Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chocolate Fudge Hidden Kiss Cupcakes

I don't know about you, but I (usually) love hidden surprises in desserts! I really love hidden surprises in cupcakes-- a truffle center, a buried peanut butter cup, a secret cookie in the bottom--it makes me smile when there's more to a cupcake than meets the eye. It adds to the allure!
These cupcakes are just that, with a milk chocolate Hershey's Kiss right in the center. I made these for my sister to gift to her boss and his wife, as they had a death in the family and she wanted to cheer them up. I figured that while cupcakes are cheerful enough, finding a chocolate center could only enhance the experience!

They got rave reviews, so I think I chose wisely with these :) This is a super easy recipe, using a chocolate fudge cake mix and topping with a caramel cream cheese frosting. I needed something quick for a weeknight, so these fit the bill!
  • 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix (or your favorite chocolate cake mix) and all the ingredients to make it
  • 1 packet instant pudding mix, chocolate or vanilla 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
  • 1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce (homemade or storebought)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (I never measure--probably 2-3 cups-ish?) 
  • Chocolate fudge flakes or sprinkles for decoration

Preheat oven per your box instructions. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. Mix cake mix according to box instructions; add pudding mix and vanilla, being careful not to overmix.

Fill each cupcake well about halfway, then press a Hershey's kiss into the bottom. Top each kiss with another dollop of cupcake batter, and bake according to box directions. Remove and let cool completely before frosting.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Start by creaming the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Carefully add caramel sauce and vanilla extract, then gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with fudge flakes.

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