Panda cupcakes recipe

(74 ratings)

Panda cupcakes
Preparation Time1 hours 5 mins (including decorating time)
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time1 hours 45 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories539 Kcal27%
Sugar40.4 g45%
Fat35.8 g51%
Saturated Fat25 g125%
Salt6.4 g
Protein4.0 g8%
Carbohydrates49.3 g19%
Salt6.4 g

Our cute panda cupcakes are so simple to make with desiccated coconut and chocolate.

The kids are going to love this fun and easy-to-make panda cupcake recipe (opens in new tab). Each cupcake is topped with rich coconut buttercream and has a lime flavoured sponge. The panda's facial features are made by piping melted chocolate and leaving it to set in the shape of ear, eyes, and nose.


  • 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




  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 4 and line your muffin tray with 12 paper cases.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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 tips 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.

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