So as I’m writing this, I’m on hold for the IRS.
I guess they get angry with you if you neglect to select a payment plan before April 15. In my defense, their online portal doesn’t work and calling them means shaving off four hours of waiting time off of my life, so I didn’t do either. I figure, if they want their money, they’ll call me, right?
Well. Not really. They just send angry letters. (Seriously, the only letter I’ve received in about, oh, YEARS). I’m convinced my penpals all died.
Which reminds me of the time when Xanga, an online journal website, was super popular and I was on there, writing my daily beef and meeting other like-minded emotional teenagers like myself. And without really knowing who they were except that they loved the colors hot pink and lime green together and listened to the same music I did, I would give them my address so we could be penpals. I’m sure if my parents knew they’d be horrified, but I didn’t seem to think that this is OMG THE WORST IDEA EVER.
Thankfully I was never visited by any scary old hairy men and I got letters back with girly calligraphy which doesn’t say much but whatever. We’d send each other mix tapes and letters relaying information about our boyfriends and how our lives were so0o rough and lament that we didn’t live closer, which in retrospect is probably a good thing seeing as I wasn’t positive who I was chatting with.
WHY WAS I SO CREEPY?
This also reminds me of the fact that telephone waiting music is AWFUL. I mean, terrible, horrible, downright AWFUL. Whoever composes these ditties must be a sad, sad person because the distorted sounds of synthesizers and violins aren’t calming, they’re grating to my nerves and making me moderately homicidal. Especially the ones that play the SAME SONG over and over and over until your eyeballs feel like they’re going numb? Kill me nooooow. It’s the worst when you actually begin tapping your foot to the rockin’ drum beat at the very end of the song. I just about jumped off a cliff when I realized I was actually tiny-dancing to the song.
You know, tiny-dancing. When you’re not actually dancing but dancing a little. Tiny-dancing.
Anyway. I guess the IRS makes you pay for not paying in any way they can, right?
With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I figured I needed a recipe to celebrate one of my favorite eating holidays of all time. These Churro Cupcakes fit the bill – they’re moist cinnamon spiced cupcakes topped with a luscious vanilla buttercream and garnished with a crispy baked churro. They’re positively divine for any serious cinnamon lover, and they have the same churro taste in a sweet and fluffy cupcake. In one word? Irresistible!
And unlike waiting for the IRS to answer their phone, these cupcakes are worth the wait.
*adapted from my Churro Cupcakes recipe
- 1 box French Vanilla cake mix plus ingredients on back of box
- 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix just the dry mix
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- FOR FROSTING:
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2-3 Tbsp milk
- About 3 cups powdered sugar
- Baked churros chopped into 1-2" pieces (you can find these in the frozen section typically)
- Cinnamon sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with about 16 paper liners. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Stir the pudding mix and cinnamon into the batter to combine. Portion the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling about 3/4" of the way full. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla and cinnamon until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar in, about one cup at a time, until thick and fluffy. Use the milk to thin out the frosting if needed.
- Pipe frosting high onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with a freshly baked churro piece and a dusting of cinnamon sugar.
These are just jam-packed with cinnamon sugar flavor and a slight crunch from the cinnamon sugar topping. They totally have a snickerdoodle/churro flavor going on which is so delicious and perfect for Cinco de Mayo! Take these cupcakes over-the-top by drizzling on dulce de leche or Mexican hot fudge sauce!
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says
I totally forgot about Xanga until you mentioned it. I was totally the nerdiest middle schooler of all. I read manga, played Neopets, and was OBSESSED with Elijah Wood movies. I’m sorry that you have to deal with four hours of waiting for an IRS person to pick up the phone. In the meantime, eat ALL of the cupcakes. Stress induced eating. 😀
Dude, stress-induced eating is right! I totally binged while I waited – the only way to wait I think! 🙂 Thanks Erin!!
Katelyn @munchie pie says
Haha my room used to be painted hot pink and lime green! Embarassing! These cupcakes look AMAZING! So much easier than trying to make homemade churros.
