These cute panda cupcakes are easier to make than they look and are made with a soft lime flavoured sponge and a creamy coconut buttercream. Perfect for kids parties or practising your cupcake decorating skills
150g self-raising flour
200g golden caster sugar
150g unsalted butter at room temperature
3tbsps fresh lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
¼tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate
Large white confetti sprinkles or white fondant
For the buttercream:
200g icing sugar
3tbsps coconut milk (as needed)
2tbsps coconut cream
You will also need:
Parchment piping bag
Silicone baking mat on a cutting board (optional)
Black edible ink marker or black fondant
Don’t take these cupcakes out in the sun or leave in a hot room as the ears will fall off!
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 4 and line your muffin tray with 12 paper cases.
Add the lime juice to the milk and leave to one side.
Cream the butter and sugar until light in colour and fluffy, add the eggs and beat again.
Add a third of the flour with the lime juice and milk and mix until just combined and repeat until all the flour and lime and milk have been added.
Add the zest and fold in with a metal spoon.
Fill the cases to 2/3rds full and bake for 25 mins until golden brown and spring back to the touch. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
For the toppers:
Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave on 10 second bursts until melted.
Add the chocolate to a parchment piping bag and snip the end, not too much or the chocolate will fall out of the bag.
Onto parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a cutting board, pipe 24 ears (large circles) and eyes (large ovals), then 12 noses (triangles) and mouths - be as creative as you like. Pop into the fridge for 30 mins.
To make the buttercream, combine icing sugar, butter and coconut cream in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Add the coconut milk as you need it, to loosen the buttercream if necessary
Using a palette knife spread the buttercream over the tops of the cupcakes and dip into the desiccated coconut to give the cupcakes a furry texture.
To make the centres of the eyes, draw a black dot onto the large white confetti sprinkles with a black edible marker and stick onto the eyes with a touch of leftover chocolate.
Add the chocolate eyes, nose, ears and mouth to the topper.