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How to Make Cute Campfire Cupcakes

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Step by step, how to make the cutest campfire cupcakes, using pretzels and hard candy. Fun idea for a camping birthday or the Blue and Gold Banquet!

campfire cupcakes for cub scouts

If your Cub Scouts love a good campfire and love cupcakes, these campfire cupcakes are one sweet treat they’ll love.

I am not the world's greatest cook, so I asked my good friend, Mel Lockcuff, if she would create a recipe for camping themed cupcakes and write this post for me.

Mel is the creator of the blog, Adventures of Mel. When she isn't whipping up some awesome recipes, she and her family are probably off on one of their outdoor adventures. Thanks, Mel!

The cupcakes are simple yellow cake cupcakes, although you can use any flavor your heart desires, even chocolate cupcakes. Top them off with chocolate buttercream frosting to resemble dirt, and you’re ready to decorate.

While campfire cupcakes take a little bit of effort to decorate, they’re actually pretty simple and easy to make. You don’t even really need any special cake decorating tools to make them.

campfire cupcakes

You’re basically building a mini campfire on every single cupcake.

These festive desserts are perfect for a camping themed birthday party, your next Blue and Gold Banquet, and maybe even a fun Pinewood Derby treat.

Looking for a yummy treat that's also a fun activity? Try making fudge in a bag!

How to Make Yellow Cupcakes

In order to decorate these fun camping treats, we’ve first got to build the foundation by baking yellow cupcakes.

Start by creaming together (another word for mixing) the softened butter, canola oil, and sugar for at least 5 to 8 minutes. Then mix in the egg yolks (set aside the whites for later), vanilla extract, butter extract, and buttermilk.

Fun Fact: Did you know you can make your own buttermilk or sour milk and it works just as good as the real thing? Just add a tablespoon of vinegar to your measuring cup; then fill it to the required level with milk, give it a good stir, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before using.

Sift together all of your dry ingredients, including the cake flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until everything is blended. Then fold in the egg whites and mix quickly, being careful not to overmix.

batter for campfire cupcakes

Line a cupcake pan with liners; then using a batter dispenser, pour the batter into each liner.

Bake the cupcakes at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

When they’re baked, allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.

yellow cupcakes

Take this time to mix up a quick batch of chocolate buttercream frosting and prep the hard candies.

How to Make Flames for Campfire Cupcakes Using Hard Candies

When I was asked by Sherry to create this recipe, I wasn’t quite sure the best way to melt my candy for the campfire flames.

So I started googling, and I found Campfire S’mores Cupcakes by Betty Crocker. While I used my own cupcake and frosting recipes, they have a fantastic tutorial for how to melt the candy.

Basically, you want to put your candies into a freezer bag and crush them up as good as you can, using a mallet or hammer. Line a cookie sheet with foil; then spray the foil with cooking spray.

hard candy for flames for campfire cupcakes

Pour the crushed candies onto the foil, spreading them all out evenly. Then bake them at 350° for 10 minutes or less; by this time, they should all be melted.

Let the candy cool completely before trying to handle. Once it’s cooled, you’ll use a flour sack towel or something similar to cover the melted candy and break it into pieces.

Disclaimer: Please use caution because the pieces can be sharp. We are not responsible for any injury you may experience.

Tips for how to Decorate Campfire Cupcakes

Now it’s time for the cupcake decorating fun to begin… But first, make sure you’ve allowed your cupcakes to fully cool before attempting to decorate.

swirl frosting for campfire cupcakes

Give each cupcake a quick flat swirl of chocolate buttercream frosting.

Stick shards of the hard candies into the frosted cupcake to resemble the flames of a campfire. Leave a little space between some of the pieces so you have room for the “logs.”

candy flames for campfire cupcakes

Next, place the pretzel sticks carefully on and around the flames to resemble firewood or logs on the campfire.

pretzel stick firewood for campfire cupcakes

Finally, stick a couple mini marshmallows onto a toothpick to resemble marshmallows roasting over the campfire. Then stick the toothpick down into the cupcake next to your candy fire.

roasting marshmallows for campfire cupcakes

You can even go as far as my 11 year old and brown the marshmallows just a bit. You can use a kitchen torch for this optional step.

And that’s it! Follow the steps above for each additional cupcake. Or better yet, set up a buffet and let the kids create their own campfires with already frosted cupcakes.

Kitchen Tools You'll Need to Make Campfire Cupcakes

Campfire Cupcakes by Mel Lockcuff

Prep Time: 90 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups pure cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting
  • 8 ounces Cinnamon Jolly Ranchers
  • 8 ounces Butterscotch Disc Candies
  • 2 cups mini pretzel sticks
  • 48 mini marshmallows

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Cream (or mix) the butter, oil, and sugar together for a good 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Then mix in the egg yolks (set aside the whites for later), vanilla extract, butter extract, and buttermilk.
  4. Sift the dry ingredients together at least 3 times.
  5. Then alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to your creamed mixture, mixing after each addition.
  6. Fold in the egg whites and mix quickly, being careful not to overmix.
  7. Line a cupcake pan with liners; then using a batter dispenser, pour the cupcake batter into each liner, filling each one ¾ of the way full.
  8. Bake the cupcakes at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
  9. When they’re fully cooked, allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
  10. Meanwhile, prep the hard candies for decorating. Unwrap the candies and place them into a freezer bag.
  11. Using a mallet or hammer, crush them up as small as you can.
  12. Line a cookie sheet with foil; then spray the foil with cooking spray.
  13. Pour the crushed candies onto the foil, spreading them all out evenly.
  14. Then bake them at 350° for 10 minutes or less; they should all be melted.
  15. Let the candy cool completely before trying to handle. Once it’s cooled, you’ll use a flour sack towel or something similar to cover the candy and break it into pieces by pressing down on it with your hand.
  16. Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, give each cupcake a quick flat swirl of chocolate frosting; you can spread the icing on with a table knife or swirl it on with a cake tip.
  17. Place candy shards into each frosted cupcake to resemble the flames of a campfire. Leave a little space between some of the pieces so you have room for the “logs.”
  18. Place the pretzel sticks carefully on and around the flames to resemble firewood or logs on the campfire.
  19. Finally, stick a couple mini marshmallows onto a toothpick to resemble marshmallows roasting over the campfire. Then stick the toothpick down into the cupcake next to your campfire.
  20. And that’s it… Your campfire cupcakes are ready to serve!
cute campfire cupcakes

Mel Lockcuff is the writer and creator behind the blog, Adventures of Mel, where you'll find delicious recipes and outdoor travel experiences, including her family's love of camping, hiking, and kayaking. She's a former nurse with a heart for the outdoors, a desire to read all the books, a nose for vintage treasures, and a love for really good dark chocolate. Follow Mel on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

P.S. Do you need ideas for Blue & Gold themes? And be sure to check out these Blue & Gold planning guides!

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Tuesday 5th of February 2019

[…] Check out these awesome campfire cupcakes! They are perfect for a camping-themed Blue & Gold […]