So was mine, Katelyn! So was mine. Lol! *face palm*
Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says
These are freaking amazing!!!! That frosting!!! So dreamy. I don’t remember Xanga at all? I either have no memory or am too old 😉
Laura – definitely not too old! You’re like my age, ha! But Xanga wasn’t for everyone. Perhaps you were a normal teenager who didn’t want to share her life with internet strangers on an online diary setting, haha!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says
I love these Hayley – they sound amazing and look gorgeous!! I am sharing them everywhere!
Eek! Thanks SO much Erin! xoxo!
Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats says
Taxes suck. IRS sucks. These cupcakes though. AMAZING! Seriously I’ve been drooling since they showed up in my SM feeds!!
Thanks so much, Julie! We can pig out on ’em while we lament taxes 😀
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
I haaaate the IRS. However, I love these cupcakes!
Glad I’m not the only one!
Holy Moly these cupcakes look seriously delicious!! Drool-fest happening this side of the computer screen. I’m definitely making these, but on the DL because I know my hubs will eat them all… and I don’t want to share ♡ side note: I think we were all a little creepy when we were younger. I have scary memories of dancing around to ace of base.. lol. P.S. IRS is waiting on me too… great minds? Or impatient & procrastinating ladies? Either way. Cheers! And thanks for sharing!
Cheyanne – I think we’d totally be BFFs in real life. Dancing to Ace of Base sounds like my favorite pasttime, but replace Ace with some other strange Swedish pop bands. I was weirdly obsessed with them, ha!
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says
This is fantastic cinco de mayo treat! At least you can multi task while your waiting for them 🙁
Ha thanks Laura! You’re totally right!
These were great made for my daughters baby shower. Had a hard time finding churros
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
bahahaa ohhh xanga. I remember it and my teen girliness well! And hey–I felt a little like that when we arranged for you to visit me but that worked out amazingly well!!:P
and these cupcakes are sooooo genius! I love how you translated churros into cupcake form!
I know, right? Aren’t you glad I’m not a psycho killer? Haha! Thanks Kayle!
Do you think they’d taste good with a cheesecake filling? Looking for something unique and original for a contest. These look amazing though.
You say make the cake mix per directions on the back of box. The instant pudding is that the same or dump it into the cake mix dry?? Plan on making these on 7/5 with granddaughters….
Hi Mike – you just dump in the instant pudding powder into the cake batter and mix in 🙂
I live in England, we do not have any of these:
French Vanilla cake mix
instant vanilla pudding mix
Cinnamon sugar (is this just sugar + cinnamon?)
If its not too much to ask, do you know an alternative? I guess for the cake mix you can just make a vanilla cake mix but I dont know what vanilla pudding mix is to be honest and I wish we had frozen churros 🙁
besides that really yummy sounding idea!
You could totally use regular vanilla cake mix (or any vanilla cupcake recipe) and omit the pudding mix. I just like adding that for added moisture and great texture, but it’s totally optional if you cannot find it. And the churros, substitute another cinnamon sugar cookie or biscuit. 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
So my husband is absolutely obsessed with churros. It’s his favorite thing ever aside from cinnamon and sugar donuts. And, let’s be honest, that is basically a churro haha. I am so going to surprise him with these! I love your photography here too. Great job! http://www.ourfoodieappetite.com/zynodoa-restaurant-review-staunton-va/
Thanks so much, Kait! I’m sure he’ll LOVE these cupcakes!
did anyone else find that the batter wasn’t the consistency of a cake batter? Just want to make sure I’m it right. It was much thicker.
Brooke, the batter is pretty thick. Hope the cupcakes turned out okay!
What size (ounces) cake mix is needed? I’ve found varying ones.
What size cake mix do you use? Also, can these be made the night before and still be moist the next day? Do they need to be refrigerated because of the pudding?
I’m sorry if this posts multiple times. I originally commented on my phone, but couldn’t tell if it went through. I want to make an organic version of these. I found a 3.8 oz organic vanilla pudding mix and a 15.25 oz organic vanilla cake mix. Will these work, measurement-wise?
Also, I’m going to try to make these the morning of my event, but do you think they would still be good if made the night before and left out on the counter with a saran wrap cover? Is that ok to do with the pudding mix in it?
