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These Piñata Cupcakes have a surprise inside and frosting with sprinkles on top! This festive dessert is perfect for any patriotic celebration including Memorial Day and 4th of July!

Closeup of Piñata Cupcakes showing M&Ms inside with frosting and sprinkles on top

The tradition of piñata means hiding toys or candy inside pottery or crafts. Then, during parties or festivities the craft is broken to reveal the surprise inside! Here we’ve adapted this fun tradition to a delicious patriotic dessert with a red, white and blue theme.

These cupcakes are always a hit for Memorial Day or 4th of July, especially with kids. They’re so delicious and attractive, plus you can make them a day ahead. Put them in a muffin pan for easy transportation to the party when you need to bring dessert!


Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • Cake mix: We used funfetti cake mix (15 oz box), but you can also use a white cake mix. You’ll also need the oil and eggs called for on the box to make the batter.
  • M&Ms: Try to get red, white and blue M&Ms or a similar candy to stuff inside.
  • Icing: A basic white decorating icing will work well, or you can make your own.
  • Sprinkles: Red, white and blue round sprinkles.
  • Paper cupcakes liners: White cupcake liners are very helpful for this recipe.

Optionally, you can add a few drops of red and blue food coloring to the batter for added effect.

How to Make Piñata Cupcakes

To make piñata cupcakes, start by baking cupcakes in a muffin pan as usual. Remove from the oven when done and allow to cool slightly.

Then cut a chunk out of the top to make space for the candy. Insert the candy, add the top back on as a lid and add frosting to cover up the surgery. Add some sprinkles and you’re done!

Watch Video: Piñata Cupcakes

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These Piñata Cupcakes are perfect for Memorial Day or Fourth of July celebrations
5 from 2 votes

Piñata Cupcakes

These Piñata Cupcakes have hidden red, white and blue M&Ms in the middle of a funfetti cupcake with sprinkles on top.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Cooling Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 12 cupcakes


  • 15 oz box white cake mix, funfetti recommended
  • oil, as called for on cake mix box
  • eggs, as called for on cake mix box
  • 4 oz M&M candy
  • 6 oz white decorating icing
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles, round red, white and blue recommended


  • Preheat oven to 350°F degrees or the temperature specified for the cake mix. Place paper cupcake liners into a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, make the cake batter by mixing the cake mix with the water, oil and eggs as specified on the package instructions.
  • Pour the batter into cupcake liners until about 2/3 full (to allow room for expansion). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut out a 1-inch cube from the top of each cupcake. Stuff 3-4 M&Ms into each hole to fill.
  • Slice the top off each cube and place on top of the M&Ms to cover.
  • Spread the icing on top of each cupcake using a spatula. Then add sprinkles to serve.


  • Make ahead: You can make these one day ahead of time and store in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Facts
Piñata Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving (1 cupcake)
Calories 253 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 278mg12%
Potassium 27mg1%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 33g37%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 21IU0%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Please read our nutrition disclaimer.

Author: Cindy
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pinata cupcakes
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Editor note: Published July 19, 2016 and updated May 28, 2018