This Easter Party Playdate complete with a Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting recipe has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Easter Party Playdate Ideas
Every Friday for almost a year, the girls and I met up with friends at the local park for an afternoon playdate. Our little group of 10 was comprised entirely of females – the four moms and six girls. No matter if we hit the playground or swimming pool, we made sure to have fun year round.
In spite of the move, we still make it a priority to get together for a playdate once a month. Sometimes our playdates don’t match up quite evenly and we end up celebrating holidays a few weeks early like at Christmas when we took pictures with Santa the first week of December.
- Tea sandwiches: I cut thin, white bread using bunny and chick-shaped cookie cutters, then spread a layer of cream cheese/ranch dressing mix, topped with English cucumber slices, and finished with M&M’s® Carrot Cake for the eyes.
- Carrots and hummus or ranch in terra cotta pots. I washed these tiny terra cotta pots and lined with the smallest sized paper cups I could find (cut in thirds). I then filled the bottom with hummus or ranch and stuck in carrots. This is the perfect appetizer or snack for small hands!
- Down the Rabbit Hole Pudding Cups: the idea behind this one is that the rabbit is hiding his stash of M&M’s® Carrot Cake at the bottom of his rabbit hole. To make your own, use a clear plastic cup and start with a layer of M&M’s® Carrot Cake (about 2 tbsp.), next layer 1 cup of chocolate pudding, then add 4 halves of chocolate sandwich cookies, and last shove a large marshmallow (the rabbit’s body) down the middle and a small amount of frosting or pudding stick a small marshmallow on top of the bottom to form the tail.
- Strawberry Punch: using powdered strawberry lemonade mix, swap lemon-lime soda for water. Then add 1 pound of fresh, halved strawberries and 4 cups of ice to the pitcher before serving. For one gallon of strawberry punch, I used (2) lids full of strawberry lemonade powder and (2) 2-liter bottles of lemon-lime soda.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
For Carrot Cake Cupcakes:
- 1 box carrot cake mix
- 1 c. pineapple juice
- 1/3 c. sour cream
- 1/2 c. applesauce
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- M&M's® Carrot Cake
For Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
- 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 sticks 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 c. powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. clear vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line (2) 12 slot cupcake pans with baking cups.
In a medium bowl, mix together cake mix, juice, sour cream, applesauce, cinnamon, and eggs together for 30 seconds on low and then 2 minutes on medium speed.
Spoon batter into prepared baking cups, only filling 2/3 of the way. (To minimize dripping, I use a medium cookie scoop and fill it 1.5 times with batter per cup.)
Bake for 5 minutes, then gently drop 2-3 M&M's® Carrot Cake into the center of each cupcake.
Continue baking for another 10-13 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting.
Mix together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes.
Then add all other ingredients and mix until desired consistency. If frosting is too thick, you can continue adding milk, 1 tablespoon, at a time until desired consistency.
Using a piping bag and Wilton 1M tip, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
Top with a M&M's® Carrot Cake and serve!