Friday, February 27, 2015

Easy Monkey Cupcakes : Pinterest Win!

As y'all may recall, I promised to make Monkey Cupcakes for Zander's birthday. I also promised to share the outcome. And the verdict is, Monkey Cupcakes were an overall pinterest win!

In true blogger form, I felt the need to break down the original pin and compare it to what I actually did. Here's what I pinned.

Starting off, this gal wants you to make your own cupcakes by hand. Sorry but, ain't nobody got time for dat! This mama has never been one to make cupcakes from scratch.  Cooking is my forte... not baking. So, to prevent a disaster in Kitchen Camacho, I opted for a cake mix from a box.
You can see the other ridiculousness she calls out for on the post.

On Monday, I did a practice run on the decorating part of the cupcakes. Lucky for me this past weekend my mother in law brought cupcakes for a mini birthday celebration with Zander so I had those to practice on! My mistake with the practice was I forgot to use the nilla wafer for the face. Instead, I drew on the face. Clearly my piping skills are less than desirable.
This is why we practice!  
So here's what I actually used:

  • 1 box cake mix (plus what the cake mix called for to bake!) 
  • 2 tubs chocolate frosting. I only used one, but the extra was just in case!
  • Chocolate graham crackers. I used 1 and a half sleeves. 
  • Nilla wafers
  • Orange frosting for piping. Or whatever color you want the mouths to be. Zander wanted orange.
  • Candy Eyeballs. These can be found at Wal-Mart!

Chocolate Dust! 

What I did:
+ Bake cupcakes as directed per the cake mix box.
While the cupcakes were baking, I started prepping the decorating stuff. This took quite a bit of time. Lucky for me once the cupcakes were done baking they still had to cool before I could start decorating. (Pro tip: if you're doing this with your kids, there WILL be a mess and cookies WILL go missing. Also, the kids will be asking 15,472 times if the cupcakes are done and if they can eat them.)

Decorating prep included:
+ Crush graham crackers into chocolate dust. For this I used my food processor. (pictured above). It was much faster and easier than crushing by hand. It also made the dust finer. This is my substitute for the "chocolate sanding sugar" that the original post called for.

+ Cut 24 nilla wafers in halves for ears on each monkey.
Pro tip: I used a serrated knife & sawed the nilla wafers to cut them in halves. I found when I used a non serrated knife and tried to chop them in half, they basically crumbled or flew across the kitchen!

+ Drew smiles and noses on whole nilla wafers for the monkey face.

Once the cupcakes were cool, I frosted them with the chocolate frosting.
Each cupcake was then dipped into the graham cracker dusting to give the look of "fur"... now here's the hard part. When you do this, the frosting loses its stickiness. I learned this the hard way.

In order to stick the halved nilla wafers on the sides for ears, I had to spread a little frosting on them.
Place the smiley face nilla wafers where the nose and mouth would go. (I had to do the frosting trick here too.)

Put two candy eyeballs above the mouth wafer. These sat in nicely without any extra frosting.
And VOILA! Monkey!

Definitely a win. I won't know until Zander comes home from school today if they were a hit with the kids. I should have known yesterday ON his birthday, but silly Georgia CLOSED Walton County schools for "severe weather". Which is dumb because we weren't affected by the "winter storm" at all. So I'll let y'all know how they went over with the other kids.
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  1. These are adorable! Great job, momma! I know these will be a hit!

  2. Those are sooo cute! Great idea!

  3. These are so cute! I love them - they look great and I bet they tasted amazing!

  4. I love these! I think you did an absolute awesome job. I also think it was such good idea to do a test run. How many times have I tried something and realized I messed up, having to redo it anyway. Love them

  5. I almost didn't do a test run! aaand my test run didn't have as much chocolate dust as the real ones, so the tester was a little more sticky for the ears. oh well. it was fun! I dropped them off with Zander this morning and EVERY kid in his class swarmed me going "ARE THOSE CUPCAKES?!?!?! YAYYYY CUPCAKES!!!" hahahah I could've just done regular funfetti and they would love me. hahaha

  6. I hope they taste amazing! I did not taste test. I made 24 and they all had to go with Zander to school. There's 22 kids in the class and 2 teachers. So there's that. lol. I'm sure they're fine... right???

  7. You are so cute!!! What a great do, learn, do again and finally "perfect" them. You did amazing!

  8. So I'll be waiting for my Monkey Cupcake in the mail.

  9. I love their different expressions! Good job.

  10. lol! I can't promise it'll still look like a monkey when it gets there.

  11. thanks so much! :) they were definitely challenging but fun. I feel like my version may be a bit easier than the original, but that's just me.

  12. hehe. Zander wanted them like that. He said he wanted some "smiley" and some "sad"

  13. these are SO cute! i'm not gonna lie...i totally laughed out loud at the first attempt of drawing on the face. that one might be my favorite :) hope they went over great!

  14. I can't wait for Zander to get home so I can find out how they went! hahaha. :D
    I'm really glad after I did the trial run I went BACK to my original pin and saw the nilla wafers for the faces. lol. win!

  15. #pinterestwin plus they tasted amazing. Thanks to the 3 kids that weren't in today & the two teachers that didn't eat any. We had leftover! hahaha

  16. Pinned for later! So cute

  17. I like yours better than the original!!! Totally going to make these!

  18. But what did they look like on the INSIDE?!?! hahah ;) They are absolutely ADORABLE, Melissa. You did such a great job, they're perfect!

  19. hahaha you really crack me up! I should have taken a bite of one of the left overs and texted you a picture. ;) hahaha. They ended up being SO good. Zander absolutely loved them! I enjoy being able to do stuff like this for the kids now.

  20. thanks! Yeah, I think my version was a tad easier too. less steps, and nothing is wrong with cake in a box anyway!

  21. thanks, girlie! :) glad you liked them

  22. yay! They ended up being really easy, and if you remember to frost the nilla wafers on the bottom you'll have no trouble getting them to stick! :) glad you liked them!