Learn how to make easy soccer cupcakes with edible ball toppers. These soccer themed cupcakes decorating idea is perfect for birthdays!
The cupcakes are baked in silver foil casings and covered with green frosting. Each cupcake is then topped with completely edible soccer ball toppers. The best part is, these soccer ball toppers can be made in advance which means no scrambling at the very last minute to get them done!
This cupcakes design was inspired by a football cake I decorated not too long ago. I had leftover frosting from decorating the cake and thought I would try decorating some cupcakes with the same soccer theme.
And so that’s how I came up with this soccer themed cupcakes idea. These cupcakes will make a great decorating idea for boys on their birthdays.
The base cupcakes are my chocolate cupcakes. I baked them in silver cupcake liners. I then topped each cupcake with a simple coat of royal icing. Royal icing sets hard and brittle when it dries and is made entirely with icing sugar and egg whites. If you don't like royal icing and prefer something creamy, you can also use buttercream.
The soccer ball toppers on the cupcakes are made of royal icing too. They are simply piped on a soccer ball parchment paper template. Once dry and set, I peeled off the paper templates and the toppers were ready to be put on the cupcakes, completely edible.
How to Make Soccer Ball Cupcakes
Here is what I used to come up with these easy soccer cupcakes:
- Chocolate cupcakes – I used my chocolate cupcakes recipe for the cupcakes and baked them in silver cupcake liners.
- Royal icing in 3 colors - green, black and white. The green was tinted in Wilton Moss Green (to cover the cupcakes) and the black was tinted in a combination of black, brown, green, and red food colors. As for the white, I did not tint it as the natural white color of the royal icing was sufficient.
- Soccer ball template – I used a parchment template to make the soccer ball toppers. That way, the toppers had a consistent size and design. To make the template, I traced a soccer ball image from an online search and resized it to fit the cupcakes. I did not want the balls to be bigger than the diameter of the cupcakes. And I did not want them too small that they look insignificant on the cupcakes. Once I had the right-sized template, I traced the pattern onto a parchment paper. I made a few of these soccer ball templates. The template can also be drawn freehand on paper, if you like.
- Wilton round tip 2 to pipe the royal icing. I had 2 of these round tips so that made it easier for me to not have to transfer them between the black and white colors when piping the soccer cupcake toppers.
- Disposable piping bags
- Parchment paper
The soccer ball template for the edible toppers
- I started by preparing the soccer ball templates as explained above. I made quite a few copies of the template so that I could make the toppers all at once. Once I had the parchment paper templates ready, I turned the parchment paper over.
- I turned the templates over because I do not want any of the pencil marks to be transferred onto the toppers. Turning the paper over helps in making sure the pencil markings do not come into contact with the icing.
Piping the balls
- In piping the soccer balls, I used round piping tips #2. I started with the black sections of the ball first and did not thin the royal icing. Instead, I used it in its original consistency. I piped in a circular motion. As you can see in the image, it has left a pretty circular pattern on the soccer balls, giving them more texture. Once all the black sections of the soccer ball were done, I completed the piping with white royal icing by filling up all sections that were meant to be filled up in white. I have a full tutorial written on how to make these edible soccer ball templates and you can read the full details on that page.
- Once the piping was done, I left the balls aside for them to set and dry completely. I normally leave such royal icing decorations overnight so that there is ample time for the deco pieces to set. Once set, I peeled off the parchment paper (have to do this very carefully to avoid the soccer balls from breaking).
- This is the close-up picture of the edible soccer ball after peeling it off the parchment paper:
Baking & decorating the cupcakes
- While the soccer cupcake toppers were waiting to set and firm up, I baked my cupcakes. I let the cupcakes cool down completely to room temperature before covering the top of each cupcake with green royal icing. I did not smooth the tops as much, and that was intentional. The green frosting was meant to be the 'grass' on which the edible soccer ball toppers are supposed to be put on. So I felt that letting the icing appear rough of the cupcakes is most suited for the grass.
- Since the soccer cupcakes were covered in royal icing, and since it sets pretty fast, I attached my soccer cupcake toppers as soon as I finished covering each cupcake with it. That way, I could get the balls to be attached securely to the cupcakes. In case the green icing sets before you could place your toppers on, simply dab a little extra at the back of each topper and attach them to the cupcakes.
- Since my cupcakes were slightly domed and the soccer ball toppers flat, upon attaching them to the cupcakes, they remained flat on the cupcakes making them look as though they were floating on the cupcakes, which added some dimension to the soccer ball toppers.
Make more toppers for contingency
- Because the soccer ball toppers were piped in royal icing and were pretty thin, they can break if not handled carefully. Sometimes they break in the process of being peeled off the parchment paper. Sometimes accidentally dropping them onto the workspace can cause chipping and cracks.
- So it is always advisable to make more of the toppers than what is needed for the soccer cupcakes to give allowances for any breakages.
And that is pretty much how I made my soccer cupcakes with edible royal icing ball toppers.
Like these soccer cupcakes idea? Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
- Soccer Cupcake Toppers
- Happy Birthday Cupcakes - Elegant Cupcakes for Mom
- 3D Fondant Snowflake Cupcake Toppers
- Ball Cake with Bear Toppers
- Royal Icing Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my soccer cupcakes recipe and decorating tutorial.
Soccer Cupcakes with Edible Soccer Ball Toppers
- Soccer ball template
- Wilton round tip 2
- Disposable piping bags
- Parchment paper
- 120 g butter
- 75 g castor sugar
- 25 g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100 g self-raising flour
- 30 g cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoon milk
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla essence
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoon chocolate sprinkles
Frosting and Decoration
- Royal Icing
- Food colors in green black, brown and red
Baking the cupcakes
- Prepare your cupcake casings.
- Preheat oven to 170°Celsius.
- Beat butter and both sugars till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with milk, starting and ending with flour.
- Add in the vanilla essence and mix well.
- Pour batter into baking cups until they are about two thirds full. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon for chocolate sprinkles on top of the cupcakes batter.
- Bake the chocolate cupcakes for 15 (depending on the size of the casing you use) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out without any wet batter sticking to it.
- Remove the cupcakes from oven and let them cool completely before decorating.
Making the royal icing soccer ball toppers
- Start by preparing the soccer ball templates. Make as many templates as possible so that all the toppers can be piped all at once rather than having to repeat the process.
- Trace the templates onto parchment paper for easy peeling of the royal icing once it is set. And in using the templates, if there are any pencil markings, turn the templates over so that the pencil markings do not get transferred to the icing.
- Use round tip #2 to pipe the balls. Start with the black sections of the balls first. Once all the black sections of the soccer balls are done, complete the piping with white royal icing by filling up all sections that were meant to be filled up in white.
- Once the piping is done, leave the balls aside for them to set and dry completely (preferably overnight). Once set, peel off the parchment paper (have to do this very carefully to avoid the soccer balls from breaking). Make extra toppers for contingency.
Frosting the soccer cupcakes
- After baking, once the cupcakes have cooled down completely to room temperature, cover the top of each cupcake with green royal icing. I did not smooth the tops as much, and that was intentional. The green icing was meant to be the ‘grass’ on which the royal icing soccer balls are supposed to be put on.
Attaching the soccer ball toppers
- Attach the soccer cupcake toppers as soon as each cupcake is covered with green icing. This is to get the ball toppers to be attached securely to the cupcakes. In case the green icing sets before the toppers are attached on, simply dab a little green icing at the back of each topper and attach them to the cupcakes.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Happy decorating 🙂
Soccer ball cupcakes idea