Chocolate Cupcakes {Butterfinger Frosting}

by aimee @ shugarysweets on April 13, 2014

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes are topped with a sweet buttercream frosting filled with peanut butter and Butterfinger candy! These will be the first to go at your next bake sale or pot luck!

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with a creamy Peanut Butter frosting with chopped Butterfinger candy. YUM

This past week I read a couple articles that really bothered me. And since this is my blog, I’m going to use it to vent for just a minute.

The article talked about how food bloggers are making their food look staged and not natural. It went on to say that the colors are fake and that we (food bloggers) only share our successes not our failures.

Let me talk about this for a minute…with you, my readers. 

I have a couple guarantees I will make you. I NEVER change the color of my photos when editing. I may “lighten” the background, but I don’t alter the color. Here’s why:

I don’t want someone coming back to me and saying that their food doesn’t look like mine! I want to keep it real, ya know. Of course, not every food blogger is the same. And I’m sure there are some that do change the color of the food in their photos. But this is my blog, and I want YOU to know how I feel and what I show you in my photos!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with a creamy Peanut Butter frosting with chopped Butterfinger candy. YUM

As for staging my food, well of course I’m going to do that. Think about it. People eat with their eyes first. You don’t go to a nice restaurant and get a pile of food. The chefs always plate it nicely, add garnish, and present it to you, the customer, in the best way possible.

That’s what I do for you all. I show you the best way to present your food. Do I always garnish and plate my food so nicely for my family? No. Although there is always an excitement at our dinner table about who gets the “blog food plate.” You know, that plate of food that gets photographed. The one so nicely garnished and presented, while the rest of use pull dripping enchiladas out of the casserole dish.

Of course I’m going to wipe the burnt cheese off the the side of the casserole dish. Of course I’m going to use a clean fork in the photo (and not the spotty ones that come out of my failing dishwasher). Of course I’m going to show cupcakes that are piped beautifully and not spread on with a spatula. Of course I’m going to try and get a nice, clean slice of cheesecake, instead of the one that has fork bites and missing crust!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with a creamy Peanut Butter frosting with chopped Butterfinger candy. YUM

Why? Because I want YOU all to be rock stars in your own kitchen. If you want to spread your frosting on with a knife and not pipe it, I’m cool with that (it’s likely I wouldn’t even know, haha). But if you want to bring the most gorgeous garnished cupcakes to a bake sale to earn money for Haiti, well, I’m going to show you how to do that!

And as for my failures? If you follow me on instagram, it’s likely you will see my “real life.” But here on the blog, I think it would be boring if I posted “strawberry cupcakes that are disgusting and sunken.” Not likely to be pinned much on Pinterest. Also, not likely any of you will comment “ooooh, can’t wait to try these!!”

So OF COURSE you won’t see failures here. You will DEFINITELY see recipes that are tested and tasted (by real people, real families) and you will DEFINITELY see food that is appealing to the eye.

Unless of course it’s cloudy out and my photos are dreary. Or it’s a food that doesn’t want to cooperate in photos but I still want to share.

Today’s recipe: a beautifully styled chocolate cupcake with butterfinger frosting!

I used my favorite Dark Chocolate Cupcake recipe (you can totally use a boxed mix if that suits you better). I then whipped up a creamy peanut butter frosting and added chopped Butterfinger candy. I could eat this frosting with a spoon (oh wait, I did). Top each cupcake with a piece of butterfinger candy and these beauties are ready to eat! ENJOY.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with a creamy Peanut Butter frosting with chopped Butterfinger candy. YUM

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Chocolate Cupcakes {Butterfinger Frosting}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


  • 24 chocolate cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed Butterfinger bars
  • 24 large pieces of Butterfinger candy bars


  1. Bake and cool 24 chocolate cupcakes.
  2. For the frosting, beat butter in an electric mixer for two minutes. Add peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk. Beat an additional 4 minutes until smooth. Fold in crushed Butterfinger candy.
  3. Using a large decorating bag and a large open tip (I used Bakery Crafts 1A tip). Fill bag and pipe onto each cupcake your desired amount. Top with a large piece of Butterfinger candy. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. ENJOY


I used the Butterfinger Bites to garnish each cupcake by cutting it in half. You can also just use some chopped candy sprinkled over each cupcake.

Love Cupcakes? Be sure to follow my Cakes and Cupcakes Pinterest Board!

