Simple sunflower cupcakes idea with buttercream sunflowers and chocolate sprinkle centers. Great cupcake idea for weddings, birthdays, and even baby showers!
I have been wanting to make these pretty floral cupcakes for a very long time. And so I finally decided to make them last weekend and since they turned out so well, I decided to do a tutorial on them as well.
I made these cupcakes along with a set of daisy cupcakes. Since they too turned out pretty and nice, I’ve made a tutorial for them as well (click here for the daisy cupcakes tutorial).
With all the rage about buttercream flowers, I am sure these piped sunflower cupcakes tutorial will be useful. Instead of piping the sunflowers separately, freezing and then transferring them onto the cupcakes, I have decided to add the flowers directly onto my cupcakes. That way, no freezing was required, and the entire decorating could be completed pretty quickly too.
I used buttercream for the sunflowers. If you are not keen on working with buttercream, you can also make these in royal icing. Royal icing dries hard so if you use royal icing, you will get sweet crusted sunflowers for your cupcakes, which are not too bad, if you ask me.
Anyway, I have decided to use buttercream for this tutorial. Below are the all the supplies you would need and step by step picture tutorials for the buttercream sunflower cupcakes. There also a video at the end of the page so don’t forget to watch that too!
Table of contents
- Video Tutorial
- How to Make and Decorate
- Like this easy decorating tutorial? Here are my other posts you should check out
- Recipe (Printable)
Here is the video tutorial on how to make the sunflower cupcakes:
How to Make and Decorate
- Cupcakes – I used my triple chocolate cupcakes recipe to make the chocolate flavor cupcakes, but omitted the chocolate buttercream and the sprinkles (see the recipe card below for the full recipe). For a single batch of the recipe, I managed to get 10 cupcakes baked in medium-sized muffin casings.
- Buttercream – I used buttercream made with shortening instead of butter (full recipe in the recipe card below) so that I am able to get absolutely white buttercream for the daisy petals. I used the same recipe for the green and yellow icing on the cupcakes as well.
- Wilton Golden yellow food coloring – I used this yellow food coloring to tint the yellow frosting for the flower centers.
- Wilton Juniper green food coloring – I used this green food coloring for the base coat of the cupcakes.
- Petal tip number 104 , round tip number 5 and icing coupler - I used Wilton tip number 104 for the daisy petals and round tip number 5 for the yellow flower centers.
- Disposable piping bags .
- Palette knife – this was used to apply the green base icing for the cupcakes before piping the daisies on.
Baking the cupcakes
- Start by preparing your cupcake casings. Place them into cupcake tray or a cupcake pan to hold their shape while baking. Set aside.
- Preheat oven.
- Measure butter and sugar into a large bowl. Cream both until light and fluffy on medium speed on an electric mixer (stand mixer or hand mixer). Use paddle attachment.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the eggs. Add them one at a time and beat well after each addition (until all traces of the eggs are no longer visible). Scrape the bowl half way through.
- Next, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and fold these dry ingredients into the creamed wet ingredients. Alternate this flour mixture with the milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- Finally, add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Scoop the cupcake batter into the prepared cupcake liners until about two thirds full.
- Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check the cupcakes at 15 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center of one of the cupcakes. If there is no wet batter sticking to the cupcakes, and the top springs back when lightly pressed, the cupcakes are baked.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven, let them rest in the tray for one or two minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.
Making the buttercream frosting
- If the cupcakes are domed, level them with a knife before applying buttercream.
- To make the buttercream (vanilla frosting), beat shortening and powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar) in a large mixing bowl until fluffy.
- Add vanilla essence and continue beating until the buttercream is all light and fluffy. Add milk (or heavy cream) if it appears too stiff.
- Remove about one third of the buttercream and tint it green. Tint the rest in yellow.
The green buttercream background
- Next, apply a thin coat of green frosting onto the top of each cupcake. I did not apply much buttercream here, only to the extent that the entire cupcake surface is covered with a layer of the green icing and the surface is all level.
- And I chose green as the base coat so that should there be any tiny gaps visible between the sunflower petals later, the green base is what you will see, and that sort of gives the flower a natural look as if there is a stem or leaf underneath.
