Pinata Cupcakes

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes
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Ingredients

1 box chocolate cake mix

3 cups sweetened shredded coconut 

Yellow, red and blue food coloring

1/2 cup mini candy-coated chocolates, such as mini M and M's 

1/2 cup mixed small fruit-flavored candies, such as Nerds

1/2 cup rainbow nonpareil sprinkles

1/2 cup jumbo rainbow nonpareil sprinkles

2 to 3 cups your favorite vanilla frosting or two 16-ounce containers store-bought vanilla frosting

Directions

Special equipment:
a 1/2-inch round cutter
  1. Bake 24 cupcakes according to the box instructions. Let cool completely.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add 1 cup of the shredded coconut. Turn the mixer on low, add 8 drops of yellow food coloring and mix until the coconut is a uniform bright yellow. Transfer to a bowl. Add another cup of the coconut to the bowl and turn the mixer on low. Add 6 drops of yellow food coloring and 4 drops of red food coloring and mix until the coconut is a uniform reddish orange (add a few more drops of each if the color is not vibrate enough). Transfer the coconut to a separate bowl. Wash and dry out the standing mixer bowl and add the remaining 1 cup coconut. Turn the mixer on low and add 6 to 8 drops of blue food coloring. Mix until the coconut is a uniform bright blue. Transfer to a third bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the chocolate candies, fruit candies and nonpareils. Set aside.
  4. Using a 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out a well in each cupcake (reserve the cut-out top pieces of each cupcake). Use a small spoon to scoop out the wells, being careful not to go all the way through the bottom of the cupcakes. Fill each cupcake well about two-thirds full with the mixed candy, about a heaping tablespoon. Cover the holes with the reserved cut-out tops.
  5. Frost the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting. Press some of the blue coconut onto the outer third of the top of each cupcake to form a stripe, then press some of the yellow coconut in the center third and finally the orange coconut in the final third. You should have 3 equal stripes on the top of each cupcake.

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