Fruity Pebbles Cupcakes

These tender, fluffy, moist Fruity Pebbles cupcakes burst with the colorful mix of your favorite childhood cereal. They will make any day a celebration, especially when topped with Fruity Pebbles buttercream frosting.

A delicious Fruity Pebbles cupcake with a bite taken out of it, revealing the colorful cereal pieces mixed into the batter. The cupcake is topped with creamy frosting sprinkled with more Fruity Pebbles, creating a playful and tempting dessert. The cupcake sits on a plate with a crumpled wrapper, and the background features more cupcakes and a soft, textured purple cloth.

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I chose a white cupcake for this recipe because it would be the best way to get the most Fruity Pebble flavor infused into the cake. White cakes are made with egg whites instead of whole eggs, which gives them a nice white color. Also, the white cupcake is a nice backdrop to the pretty colors of the Fruity Pebbles. If you want to understand more about the difference between yellow and white cakes, the Sugar Geek Recipes website thoroughly explains.

Since we don’t have the yolks for moisture, we will add cereal milk, butter, and a little oil. Cereal milk was made famous by Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar: A Cookbook and is made by soaking cereal in milk so it absorbs all that wonder Fruity Pebbles Flavor. We are also going to use the cereal milk in the frosting. Also, in my recipe testing, I pushed the amount of Fruity Pebbles in the batter up to a whole cup! So, it is full of them.

I decided to go with a buttercream frosting and found out the best way to incorporate the Fruity Pebbles is by crushing them down to small bits in a small food processor. If the Fruity Pebbles were left whole, they tend to get a little chewy inside the buttercream. The small bits allow the buttercream frosting to flow easily through the tip for easy decorating. These are so fun and delicious that they’re bound to be the hit of any party. Ready to whip up a batch?

Check out these related treats for more inspiration: Easy Fruity Pebbles™ Marshmallow Treats, Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream, Fruity Pebble Marshmallow Cookies for a Sweet Treat, and Fruity Pebbles Waffles

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • Kid – Friendly – They’re a mix of fun and familiar crunch from their favorite cereal, all wrapped up in a treat that’s as exciting to decorate as it is to eat! My kids LOVED these!
  • Quick & Easy – With a busy schedule in mind, this recipe is designed to be straightforward and fast. It’ll fit right into your hectic day without skimping on the fun or flavor. Plus, you can make these cupcakes in advance!
  • Texture – The cupcakes are tender and soft, contrasting the crispness of the Fruity Pebbles sprinkled atop the rich buttercream, offering an enjoyable crunch with every bite.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cake Flour: Cake flour is the only ideal flour for this recipe. It is a low-protein flour that ensures the cupcakes have a fine, tender crumb. You can find cake flour in the baking aisle near the all-purpose flour.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Leavening agents that help the cupcakes rise, making them light and fluffy.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the cupcakes.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and moisture to the batter, contributing to a tender texture.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cupcakes, balancing the flavors.
  • Grapeseed Oil: You can use another neutral oil like vegetable oil. Oil is important for keeping the cupcakes moist, but too much oil in a recipe will cause the wrappers to peel away from the cupcake.
  • Whole Milk: For optimal flavor and texture, it’s highly advised to use whole milk for cereal milk. Lower-fat milk can also be used, but expect a change in lightness.
  • Sour Cream: For the best flavor, use full-fat sour cream. If unavailable, full-fat plain yogurt is a suitable substitute, though it may result in slightly denser cupcakes.
  • Egg Whites: Provide structure to the cupcakes, making them light and fluffy without adding the fat of the yolks.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Adds depth of flavor, enhancing the sweetness of the cupcakes.
  • Cereal Milk: This infuses the batter with cereal milk’s unique, sweet, and fruity flavor.
  • Fruity Pebbles Cereal: This cereal adds a fun, slightly crunchy texture and colorful appearance to the cupcakes.