Can’t wait to try these! Thanks!
Hi Chelsea! These don’t need to be refrigerated – you only add in the dry pudding mix so it will be okay. I suggest making them the night before, sure, but garnish with the churro right before serving for the best taste.
Also – yes, your pudding and cake mix will be fine! 🙂
Yay, thank you! I’m so excited to make these for my daughter’s upcoming fiesta 😀
Also, thanks for the trip down memory lane via Xanga reminiscing.
Oh Xanga! Lol!
Any reason to think that this wouldn’t work with a Spice cake mix as opposed to the French Vanilla?
I’m sure it’d be delicious, Sheila!
I made these for a gathering and they were a TOTAL HIT!!!! Anyway to adjust to make a cake out of the recipe???
Karly, so glad you loved them! Making them into a cake would be easy – just adjust the cooking time accordingly. A 13×9 pan would bake for about 30-35 minutes.
I tried this recipe and cupcakes came out amazing. I wish I can say the same about the frosting 🙁 I made it exactly as the recipe and it just came out too runny every time. I made it twice and it overly stressed me out. Any suggestions what I might’ve done wrong?? Thanks!!!
Perhaps your butter was too soft. In the future, try adding more powdered sugar to thicken and stabilize a runny frosting. Sorry you had trouble!
I just made this for my family’s Christmas dessert and it was oh-so-yummy! The recipe is accurate although I have completely skipped the milk part for the icing since I wanted it to be thick. I will definitely post it in my blog once I feel like it. Teehee. Thank you!
If I wanted to make an actual cake out of this do you think it would bake up the same way?!
It would take longer to bake, but it will work!
Did you use salted or unsalted butter? Thanks!
How do you pipe your frosting so beautifully? I just made cupcakes over the weekend and the frosting didn’t look nearly as pretty. How do you get it piped so high?
Hi Sarah! I use Wilton’s disposable piping bags (the 12″ size) and a large open star tip by Atecco. Simply hold the piping bag directly over the middle of the cupcake (or at 12 o’clock) and begin piping clockwise as you slowly move the piping bag upwards closer to you. I’m sure your cupcakes looked great!
Stupendous idea!! 🙂 I wonder if making a simple homemade white cake recipe would be too moist? There isn’t much selection (or quality, for that matter) in box mixes in Denmark, EU. Thoughts?
Hi Kirsten! I think a wonderful homemade white cake recipe would work just fine!
Is there a reason why the Instant vanilla pudding mix is sugar and fat free? Only because i couldn’t find one that was sugar and fat free and brought a normal one? Was considering just using the box mix
I like using the SF/FF pudding, but regular instant pudding will work too!
Hi there I was only able to find the vanilla Cook & Serve Pudding does it really need to be instant or will this be fine?
Adriana, yes, it must be the instant pudding. Cook & serve will not produce the same product unfortunately.
I just made a test batch last night because I wanted to try them out first before making some for our Cinco De Mayo Party. The only change I made was I dipped the cupcake tops in cinnamon-sugar as soon as I took them out of the oven so they had that crispy cinnamon-sugar taste and feel *just like a churro and since I did that, I did not sprinkle additional cinnamon-sugar on top of the frosting.
My husband and daughter picked up two churros for me at the Costco Snack Bar and I just cut them up and used them as the cupcake toppers.
They were a huge hit!
Lynn, that sounds awesome! So glad you guys loved them!
If I want to make mini cupcakes, what temperature and time do you recommend baking for?
Hi Kayee, I would recommend baking them at 350 degrees F for about 7-10 minutes, checking with a toothpick for doneness at around the 7-8 minute mark.
I am making these right now, and I looked at the box after putting them in the oven and apparently I bought a cake mix with pudding mix already in it! I hope i didn’t mess them up! But they smell SO good 😀 Thank you for the recipe!
Brenda, nope, you will absolutely not mess them up! The pudding they pre-add in the box is fine, but with the addition of the box of pudding, it’ll make them super moist and fluffy! Enjoy!
I just puled them out and you’re totally right, super fluffy! I can’t wait to taste test!?
