What you will need:
* Mini cupcakes in the flavor of your choice (3 or 4 will fit on each kabob stick, so you can make as many as you'd like depending on how many kabobs you would like to make). See instructions below for baking these cupcakes.
* Disposable piping bags or Ziploc bags filled with your favorite frosting. (see frosting recipes below).
* Assorted sprinkles, pearls, edible glitter. Recommended: Rainbow and colored jimmie sprinkles, rainbow non-pareils, mini sugar pearls. You can find all of these at your local bulk bakery supplier.
* 1 bag of dark chocolate candy melts. These can be found at craft stores or local bakery shops.
* 16-24 medium strawberries, washed and dried.
* Wooden skewers or dowels
* 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets
Tips for baking cupcakes with box mix:
* You can doctor up a cake mix by adding one small box of dry instant pudding to the cake mix (I recommend white chocolate for vanilla & chocolate pudding for chocolate).
* Use 4 eggs instead of 3 (this makes your cake mix cupcakes more dense and puffy for stacking on a cupcake kabob).
* To doctor up a white cake mix, use buttermilk in place of the water.
* To doctor up a chocolate cake mix, use liquid hot chocolate in place of the water.
* Use 1/3 cup of canola oil, mix all these ingredients together evenly in a stand mixer.
Homemade Buttercream Recipe:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
In a standing mixer using flat beater attachment, whip butter, vanilla, and heavy whipping cream together until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar until you reach desired thickness.
Homemade Chocolate Frosting Recipe:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa
3-4 cups powdered sugar
In a standing mixer using flat beater attachment, whip butter,until creamy. Gradually add cocoa until blended. Add vanilla and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream until you reach desired thickness.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line cupcake tin with mini cupcake liners.
Fill each cupcake liner about 1/2 full and bake at 325 for about 15 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring up after being touched. Let cupcakes cool.
Frost the cupcakes with desired frosting and dip in desired sprinkles while the frosting is still fresh. Remove cupcake liners. Refrigerate the cupcakes for at least an hour to firm up so it is easier to skewer.
While cupcakes are being refrigerated, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt dark chocolate candy melts in a microwave proof bowl (microwave in 15-30 second increments until candy melts are smooth. Don't over microwave or the candy melts will burn). Once candy melts are melted, have fun dipping assorted strawberries, marshmallows, or other fruit you want to use in your kabobs in the chocolate. Dust sprinkles on top of the melted chocolate while it is still wet. Set your mini dipped kabob creations on top of the parchment paper to dry. You can refrigerate on baking sheet to speed up the process or "set" the chocolate.
Next, thread your kabob on a wooden skewer or a wooden dowel. Use a strawberry or a piece of fruit as a base to keep your kabob in place. Example of placement order: Strawberry, vanilla cupcake, marshmallow, chocolate cupcake. Refrigerate kabobs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet until you are ready to eat!
Creative ideas for theming your kabobs:
For a s'mores cupcake kabob: Dip frosting in graham cracker crumbs before threading the kabob. Mix up your frostings. Use chocolate frosting on some cupcakes and vanilla buttercream on other cupcakes so it tastes like a s'more! And of course..marshmallows in the mix are a must.
Kid cupcake kabob: Dip frostings in rainbow sprinkles. Stack gummy bears, sugar fruit pieces, or Starburst in between cupcakes. This version is very bright and colorful, the kids will love it. Hint: It is important you use a skewer with a sharp point for this version so you can easily slide the gummy bears on the stick.
Strawberry shortcake kabob: Mix up strawberries and vanilla cupcakes on the same kabob stick and you have made a strawberry shortcake cupcake kabob!