Easy Campfire Cupcakes Recipe

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45 minutes

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These cute campfire cupcakes use mini marshmallows, mini pretzel sticks, and frosting to create an adorable tiny campfire on top of a chocolate cupcake. Incredibly easy to make, these creative treats are sure to be a hit with anyone who loves camping or the outdoors.

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Campfire Cupcakes with black and white napkin

There’s a lot to love about this adorable campfire cupcakes recipe. A tiny campfire with a frosting flame sits on top of delicious chocolate cake in this recipe that’s fun, easy, and inexpensive.

The beauty of these bonfire cupcakes is in the details, from the red and orange colors of the fire to the pretzel stick kindling. There’s even a mini marshmallow on a pretzel toasting stick! It’s hard to find a cupcake recipe that’s cuter or more fun than this, and with a boxed cake mix as the base, it’s also incredibly easy.

Let the kids help you with the decorating and have a great time together as you create a treat that will be the star of your next summer party or camping themed party.

Campfire cupcakes on wire cooling rack

Why We Love This Recipe

It’s Kid-Friendly – These cute little campfire cupcakes are a fun summer activity for the kids! They’ll love creating the marshmallow toasting sticks and putting the pretzel pieces on the tops of the cupcakes to make the ‘kindling’ for the fire.

No Special Ingredients Needed – The adorable decorations on these fun cupcakes are made with common ingredients that you probably already have in your house – food coloring, mini marshmallows, and pretzel sticks. Even better, the only decorating tools you’ll need are a frosting tip and piping bag.

Impress Your Guests – With their adorable appearance, these cupcakes are a great conversation starter and always a crowd pleaser. This is a great recipe if you want to impress everyone with your decorating skills. No one needs to know just how easy it is!

Ingredients

Campfire cupcakes ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix + ingredients from the back (water, oil, eggs)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened (unsalted)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • orange and red gel food coloring
  • 1 bag pretzel sticks
  • 24 mini marshmallows
  • Note: You’ll need piping bags, tips, and plastic wrap to decorate these cupcakes.

How to Make Campfire Cupcakes

Preparing The Cupcake Base

Step 1: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners and set aside.

Cake mix in bowl

Step 2: In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), prepare the chocolate cupcake recipe according to the package directions. Bake the cupcakes as instructed on the box (you’ll know they’re done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).

Let cupcakes cool completely to room temperature.

Cake batter and cupcake tin

Making The Frosting

Step 1: In a large bowl, beat the softened butter until it’s light and fluffy.

Whipped butter in bowl

Step 2: Add powdered sugar to the butter. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until they’re well combined.

Butter and powdered sugar

Step 3: Add vanilla extract and milk, and then mix on medium speed until frosting comes together and is smooth.

Vanilla and milk added together to make frosting

Step 4: Divide buttercream frosting, putting half in one mixing bowl and half in another. Add several drops of orange coloring to one of the bowls.

Frosting mixed with orange food coloring

Step 5: Add several drops of red coloring to the other bowl. Mix both colors of frosting until food coloring is combined and there are no streaks.

Frosting mixed with red food coloring

Creating The Campfire

Step 1: Add small dollops of frosting to the center of each of the cooled cupcakes.

Chocolate cupcakes with a dollop of red icing

Step 2: Break the pretzel sticks in half to create 6 “wood” pieces that will sit under your frosting. Press them onto center of the cupcake, using the dab of frosting to hold them in place.

Stick pretzels pushed into frosting

Step 3: To make the dual-colored icing, take two large sheets of plastic wrap and add 3-4 big spoonfuls of orange frosting to the wrap. Next, fold the edges over to make a tube of icing and twist the ends.

Repeat this for the red frosting and set aside. Snip off one end of the twisted plastic wrap for each color.

Red and orange frosting in icing bags

Step 4: Add both colors side by side to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip. The trimmed off end should be pointing down towards the frosting tip.

Squeeze the colors evenly and swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes using a circular motion. The dual colors will give your cupcakes the fire effect.

