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Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix


There is something so fun about a cupcake filled with sprinkles.  In fact, can you think of a more joyful dessert than an Easy Piñata Cupcake?  A moist and delicious cupcake, filled with your favorite sprinkles {or candy} and then topped with a generous amount of frosting sounds pretty darn amazing.  They are festive, super fun and perfect for any occasion.  The best part is that Piñata Cupcakes are totally incognito until a bite is taken of them.  Then that is when the party really begins!  A completely unassuming cupcake becomes a sprinkle explosion and everyone is going to want one!

Do you love a Piñata dessert?  Try these Piñata Cookie Cups!

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

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Why this Piñata Cupcakes recipe is so Amazing!

  • They start with a cake mix.  That means you will have cupcakes in a matter of minutes and they only take a handful of ingredients.
  • Making the spot for the filling is simple to do.  You only need a small serrated knife {or steak knife}.
  • You can choose the sprinkle {or other filling} to fit whatever occasion you are celebrating.  Have fun with it and customize the sprinkles in the middle of the Piñata cupcakes to go with whatever kind of party you are throwing.
  • If you don’t have time to make buttercream then get store bought.  Yes, we want these Piñata cupcakes to taste great but the most important thing is that they make the party even more fun.  Besides, store bought frosting is really delicious.
  • They will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.  

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Ingredients Needed for your Pinata Cupcakes

  • White Cake Mix-You could also use a different flavor.  This really depends on your preference and what kind of filling you are adding to your Piñata Cupcakes.
  • Vegetable Oil-Adding vegetable oil to the cupcake batter is what helps give you a super soft cupcake.
  • Water-The addition of water is important so that the batter is the right consistency and that the cupcakes bake up soft.
  • Eggs-Added for binding the ingredients together and to help with texture.
  • Sour Cream-An optional ingredient, adding sour cream to your cupcake batter will help balance the flavors and give them a great taste.
  • Canned Frosting-You are always welcome to make homemade frosting but if you want an easy Piñata cupcake then buy canned frosting and I won’t tell anyone.
  • Sprinkles or Candy-This is where you can get creative and really customize your cupcake dessert!

How to make Easy Piñata Cupcakes

Start by baking your cupcakes according to the package directions but add an additional 1/4 cup of sour cream.  Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled completely it is time to start filling.

Take a small serrated {or steak} knife and cut a cone shape from the middle of each cupcake.

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Use the same serrated {or steak} knife and cut the bottom portion of the cone off of the top.  The top round portion we are going to use as a lid but the other portion of the cupcake can be eaten as a snack.

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Add sprinkles to the middle of each cupcake, filling up until you have enough space to place the disc top.  I can’t get over how adorable these sprinkles are!  They are perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Add the round cupcake lid back onto the cupcake and over the sprinkles.  This creates the perfect layer between the frosting and the sprinkles.

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Finally, add the frosting to a piping bag {or zipper bag} fitted with a star tip and pipe the frosting on top of each Piñata Cupcake.  Start on the outside of the cupcake {being sure to cover the seam} and working your way to the middle.

Add a few additional sprinkles to the top of the cupcake before the frosting sets up.

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

5 Tips for making Cupcakes with Sprinkles on the Inside:

While making these Piñata cupcakes is far from difficult, there are a few tips that can make the process even easier.

  1. Use cupcake liners when baking the cupcakes.  This helps with so many different things.  First of all, you don’t have to worry about the cupcakes sticking to the pan but they also make the cupcakes easier to handle.
  2. Fill the cupcake liners with the same amount of cake batter.  It is easy to achieve this when you use a large scoop but you could also use a 1/4 cup.  The important thing is that you are putting the same amount of batter into each spot.  That way the cupcakes will bake evenly.
  3. Make sure you are using a knife with serrated edges.  I used a steak knife and it worked great but the serrated edge on the knife will make it easy to cut the cone shape from the middle of the cupcakes without smashing them.
  4. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before filling.  If you try to fill the cupcakes too soon then the color on the sprinkles can run from the heat and create a bit of a mess.
  5. Add enough sprinkles that they will come out of the cupcake.  If you don’t add enough sprinkles in the middle of each cupcake then you don’t get the fun Piñata effect you are going for.

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Piñata Filling Ideas:

  • Sprinkles!!  Let your imagination be your guide.  There are so many different kinds of sprinkles.
  • Candy!  Smaller candies like M&Ms and Skittles would work wonderfully in these cupcakes.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips.  Who wouldn’t love a cupcake full of mini chocolate chips??  So fun!
  • Cereal!  Choose your favorite kind of cereal and start filling.  They would be so fun with Cookie Crisp or Fruity Pebbles.
  • Granola!  If you want to stay away from a ton of sugar then fill the cupcakes with a granola that everyone will love.

Can Piñata Cupcakes be Frozen?

The cupcake itself can easily be frozen for up to 3 months but they do not freeze well filled.  The color from the sprinkles will run from the moisture during defrosting.

I would make the cupcakes ahead and freeze, then fill and frost before serving.

How do I Store Piñata Cupcakes?

Piñata Cupcakes can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for a couple of days.  Be sure that the place you store them is away from heat or cold and at a stable temperature.

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Do you love Cinco de Mayo?  Try these fun recipes…

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Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix featured by Practically Homemade

Easy Piñata Cupcakes Recipe with a Cake Mix

Ordinary cupcakes are made extraordinary when stuffed with sprinkles and made into fun Piñata Cupcakes that are perfect for any occasion.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 333kcal
4 from 1 vote
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  • 15.25 ounce box white cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream

Filling & Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups sprinkles
  • 32 ounces vanilla frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2, 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine cake mix, water, vegetable oil, eggs and sour cream with a hand held mixer until you have a nice batter. Use a large scoop to evenly fill all of the cupcake liners. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the cupcakes start to turn golden brown and bounce back when you press down on them. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, use a serrated knife to cut a cone shape from the middle of each cupcake. Take the cone and cut off the bottom 3/4, keeping the top round part and discarding the rest. Fill the middle of each cupcake with sprinkles and top with the round cupcake disc.
  • Add the frosting to a piping {or zipper} bag fitted with a star attachment. Starting on the outside of the cupcake, pipe in a circular motion towards the middle of the cupcake {being sure that you cover the cut area}. Top with additional sprinkles and serve.


Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 4 stars
    Muito boa esta receita ficou ótima. Gostaria de saber si posso variar o recheio e cobertura.

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