How to make Fruity Pebbles cupcakes

Cereal Infused Milk

  • Combine the cereal and milk: In a medium-sized bowl, mix the Fruity Pebbles cereal and whole milk. Let this sit for at least 20 minutes, allowing the milk to absorb the flavors of the cereal fully.
A clear glass bowl filled with whole milk with colorful Fruity Pebbles cereal being poured into it, some cereal pieces floating on the surface, set against a white marble background.
A clear glass bowl filled with milk and a generous amount of Fruity Pebbles cereal, fully covering the surface. The cereal's bright colors stand out vividly against the white milk, showcasing a mix of red, blue, green, yellow, and orange pieces.
  • Extract Cereal Milk: Pour the milk and cereal mixture through a sieve set over a medium-sized bowl. Use the back of a spoon to press down on the cereal in the sieve, extracting as much milk as possible. Measure ½ cup of this cereal milk for the cupcakes and set the extra aside for the frosting. You should have a little more than 3/4 of a cup.
A stainless steel sieve full of colorful, wet Fruity Pebbles cereal rests on top of a glass bowl, against a marble countertop background. The vibrant cereal pieces are clumped together, suggesting they've been soaked and drained.
A glass bowl filled with pastel pink milk, speckled with tiny grains, from Fruity Pebbles cereal, sits on a marble countertop.
  • Prepare for Baking: Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners, and do the same with a second pan, for a total of 6 more liners. This recipe will make about 18 cupcakes.
An empty gold-toned cupcake baking pan with 12 round wells is displayed on a marble surface.
A gold-colored cupcake pan with white paper liners placed in each mold, set on a marble countertop.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this mixture aside.
A clear glass bowl filled with flour and leavening agents on a marble countertop.
A clear glass bowl with flour and a metal whisk partially submerged, ready for mixing, set on a marble surface.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar: Using either a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the softened unsalted butter and granulated sugar at high speed until the mixture is smooth, for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
A stick of butter with a mound of sugar in a mixing bowl, positioned under a mixer's paddle attachment, all against a marble and teal background.
Creamed butter and sugar mixture in a stainless steel mixing bowl with a mixer above it, set on a marble countertop.
  • Incorporate Wet Ingredients: To the butter and sugar mixture, add the egg whites, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until everything is well combined. Next, add the sour cream, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
In the stainless steel bowl of a mixer, a mixture of creamed butter and sugar is combined with oil and vanilla extract.
A dollop of sour cream sits atop a wet cake batter mixture in a stainless steel mixer bowl beneath the mixer's paddle.
  • Combine Dry and Wet Mixtures: With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture until just incorporated. Continue mixing on low, slowly pour in the ½ cup of cereal milk. Be careful not to over-mix. Fold in the cup of Fruity Pebbles cereal into the batter.
A mixer bowl with cupcake mixture, a spatula, and a vibrant sprinkle of Fruity Pebbles cereal on top, set against a marble background, with "Sass and Salt" watermark.
A cupcake batter with colorful Fruity Pebbles mixed in, pictured in a stainless steel mixing bowl under a mixer, displayed against a marble background with the "Sass and Salt" watermark.
  • Fill and Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake liners, filling them only 2/3 full to prevent overflow. Bake in the preheated oven for 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
A gold cupcake tray with white paper liners, some filled with speckled cupcake batter. A cookie scoop rests in the tray, used for portioning, all under a "Sass and Salt" watermark.
Baked Fruity Pebbles cupcakes with colorful speckles, in a gold cupcake tray, showcasing the baked treats' rise and texture.
  • While the cupcakes cool, make your frosting. After you make your cupcakes, it’s time to pile high the Fruity Pebbles buttercream and sprinkle over more Fruit Pebble flakes.

FRUITY PEBBLES BUTTERCREAM

This fruity pebbles buttercream is a top choice for garnishing these cupcakes. It is deliciously soft, creamy, and sweet. But even though it’s supremely creamy, this buttercream holds its shape beautifully. It’s perfect for piping! You can swipe the frosting with an icing knife or a piping bag + tip, such as Wilton 1M (images in the post below).

