Tagalong Surprise Cupcakes

A couple weeks ago, I went home for the weekend and there was a box of Girl Scout cookies waiting for me. And it wasn't just like one box of cookies; it was a cardboard box full of boxes of cookies. It was magnificent.

So let's face it. The Tagalong is the best Girl Scout cookie, hands down. All these other cookies come and go and I don't even know which ones they have anymore, except Tagalongs. If they decided to get rid of it (hypothetically, of course), the Tagalong is the only cookie that would probably cause a mass protest from cookie lovers across America.

I was a Girl Scout when I was younger. I started out as a brownie and quit when I was a junior. I think I got my bronze badge? Does any of this sound familiar? I don't really remember what things were called. But I have some pretty fantastic Girl Scout adventure stories. We camped out at the zoo once, and it was freezing cold, and the insane lions roared all night long. Then in the newspaper a few years after that, there was an article about how a mass grave from a million years ago was discovered at the zoo. And guess where it was? Under our camp site.

Another time, we went spelunking at Raccoon Mountain in Tennessee, and I can tell you right now that I will never spend the night in a cave ever again. It was supposedly an "intermediate" type deal, but I think the only intermediate part about it was the path that led from the gift shop to the cave entrance. So we were hiking through this cave. We had helmets with lights on them and giant duffle bags on our backs. Then, my mom was like, "I'm claustrophobic! LOL!" and had to leave. She actually felt pretty bad about it because she accidentally took the extra glow sticks and snacks with her and she got to stay in a hotel. We felt pretty bad about it, too. Did I mention my mom was the troop leader? So my dad got stuck with the girl scout troop. After we did the whole it's-so-dark-you-can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face-thing and hiked all through the cave, we had to spread out a bunch of plastic sheets so we wouldn't have to sleep directly on the mud. Somewhere I have a picture of all of us after we finally came out of the cave, and we're all sleep deprived, covered in mud from head-to-toe, and forcing smiles. It's pretty great. That was my only slightly traumatic Girl Scout experience, but it makes for a good story.

[Edit: FOUND the cave picture. You're lucky I'm showing this to you because I look a mess. You're welcome.]

You don't have to linger over that picture. Really, it's fine. Let's just keep moving.

So this recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes + Tagalongs + chocolate and peanut butter frosting + chocolate peanut butter ganache + another Tagalong. I think I went a little overboard. I took these to a meeting on Tuesday and then gave the rest to my friends after that. They were devoured pretty quickly, and you know what? I kind of miss them.

On to the recipes!

chocolate peanut butter cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cups cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup strong black coffee
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 boxes Tagalong cookies (One for inside the cupcakes, one for cookies on top of the cupcakes. Don't worry, you will have left over cookies you can eat by themselves.)
  • First, make a small pot of coffee. At least enough for 1/2 cup.
  • Preheat oven to 350 and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except cookies) and mix for two minutes.
  • Fill each cupcake liner until the bottom is completely covered. 
  • Then place a Tagalong cookie in each one. Cover with more batter, just until the cookie is covered. The liners need to be 2/3 full, so if there is more room, you can add a little more batter.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops of cupcakes spring back slightly when you touch them. They might be a tiny sunken spot in the middle, but it will be fine. 
  • Let the cupcakes cool for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate frosting
1 stick butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium sized bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed for two minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and add cocoa powder, vanilla, and 1 tbsp milk. Mix on low speed until mostly combined, then mix on medium speed until everything is fully incorporated.
  • Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed to keep the powdered sugar from flying everywhere. Once it's mostly combined, mix on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrap bowl as needed.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk and mix well. If the frosting is too thin, add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and mix well.
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag without a tip. Store in the fridge while making peanut butter frosting.

peanut butter frosting
1 stick butter
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp milk
2 cups powdered sugar
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium sized bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter on medium-high speed for two minutes, or until smooth and creamy.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and add peanut butter, vanilla, and milk. Mix well.
  • Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix well. Scrape the bowl after each addition.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk and mix well. If the frosting is too thin, add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and mix well.
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag without a tip.

frosting assembly
  • Cut the tip of each bag of frosting.
  • Take a third piping bag and insert the coupler. 
  • For the chocolate and peanut butter frostings I used 12 inch decorating bags, and then I put them both in a 16 inch piping bag. I'm not sure the size of the piping bag matters that much, but this way seemed easier to me.
  • So, with both piping bags inside the third piping bag with the coupler, fit the decorating tip and the second piece of the coupler on the piping bag.
  • And pipe away! Pretty swirled frosting.

chocolate peanut butter ganache
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
6 oz milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • Place the chocolate chips and the peanut butter in a heat proof bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. (Do not move away from the saucepan. I turned my back for a minute and it boiled over. It got all under the burner and a tiny little flame popped up! It went out immediately and I turned the eye off, but it was terrifying.)
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Let it sit for five minutes and then whisk until smooth.
  • Let the ganache cool for a minute, and then transfer it to some kind of squeezable container, or you could drizzle it over the cupcakes with a spoon.
After all of this, all you need to do is cut some Tagalongs in half and put them on top of the cupcakes!



  1. These look GREAT! Your photography is coming along nicely. And please don't remind me of that night in the cave. We had a little fun though. :)

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I try not to think about that cave, haha. :)

  2. OK so I am the worst mom and Girl Scout troop leader ever....LOL! I STILL have nightmares about that cave and abandoning you guys in there too. At least it made a good story to go with these FANTASTIC looking cupcakes! They look GREAT!

    1. You aren't the worst! Actually, you're pretty smart. I wish I had thought about being claustrophobic so I could have left with you, haha. :)

  3. I've got to make these cupcakes, and stop looking at your blog while I'm hungry. It only makes me hungrier. I didn't even realize it was Girl Scout cookie time, so now I'm gonna have to go hunt down a cookie sale somewhere around Birmingham. I'm sure that there's one somewhere around here.
    I love the cave story and that you found a picture. I'd completely forgotten about that trip-- probably some sort of defense mechanism lol! It was a tough night, but like you said, it makes a great story.
    The cupcakes look super cute and I love the swirled frosting. It looks gorgeous! The chocolate peanut butter ganache sounds amazing. Plain old chocolate ganache is wonderful on its own, but adding peanut butter to it is some sort of out-of-this-world genius! I'm just gonna have to go and make these now :)

    1. Lindsay! I was thinking while I was writing this post that hopefully you would see it, haha. And then when I put the cave picture up, I thought, "I hope she doesn't mind me putting this picture on my blog!" But thanks for your super sweet comment! :)

  4. I dont think I have ever had a tagalong. Can we still be friends??? :) I am defiantly willing to try one in this delicious presentation! :)

    1. We can still be friends if you promise to eat one soon. :) Or if you ever happen to be around some, you have to promise to try one. They are beyond delicious. :)

  5. I think I was a brownie for like one year. And then I realized I was only in it for the cookies :D heehee so these cupcakes are right up my alley! They are gorgeous photos too !