Birthday Cupcakes

DISCLAIMER: Today's post is NOT healthy! It is not something I would make every day of the year. In fact, I would ONLY make these cupcakes for my darling daughter's birthday. When you take a look at the list of ingredients, you will see why!

I originally saw these TV Dinner Cupcakes made on Paula's Deen television show. No matter what Paula Deen is cooking, you know it is going to taste good. I found the chocolate cupcake recipe on her Food Network website, but you could use any standard yellow or chocolate cupcake recipe. I only wanted to make 6 cupcakes as these are especially decadent and sugar-laden, so I cut this recipe in half. It worked perfectly.


1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I used butter. You can also use coconut oil.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat.)
1 teaspoon baking soda 
Preheat oven to 350F. Line regular sized cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix milk with vinegar. Stir. Add cocoa powder and hot water. Mix well. Add sugar and melted butter. Mix again. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Sift flour and baking soda into batter and stir gently until just incorporated.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly poked. (You can also test with a toothpick.) Let cool completely before frosting.

1 stick softened butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar (or more, if needed)
1 teaspoon milk
2-3 drops green food coloring
Beat the sugar and butter together until smooth. Add the milk. Check the consistency. It should be thick, but spreadable. Add more sugar if needed.
2 mini donuts or donut holes
1 box Skittles (you only need the green ones)
1 box Starburst (you only need the yellow and orange ones)
1 cup crushed corn flake crumbs 
2 honey wheat pretzel sticks (from Trader Joe's)

Begin with the chicken drumstick cupcakes. (I simplified this recipe by using pretzel sticks for the chicken bones. The original recipe creates a chicken bone from melted white chocolate piped into a template.) Place a mini donut on top of cupcake. Press a pretzel stick through the donut's hole and down into the cupcake to secure it well. Cover the donut and cupcake top with white frosting. Press cornflake crumbs all over the icing.

For the mashed potato cupcakes, pile on plenty of white frosting. Add a yellow starburst candy as a butter pat. OPTIONAL: add a small drizzle of caramel syrup as gravy.

For the peas and carrots: Tint the remaining frosting green. Cover the cupcake with green frosting. Press on green skittles for peas. Cut orange starburst into 4 squares each. Press squares in between green peas to resemble cut-up carrots.

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