for up to a week (or more) if refrigerated in an airtight container.
Here are some other tips:
- Don't let the number of steps in the instructions intimidate you. I don't even have to look at the instructions when I make these - it's very easy once you do it from start to finish.
- Check out The Pioneer Woman's step-by-step photos.
- The more candy molds you have the better. I think I have 7 or 8. It will be faster if you have more molds.
- Don't wash you candy mold in the dishwasher, they will melt. Soak them in your sink with dish soap, wipe them down and let them air dry.
- I've never eaten candy melts or used them in baking so I was a bit worried about how they would taste. I was very happy to find that they taste great in this recipe.
- I've tried using dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate for my cupcake base and nothing tastes better than chocolate almond bark. I even surveyed others to make sure it wasn't just my taste.
Happy Valentine's Day!