Campfire cupcakes with red and orange icing

Step 5: For the topping, take 24 pretzel sticks, trimmed about ¾, and push a miniature marshmallow on the end of each.

Mini marshmallows on pretzel sticks

Step 6: Add the “toasting marshmallow” to the top of the cupcakes and enjoy!

Campfire cupcakes with mini marshmallow pretzels

Tips & Tricks

  • Use any brand of cake mix you like for these fun campfire cupcakes but be sure to prepare it according to the package directions. Brands may vary slightly so you may need to adjust your ingredients and amounts accordingly.
  • Create an extra fun surprise by adding marshmallow cream to these cupcakes. Use a cupcake corer to cut a small circle out of the top of the cupcake. Then fill the hole with marshmallow fluff and replace the circle, frosting cupcakes as directed.
  • In a hurry and want to skip the baking all together? No problem! Just use store-bought chocolate muffins or unfrosted basic chocolate cupcakes, then frost and decorate according to the recipe directions. You can even use store-bought white frosting and color it instead of making frosting from scratch.
Campfire Cupcakes with marshmallow sticks
How Do I Store Campfire Cupcakes?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They should keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Campfire cupcake with a bite taken out

More Fun Party Ideas

Love whimsical cupcake ideas? You may want to check these out too…

Campfire cupcake on wire rack with marshmallow stick
4.67 from 3 votes

Campfire Cupcakes


Course Birthday Cakes & Cupcakes
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Incredibly easy to make, these these adorable campfire cupcakes are perfect for summer parties or anyone th are sure to be a hit with anyone who loves camping or the outdoors.

Ingredients
 

Instructions

Preparing the cupcakes

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add cupcake liners to each cupcake pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, prepare the chocolate cake batter according to the package directions. Bake the cupcakes as instructed on the box, then allow them to cool completely to room temperature.
    1 box chocolate cake mix, 1 1/4 cup water**, 1/2 cup vegetable oil**, 3 eggs**

Making the frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat the softened butter until it’s light and creamy.
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Add powdered sugar to the butter.
    4 cups powdered sugar
  • Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until they’re well combined. Add vanilla extract and milk, and then mix on medium speed until frosting comes together and is smooth.
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons milk
  • Divide buttercream frosting, putting half in one mixing bowl and half in another. Add several drops of orange food coloring to one of the bowls.
    Gel food coloring – orange
  • Add several drops of red food coloring to the other bowl. Mix both colors of frosting until food coloring is combined and there are no streaks.

Creating the campfire

  • Add small dollops of frosting to the center of each cupcake.
  • Break the pretzel sticks in half to create 6 “wood” pieces that will sit under your frosting. Press the pretzels onto the dab of frosting to hold them in place.
    24 pretzel sticks
  • To make the dual-colored icing, take two large sheets of plastic wrap and add 3-4 big spoonfuls of orange frosting to the wrap. Next, fold the edges over to make a tube of icing and twist the ends.
  • Repeat this for the red frosting and set aside. Snip off one end of the twisted plastic wrap for each color.
  • Add both colors side by side to a large piping bag prepared with your favorite frosting tip (I like to use the large star tip). The trimmed off end should be pointing down towards the frosting tip.
  • Squeeze the colors evenly and swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes using a circular motion. The dual colors will give your cupcakes the fire effect.
  • For the topping, take 24 pretzel sticks, trimmed about ¾, and push miniature marshmallows (we used one per pretzel) on the end of each.
  • Add the “toasting marshmallow” to the top of the cupcakes and enjoy!
    24 mini marshmallows

Notes

  • If you're in a hurry, you can skip the baking all together. Just use store-bought chocolate muffins or unfrosted basic chocolate cupcakes, then frost and decorate according to the recipe directions.
  • You could do the same with the frosting. Just buy white frosting and use food coloring to create the fire effect.
  • For even more color, divide the icing three ways and add yellow to the third one. Use the yellow frosting alongside the other two colors to make your fire.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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