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Graduation Cupcakes
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2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled slightly

3 large Land O Lakes® Eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups water


1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon almond extract, if desired

1/2 to 2/3 cup Land O Lakes® Half & Half


8 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped

8 (1 3/4-inch square) dark chocolate candies, unwrapped

Peel-apart black or red string licorice, separate into individual ropes

Candy-coated chocolate pieces

Decorator sprinkles or sugars to match school colors

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 24 muffin pan cups; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.

  3. STEP 3

    Combine granulated sugar and 3/4 cup butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add cooled chocolate, eggs and vanilla. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour mixture alternately with water; beat at low speed until well mixed.

  4. STEP 4

    Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin pan cups. Bake 14-15 minutes or until set. Let cool 5 minutes. Remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

  5. STEP 5

    Combine all frosting ingredients except half & half in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed, adding enough half & half for desired frosting consistency.

  6. STEP 6

    Frost 8 cupcakes. Place peanut butter cups onto cupcakes, bottom-side up. Attach chocolate square to peanut butter cup, using small amount of frosting. To create tassels, cut licorice ropes into 3 1/2-inch pieces. Place 3 pieces together; flatten 1 end. Attach to chocolate square using small amount of frosting; place 1 candy-coated chocolate piece over flattened end of licorice. Push slightly into frosting to secure.

  7. STEP 7

    Place decorated cupcakes in center of large platter. Frost remaining 16 cupcakes; sprinkle with decorator sprinkles or sugars. Place around decorated cupcakes.

Tip #1

- Use fresh licorice for best results.

Tip #2

- Cupcakes may be made ahead and frozen. Store between sheets of waxed paper and freeze in container with tight-fitting lid up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature before frosting and assembling.

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