These darling desserts are the perfect addition to a Father’s Day picnic featuring meats on the grill. (This recipe is adapted from an Instagram reel created by Rachel Lindsay of Australia (@CakedByRach). Follow her for more unique and beautiful dessert decorating ideas!)
Step 1: Make the grill tops
Melt 1 cup of your favorite milk or dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave. Transfer the melted chocolate to a small piping bag fitted with a small circular nozzle (such as size 3, 4 or 5). Using wax or parchment paper as a base, pipe 2" circular “grill tops” with bars. Pipe enough for each cupcake plus a few extras in case of breakage. Allow to dry until hard, about 1 hour.
Step 2: Make the body of each grill
While the “grill tops” are firming up, use your favorite recipe to make a batch of chocolate cupcakes. If you are planning to make and eat the cupcakes right away, allow to cool completely and remove the cupcake papers. If you make the cupcakes ahead of time, or are using for an event later, consider using bright red or green metallic papers to mimic the body of a barbecue grill and leave the papers on so the cupcakes don’t dry out.
Step 3: Prepare the “fire”
While the cupcake “grills” are baking, make the buttercream “fire:”
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1-3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
yellow and red food gel
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter and salt for about 1 minute.
Sift in the confectioner’s sugar in several batches, beating on low after each addition. Scrape down the bowl between each addition.
With the mixer on low, add 1 tablespoon of cream and the vanilla.
Beat until you have an even, fluffy consistency. (If needed, add more cream to thin.)
Separate the frosting into two bowls; color one vibrant, golden yellow.
Color the other half of the frosting dark, fiery orange.
Step 4: Assemble the BBQ Grill Cupcakes
For decorating, you’ll need some simple items:
Popsicle or lollipop sticks (you can also use wooden coffee stir sticks)
Large chocolate chips or chocolate buttons
Assorted small jelly/gummy candies, small jelly beans, mini marshmallows, etc.
Gently insert 3 lollipop sticks into the bottom of each cupcake to create grill legs. Use a dab of icing to “glue” a chocolate chip or chocolate button to the bottom of each stick like the grill’s wheels.
Transfer some of each color frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Carefully pipe a deep swirl of orange/yellow “flames” on top of each cupcake.
Balance a chocolate “grill top” on the “flames.”
Make mini candy kebabs with brightly colored jelly/gummy candies threaded onto a on a toothpick and gently lay on top of the chocolate grill top.