This image showcases a beautifully decorated cupcake with a rich and creamy frosting, swirled in multiple layers. The frosting is speckled with colorful bits of sprinkles, adding a playful touch. The cupcake sits in a simple paper liner, placed on a plate next to a piping bag with a golden nozzle, suggesting it was freshly piped. The background is softly blurred, focusing attention on the cupcake’s intricate topping.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Perfect Portions: For the best rise on your cupcakes, fill your liners ⅔ full, about 1 ½ ounces of batter per cupcake. This ensures each cupcake cooks evenly and rises just right.
  • Temperature Is Key: For the best results, ensure your ingredients (eggs, milk, sour cream, butter) are at room temperature before starting your cupcake recipe. This step is crucial to prevent the batter from breaking or curdling during mixing.
  • Precision Matters: For the utmost accuracy and to guarantee the success of your recipe, use a scale to weigh your ingredients, including liquids. Although cups are commonly used, scales provide much more precision. Metric measurements are available in the recipe card for this purpose.
  • Organization for Perfection: Embrace the practice of Mise en Place, which means “everything in its place.” Measure and prepare your ingredients before starting. This organization reduces the risk of forgetting to add an ingredient and streamlines the baking process.
  • Stick to the Recipe: If the recipe specifies using cake flour, resist the urge to substitute it with all-purpose flour and cornstarch unless the recipe explicitly states it’s okay. Ingredient substitutions can lead to disappointing results and might cause the recipe to fail.

RECIPE VARIATIONS

  1. Fruity Pebbles Cheesecake Cupcakes: Incorporate crushed Fruity Pebbles into your cheesecake batter and bake atop a graham cracker crust in cupcake liners. Chill until set and top with a Fruity Pebbles sprinkle for a crunchy, creamy delight.
  2. Fruity Pebbles Funfetti Cupcakes: Mix Fruity Pebbles into your favorite funfetti cupcake batter for an extra pop of color and flavor. Frost with a vanilla bean buttercream and top with more Fruity Pebbles for a playful, party-ready treat.
  3. Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream Cupcakes: Line cupcake tins with a mix of crushed Fruity Pebbles and melted butter to form a crust. Fill with softened vanilla ice cream and freeze. Once set, top with whipped cream and more Fruity Pebbles for a cold, creamy version of the classic cupcake.
  4. Lemon Berry Fruity Pebbles Cupcakes: Add lemon zest to your cupcake batter and fold in a handful of Fruity Pebbles. After baking, top with a lemon-infused buttercream and fresh mixed berries for a tart, refreshing twist.

Storage TIPS

Unfrosted Cupcakes

  • Room Temperature: Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days. Ensure they’re completely cooled before storing to prevent condensation that can make them soggy.
  • Freezing: Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for longer storage. Freeze them individually on a baking sheet, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container; they can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator before frosting.

Frosted Cupcakes

  • Buttercream frosted cupcakes: Leftover frosted cupcakes can be tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3 days.

General Tips

  • Airtight Containers: Whether stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, always use an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent the cupcakes from drying out or absorbing unwanted odors.
  • Avoid Condensation: If refrigerating cupcakes, try to minimize condensation by ensuring they’re completely cooled before storing. You can also place a sheet of paper towel at the bottom of the container to absorb any moisture.
  • Reviving Cupcakes: If cupcakes have become slightly dry, you can revive them by microwaving on a low setting for a few seconds. Be careful not to overdo it, especially with frosted cupcakes, as the frosting can melt.

FAQ’s about cupcakes

Why do my cupcake liners pull away after baking?

This issue often arises from excessive liquid or oil in the batter, or using non-grease-proof liners. Moreover, storing cupcakes in a sealed container might trap moisture, causing liners to detach.

Why are my cupcakes sticky?