These were a major hit at our Cinco party, I didn’t even have any left over and i made 4 dozen 🙁 I added cream cheese to the frosting and my husband couldn’t stop eating it, I barely had enough to frost all my cupcakes.
Haha, so glad it was such a hit, Chelsi! Love the addition of cream cheese to the frosting!! <3
How much cream cheese did you add for the frosting??
jaime z says
HI! Thinking of making these for a party, but I’m wondering if there is a specific reason you are using sugar-free pudding mix? I generally don’t do sugar substitutes and am just wondering if there’s a reason why regular vanilla pudding mix won’t work. Thanks!
Hi Jaime! That’s just something I always used, but you are more than welcome to use regular instant pudding mix. Just make sure it is NOT cook & serve, as that will not produce the same product 🙂 Enjoy!!
I just made these for a work party. Thank you so much. They are wonderful. OMG the frosting!!!
Deirdre, so glad you loved them!!
I made these for my husband’s birthday this weekend & they were perfect! This recipe is fantastic, thank you!!
Aimey, so glad you loved them!
My daughter made these for my husband today as a father’s day gift. We all loved them!
So glad you loved them, Wendy!!
I made these cupcakes for a baby shower, the theme was “made in Mexico” cause, well, you know… I made 50 of them and they didn’t last more than 20 minutes into the shower. People were eating them before they should have been served and other people were taking them off of people’s plates who had walked away from the table. I’d say they were my most liked cupcakes I’ve ever made, so thank you for the recipe! And I’m making them again to day for my moms birthday.
Sara, I am SO glad they were such a hit at the baby shower, and I really hope your Mom enjoys them!! xoxo!
Will the churros still be good overnight?
Will the Churros be good left overnight?
Christina, they do lose their crispness overnight, so I recommend garnishing the cupcakes with the churros just before serving.
Does it have to be sugar free/fat free instant vanilla pudding? Can I use regular instant vanilla pudding instead?
Hi Roxi! You can absolutely use regular pudding, as long as it is instant only! Cook & serve pudding will not work in this recipe.
What kind of butter? Salted or unsalted butter ?
Either! If you use salted butter, omit any additional salt from the recipe.
Can I find the churros in Walmart?
Hi Linda! I found my churros at Winco, but I’ve also seen them at Walmart. When in doubt, another reader used those cinnamon twists from Taco Bell!
Hello! I’m making this recipe for my boyfriends bday. He loves churros! I wanted to make it in two 9 inch pans, though, will it still work? Also, will I have enough frosting to front a two layer cake? Thanks! 🙂
Hi Amanda! Yes, this recipe will totally work in two 9″ pans. Just adjust the baking time accordingly (about 20 min – 30 min). As for the frosting, I would recommend doubling or even tripling the frosting.
What size box of pudding do you use?
Hi, use the 3.4 oz size!
Do I need to make the pudding mix according to the box??
Nope, just add the dry mix to the cupcake batter.
Savanah Rawlings says
Is there a way to make these without box cake mix?
If I make a recipe for 12 cupcakes that are French vanilla then mix in the pudding and cinnamon will it work?
SO good Thank you for the recipe!
Love it! I did a cake instead of cupcakes, my son won’t stay out of it! Amazing frosting!!
Yum! thanks so much!
Yum! As I was baking these and making the icing my husband says, “I feel like I’m at an amusement park. Like when you walk past one of the bakeries and you can smell all the cakes!”. LOL!
I didn’t have the little churros to put on top but you really don’t need them. These are SO delish! TY for sharing your sweetness Hayley!
I made these this weekend and got lots of compliments and several people asked for the recipe! Thank you!
Where do you find churros? I have looked on target.com, walmart.com, trader joes(discontinued)
So weird! I know Walmart used to have frozen ones. Do you have Winco where you live? I usually see frozen ones there. If not, I know people have substituted Taco Bell’s cinnamon twists on top!
FARRELL OHMER says
COSTCO HASE CHURROS IN THEIR SNCAK BAR
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made them last week for a cookout at work (minus the churros on top, they would’ve been sad by the time they got there). I came home with empty containers. I was getting compliments for several days after.
