How To Bake Winning TMNT Cupcakes

by Daina Amorosano, Viacom

TMNT Cupcakes

After winning a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bake-off on a recent episode of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network, Heather and Adam Rousseau, the winners and owners of SugarHigh Bakery in Michigan shared their winning recipe for “Turtle Power Turtle Cupcakes.”

The bakers were judged by a panel of judges including guest judge Kevin Michael Richardson, the voice of Shredder on Nickelodeon’s new TMNT reboot.

“The ninja turtle toppers were made from green gumballs, fondant for the headbands & hands – royal icing eyes and a chocolate cookie dusted with silver luster dust for the manhole cover,” Heather said. “Super easy, but very time consuming!”


2 sticks butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

4 whole eggs

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup sour cream

1 ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Caramel Sauce, recipe follows

Chocolate Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream, recipe follows


Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, with a paddle attachment, cream butter. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on high until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, baking chocolate and cocoa powder. Add flour and baking soda. Add buttermilk, vanilla and sour cream, scraping bowl as needed. Turn off mixer and fold in walnuts by hand. Bake about 15-16 minutes or until baked through. Allow to cool completely.

To assemble:

Poke two or three holes half way through the cupcake. Pour Salted Carmel Sauce into each hole. Generously frost each cupcake with Chocolate Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream. Drizzle with additional Salted Caramel Sauce and sprinkle with walnuts.

Salted Caramel Sauce:

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ¼ cup heavy cream

Dissolve sugar in water in a medium pot. Gently stir with a wooden spoon, taking care not to get sugar granules on the side of the pot. Heat until caramel is a deep amber color. Add in the salt and vanilla. Carefully add cream and allow the caramel to dissolve in the cream, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.

Chocolate Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream:

5 egg whites

1 teaspoons salt

1/8 cup water

1 1/8 cups granulated sugar

3 sticks butter, room temperature

¼ cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup Caramel Sauce

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, with a whisk attachment, beat eggs whites and salt on high speed until frothy. While eggs are beating, in a medium saucepan, dissolve sugar in water over medium heat. Increase heat to high and boil until syrup reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Turn mixer medium speed and slowly add the hot syrup to the egg mixture by carefully pouring the sugar down the side of the mixing bowl. Once all sugar is added, turn the mixer on high and beat mixture until it comes to room temperature. Once cooled, add vanilla and butter in small pieces, beating until smooth. Add in the cocoa powder and Caramel Sauce thoroughly combine.

(Turtle Power Turtle Cupcake recipe courtesy of SugarHigh Bakery, Cupcake Wars 2012)

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  1. These are amazing! I’m glad I found this blog. I’m teaching my students how to blog when we get back from Holiday break, and I will definitely use this as an example! Thanks! Nickelodeon fan since birth!

  2. This is so AWESOME!!!!!!! I am totally going to attempt to make this. Great job and great post!

  3. These are SO cute!

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