Follow Shugary Sweets’s board Cakes and Cupcakes on Pinterest.

Butterfingers are one of my favorite candies.


Butterfinger Fudge Cookie Bars


Chewy Butterfinger Cookies

More Butterfinger Treats from my favorite blogs:

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet April 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I would love to read that article, just for curiosity. I think you explained pretty well what food/dessert bloggers are trying to do for the readers because let’s face it if it looks like crap nobody would bother to look at it, society set that precedents. These looks wonderful by the way!!
Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet recently posted..Spring Velvet WafflesMy Profile


Cookbook Queen April 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm

So funny that your family gets excited over the Blog Food Plate. My poor family, I don’t blog savory because I CAN’T photograph it for the life of me!! So all boring plates around here.

That frosting looks to die for. I need a bowl of it!!
Cookbook Queen recently posted..Whopper Egg BrowniesMy Profile


aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Well, I certainly don’t think I’m a great photographer, LOL. But the family DOES love the presentation on the plate!!! Nobody else gets garnishes!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


Averie @ Averie Cooks April 13, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Articles like that get my blood boiling, too. Don’t EVEN get me started on all of that. I could vent for 2 hours and not have it all off my chest! These cupcakes look wonderful and I could use a few! Pinned
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I know, it’s frustrating. Of course we want our food to look good on a plate, right? Like I said, you don’t go to a restaurant and get served a pile of food with no garnishes.
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


Prudy | butter, basil, and breadcrumbs April 14, 2014 at 4:04 am

Well said….
There is a part of me that would like to read the article, but then the other part of me knows that I would be highly annoyed. I’ve only been blogging for six months, and I probably don’t have the right to voice my opinion (yet)… But I think it is so easy for those who are not food bloggers to “know it all” when it comes to blogging and photographing food. It’s kind of like people who don’t have children are “experts” on how to raise a child. They don’t have a clue.
What I have found in these few short months is that we pour our hearts and souls into our blogs… And every time I go to hit the “publish” key, I hesitate for just a second, because I know I’m putting myself out there for criticism and possible ridicule…luckily I have been blessed with the greatest support from people I didn’t even know a year ago! What a loving and supportive blogging community this is… And I’m grateful.

I’m still learning the ins and outs of blogging… Not realizing how much there was to it before I began. It’s not a matter of writing a recipe.. It’s preparing, success, failure, learning how to photograph food (presentation, lighting, etc), the stories we share, and networking…

We blog because we have a passion.. And want to share it. So of course we want to put our best foot forward ( although in the beginning I promised to share my failures, so I have to show my ugly side too!! Note to self.. Don’t make promises like that again!!) of course we want to present what we’ve created as welcoming and enticing as possible… Shaking my head because the critics have no clue.

I’m going to be completely honest here.. And I admit to boosting the color to my photos before I got my Canon (new.. In the last 3 weeks) because before that all of my photos were done with my iPhone. Crazy, I know…but true. I love this camera, and it’s amazing what it does in natural light.. No boosts necessary! But cropping?? Oh yeah!!! I do a lot of cropping!!

I had to laugh at the presentation plate.. So cute.. :-) my daughter Jessica is the one who gets the plate.. I usually say to her: “this is yours, but you have to wait a few minutes”.. She’s so good about it.. But then again, she’s 22 years old… So she really doesn’t mind too much! She will usually help me diffuse the light!

Thank you for posting this.. Your response was excellent, and so..SO very true…

And your cupcakes? Holy smokes man… I am a true cupcake girl.. Cupcake weak… And this recipe will be printed twice. One for home, and one for the cabin…because I know that once I taste them… I’ll need access to this recipe no matter where I am!! Yum… Just YUM… :-)


aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Thank you. Just thank you! I’m definitely open to criticism, I just don’t like to be lumped into this “all food bloggers blah blah”. The article was written by a blogger too….
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


Chloe @ foodlikecake April 14, 2014 at 7:16 am

These cupcakes with this frosting looks amazing! Love, love, the frosting.
Chloe @ foodlikecake recently posted..Chocolate Angel Food CupcakesMy Profile


Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon April 14, 2014 at 8:11 am

Great post Aimee! Totally agree-can’t do anything to the food that wouldn’t let me eat it. Especially since that is exactly what we do after the pictures are taken-devour it! And these cupcakes? You know how much of a peanut butter lover I am. I’ll take 12 please!
Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon recently posted..Peanut Butter Cookie Dough BrowniesMy Profile


aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Thanks Lisa! And the devouring is my favorite part :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


