Cupcake bites make great gifts on a budget.

December 16, 2010 at 9:04 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 24 Comments

My husband, bless his heart, isn’t the greatest at planning ahead when it comes to gifts.

So was I surprised when he asked me Wednesday night at 10pm if I could “whip up some cupcakes for his coworkers’ Xmas gifts”? Nope. Not even when he said… “Oh and can I get them by Friday morning?” followed by an air kiss good night in my general direction before he went to bed. But I’m kinda use to it. It happens every year.

While he drifted off to sleep my mind was racing with ideas. I only had about 24 hours to come up with a yummy gift. Finally before I drifted off to sleep I decided to make cupcake bites since they were such a hit at my in-laws’ anniversary party *AND* I still had some leftover cake left in the freezer. Don’t you love freezing cake?

Happy Holidays to all my little cupcake freaks.

Christmas Cupcake Bites
Recipe adapted from Bakerella

Makes about 50 (I used 1/2 cake and got 48)

1 box cake mix (baked and cooled as directed on box for 9×13 cake)*
1-16oz can cream cheese frosting (I used about 3/4 can instead)
1 package Wilton chocolate candy melts (for cupcake bottom)**
1 package Wilton peppermint candy melts (for cupcake top)
Peanut butter cup candy mold

* If you don’t need the whole cake, do what I did. Just quarter the 9×13 cake, wrap quarters in plastic wrap and freeze. Just remember to adjust the amount of frosting accordingly. Bakerella says each quarter makes 12 bites but I must make them smaller than she does b/c I get about 24 bites per quarter. Go figure! *shrugs*

** If you don’t have chocolate candy melts, I’ve had good success with substituting milk chocolate chips. The only warning is that they tend to melt faster in a warm hand than the candy melt which can make the “dipping” part harder.


Crumble the baked and cooled cake into a large bowl and add cream cheese frosting.

Form the cake mixture into 1″ diameter balls. Or if you are OCD like me, weigh each cupcake ball at about 0.5oz. Chill in the freezer until firm while you prepare the chocolate candy coating for the cupcake bottom.

This is my hand. This is my hand after rolling 48 cupcake balls. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.

I know that Bakerella likes to use a squeeze bottle but I prefer using a piping tip and microwave. I fill the piping bag about 1/2 way, don’t seal so that warm air can escape and nothing explodes and melt in 20 sec intervals until chocolate candy melts… uh… melt. (Does that sound redundant? Sorry I was too lazy to pull up my thesaurus.) Snip a small hole at the bottom of the piping bag with scissors and fill the peanut butter candy mold about 1/2 way.

Grab your cupcake balls out of the freezer and slowly push them into the chocolate candy melt so that the chocolate goes up the sides of the mold. This may take some trial-and-error to get it right but be patient and you’ll get it after a few practice runs. Trust me. It’s worth it.

Chill the peanut butter molds in the refrigerator for a few minutes so that the chocolate can harden. To remove them from the mold gently squeeze the bottom of the mold until each cupcake bite pops out.

In a separate bowl, melt your 2nd candy melt in the microwave on 20 sec intervals. I used peppermint vanilla candy melts b/c peppermint IS Christmas to me. Doncha think? But you can use whatever color or flavor you’d like. It’s all good.

Slowly dip your cupcake bite into the peppermint candy melt to the edge of the chocolate candy melt. Swirl it around a few times so that the top 1/2 is evenly covered. If your candy melt gets kinda thick pop it back into the microwave for 10secs. Keep on dippin’! (Great. I have that song “When I Dip You Dip We Dip” stuck in my head!) Now the fun part. Adding the sprinkles! I found these adorable candy cane and holly sprinkles by Wilton at Michaels. The candy melt hardens fast so I added the sprinkles after I dipped each cupcake bite. If you wait to add sprinkles at the end, the sprinkles won’t stay attached very well.

Now what’s a gift without packaging right? I’m a sucker for packaging. It borders on hoarding. Every box or bag I get as a gift I save. You never know when you’ll need a gift bag! I think I have a problem. These 4x3x3″ peek-a-boo boxes are from the Container Store and are way too adorable for words. It even has a handle. Add some ribbon and a decorative tag. Cuteness overload.


