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Hot Off The Grill Cupcakes

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To make these oh-so-hot treats, you’ll need the following:

  • 2 dozen cupcakes (or brownies, as the original idea suggests)
  • 1 can store-bought chocolate frosting (omit if using brownies)
  • orange icing sugar
  • 72 pieces Hot Tamales candy
  • black royal icing (piping consistency)


  • 1) Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make and cool cakes as directed on box for 24 cupcakes.
  • 2) Frost with frosting. Decorate with candies. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

As the cupcakes baked, I began to wonder if they wouldn’t look a little funny. After all, brownies bake up with a crusty, flaky top that looks rugged. Cupcakes – especially these! – bake up with perfect little domes. I wasn’t so sure the decoration would like “right” on the plain cupcake surface. Not only that, but what’s a cupcake without frosting?!

Instead, I chose to use a quick can of store-bought (*gasp*) chocolate frosting to jazz up the cakes. (Hey, I still get points for making the cupcakes from scratch, right?) The frosting helped to provide a better sticking surface for the orange icing sugar, too. Speaking of that, the orange sugar might just be my favorite little part of these cupcakes – it *really* does look like coals on a grill!


Once I had frosted & sugared all of the cupcakes, I used a bit of black royal icing to pipe grill lines across the surface. As I finished each one, I topped the “grill” with three pieces of Hot Tamales candy. I added tiny grill lines to each candy “hot dog”, and then the cupcakes were finished! From beginning to end, I decorated all two dozen cupcakes in under 20 minutes!

And it’s always nice to have a super-cute, super-EASY decorating idea tucked in your back pocket for a quick treat to take to a lazy summer’s BBQ, right? Right! :-)


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