Bonfire cupcakes recipe

(163 ratings)

These bonfire cupcakes are topped with miniature camp fires and will be sure to delight your family and friends.

Bonfire cupcakes
  • healthy
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories490 Kcal25%
Sugar57 g63%
Fat21.9 g31%
Saturated Fat13.2 g66%
Protein4.3 g9%
Carbohydrates68.3 g26%

These bonfire cupcakes look just like miniature campfires, with flames going up the middle.

They are like a mini version of our bonfire cake (opens in new tab) but the flames are made with red and yellow towers of buttercream. You can whip up a batch of the cupcakes in just 30 minutes (or use plain shop bought ones if you prefer). Then you just need to allow them to cool before you decorate them with the piped buttercream and orange Matchmakers. These make the perfect Guy Fawkes Night sweet treat.


  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Grated zest from one orange
  • 1 box of chocolate orange Matchmakers

For the buttercream:

  • 110g unsalted butter, softened
  • 440g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Red and orange food colouring




  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Place 12 muffin-sized paper cases into a muffin tin. We used brown cases.
  2. Add all of the cupcake ingredients into a bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk or beat with a wooden spoon until combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the cases, fill about halfway. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, leave it to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Place the softened butter into a mixing bowl and give it a whisk to break it up and soften it even further. Weigh the icing sugar into another bowl. Start by sifting just a small amount of icing sugar into the mixing bowl to join the butter; the equivalent of about 2tbsps. Whisk the icing sugar into the butter. Carry on adding the icing sugar in stages and whisking after each addition.
  5. Once all the icing sugar has been incorporated into the butter, it’s time to pour in the orange juice. Again add it slowly as you may need a little more or less to bring the buttercream together.
  6. When it comes to adding colour to the buttercream you can opt for two different looks. For a more subtle appearance, you can add stripes of colour. To do this take a cocktail stick, dip it into the red food colouring and draw a line down the inside of a piping bag. Then do the same with the orange food colouring, but draw the line down the other side of the piping bag. Add the buttercream to your piping bag (don’t forget to add a nozzle).
  7. To create a full-on colourful flame you will need two small bowls. Divide the buttercream between the two bowls and simply stir in the food colouring, so you are left with one bowl of orange buttercream and one red. Fill the piping bag with alternate teaspoonfuls of each.
  8. Pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. Carefully break the Matchmakers in half and place them around the ‘flame’.

Top tips for making bonfire cupcakes

If you can’t find any orange matchmakers you could use mint ones instead. Or you could opt for chocolate fingers or KitKat.

Can you make these cupcakes in advance?

You can make the cupcakes and the buttercream in advance, but it's best to leave the colouring of the buttercream and the decorating of the cakes until no more than a day in advance of when you want to serve them.

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Anneliese Giggins
Freelance food writer

Author, writer and Mum of three, Anneliese Giggins has been creating recipes for for the past 9 years. She has also created food-related content for household names such as Daily Mail, Daily Express and Her most successful to date was how to feed a family of 4 on £20 a week