Monkey Cupcakes Recipe
Monkey Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Monkey Cupcakes Recipe

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Kids' eyes will light up when they see these cute jungle goodies. The cupcakes never fail to make my grandkids smile, and they're always a huge hit at bake sales. —Sandra Seaman, Greensburg, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
  • 24 vanilla wafers
  • Black and red decorating gel
  • 48 pastel blue and/or green milk chocolate M&M's
  • 12 Nutter Butter cookies

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 265 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 247mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.


  1. Prepare batter and bake according to package directions for cupcakes; cool completely.
  2. Set aside 1/4 cup frosting. Frost cupcakes with remaining frosting. With a serrated knife, cut off and discard a fourth of each vanilla wafer. Place a wafer on each cupcake, with the rounded edge of wafer near edge of cupcake, for face. Add dots of black gel for nostrils. With red gel, pipe on mouths.
  3. Place M&M's above wafers for eyes; add dots of black gel for pupils. Using reserved frosting and a #16 star tip, pipe hair. Carefully separate cookies; cut each in half. Position one on each side of cupcakes for ears. Yield: 2 dozen.
How-To: Kids' little fingers are just the right size for placing pieces. Cupcake assembly»
Give kids creative freedom to ensure that no two monkey faces are the same. Monkey faces»
Originally published as Monkey Cupcakes in Taste of Home April/May 2007, p45

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jayla50 User ID: 2454228 260674
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2017

"My grandson loved these and they were easy. Adorable!"

DeliciouslyResourceful_Gina User ID: 4938423 256430
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2016

"I made these for my son's 2nd birthday. He was a monkey for Halloween and loved them. They were adorable! They took time but weren't difficult at all. Highly recommend for a kid-centric event."

mkaskela User ID: 6061564 218682
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2015

"Very easy to construct and turned out super cute."

mikibunny31 User ID: 7066772 97910
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2013

"when i first made these everyone loved the,m soo much. ive had to make these many many times again for family and friends. and they always impress them. however they do take time and patience"

bluetigereyes2 User ID: 1073120 168353
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2012

"I made these as a treat for a co-worker that was moving away. Everyone LOVED them and had huge smiles when they saw them. I did not give anyone a clue what I was doing before I brought them out, so it was a complete surprise. My kids, of course, had to each 'taste test' one and it met their approval as well"

coolbreeze35 User ID: 4814587 166682
Reviewed Aug. 9, 2011

"I made these for my daughter's 9th birthday. Everyone loved them and thought they were *so* cute!"

sbhkc90 User ID: 1451836 171330
Reviewed Jun. 27, 2011

"I made these for my daughters 13th birthday party. She is a huge monkey fan! These were so easy to make and a huge hit with not only my daughter but her freinds as well. They looked just like the picture in the magazine!"

shirley Borgerding User ID: 5600962 168351
Reviewed May. 2, 2011

"I made them for the grandchidren and they even had names for them before they ate them"

ginny3235 User ID: 3407760 96437
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2010

"I printed this recipe in September, and it has taken me three months to get up the courage to try it. I was afraid the ears would never stay on. Today I made them for a treat for my Sunday School class - of teenagers! My husband helped me and they are so cute we can't believe we did it! I don't like canned frosting, so I made homemade chocolate frosting and the bit needed for the red. The gels are so expensive I didn't want to pay three dollars for about the tablespoon or less of gel needed. I did buy the black gel as I thought it would be more difficult to make. We made half with blue eyes and half with green. They actually didn't take as long as I thought they would. I can see why they would be a hit at a bake sale!"

stacywonfor User ID: 2514729 166349
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2010

"Loved the recipe! I used mini vanilla wafers for the nose and mouth and I cut more vanilla wafers in half for the ears. My son's daycare is a peanut-free zone. They loved them!!!"

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