Jelly Belly Love Bugs

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Recipe makes 24 cupcakes


    1 box (16.5 ounces) strawberry supreme cake mix
    3 large eggs
    1 cup buttermilk
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup Very Cherry Jelly Belly® jelly beans
    24 round butter cookies, 2 1/2 inch round
    1 bag (10 ounces) pink candy melting wafers
    1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
    1 can (16 ounces) chocolate frosting
    24 mini chocolate sandwich cookies
    1 tube (4.25 ounces each) red, white and black decorating icing
    1/2 cup dark cocoa candy melts
    48 Licorice Pastels (your choice of color, shown in black)
Jelly Belly Love Bug Cupcakes
Recipe and photography courtesy of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, authors of Hello, Cupcake!


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place paper cupcake liners in 24 cupcake cups. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions substituting the buttermilk for the water called for on the box. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, about 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 to 19 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  2. Use a serrated knife to cut the cookies in half crosswise to make the wings. Cut the jelly beans in half crosswise with a small paring knife to make the spots for the wings. Place the pink melting wafers and the vegetable shortening in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave, stirring frequently, until smooth, about 1 minute. Working on 1 cookie at a time, grasp the pointed end of a cookie half and dip it in the melted candy to coat. (Don’t worry if this leaves a fingerprint in one end of the coated cookie.) Allow the candy to drip off and scrape the bottom of the cookie against the bowl to remove any excess. Transfer the coated cookie to a sheet of wax paper. Repeat with the other cookie half, grasping it by the same end as the first half. While the candy is still wet, add 4 cut jelly bean pieces, cut side down, to each wing as the spots. Repeat with the remaining cookies, candy and jelly beans. Refrigerate the wings for a few minutes to harden the candy.
  3. Spread the top of a cupcake with some chocolate frosting and make smooth. Place a pair of cookie wings on top of the cupcake, placing them so the ends with the fingerprints are touching. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and wings.
  4. Place the mini sandwich cookies on a sheet of wax paper. Melt the dark cocoa candy melts in the microwave until smooth, about 30 seconds. Spoon the candy into a ziplock bag. Snip a small corner from the bag. Pipe 2 dots of melted candy near one edge of a cookie. Add a black licorice pastel to each dot of melted candy to make the antennae. Repeat with the remaining cookies and licorice pastels. Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pipe a dot of the cocoa candy melts on top of the wings where they meet (the fingerprints) and attach the cookie head. Pipe eyes with the white and black icing and a red mouth.