For an adorable treat that’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet, bake up these rich and decadent Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Frosting.
We had a birthday party a few weeks ago for my oldest, G, who turned seven. This is the part where I do that trite, “They grow up so fast! Where did my baby go?! I can’t handle this!” thing. But really, y’all, every word of that is true. Like, it seems that only a few weeks ago he was sneaking into the kitchen to eat from the dog food bowl and referring to himself in the third person as “shwee -shwee.” No, we don’t know how he got that from “Griffin.”
But, alas, he’s another year older, which means another year of dinosaur obsession, another year of being the best big brother ever. I didn’t ask G what kind of cupcakes he wanted because I knew that, with the dinosaur cupcake toppers I bought, he wouldn’t care about the aesthetics of the cupcakes. Plus, I know the kid loves chocolate and salty/sweet as much as his mom does. With that in mind, I couldn’t go wrong with Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Frosting.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Pretzel Frosting
For the Cupcakes
1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
20 mini pretzel twists
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tbs vegetable oil
For the Frosting
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbs half and half
3 cups mini pretzel twists
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix well until few lumps remain. Scoop batter into muffin cups prepared with cupcakes liners, filling each cup about three quarters full. Bake cupcakes for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable oil by microwaving in 30 seconds intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is fully melted and thin enough for easy dipping. Dip the 20 mini pretzel twists in the chocolate and then lay them flat on a piece of wax paper to dry.
Next, prepare the frosting. Beat the butter on high for five minutes, until light and fluffy. While the butter is mixing, add the pretzels to a large zip-top bag and use a rolling pin or a heavy mug to crush the pretzels until they’re in fine pieces. Add the powdered sugar to the butter and mix for three more minutes, and then add the vanilla, half and half, crushed pretzels, and salt. Beat for five minutes more, allowing to frosting to become fluffy.
Frost the cooled cupcakes and top each with a chocolate-dipped pretzel.
Tools I Used
- If you plan to pipe the frosting, make sure your pretzel pieces are small enough.
- Store-bought chocolate-covered pretzels work fine, but the homemade ones aren’t difficult to make and taste better.
Love cupcakes? Check out Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes or Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting!
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Dominique | Perchance to Cook says
Pretzel frosting… say what?! Chocolate covered pretzels are sooo good… It’s genius to replicate this in cake form! These look just divine!
Thanks, Dominique! These cupcakes taste as amazing as you’d think.
I have been dreaming about chocolate cupcakes lately. Yum! I love the addition of pretzels. The salt and crunch just add to the chocolate goodness!
Chocolate covered pretzels are pretty much my favorite dessert ever, so I love the idea behind this cupcake flavor!
I love chocolate covered pretzels, and I love cupcakes, so I decided that I was in love with these cupcakes even before tasting them. I’m also a HUGE fan of modifying cake mixes, so this is a double win with me.
prasanna hede says
Wonderful idea of the pretzel frosting! Great recipe of cupcakes,my kids would jump to the sight of these beauties!
I keep seeing the commercial for peanut butter cups where they collide and mix the peanut butter with the chocolate…. a beautiful “accident”… kind of like pretzels in my frosting! I lOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!
I’ve not seen that commercial, but I completely agree. That’s the kind of accident I can get on board with!
Mackenzie @ Food Above Gold says
Salty and sweet is my favorite way to eat dessert, so these have my name written all over them! Plus, I love how the addition of a simple chocolate covered pretzel on top makes them look extra fancy and special! What a great treat for a party!
Thank you, Mackenzie! As good as the frosting is – and it’s REALLY good – it isn’t very attractive. I think the chocolate-covered pretzel on top is the perfect addition, too!
Carol Borchardt says
Beautiful cupcakes and the pretzel frosting and pretzel garnish is perfect for the holidays!
Ooh I NEED some of this pretzel frosting in my life ASAP
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says
What a great idea — the cupcakes are adorable. I like the idea of the saltiness of the pretzel along with the sweetness of the cupcakes.
Monica | Nourish & Fete says
What a fantastic flavor combo!! I would probably be scared of how many of these I could eat. 🙂 Happy birthday to your (big) little guy!