Graduation Peanut Butter Cup Push-Pops

Please tell me you do things like this, too...
A friend, let's call her Cheryl, tells you about making desserts in push-pop containers.  You then see a blog post about them.  You decide that you MUST have these containers, and NOW.  So, you buy a case (yes, a case), of them....where they sit in your guest room closet for almost a year.

I guess I needed a little push, so to speak, to use my push-pop containers and that came by way of Courtney Dial Whitmore's book, Push-up Pops.  While this project isn't in Courtney's book, I used many of her push-pop tips...and seeing her creations gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get started.

{If you don't have time to order push-pop containers, these little graduation cap toppers can easily be added to cupcakes instead.}

First, bake your cake.  I used a chocolate cake mix here.  (Go ahead, judge if you must.)  You'll want to bake your cake in a jellyroll or half sheet pan.  Bake and let it cool.

I used a peanut butter buttercream for the pops and you'll need a little for "graduation cap glue," so go ahead and make that while the cake cools.  (Recipe below.)

While the cake is cooling, make the graduation caps.  These are inspired by the *always* inspiring Bakerella and her graduation cap pops.

You will need:
  • large "button" sprinkles
  • sour spaghetti

and also...

  • Ghiradelli square chocolates
  • mini Reese's peanut butter cups, not the super tiny ones 
  • frosting for "glue" 
  1. Add some frosting to the bottom of the peanut butter cup,
  2. press on an upside-down chocolate square,
  3. add a bit of frosting to the sprinkle and attach to the square,
  4. use a toothpick to "draw" a line of frosting from the sprinkle,
  5. press on a sour spaghetti strand (you may want to trim it),
  6. place these in the refrigerator to set up while you assemble the pops.
Assembling is easy.  Press the push-pop container down onto the cake to cut to size.  Slide the cake into the container (I used another push-pop "plunger," trimmed of its raised edges to press the cake down).  Use a paper towel to wipe away any crumbs before piping the frosting.

Pipe in some frosting.  Keep adding layers until you reach the top.  Add a graduation cap topper.

Cute, huh?  Now I just need to get inspired to use the other 88 containers in my guest room closet.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

1 & 1/2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 lb. box powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Beat together the butter, shortening, and peanut butter until combined, about 3 minutes.   On low speed, add in the sifted powdered sugar in three additions, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.  Once the sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.

Add in the vanilla and the milk; beat until smooth.

{{psst...if you don't want to buy a case of containers, they are now easily accessible in smaller amounts on Amazon.}}

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