Hot Dog Cupcakes

…wait, what? Ew.

Oh, that kind of hot dog cupcake.

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I made some cookout-themed cupcakes to bring to a neighborhood block party. I had been trying to decide between some sort of brownie and some sort of cupcake and was cruising around Martha Stewart’s website and spotted some hot dog and hamburger numbers. My mind was made up. (I obviously can’t find the link now, but it was somewhere on this site.)

Alas, the recipe called for fondant, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not fancy enough for things like fondant and marzipan, so I had to figure out an alternative. I googled around a little and found a version that used circus peanuts as a bun and fondant for the hot dog, so I was on the right track!

As an aside, I associate circus peanuts with road trips with my family when I was younger; we would each pick a treat to bring with us in the car and my mom would inevitably choose circus peanuts. No one else liked them and we always ended up complaining about how bad they smelled and giving her a hard time about her choice – we’re really nice, I know. I was pretty excited to see if there were as terrible as I remembered, but it turns out that they’re not that bad! (Don’t tell my mom.)

After a nearly inappropriate amount of time clutching a bag of circus peanuts in the candy aisle at the store, I decided to try caramels for the hot dog. Unwrapping them all proved to be a little monotonous so I rewarded myself by eating some, which just made the process longer. Longer, but also more delicious.

Caramels are soft enough that you can probably just mold them right out of the wrapper, but if they’re a little tough then just pop them in the microwave on medium power (or defrost) for 10 seconds or so.

Then just squish one around to lose the original shape, roll it around between your palms to make a ball and then gently roll it back and forth between your palms to make a wee hot dog shape.

Next up, grab a circus peanut

and flip it upside-down and, using a sharp knife, slice it nearly in half lengthwise.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Gently press the knife into the “hot dog” a few times for authenticity’s sake.

And then plop it into one of the circus peanuts. Press the circus peanut around the caramel a little to make them stick.

I had picked up some yellow frosting at the store for “mustard” and then remembered that I had some red frosting kicking around from a previous project. Perfect for ketchup!


I piped on a little squiggle of red

and then a little squiggle of yellow and voila! A gussied-up hot dog.

All together now!

I made some chocolate cupcakes (recipe found here) and vanilla buttercream frosting (recipe found here) and topped them with one of the hot dogs.

Perfect for a cookout or block party! Now to master the hamburger version…


9 thoughts on “Hot Dog Cupcakes

  1. The secret to the smell of the Circus Peanuts was volume. On a long trip there could actually be pounds of them in the car.

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