Colorful, sugar-coated marshmallow Peeps are synonymous with Easter. They’re simple and loved by most kids. A great way to take advantage of their colorful look is to use them as a decoration for cakes and other baked goods. I’ve taken that one step further here by making Peeps-inspired cupcakes for Easter!
These cupcakes have a vanilla butter cake base and are topped with a marshmallow cream cheese frosting that is coated in colorful sugar – just like Peeps are. The vanilla cake base is easy to make and is just a great cake for a spring gathering, as it is somewhat lighter in flavor than a chocolate cupcake. The white cake also blends in with the white frosting, giving the cupcakes a more spring-like look than a darker color cupcake would. Since the major complaint of those who don’t care for Peeps straight is that the marshmallow critters are too sweet, I opted for a fluffy cream cheese frosting that incorporates marshmallow fluff. This adds a great flavor to the cupcake as a whole and does prevent the frosting from seeming too sweet when it is covered in sugar.
I’d recommend sprinkling the frosting with sugar over the sink, rather than trying to dip the frosting into a bowl of sugar. It’s easier to control where the sugar goes this way, and the frosting won’t get smushed down while you work. Peeps generally come in yellow, green and purple, so try to stick to those colors for the sugar. Use a toothpick to prop each of the Peeps up on top of the cupcakes to finish off the presentation. Leftover Peeps make great s’mores, but you can always save any leftovers for another batch of cupcakes.
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk (low fat is ok)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar, until fluffy. Beat in eggs, on at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture and milk in two or three alternating additions, ending with an addition of flour. Stir only until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.
Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 16-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting (recipe below).
Vanilla Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract
pink and yellow sanding sugars (colored sugars)
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, marshmallow fluff and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Spread onto cooled cupcakes using an offset spatula, or pipe on using a piping bag (or plastic bag with the corner snipped off). Generously sprinkle each cupcake with colored sugar, choosing colors to match the colors of your Peeps. Skewer each Peep with a toothpick to help it stand up and plant each one in a frosted cupcake.
SarahMarch 30, 2009
how cute are those?! peeps are The Easter Candy.
saraMarch 30, 2009
These are so cute! The marshmallow cream cheese frosting sounds SO yummy and unique…I don’t think I’ve ever had that combination of flavors, but it really sounds terrific.
meganMarch 30, 2009
I love the sugar coating! Very pretty.
LindaMarch 30, 2009
Is marshmallow fluff and marshmallow creme the same or do you need to find marshmallow fluff? I don’t usually see that in the stores. Thanks.
Megan A.March 30, 2009
These are super cute! I bought some hot pink peeps today. I saw blue and green ones too, so I think they come in tons of colors now!
NicoleMarch 30, 2009
Linda – Marshmallow fluff and marshmallow creme are basically the same thing. It’s just called different things in different areas.
CaroleMarch 30, 2009
I have some kids down the street who will love these. So will the big kids (their parents). Thanks, Nicole.
alexMarch 30, 2009
Too bad Peeps have gelatin. I am thinking that the fluffy frosting and colored sugar will be a great vegetarian sub!
ElyseMarch 30, 2009
These are just precious!! I love the idea of the marshmallow cream cheese frosting. How delightful. Perfect treats for kiddies and adults alike!
MarcyOneMarch 31, 2009
The cupcakes look very delicious and inviting for the kids. I will try to bake for the easter. Thanx for sharing your baking recipe. Moms like me will enjoy decorating these cupcakes for kids.
Baking MonsterMarch 31, 2009
thats really cute!
HillaryMarch 31, 2009
As much as I hate peeps, these are pretty darn adorable!
Tiffany JohnsonMarch 31, 2009
PEEEEEP PEEEEP! This is the coolest cupcakes ever, I can’t wait to cook them.
joelleApril 2, 2009
I’m looking foward to baking cupcakes for easter sunday for our kids at church , we are planning on having a picnic , which i think will be an extra treat . thank you very much a friend in west texas joelle
SuzanneApril 3, 2009
These are so cute that I am making them next week to take to a business that we do work with. Not only will the adults like them, I think I will take some to my granddaugther’s pre-school.
StacieApril 7, 2009
I was so excited to try these cupcakes. They looked so festive! I was disappointed, though, in the outcome. I had to resort to boxed cake mix because the cupcakes I made from this recipe flattened out at the top… I don’t know if I filled them too much, but I figured I was supposed to use all of the batter. The taste of your cupcake recipe was good- but not presentable. I was sad to use boxed cake. So- I was excited about the fluff frosting- it doesn’t even taste like marshmallow because the cream cheese over powers it. I added more fluff to see if that would fix it, but it didn’t. It was super melty too… it wouldn’t “fluff” up like you said it would. What did I do wrong here? They look awfully cute, thankfully- and I’m feeding them to kids, so I don’t think they’ll mind on the taste much… but I was sad I put forth so much effort to end up in kind of a disaster.
I’m a faithful reader of your blog. I hope other recipes I try here turn out better! ( I have tried your Samoas and those were yummy!)
Let me know if I did something wrong (and there’s a GREAT chance of that!)
Leigh AnnApril 9, 2009
Stacie, I had a similar problem with the frosting. The cupcakes were decent, a little dense, but the frosting was waaaay too soft and tasted mostly like cream cheese, so I ended up adding a bunch of powdered sugar and it was still just thick enough to stay on the cupcake. Of course then there was very little marshmallow ‘flavor’ at all, since I had added so much sugar… still good though. And of course they are super cute 🙂 Thanks for a good idea.
MariaApril 10, 2009
My cupcakes turned out awesome! My niece and nephew will love them. I did make an alteration on the frosting due to the above comments. I just added a 1/4 less cream cheese and added that much more fluff. I then put the frosting in a bag and placed it in the fridge to harden it. After I piped it on, I kept the finished cupcakes in the fridge to keep the icing set. My husband and I sampled one and they are great! Thanks!
Weightloss TipsJuly 20, 2009
Wow this looks so delicious! I need to try this back at home, I cant wait to server this to my kids. Thanks for the great recipe.
tunsori coafuriNovember 4, 2009
You donâ€™t have to Hollow them out. Thereâ€™s tip you can get and all you have to do is insert it almost all the way into the cupcake, squeeze your filling and there you go!
NicoleApril 17, 2011
Update: I found that using a little less marshmallow fluff resulted in a little bit thicker frosting. I amended the recipe above to reflect the change. Happy Easter!!