The Pinata Cupcake

  • serves 1

This mesmerizing dessert creation produces one giant cupcake topped with colourful icing and filled with assorted candy. The surprise is on the inside!

33 Ratings
Directions for: The Pinata Cupcake



Giant cupcake tin

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cup sweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp espresso powder

1 cup milk

½ cup vegetable or canola oil

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Buttercream Icing

2 cups unsalted butter, softened

8 cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 - 6 Tbsp milk

Orange, yellow and purple food colouring

Chocolate Cupcake Liner Shell

2 cups chocolate/candy melts, any colour


2 cups assorted candy



1. Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Prep your giant cupcake tin by thoroughly greasing and flouring all the folds.

2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.

3. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.

4. Fill the giant cupcake tin, top first filling it to about 1 inch short of the rim of the tin. Add remaining mixture to the base section – this section will sit about 1.5 inch short of the top of the tin.

5. Bake for 1 hour and ten minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking that the centre of the base is cooked thoroughly through by inserting a skewer.

6. Once done allow to cool for 25 minutes. Turn them out by setting a cooling rack on top of the tin and flip them over together. Give them a sharp tap on the work surface to release the cakes and gently lift the tin away. Allow them to completely cool.

Buttercream Icing

1. Place butter in a mixing bowl and add sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. Beat until well combined, smooth, and creamy. Split the icing into 4 bowls. Keep one portion of the icing white and colour the other three portions: one orange, one yellow, and one purple.

Chocolate Cupcake Liner Shell

1. Melt the chocolate/candy melts in a double boiler or in the microwave. Be careful not to burn in the microwave, heat only 30 seconds at a time. When melted use a pastry brush to paint it onto the base of the cupcake pan. Cool in fridge for 15 minutes. Then paint a second coat with the chocolate, ensuring it’s thick enough that it won’t crack when taking it out of the pan. Return to the fridge for at least 30 minutes. To remove from pan, simply flip it over onto a table and the chocolate should slip out. If it cracks, you can re-melt the chocolate and start again.


1. Cut off the side edges of the bottom portion of the cake (so that it fits in shell). Cut the cake in half horizontally. Add a layer of white icing and place the top back on. Cut ¼ of the cake away (like a pie) Cut a circle out, you should be left with what looks like the letter “C” of cake.

2. Place the chocolate shell on a plate or cake board. You can attach it to the board with a bit of icing or melted chocolate. Place the “C” shaped cake inside of the chocolate shell. Fill the empty space inside the cake with candy. Make sure you mark the outside of the shell of plate where the opening in the cake is. Ice the top of the cake and place the cake-cupcake lid on top.

3. Put each of the three colours of icing inside piping bags with rose tips (Wilton 104). Hold the bag of orange icing right where the cupcake lid meets the chocolate shell, with the flat end of the tip touching the cake. The tip should be perpendicular to the cake. To begin the first ring of ruffles, rotate the cake on a turntable or Lazy Susan with one hand and simultaneously squeeze the bag with a firm and consistent pressure, moving your hand in a rhythmic up and down motion.

4. When the first ring is complete, without releasing pressure on the bag, move your hand up and being the second ring directly above the first. Continue until the ruffles reach a third of the way up the cake, stopping as needed to squeeze the icing down the bag to maintain appropriate pressure. Repeat with remaining two icing colours until the top is fully covered.

5. Remember where you marked the cake on the outside. When the cupcake is served, it can be smashed on the side where you marked like a piñata to reveal the candy inside.

See more: Chocolate, Dessert, Eggs/Dairy, Mexican, Snack

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