Cupcakes become sticky if covered or stored before cooling completely, leading to condensation and sogginess. To avoid this, allow them to cool entirely. Use high-quality cupcake liners. These are my favorite, as cupcakes don’t stick to them. 

Why did my cupcakes sink?

You might be baking at too low of a temperature. Baking at 350ºF makes the cupcake nice and fluffy and sets the cupcake height. Baking at too low of a temperature will make your cupcakes sink. Not sure what your oven temperature is? You can get an oven thermometer to calibrate the temperature of your oven.

Why do my cupcakes shrink?

Cupcakes can shrink from over-mixing your batter, over-baking, or too much fat/liquid in the recipe.

Can I customize the frosting on Fruity Pebbles Cupcakes?

Yes, you can customize the frosting by adding food coloring to create a funfetti effect or by using a different type of frosting like cream cheese if you prefer.

Let me know if you try these Fruity Pebbles Cupcakes. Leave a comment, and if your family loves it as much as mine, give it a five-star ⭐️ rating! Join our mailing list to receive more delicious recipes delivered to your inbox.

A tempting close-up of a partially eaten Fruity Pebbles cupcake, revealing colorful Fruity Pebbles inside, topped with a generous swirl of creamy Fruity Pebbles buttercream and topped with Fruity Pebbles.

Fruity Pebbles Cupcakes

Sarah Allison
These tender, fluffy, moist Fruity Pebbles cupcakes burst with the colorful mix of your favorite childhood cereal. These cupcakes will make any day a celebration, especially when topped with Fruity Pebbles buttercream frosting!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 18

Ingredients
  

Cereal Milk

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 2 cups (72 g) Fruity Pebbles cereal

Fruity Pebbles cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups (207 g) cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt diamond crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature – 1 stick
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (123 g) sour cream
  • 3 (100 g) large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cereal milk
  • 1 cup Fruity Pebbles cereal

Fruity Pebbles Buttercream

  • 2 tablespoons Fruity Pebbles cereal crushed
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter 2 sticks room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups (552 grams) cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cereal milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; use about half as much by volume or the same weight for table salt.

Instructions
 

Cereal Milk

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the cereal and the milk and let it sit for at least 20-30 minutes for the milk to absorb the flavor from the cereal.
  • Pour the milk/cereal mixture into a sieve set over a medium-sized bowl, and with the back of a spoon, press on the cereal left in the sieve to get as much of the cereal milk out as possible.
  • Measure out ½ cup of the cereal milk for the cupcakes. Set the remaining milk aside for the frosting.

Fruity Pebbles Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 6 liners—this recipe makes about 18 cupcakes. Set aside.
  • Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  • Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the egg whites, oil, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until combined, then beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
  • With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until combined. Do not over-mix.
  • Add the cup of Fruity Pebbles and fold into batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the liners. Fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Fruity Pebbles buttercream

  • Grind 2 Tablespoons of fruity pebbles into fine crumbs (I use my small food processor). Set aside
  • With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. .
  • Add vanilla extract, milk and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
  • Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high speed and beat for 2 full minutes.
  • Add crushed Fruity Pebbles and mix on low until incorporated through the buttercream.
  • Transfer to a piping bag.
  • Pipe a large dollop of buttercream on each cupcake. I used Wilson tip #1M piping tip.

Notes

Preparing Cupcakes in Advance & Freezing Tips: Cupcakes can be prepared a day ahead, securely covered, and keep at room temperature. Similarly, the frosting can be made a day before, covered, and chilled in the fridge until it’s time to decorate. Whether decorated or not, cupcakes can be frozen for 2-3 months. For best results, thaw them in the fridge overnight.
 
Measure your flour correctly. The most frequent error in baking is incorporating excessive flour. I always use a kitchen scale for precise measurement. Lacking a scale? Stir your flour to fluff it up, lightly spoon it into your measuring cup, and level the surface with the back of a knife for accurate measurement.
 
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 215mgPotassium: 164mgFiber: 1gSugar: 47gVitamin A: 455IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 1mg
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