Sweeten Up Your Next Party with 4 Decadent Cupcake Recipes

Cupcakes are more than just a child’s birthday party staple – they have been gaining momentum as gourmet desserts to serve at any kind of party. These single-serve treats each look pristine, and they’re perfectly portioned for a few bites of sweetness without ruining your diet. Rich flavors and a simple, yet elegant, presentation will make each of these cupcake recipes a hit at your next party.

Remember that presentation is both about each individual cupcake and the overall arrangement. These cupcake recipes all feature an elegant topping on each cupcake, but you can take the elegance a step further in the arrangement on your dessert table. A cupcake tree is always a great way to showcase your work, and long, slender rectangular trays also help elevate the humble cupcake to the status of gourmet.

Lemony Cream Cheese Delights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These zesty lemon cupcakes are perfect for hostesses who are looking for something beyond the sugary sweetness traditionally associated with cupcakes. There’s just enough tartness to balance out the sweet flavors, and the rich, smooth cream cheese icing brings sophistication to these mouthwatering cupcakes. Make plenty of these because they’re sure to disappear quickly!

Ingredients
• 1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
• 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) lemon flavor instant pudding
• 1 cup water
• 4 egg whites
• 2 Tbsp. oil
• 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
• 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
• 1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar
Instructions
Heat oven to 350ºF. Beat first 5 ingredients in large bowl with mixer on low speed until moistened. (Batter will be thick.) Beat on medium speed 2 min. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 21 to 24 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely. Beat cream cheese, butter and juice with mixer until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating on low speed after each addition until well blended. Spread onto cupcakes.

Scrumptious Chocolatey-Peanut Buttery Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This winning combination of chocolate and peanut butter features a surprise creamy center that’s finger-licking delicious. You don’t need much on the cupcakes to keep them moist, so the chocolate glaze just adds to the decadence. These cupcakes even freeze well, so you can make them ahead of time and just thaw and add the glaze before serving.

Ingredients
• 1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil’s food cake mix
• 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla flavor instant pudding
• 1 cup cold milk
• 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1-1/2 cups thawed whipped topping
• 4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
• 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Instructions
Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake batter and bake in 24 paper-lined muffin cups as directed on package. Cool 30 min. (Cupcakes still need to be warm to fill.) Beat pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min. Add peanut butter; mix well. Spoon into small freezer-weight resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Snip off one corner from bottom of bag. Insert tip of bag into center of each cupcake; pipe in about 1 Tbsp. filling. Microwave whipped topping and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 min. or until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 min. Dip tops of cupcakes in glaze; sprinkle with nuts.

Rich, Delectable Red Velvet Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody loves a moist red velvet cake, so of course, red velvet cupcakes are sure to delight as well. Don’t be afraid to pile on the frosting, which is rich and creamy without being too sweet. Adult taste buds will appreciate the melding of flavors as the chocolate and cream cheese mix, and kids will love the bright color of the red velvet.
Ingredients
• 1 pkg. (2-layer size) red velvet cake mix
• 1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding
• 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
• 1 cup thawed whipped topping
• 1 oz. square white chocolate, shaved into curls
Instructions
Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes, blending dry pudding mix into batter before spooning into prepared muffin cups. Cool. Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar. Whisk in whipped topping. Spoon 1-1/2 cups into small freezer-weight resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Cut small corner off bottom of bag. Insert tip of bag into top of each cupcake to pipe about 1 Tbsp. frosting into center of cupcake. Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting. Top with chocolate curls. Keep refrigerated.

Angel Food Berry Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you know that some of your guests are watching their weight, you don’t need to look at any more cupcake recipes to find a great low-calorie option for your party. These cupcakes measure in at less than 100 calories each, thanks to fluffy angel food cake and a whipped topping, plus some berries to help add natural sweetness. And not to worry – they sure don’t taste like diet food!
Ingredients
• 1 pkg. (16 oz.) angel food cake mix
• 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla flavor instant pudding
• 2 cans (8 oz. each) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
• 1 cup thawed whipped topping
• 2 cups assorted fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries)
Instructions
Heat oven to 375ºF. Prepare cake batter as directed on package; pour into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake 12 to 15 min. or until tops are golden brown and cracks feel dry. (Note: If baking in batches, refrigerate remaining batter in bowl until ready to pour into lined muffin cups and bake.) Cool cupcakes in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely. Mix dry pudding mix and pineapple in medium bowl. Gently stir in chipped topping; spread onto cupcakes. Top with berries.

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