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Basketball Cupcakes

Michelle P Recipe by
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Basketball Cupcakes
  • Prep Time 60 min
  • Total Time 1 hr 25 min
  • Servings 12
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Basketball Cupcakes

Equally perfect for March Madness, or your kid's basketball tourney potluck!


cupcakes, Betty Crocker™ FUN da-Middles™ vanilla cupcake mix with creamy vanilla filling (1 box, prepared per package instructions)
container (16 oz) Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy white frosting (or other white frosting)
Red and yellow liquid food coloring
Black rope licorice
Orange sprinkles


  • 1 Measure and cut the licorice to form the lines on the basketball - one across the middle (12 count), and two curved lines on each end (24 count).
  • 2 In a bowl, mix frosting and food coloring. I used 12 drops of red and 24 drops of yellow. (Gel food coloring would be much more efficient at delivering a vibrant orange, but I didn't have it on hand!)
  • 3 Frost a cupcake - relatively smooth, but technique doesn't matter a ton as it will be dusted with sprinkles. You just need enough to hold the licorice, and the sprinkles. (And remember, the cupcake has delicious creamy filling inside already!)
  • 4 Place the licorice.
  • 5 Set the cupcake in a large cake pan and dust with orange sprinkles. (I really recommend the cake pan for this, or you will have orange sprinkles EVERYWHERE!)
  • 6 Repeat with next cupcake, until completed. It works best to do one cupcake at a time - the sprinkles stick best to fresh frosting!
See Step By Step


Basketball Cupcakes

As prepared by Michelle P,

I’m not sporty in the least, but I love March Madness. And Basketball Cupcakes!

There’s something about picking brackets and forming an arbitrary, but intense, attachment to a college basketball team. One year, I was completely infatuated with Gonzaga, another with George Mason. Usually though, it’s Duke. Most often, I have no basis for this temporary, sporty little crush.

Wherever your allegiance lies, I hope we can all agree on one thing: Basketball Cupcakes are cute. They are, aren’t they? I had these at a basketball tourney potluck recently, and had to make them for you. Actually, I had to make them so I could eat one—they very nearly disappeared off the counter before dessert was even served.

The technique is one of those “super easy, why didn’t I think of that?” methods. Which is perfect for me, because while many of you are geniuses with a pastry bag, I am not.

Start with a batch of 12 of your favorite cupcakes. I used FUN da-Middles.

Because creamy filled cupcakes are fantastic!

Next, color some frosting. You will need to use quite a bit of liquid food coloring – I used about 10 drops of red and 20 drops of yellow. (Tip: Gel coloring would be a lot more efficient, and deliver a more vibrant color.)

Measure and cut your black licorice for the black dividers on the basketball. I found these little Haribo licorice “wheels” and unwound them to get a single rope, which I then sliced up accordingly. But if you can find black rope licorice, that'll work great too!

Next, frost your cupcake tops. I didn’t use a ton of frosting (because there’s creamy filling inside), just enough to hold the licorice and the sprinkles. Try to make it as smooth as you can.

Place the licorice on the top of the cupcake.

Dust with orange sprinkles. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

I recommend doing these one at a time, rather than assembly line style, as the licorice and sprinkles adhere best when the frosting is fresh.

Hope you enjoy, and Go Team (whichever team that may be)!

XO, Michelle

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