Ladybug Garden Cupcakes

Nothing is more fun than making the cake for a single-digit birthday party.  You have the excuse (the encouragement, really) to go crazy with frosting, food coloring, candy, marshmallows, and Oreo products.  It doesn’t happen too often for me, but when it does I take full advantage of it.

I was delighted to spend a recent Saturday shopping and having lunch with my mom, followed by some serious cupcake decorating.  Our theme was ladybug and flower cupcakes for our friend Neha’s daughter Nicole. 

Mom was an excellent assistant.  I assigned her the job of making the flower cupcakes, which involved cutting dozens of mini-marshmallows in half and dipping the sticky ends in colored sugar.  It was a little payback for the hundreds of potatoes I have peeled for her over the years on Thanksgiving morning. 

Of course, potatoes aren’t nearly as pretty as these cupcakes…

I think the beautiful newly-nine-year-old birthday girl liked them, too! 

Happy Birthday, Nicole!

Ladybug Garden Cupcakes
Ladybug cupcakes adapted from Annie’s Eats

If you make a batch of 24 cupcakes I would suggest doing 12 ladybugs and 12 flowers.

Traditional Buttercream Frosting

2 lb. bag of powdered sugar
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk

  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of milk.  Mix on low-speed until combined and smooth.  Add more milk if needed, but you want the frosting to be somewhat stiff so it will stay in place.
  • Separate frosting into 3 bowls.  Leave one white, tint one green, and one red.  For the deepest color, use gel-based food coloring.

Ladybug Cupcakes

You Will Need
12 cupcakes
6 packs of Oreo Cakesters
Dark brown M&M’s (you can see I had to use yellow when I ran out)
Mini Oreo cookies
Twizzlers chocolate licorice (kids typically don’t like black licorice)

  • Pipe green-tinted frosting onto the cupcakes to look like grass.
  • Separate the cakesters and discard the “creme filling”.  Cut cakester halves down the center to make the ladybug wings.  Spread red-tinted frosting on cakester wings and place on top of green grass frosting at a slight angle to each other.
  • Press 3 dark brown M&M’s onto each wing for ladybug spots.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut chocolate Twizzlers into 2 cm long antennae pieces.  Cut pieces into slender strips.
  • Twist mini Oreo apart and place a small dab of white frosting onto the Oreo creme filling.  Press chocolate Twizzler antennae into the frosting and lightly press the Oreo back together.
  • Press mini Oreo into green grass frosting in front of the wings to complete the ladybug.
  • Fill in any “gaps” with more green grass frosting.

Flower Cupcakes

You Will Need
12 cupcakes
1 bag mini-marshmallows
colored decorating sugar
12 colored M&M’s or gumdrops

  • Spread a thin layer of white buttercream onto the cupcakes.
  • Pour colored decorating sugar into a small bowl.
  • Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut the mini-marshmallows in half and dip the sticky cut surface into the colored sugar.
  • Press the mini-marshmallow into the frosting along the outer rim of the cupcake, colored side up.
  • Repeat process, arranging the marshmallows in a circle, then repeating the circles towards the center of the cupcake.
  • Place a colored M&M or gumdrop into the center of the flower.

Print Version

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Categories: Cakes & Icings

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16 Comments on “Ladybug Garden Cupcakes”

  1. A Boston Food Diary
    May 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    These are absolutely beautiful! For a single digit or a higher double digit-amazing!!

    • Aimee
      May 24, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      Perhaps you will get your own garden next month, Fiona! Haha!

  2. May 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    How cute are these?! I’m going to try to make them with my grandkids.

  3. maureen
    May 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    These are so cute! What a super treat for the birthday girl. A treat for you and your mom too to have such a fun project to share.

  4. May 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    Those are adorable! I would have loved them on my 9th birthday too… heck, I’d even love them on my 30th! :)

  5. May 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    Hands down, the cutest cupcakes I’ve ever seen.

  6. Robin
    May 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    the flower cupcakes will be perfect for my office warming party (yes i am hosting an “open office” for my new office to make up for the fact that i no longer have a window). these cupcakes are better than sunshine!

  7. May 25, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Way too cute! Will you come to my next birthday party? Can I still order these as a 30-something?? :)

  8. May 25, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    The cupcakes are killing me with cuteness, gahhhh!!!!

  9. Josh
    May 25, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Super cute!! I love the flowers!

  10. Aimee
    May 25, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Thanks everyone! Robin, let me know how they turn out! And to my fellow adult friends, I will make these for you anytime….if you promise to share. :)

  11. May 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    These are adorable!!

  12. mgw
    May 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Beautiful cupcakes for a beautiful, sweet birthday-girl! I had such a fun day with you Aimee. Perhaps this year the mashed potatoes can be something a bit more “fancy”. ;)

  13. May 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    So freaking cute, Aimee!

  14. Joyce
    May 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    So cute and they look delicious to. Love the picture of Nicole with them! Neha owes you. :)

  15. Neha/Nicole
    May 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    These were special because they were made with love! Thank you so much! And boy were they delicious.

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