X

Easy Monkey Cupcakes

This post may contain affiliate links meaning if you buy from them, I will make a few pennies, at no cost to you. See disclosure here.

Monkey Cupcakes are such a cute dessert idea, you may not want to eat them! These delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes are made with chocolate sanding sugar and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party!
Monkey Cupcakes are such a cute dessert idea, you may not want to eat them! These delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes are made with chocolate sanding sugar and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party!

Click HERE to save recipe to Pinterest

Even though I haven’t eaten any (real) animals in the last few months, I seem to enjoy making really cute animal cupcakes (like penguins & pandas) and eating their faces.

Our nephew had his 3rd birthday party on Saturday and I used that as my excuse to bake them.

MONKEY CUPCAKES

Monkey Cupcakes are such a cute dessert idea, you may not want to eat them! These delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes are made with chocolate sanding sugar and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party!

I used the same chocolate cupcake recipe I used in the pandas but this time, I filled the centers with fluffy buttercream. I’ve never said this before, but I think I found an amazing buttercream I like.

Most recipes call for unsalted butter but I like to use salted to balance the sugar.

Total personal preference.

You could also make this with a box cake mix & store bought frosting.

Again, up to you.

Monkey Cupcakes are such a cute dessert idea, you may not want to eat them! These delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes are made with chocolate sanding sugar and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party!

Things I learned while making these easy cupcakes:

  • Chocolate Sanding Sugar is not super easy to find. I had to go to three Michaels before I found it. I recommend ordering it on Amazon.
  • Cutting mini Nilla wafers in half is not easy to do without crushing them. Using a butter knife & even pressure ended up working best for me.
Monkey Cupcakes are such a cute dessert idea, you may not want to eat them! These delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes are made with chocolate sanding sugar and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party!

SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED FOR DECORATING MONKEY CUPCAKES:

  • Mini Nilla wafers
  • Chocolate Sanding Sugar – I had to try 3 Michaels before I found this so call first if you’re not ordering it
  • Candy Eyeballs – I actually think they’re kinda creepy as they come, so I flip them upside down & use black gel icing to make pupils. 
  • Black gel icing – You could also use melted chocolate, if you prefer. 
  • Piping bag & tip – Or you could just frost them with a knife – you’re going to cover the frosting with the sanding sugar so it doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be thick enough for you to be able to stick the Nilla wafers into. 
Monkey Cupcakes are such a cute dessert idea, you may not want to eat them! These delicious homemade chocolate cupcakes are made with chocolate sanding sugar and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party!

CONNECT WITH PERSNICKETY PLATES!

Follow along on my social media so you never miss a post!

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

I made a fun group on Facebook for sharing recipes, asking questions, and talking about food. I’d love to have you! Request to join HERE.

Also, sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe:

FREE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION & EBOOK

If you MAKE & LOVE this recipe, share it on Instagram and tag me @melissa_pplates and/or #persnicketyplates so I can see it. I LOVE seeing what you make & I’ll share it in my stories!

Adorable Monkey Cupcakes! Homemade chocolate cupcakes with chocolate sugar "fur" and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party! | www.persnicketyplates.com

Adorable Monkey Cupcakes! Homemade chocolate cupcakes with chocolate sugar "fur" and vanilla wafer ears! Perfect for a monkey themed birthday party! | www.persnicketyplates.com

Easy Monkey Cupcakes

Melissa | Persnickety Plates
Adorable Monkey Cupcakes made with Nilla wafers and chocolate sanding sugar.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Decorating Time 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 179 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup hot water

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1.5 sticks salted butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
 

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Line your cupcake pans with liners and set aside (I made 24 minis & 10 full size).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt with a whisk.
  • Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined. It will be very thick at this point.
  • I switched to a wooden spoon and added the hot water. Mix until fully incorporated. Now batter will be thin.
  • Fill the liners about 3/4 full and bake for full size – 12-15 minutes, minis – around 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before you start decorating.

For the Buttercream

  • Make sure you start with softened butter. I used my stand mixer but a hand mixer will work fine, too.
  • With the paddle attachment, whip the butter until it starts to get smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • If you use UNsalted butter, you’ll want to add a pinch of salt. I started with salted butter so there’s no need.

For the Decorating

  • Once cooled, core out the center of your cupcakes (if you want to fill them with buttercream). I used some type of apple corer to do this (I’m not sure exactly what it’s intended use is, I just found it in my drawer).
  • Using a piping bag (or ziploc bag with a tip), fill the center with some frosting then replace the top. Frost with the buttercream. It doesn’t have to be particularly pretty, you’re going to cover it up with sprinkles anyway.
  • Fill a bowl with the sanding sugar, flip the cupcake over and gently smush into the sprinkles to fully coat.
  • Cut some vanilla wafers in half for the ears (gently! this part is tricky. they were shooting all over when I was cutting them) and stick on each side of the cupcake.
  • Add a whole vanilla wafer for the mouth and use gel icing (or melted chocolate) to draw on the mouth & nose. I gave mine different faces & personalities.
  • I bought pre-made eyeballs, but I didn’t like them, so I flipped them over and drew on my own pupils with the icing.

Notes

Sources: Slight modifications to chocolate cupcakes (Bakerella) & buttercream (Sally's Baking Addiction)
Makes: 24 mini & 10 full size cupcakes with enough frosting to fill half & frost all (I only turned the full size cupcakes into monkeys)

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 105mgPotassium: 67mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 58IUCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

Or maybe you’ll like…
Panda Cupcakes
Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes - perfect for a panda themed birthday party or just because! | Persnickety Plates

Need more ideas? Here are 112 Birthday Cake Ideas for Boys
birthday-cake-ideas-for-boys

 

Reader Interactions

    Share Your Thoughts

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Stephanie Latham says

    These are adorable! I’m making them for a friends birthday right now. Fyi: I use the tin foil cups all the time and always wondered if you were supposed to use the paper cup liner or not. Turns out the paper is just to keep them separated and you don’t need them!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Send me a pic when you’re done – I’d love to see them! & about the foil wrappers – I question myself every single time even though I know the answer! 🙂

  2. Maribeth says

    Thank you! I made these for my grand daughter’s sixth birthday and they were the hit of the party.. I especially liked your tip to using the backs of the eyes to create unique facial expressions. The cupcake was tender and moist-delicious!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thank makes me so happy – thanks for reporting back 🙂

  3. Diana says

    5 stars
    These adorable monkey cupcakes were easy to recreate from your detailed photos. I loved changing up the expressions of the monkey faces as you did. Thanks for the great how-to on decorating them. They were a hit for my daughter’s birthday!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thanks, Diana! I’m so glad they were a hit 🙂

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.

Simple Share Buttons