I made these for Easter, then totally forgot to post the recipe! Good thing we're doing desserts on Wednesday... Maybe no one will notice the little yellow bird part of this... I saw the idea for these cupcakes on a blog and thought they were super cute. I always envy adorable cupcakes, I just can't bring myself to spend 5 minutes decorating ONE cupcake just to have some under-appreciative person devour it, then comment on it's taste. The chicks were super cute AND super simple. I, however, can't be content with just plain cupcakes, so I took one of our favorite recipes and adjusted it for cupcakes. Notice the inside of the cupcakes have a little white filling. Cream cheese filling. Pudding frosting. When this is done as a cake it comes out looking like an overgrown Snowball- the nasty Ding Dong kind, not the throw-in-your-face kind. But it tastes SOOO much better. To be honest, I don't think the cupcakes came out quite as good as I'd hoped, but still, addictively yummy. First the cake recipe, then the chick decorating instructions.
1 pkg devil's food cake mix
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I always use Neufchatel- a lower fat cream cheese)
2 tbsp sugar
1 (3.4 oz)pkg instant vanilla pudding
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 C cold milk
2 C thawed Cool Whip
1 C flake coconut
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake batter in 2 1/2 qt OVENPROOF bowl, as directed on package; scrape sides of bowl (since you cook the cake in this bowl, scraping the sides helps keep it from sticking when you're done). In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, egg and granulated sugar until well blended. Spoon into center of batter in bowl.
Bake 1 hour 5 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool bowl 10 minutes. Loosen cake from bowl with a knife or spatula, then, using potholders if necessary, invert onto wire rack. Remove bowl and cool cake completely.
Meanwhile, beat pudding mix, powdered sugar and milk in medium bowl with a whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in Cool Whip (this will still have a slight yellowish tint to it. Don't worry, we'll cover it with coconut which will make it look less like... yellow snow.). Refrigerate until ready to use.
Once it's cooled, place cake on a plate and frost with the pudding mix. Cover with coconut. Keep refrigerated.
For the cupcakes I just poured the cake batter into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake paper then dropped a dollop of the filling in the center. In the cake, the filling sinks almost to the bottom of the bowl, so when it's inverted it's about 1/2" from the top. The filling doesn't really go anywhere with the cupcakes, so it's just cream cheese in the middle. I used the same frosting because it's so good and it has a yellowish tint to it already. If you use a different frosting, add a few drops of yellow food coloring to it. Add a few drops to the coconut as well and mix well. Try not to MASH the food coloring in. Not as cute. Seems like that would be obvious. To most... Dip, sprinkle or dump the coconut on each cupcake. The eyes are mini M&M's. The beaks are orange starbursts cut into quarters and smooshed into shape. Have fun!