Ashburn, I am so glad they were such a hit! In the future, I just saw that Trader Joe’s carries “churro bites” in their chip section… those would be awesome to garnish in place of the churro!
Debbie A says
I’m so glad everyone loved them.
I made a double batch of these for an engagement party we threw for our close friends this past weekend. Everyone LOVED the cupcakes and I was so pleased with the recipe. They were easy to make and I followed the instructions exactly. I also have to compliment you, as this might be the first time I’ve baked something and the frosting quantity was enough to frost all of the cupcakes. In fact, I ran out of frosting just as I finished frosting the very last cupcake. That’s how perfect this recipe is!
Vanessa, I am so happy to hear these were a hit for your friend’s engagement party!
Jamie McKibben says
Could these be baked & iced ahead of time then frozen until needed for the party?
Hi Jamie, you cannot freeze the frosting – it would not thaw properly. But you could totally bake the cupcakes and freeze them, then frost before you need them!
Does this really only make 16 cupcakes? I usually get 24 from a boxed cake mix
The recipe sounds delicious ! Excited to try it 🙂
Hi Courtney, depending on the size of your cookie scoop, it could make more or less. I like to fill up my cupcakes kind of higher, but you may get more!
Jessica Weigel says
These cupcakes were amazing! I made them for a taco potluck and am making them again for my housewarming party in a week! I had one coworker eat 4 and take 2 home!
Sarah S says
If these are made the day before serving should they go in the fridge because of the frosting?
Hi Sarah, they do not need to be refrigerated.
Can I make the frosting the night before then frost them when needed? Or even make them and frost and leave out over night?
These look delicious! Thank you for sharing!
Cheryl Stanke says
This recipe is awesome as all,of yours are!❤️
The cupcakes look amazing! Is there an alternative to the cake mix as I don’t like all of the added ingredients in them? Thanks.
Hi Charlie, you can make your own vanilla cupcake recipe!
Thanks! I will be trying out these cupcakes for sure!
The frosting came out amazing! Not sure if it’s normal for the cake mix with the other stuff and instant pudding was supposed to be really thick. It was difficult to scoop into the cupcake liners. But other than that it was a hit
Hi Valerie! The pudding powder does make the cake batter a little thicker, but it shouldn’t be super thick. You didn’t prepare the pudding mix correct? Glad you enjoyed the cupcakes!
Anna Clarke says
Love the idea of this recipe but was wondering if you have ever tried to do mini cupcakes instead or if you have a recommendation of baking time for minis?
Hi Anna, you can absolutely make these into mini cupcakes! As far as baking time goes, perhaps around 10 minutes? I would definitely check around the 8 minute mark.
This Churro Cupcakes seems so delicious , love to have this one , thanks for sharing this recipe
Girish Jha says
Thanks for sharing these delicious Churro Cupcakes, these seems so delicious. Will love to try these cupcakes. Super excited to make these.
Thanks for sharing these Churro Cupcakes, these cupcakes seems so delicious . Will love to try this one.
Thanks for sharing these Churro Cupcakes, these seem super delicious and unique , will love to try this one delicious cupcake . Amazing one.
These Churro Cupcakes seems amazing and unique . Super excited to try these churro cupcakes, thanks for sharing this one with us.
Yummy Churro Cupcakes!!! My kids gonna love these delicious churro cup cakes , thanks for sharing this one with us.
Love these Churro Cupcakes, seems delicious .
Love these Churro Cupcakes, these seems delicious . Super excited to try this one, thanks for sharing with us.
I noticed that your cupcakes look like they have crispy cinnamon topping but there are no instructions to add cinnamon sugar to the top of the cupcake either before or after baking.
Did I miss something?
Thanks! Can’t wait to try these.
These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. I’m making them for Thanksgiving but want to do mini cupcakes instead of regular size. How do I adjust the temperate or time?
Hi Kelly, you wouldn’t adjust the temperature, but for baking time, I would maybe do 8-10 minutes? Definitely check around the 8 minute mark. I could be off by a few minutes though!