Jess April 14, 2014 at 8:37 am

These cupcakes look divine!
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Ali | Gimme Some Oven April 14, 2014 at 9:47 am

Butterfingers are my favorite candy bar of all time — LOVE that frosting! :)
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Thanks Ali! Definitely one of my favorites too. But picking a fav candy bar is like picking a fav child, just can’t do it :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


Jessica I A Kitchen Addiction April 14, 2014 at 10:52 am

What an amazing frosting! Love butterfingers!
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marcie April 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

WOW, that frosting looks dreamy! Butterfingers are one of my favorite candies, so I’d be all over this frosting. :)
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Kelly April 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm

That frosting… I’m surprised you had enough frosting to even frost those cupcakes because I’m pretty sure that frosting would have been gone in my house! I’ll definitely be trying this recipe!!


aimee @ shugarysweets April 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Well, Ummm, no…I ran out of frosting (between my daughter and I we ate quite a bit off the spoon!!


Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life April 14, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I agree completely. Food bloggers wouldn’t have jobs if they didn’t make food look the best it could. Good food usually looks good for cameras, and with a little bit of practice, you can make food look amazing, without affects, and all that jazz. Just because we style it a little doesn’t mean it is fake. I’m glad you posted this, Aimee! And seriously, that frosting should be illegal. Oh my goodness YES.
Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life recently posted..Triple Coconut Sweet Potato CakeMy Profile


aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Thanks girl :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


Susan S April 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm

The food looks amazing! Can’t wait to try this frosting on some gluten free cupcakes for my daughter who absolutely loves Butterfinger!


Jennie @themessybakerblog April 14, 2014 at 9:46 pm

I love your perspective on photo editing. Your photos are always gorgeous and extremely inviting. Yes, there are a lot of failures in my kitchen. Just this evening I managed to blow up a bag of cocoa. Pinning these!


aimee @ shugarysweets April 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Aww thanks Jennie. I definitely have more to learn, but I’m trying!! I dropped a whole bag of powdered sugar on the wood floors a couple days ago. Not cool.


Kayle (The Cooking Actress) April 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm

girrrl sing it!! I love this post!

and um all I want to do is eat this frosting with a spoon like….OMG YUMMINESS PERSONIFIED! EEEEE cupcaaaaakes!


aimee @ shugarysweets April 14, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Haha. Ummm, no you don’t want me singing it. Unless you love off key impressions of 80’s songs….


Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust April 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Those articles would have me venting a lot too. I’m boiling just reading your post. Would people buy a cookbook with crappy photos? NO.

These cupcakes are insane. LOVE THEM!
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aimee @ shugarysweets April 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm

I need to find the article and forward it to you…if you feel like a glass of wine and some serious venting, hehe!! I’m not even a great photographer and I was a little miffed (okay a lot miffed).


Erin | The Law Student's Wife April 14, 2014 at 11:20 pm

High five Aimee! I completely agree with all of your points here, and I appreciate the balance you strike between presenting food that is beautiful AND natural. Keep it up!
Erin | The Law Student’s Wife recently posted..Strawberry Lemonade Coffee CakeMy Profile


aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Such a compliment coming from an awesome photographer like yourself Erin. THANK YOU :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


ashley - baker by nature April 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Ugh… I hate articles like that! But haters gonna hate, ya know?! These photos are GORG! And I am craving a cupcake now… with butterfinger frosting!
ashley – baker by nature recently posted..Malted Chocolate Chip Banana PancakesMy Profile


aimee @ shugarysweets April 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Haters gonna hate. No truer words. :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Amaretto Almond White CakeMy Profile


Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) April 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

These cupcakes look so moist and that frosting is to die for!
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Kelsey April 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm

What brand of peanut butter did you use?


Kelsey April 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

What type/brand of peanut butter did you use for these?


aimee @ shugarysweets April 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Hi Kelsey, I used Jif creamy.


Sandy_of_WV April 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Got “?” on the 1/4 plus 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter

Should it be 2¼ TBSP …or… ¼ cup plus 2 TBSP

Could you clarify … thanks


aimee @ shugarysweets April 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Ooh yes, 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Will fix it!!!


Sandy_of_WV April 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Thanks for responding and fixing your recipe – things like that pop out to me.

You can delete my comments – no problem – cleans up the thread.


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