Who doesn't love a bitty bite of cake? For party-day ease, make the cupcakes one month before and freeze. Prep the accessories two days ahead and store at room temp in an airtight container. Whip up the frosting and assemble the cupcakes in no time on the big day! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
If you're in a big hurry, these cupcakes are delicious even without frosting. The recipe works well with either fresh or frozen rhubarb, and a hint of nutmeg sparks the flavor. —Sharon Nichols, Brookings, South Dakota
It's hard to believe these cupcakes can taste so delicious, yet be so easy," writes Nancy Reichert of Thomasville, Georgia. "Frost them if you wish, but my family likes them plain, which is great when I'm having an especially busy day."
These moist, spicy cupcakes with creamy caramel frosting are a delicious treat. The recipe has been in my family for years. When I was growing up, it seemed these cupcakes were always in the freezer, just waiting to be snitched one at a time! —Carla Hodenfield, Ray, North Dakota
From Spearville, Kansas, Merrill Powers shares this recipe for individual brownie-like cupcakes studded with pecan pieces. "This crinkly tops of these chewy treats are so pretty that they don't even need frosting," she relates.
"My three girls love these moist, nut-topped cupcakes even without frosting," remarks Debra Forshee from Stockton, Kansas. "They're a great way to use up zucchini, and they freeze well for a quick snack."
If a black cat crosses your path, we hope it's one of these cute chocolaty creations. This time-saving recipe relies on a boxed cake mix and a can of prepared frosting jazzed up with simple cookie and candy decorations. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
It's fun to prepare individual brownie "cupcakes" with a chocolaty "surprise" inside. My goddaughter, Cara, asks me to make them for her birthday to share at school. This year, she requested 32. I later found out she only needed 27 for her class...wonder where the other five went!
-Pamela Lute, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
RED-NOSED CAKES are what Karen quickly cooked up for the youngsters at her child's school. "Our son needed reindeer treats for his class but forgot to tell me abut it until the day before," recalls Karen. "It's the sort of situation that every mother finds herself in at one time or another!" With no ready-made decorations on hand, Karen had to improvise. "We stuck animal crackers in the cupcakes for antlers and used other sweets for the eyes and noses," she tells. "All the students loved them." Her fast creations are helpful when you have lots of other preparations for a party. "And they're easy enough for children to help with, too," notes Karen.
It's a snap to spell out sweet sentiments on these quaint cupcakes when you bake a batch ahead of time using convenient cake mix. You don't even need a heart-shaped muffin tin to make them.
-Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin