These adorable little tepees are filled with yummy chocolate cake and are sure to make everyone smile at YOUR Thanksgiving feast!
Since I spent 8 months on the Navajo Nation and learned to love their culture and traditions, I thought I’d skip the Pilgrim themes and go straight for the Indians this Thanksgiving. My first trip out to the reservation I wondered if Tepees were even used by the Navajo. They are- but only for special ceremonies. The Navajo traditionally lived in round or multi-sided structures called hogans.
Here is a picture of a ceremonial tepee and of my friend Rod by his family’s hogan.
I had quite a time making these cute little desserts, but I hope that my experimenting will help you make this perfectly the 1st time! They really aren’t difficult once you figure out what the best system is! I will give you my recipe 1st (that’s what you’re here for, right??) But after the recipe I will share my trials and tribulations in the process!
Here’s how to make these cute little treats: (printable recipe)
- 24 pointed ice cream cones
- One boxed cake mix in chocolate (or any flavor you like!), plus water, oil and eggs to make according to box.
- One bag (12 oz) of Wilton Candy Melts in dark chocolate.
- Leaf sprinkles (at least one to two cups of them)
- Straight pretzel sticks
Cover the entire top of a large springform pan with aluminum foil, wrapping it around several times.
- Use a small knife or scissors to make a tiny slit in the center.
- Push the pointed tip of one ice cream cone through the slit until the tip rests on the inside bottom of the pan.
- Repeat this with the rest of the cones (depending on the size of your pan you may need to bake these in two batches).
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Make cake mix according to box, and spoon or pipe into cones, filling them about 2/3 full.
- Bake at 350F degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
- Allow them to cool before removing.
- Use a knife to cut the points off of each cone. I scored around the edge with the knife and then just snapped the tip off with my fingers.
- Trim off tops of cupcakes to make a flat “bottom”
- Melt candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
- Dip the flat end of the cone into the chocolate, coating it completely.
- Dip chocolate into a bowl filled with leaf sprinkles.
- Set coated cone on parchment paper to harden up.
- Place remaining chocolate into a small zip-top bag and clip a corner.
- Pipe a bit of chocolate on the top of each tepee and then stick 3 pretzel sticks into the top.
- After chocolate has hardened up, serve and enjoy!!!
The story behind the cupcakes:
These are the result of much experimenting. I saw a picture of tepee cupcakes on Pinterest and was intrigued by this idea, but I couldn’t imagine how you would bake cake batter into a pointed cup…? So I googled the idea and discovered that nobody really has any very good ideas for this…? I wondered if I could maybe cut the top point off 1st, stick the bottom into something like cookie dough and pipe batter in to bake upside down? I tried this with the following result:
These really made the most beautiful exploding volcano-type effect in the oven. It was very entertaining, although not what I was hoping for!
Many sites recommended poking the cones into disposable tin foil pans, but they all said to watch them closely because they tip…and to be careful of the hot cake batter when righting them. Oh my. Not my sort of recipe. Sounds like one big mess in my oven!
Eventually I tried the foil and springform pan idea and it was not only easy but very sturdy. Nothing tipped even a tiny bit!
My thoughts: YUM! These are just delicious and fairly easy to make once you know how to get those cupcakes baked. My only advice: make sure you cut enough off the top that all three of those pretzels fit into the opening. A few of mine were too tight, and I had to use the chocolate melts to cement them in place. I hope you have fun making these! I certainly did! Enjoy!! ~r
Other fun fall recipes here on Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe):
Once again a super cute idea! Your blog is so inspiring! I love reading your posts!
You are so sweet- thank you!!
How cute! And, are you a Tony Hillerman fan? JoAnn
Thank you! I tried a couple of his books before I moved to the reservation, but I just couldn’t get into them. I feel like I should try again now that I’ve lived there though! 🙂
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I am so glad I found this – the epic fails, I have done.. burnt cones and tipping batter and messy oven! trying this way soon.
Glad you found us too!!!! 🙂 Have fun!
So sad. I spent ~ 30 on supplies to make these tepees. I left them overnight on the counter to finish cooling after cooking and most of them ended up a soggy mess. Perhaps it was the brand moist cake mix ? Disappointed.
Aw- I am always so sad to hear that a recipe didn’t work. I’m not sure why- I’ve made these several times now and I’ve not ever had a problem. I have used all sorts of brands of cones, and I usually use Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix. These don’t typically cost $30 to make either- I think of this recipe as one of my fairly inexpensive treats- maybe you were doubling the recipe though- or overseas. So sorry you were disappointed with the results! ~r
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Have to say thank you for this wonderful recipe. I too am Navajo, and would use this for my family. Ahxe éé
Nice to meet you Nedra 🙂 You’re welcome!
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I would love to make these for my son’s class. Can I make them the night before without them getting soggy?
What a great and unique idea! They look fabulous.
Hi Cindy- you can make them the day before. Just don’t seal them up in an air-right container 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!!
Thank you! I did, and they turned out great!! Happy Thanksgiving!
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This sounds a bit difficult. It would be awesome if you could make a video!… Please?!
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You can buy special cone holders that stand on a cookie sheet, It think Wilton makes one, the cones bake easily in these and you can also serve them in the holder. I think the holder holds about 8 cones.