What could be a better picnic treat than these sweet watermelon cupcakes~ covered in “ants” and filled with chocolate chip seeds???
These are so fun to make- and watching people’s surprise at that filling is fun too! My favorite comment? “Oh my, this tastes like WATERMELON!” Um…yes. It does. *smile*
This recipe uses a cake pop maker. I hesitantly purchased one a few years back to make a polka dot cake, and I thought I’d end up selling it on a garage sale after that one use. NOT SO!!! I love it! So many possibilities! I just made fun little pancake balls the other day for breakfast- not to mention all the yummy recipes we have done here with it! Get a cake pop maker!! (or, if you must, make your pink centers in mini muffin tins. Just know that you are missing out on some serious fun!)
I also used fondant on the top of these cupcakes. I know that for many of you, this step is a tedious one and I say frost these cupcakes however you like! Green frosting, pink frosting with sprinkles of mini chips….whatever! Just don’t miss out on that fun center!
Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe)
- One boxed white cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
- One small packet of watermelon Kool-Aid drink mix
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 stick of salted butter
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons of clear vanilla
- Green, Pink, and Black Food Color Gels
- One box of Wilton fondant in white (or make your own, using my recipe)
- Make cake mix according to package
- Remove one cup of batter and place in a separate bowl.
- Add 1/2 a packet of Watermelon Kool-Aid powder (use more or less to taste)
- Add pink color gel to intensify the color to desired shade
- Mix in mini chocolate chips.
- Bake in cakepop maker (or use a small mini-muffin tin), making 24 cake pops (or mini-muffins)
- Add green color gel to remaining batter, mixing well.
- Spoon a little green batter into a cupcake liner, placed in a cupcake tin.
- Place pink cake pop on top.
- Spoon green batter over the top, covering the cake pop. Use less, rather than more batter here- if you use too much it will bake over the edges.
- Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes.
- Cool completely.
- Make frosting by placing butters, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beating on high for 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
- Color frosting green, if desired, and set aside.
- IF you use fondant, color a batch with green color gel (leave out a little bit to make ants if desired), cut into circles that fit the top of your cupcakes using a round cookie cutter. Keep circles covered to prevent drying.
- Working one cupcake at a time, spread frosting and then gently lay fondant on top of frosting and press edges down inside of cupcake liner.
- Use dark green color gel with a little water (think watercolor paints) to paint on watermelon stripes.
- Color remaining fondant black and roll into 3 small balls to stick together as an ant on each cupcake. use a toothpick or small brush to paint little ant legs under each ant.
***If you have used fondant before, this should all be easy, but if this is your 1st time and you are wondering what I mean by things like “color fondant”, see my tutorial on making and using fondant here. You’ll make your ants like the caterpillars shown in the tutorial.***
My thoughts… These are really fun little cupcakes. I’m not a huge fan of watermelon flavor, but only the center is flavored and for me it was the perfect little surprise “pop” of flavor. You could certainly add Kool-Aid to your frosting too- it will just end up being a little pink, rather than green.
Nothing says SUMMER like watermelon~ enjoy these little cupcakes at YOUR next summer celebration!! ~r
Other ways to use that cake pop machine you just got 😉 (click on a photo to see the recipe)