Marking the lines for the sunflower petals
- Once the base is done, you can start to pipe petals for the sunflowers. For the sunflower petals, I used Wilton golden yellow food color to tint my buttercream to a pretty yellow hue, similar to that of real sunflowers.
- For the petals piping, I used the leaf tip number 352.
- Next, to guide me with perfectly round layers of petals, I used 2 of my round cutters (you can use drinking glass or bottle lids if you don’t have the cutters) and gently pressed them onto my green frosted cupcake tops to mark the circle lines. For perfectly centered sunflowers on the cupcake, I made sure that I placed the cutters towards the center of the cupcake.
- The 2 cutters I used are of different sizes in diameter. The purpose is to create 2 layers of round marks on the top of the cupcakes, to guide the piping of the 2 layers of petals of the sunflowers.
Piping the yellow petals
- The leaf tip number 352 is in the shape of an inverted “v”. Though it may seem natural to hold the piping bag with the flat side of the tip facing you, remember that for this tip, it is the narrow side that should be facing you, meaning you should not be seeing the inverted ‘v’ shape as you are piping the petals.
- I started piping with one sunflower petal. I gently squeezed my piping bag and released as I pulled my tip away from the cupcake. Watch my video above for a better demonstration on how it is done.
- This was how the first sunflower petal looked like.
- Continue piping the first row of petals, one by one, using the first marked circle as the guide for placing your piping tip before piping out each of the petals.
- Once the outer layer of sunflower petals are completed, move to the second row of petals.
- I piped the petals one by one until the full circle was completed.
Making the sunflower cupcake centers with chocolate sprinkles
- Next, using a small spoon, add chocolate sprinkles in the center of each cupcake. When doing this, make sure to keep the sprinkles in the center and not drop any of them on the petals. Also, make sure that the sprinkles are sufficiently added such that none of the green icing at the base is visible. To hold the sprinkles in place, I pressed them lightly onto the cupcakes with the back of a spoon.
And that’s that. My super simple and super pretty buttercream sunflower cupcakes are complete.
Like this easy decorating tutorial? Here are my other posts you should check out
- How to Color Sprinkles, the Easy Way
- Sprinkles Cupcakes Decorating Ideas
- Birthday Cupcakes
- Sprinkles Layered Cupcakes
- How to Make Buttercream Daisy Cupcakes
Here is the full printable version of my easy sunflower cupcakes recipe and decorating guide.
For best results, use the metrics measurements. US customary measurements have not been tested and are only meant for guide.
- 120 g butter
- 75 g granulated 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 extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
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 extract and mix well.
- Pour batter into baking cups until they are about two thirds full.
- Bake the chocolate cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes (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 buttercream
- To make the buttercream, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add milk if the buttercream is too stiff.
Decorating the cupcakes
- Level the top of the cupcakes (if domed) with a serrated knife.
- Apply a thin layer of green icing with a palette knife. Make sure the cupcakes are well covered with a smooth coat of green buttercream.
- Piping the sunflower petals
- Fit the leaf tip number 352 into a piping bag and fill it with the yellow icing.
- Use 2 round cookie cutters of different sizes (you can use drinking glass or bottle lids if you don’t have the cutters) and gently press them onto the frosted cupcake tops to mark the circle lines, making sure the circles are well centered on the cupcake.
- These lines are to help guide the piping of the 2 layers of petals of the sunflowers.
- Hold the piping bag with the narrow side of the leaf tip facing up. The inverted “v” shape should be on the side. To pipe the petals, gently squeeze the icing in the piping bag and release as you pull the tip away from the cupcake. Continue piping the petals, one by one, using the first marked circle as the guide for placing your piping tip before piping out each of the petals.
- Once the outer layer of sunflower petals are completed, move to the next layer of the petals.
- Pipe the petals one by one until the full circle ss completed.
- Making the sunflower centers with chocolate sprinkles
- Next, using a small spoon, add chocolate sprinkles in the center of each cupcake. In doing this, make sure to keep the sprinkles in the center and not drop any of them on the petals. And also make sure that the sprinkles are sufficiently added such that the green icing at the base is not visible. To hold the sprinkles in place, press them lightly onto the cupcakes with the back of a spoon.
Happy Decorating 🙂