There are two perfect ways to eat a Snickers bar:
- Buy a King Size Snickers Bar and share half. Half of a King Size Snickers Bar is smaller than a regular candy bar, but definitely enought to stave off your chocolate-peanut-caramel craving for awhile. You feel like you had a few bites of candy without actually eating a whole candy bar. Chad really likes this Jedi candy mind trick because he always gets the other half.
- In these cupcakes.
In the middle of dealing with our school bus drama last week, Evan’s teacher sent me an email asking if I might donate 12-24 cupcakes for the school bake sale? They are raising money to finish off a new playground. I love a good swing set. I also love excuses to bake. So of course I obliged.
Chad, on the other hand, takes a little more convincing. He and the boys get a little funky when I send away the baked goods. I think the three of them bond over their tendency to hoard sugar. Sometimes they gang up on me. My solution is always to send away half and keep half — this practice also applies to bean salad.
Snickers is Chad’s favorite candy bar. When I met him while I was working in a little neighborhood store, it was Milky Way. I could bank on him stopping in to buy the biggest Milky Way bar available and saying thank you with a big dimpley grin everyday. I’m not sure when the peanuts found their way into the mix, but I think they’re here to stay.
The method to my donated baked goods madness is pretty simple: make something Chad and the boys REALLY like and point out how much of it is going to stay right here in the fridge, strategically drawing their attention away from whatever I’m sending out the door.
This is exactly how the Snickers cupcakes happened.
I used the chocolate cake recipe from Andrew’s Kit Kat Birthday Cake. I’m sticking by my word on that one: best chocolate cake evuuuur. It’s a soft and spongy cake; a texture necessary for soaking up caramel filling!!! But it’s also dense enough to support refrigerated buttercream frosting and chopped Snickers bars. And a little more caramel.
***Apologies for the bleary-eyed photos… this is what happens when I bake late at night and the coffee’s been out of my system for hours.***
Chopped candy bars that have been generously tossed with a homemade caramel sauce are stuffed inside chocolatey cupcakes.
Then the cupcakes are liberally frosted with caramel-tinged vanilla buttercream. I like to pipe a little bit of frosting into the middle of the cupcake with the filling to give it an “anchor”. Drop a few pieces of chopped Snickers bars onto the frosting, drizzle with some more caramel sauce, and refrigerate.
I pulled together dabs of several different recipes here, and the results were deliciously satisfying.
We are crediting the cake to Recipe Girl; it’s super simple. Feel free to substitute your favorite chocolate cake, but if you follow the recipe provided here you’ll end up with about 28 very full cupcakes.
- 1 box of Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake Mix (or any moist boxed chocolate cake mix)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sour cream (I used light)
- 4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 325 and line muffin pans with cupcake liners. In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. Pour in the water, oil, vanilla, sour cream, and eggs. Beat with a hand mixer for 30 seconds on low and then 2 minutes on high, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for about 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted will come out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before cutting a circle from the middle with a serrated knife. Save the middles for Snickers Parfaits with Fresh Whipped Cream.
Chop up your Snickers bars. I used 2 bags of Snack-Size Snickers cut into little cubes. Set aside about a cup’s worth to garnish with. Put all the rest into a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
I followed the recipe from Annie’s Eats for my caramel sauce. It was buttery and super tasty, but I followed her recipe to the letter and my sauce was not the thick consistency shown in her photos, nor did it have the rich caramel color. I’d make the caramel sauce again (because Chad was really all about the buttery yum soaking into the chocolate cake) but I would not blame anyone one single bit for using store-bought caramel ice cream topping.
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- a pinch of salt
Melt the butter over medium heat in a smallish heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the sugar. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to look sort of foamy. It will look and smell like it’s near burning. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Stir until smooth (Annie says you may need to return it to the heat to smooth it out; I didn’t have to.). Then whisk in the vanilla and salt. Cool completely.
Pour 1/3 of the cooled caramel sauce over the bowl full of chopped Snickers bars and toss to coat.
Spoon a little of the caramel/candy mixture into each cupcake middle.
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 1 pound of powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce
- 1/4 cup milk or heavy cream, as needed
Beat together the butter and cream cheese until it’s smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Then add the vanilla and caramel. Splash in the milk or heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is the desired consistency. I piped the frosting onto these cupcakes using a Wilton Round Tip 12. Or just work it out old school piping with a ziploc freezer bag.
Top the frosting with the cup of chopped Snickers pieces you set aside earlier and then drizzle the cupcakes with more caramel sauce.
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