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
- 2 eggs
- 3tbsps fresh lime juice
- Zest of 2 limes
- 30ml milk
- ¼tsp baking powder
- 100g dark chocolate
- Large white confetti sprinkles or white fondant
- For the buttercream
- 150g butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 3tbsps coconut milk (as needed)
- 2tbsps coconut cream
- Desiccated coconut
- You will also need
- Parchment piping bag
- Silicone baking mat on a cutting board (optional)
- Black edible ink marker or black fondant
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.
Top tip for making Panda cupcakes
Don’t take these cupcakes out in the sun or leave in a hot room as the ears will fall off!