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Monkey Cupcakes Recipe

Monkey Cupcakes Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

Recipe Note

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»

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Monkey Cupcakes

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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!!!"

SaraMarx User ID: 135276 96435
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2010

"My 5-year-old Grandson watched me do one cupcake and then he took over! Suggestion: use less batter to make a flatter cupcake or the ears may slide down the curved sides."

maudnb39 User ID: 5429145 152525
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2010

"I got this recipe last night and made the cupcakes, they were very easy and my daughter just loved them...We took them this morning for her Pre-K class."

JULIEBOLDUC User ID: 4466143 106336
Reviewed Sep. 20, 2010

"Loved making these! The kids loved them too"

phyllis ford User ID: 5202957 166702
Reviewed Sep. 20, 2010

"I made these for my grandson for his 1st birthday. Everyone loved them and even took pictures of them. Will definetly make again."

mslynn1 User ID: 5426115 154515
Reviewed Sep. 20, 2010

"I made them for my son's 4th birthday party. Everyone thought they were so cute!! The only thing I shouldn't have done is put the peanut butter cookies on the cupcakes the night before. They were soggy in the morning, so I put new ones on."

NiseyNisey User ID: 4945535 166696
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2010

"These were easy to make and each one had a personality. I made some with peanut butter frosting and they looked like lambs."

jules520 User ID: 4272484 106335
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2010

"I made these for my 4 year olds birthday last year. I did them using mini cupcakes and smaller versions of everything. They were a HUGE hit! Everyone loved them - including the adults. They are almost as much fun to make as they are to eat and they are super simple to make!"

Littleannie28 User ID: 4871802 68766
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2010

"OMG! I love to make special treats for my daughters class in school when it's her birthday and how adorable are these cupcakes!!! We made them for her 7th birthday and the whole class plus the teachers loved them!! They were so easy to make and way too cute to eat! Excellent recipe!"

annieb314 User ID: 1061317 166348
Reviewed Mar. 19, 2010

"These were so simple to make and so cute! I made them for my daughter to take to school on her 7th birthday. Everyone loved them."

farmgirl54 User ID: 2528120 68765
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2009

"I made these for my little girl's 38th birthday! It was an instant hit. She loves Curious George and my "little monkey" loved the gag birthday cupcakes!

msb1805 User ID: 2448788 96356
Reviewed Sep. 28, 2009

"We made these for my son's 3rd birthday party. They were easy enough for my 11 year old to help, and they were so adorable. A big hit at the party for both the kids and adults. My son loved them!"

GreenCatHat User ID: 4377862 152524
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2009

"I'm just a big kid at heart and I love monkeys and such so when I decided to have a jungle like house warming party these and the cookies were a big hit along with the other stuff of course. :o)"

karimichelle68 User ID: 4338513 166345
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2009

"I made these for my daughter's birthday, and they were a hit! When I posted the pictures, everyone asked how to make them! They were fun and easy to make!"

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