Husband rating: A+ (for taste)/A++ (for packaging)
He’s such a teacher. HA HA

Wifey rating: A+
I love these cupcake bites. A little tedious but well worth the effort. Just a little bite to wet your whistle and under 100 calories! (Don’t quote me though. That’s just what I tell myself.)



  1. I love these! I’m having a Cake-ball/pop phase atm! I think its the time of year :)

  2. omg thanks clara, they are SOOO adorable!! happy holidays to u too! :)

  3. Damn, where was this a few days ago?! This would have been great for Jake’s class party.

  4. Thank you!! I have some leftover cake balls in my freezer- now I know what to do with them.

    Did you get any cracking in the candy melts after they hardened? I did my first go round and was wondering if my balls were too cold.

  5. How adorable are these?! And I love how the peppermint candy melts are so festive, without making extra work for you! I wish I had cute packaging boxes, I love giving things to people, but everywhere I see the boxes, they are so expensive compared to what I would be putting in them!

  6. What a great idea! Do you think I can use other frostings other than cream cheese? My bf is not a big fan of the cream cheese.

    Happy Holidays!

  7. Oh definitely! Any canned frosting flavor will work but don’t get the “whipped” variety. It makes the cupcake ball consistency too soft IMO.

  8. I didn’t get any cracking but it might be b/c as the cupcake ball cooled it expanded breaking the candy melt shell? Try not to compact the cupcake ball too tight. Roll it kinda loose before chilling. HTH!

  9. I am just starting in the decorative baking area, and these are such a great idea. Cake and Candy together–what could be better! Have to get me some candy molds soon.

  10. Great, wonderful idea!! I’m on it!! Now to get the candy melts.. No wait I have Mint chocolate chips on hand!! Perfect!!!

  11. I love making those cupcake bites, but you’re right, they are a little tedious. I always have issues when I do the last dipping part, I think because my chocolate is too thick.

  12. FAN.TAS.TIC.
    Another amazing creation from you!

  13. SO cute!!!

  14. It’s so true! But that’s why I opted for the small box. It was $0.89/box and I already had all the materials at home for the cupcake bites so basically I spent less than $1 for each gift. Score!

  15. Caaahhuuutttee!! OMG. This is such a great idea. I know what the whole FAM is getting for Christmas next week :-) Thank you!

  16. You are a totally amazing baker!! Very inventive!!!!
    What a nice wife you are too! Not sure I’d do the same.
    Hey, is it snowing on this site, or am I just seeing things?! Ha!

  17. Adorable!

  18. I made a version of these the other night.. Everyone LOVED them.. I used Golden Vanilla Cake, vanilla frosting and mint chocolate chips.. I had my son seperate the green mint chips from the dark chocolate ones and added more dark chocolate.. They turned out great.. BUTTTT… I put them in the freezer to set but when I was trying to dip them in the chocolate it wouldn’t stick to the ball… Drove me nuts.. but I got it sorta.. and then swished the mint on top.. Beautiful!.. So yeah next time I will add a cherry in the center!!! or something.. :P..
    Anyway,, Thank you for the great idea!!

  19. Dipping cupcake bites in peppermint vanilla chocolate – brilliant. These might go perfect with peppermint green tea. And I absolutely agree that cupcakes make for the perfect gift on a budget. Who doesn’t love a cupcake?! Thank you for sharing!
    – Ashley with Dress My Cupcake (

  20. UNBELIEVABLE! AWESOME! I love the way these bites are done. I’ll be trying them real soon! Thanks for sharing!

  21. […] from all the books and blogs I have found recently, so what a perfect opportunity!  After seeing this post from iheartcuppycakes, I decide to try and make cake bites as our gift. (Thanks for the […]

  22. I love these!!! I’ve never tried anything like this and I want to make them for my neighbors and friends this Christmas. I was wondering was size of molds did you use. I didn’t know they come small, med, and large. Thanks for your help.

  23. Awesome idea! Thanks so much!!

  24. It’s a peanut butter cup mold. That’s what it said on the packaging when I bought it at Michaels. If it doesn’t say peanut butter cup I’d probably go with small. HTH!

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