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Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes

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Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes are perfect for a panda themed birthday party. These deliciously easy chocolate cupcakes come together in a very short amount of time and will amaze all your guests for a special treat!

Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes - perfect for a panda themed birthday party or just because! | Persnickety Plates

Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes

I have so many things to say about these cupcakes.

First, they’re delicious. Second, they’re easily the cutest thing I’ve ever made.

I love
pandas and I had a huge project and deadline at work this week with a client that happens to have “panda” in their name. It was meant to be.

Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes - perfect for a panda themed birthday party or just because! | Persnickety Plates

I planned to make both the cake and frosting from scratch but I didn’t have enough powdered sugar on hand, so I used a Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting.

The actual cake recipe is amazing & very simple. There used to be an independent grocery store by our house that made giant chocolate chocolate chip muffins that I would (often) stop by and get after work. That store closed over a  year ago but this recipe tastes just like the muffins I’ve been missing. Tickle me pink.

My last story about these adorable chocolate panda cupcakes is that I went to three different stores to find supplies.

First, JoAnn, who didn’t have what I wanted.

Then Michaels, where I got the confetti sprinkles for the eyes and the sanding sugar. Both of those stores had the edible ink pens I needed, but they were around $9. I didn’t want to spend $9 just to draw on some pupils so I skipped them.

But, when I went to my final store, Meijer, to get the chocolate sprinkles, I found the same set, on clearance, for $3.99. AND THEN…they rang up for $0.79. Made my day.

By the way, if you are in the market for edible ink pens, I would not recommend the Wilton ones I got. They’re not great. 

On to the important part. The recipe.

cupcakes decorated like pandas on a plate.

Decorating Supplies

Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes - perfect for a panda themed birthday party or just because! | Persnickety Plates

How to turn your cupcakes into Pandas

Frost your cupcakes. I piped them, but you don’t have to.

Pour some baking sugar into a bowl. Once frosted, smush (gently) your cupcake into the sugar, fully coating it.

Then, turn the cupcakes into pandas by adding:

  • Two chocolate chips up at the top for the ears.
  • One sideways (& upside down?) chocolate chip for the nose.
  • Then I drew the pupils on the white sprinkles. Be careful because if you apply too much pressure, they break. Lesson learned.
  • Use a little bit of frosting to “glue” the white sprinkle to a chocolate chip for the eyes. Then position the eyes however you want.
  • Making the mouths with the chocolate jimmies was fun because you could give them personality. The smirking ones were my favorite.
Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes - perfect for a panda themed birthday party or just because! | Persnickety Plates

Like these chocolate panda cupcakes? Then try my Monkey Cupcakes!

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Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes - perfect for a panda themed birthday party or just because! | Persnickety Plates

Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes

Melissa Williams
Adorable Chocolate Panda Cupcakes – perfect for a panda themed birthday party or just because!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Decorating Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 48 mini cupcakes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Fill mini cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk.
    1 ½ cups all purpose flour, ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 ⅓ cups granulated white sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined.
    2 large eggs, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅔ cup milk
  • Add hot water and mix.
    ⅔ cup hot water
  • Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool and decorate.

Notes

Decorating Supplies
Frosting (I used Betty Crocker cream cheese)
Decorator bag and Ateco tip 807 (I used a ziploc bag & a random tip)
White sanding sugar
Chocolate Chips (I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips because that’s what I love)
Jimmies (Chocolate or black)
Pastel confetti sprinkles (just the white ones)
Black edible ink pen
Mini cupcake wrappers<br>
<br>
Frost your cupcakes. I piped them, but you don’t have to.
Pour some baking sugar into a bowl. Once frosted, smush (gently) your cupcake into the sugar, fully coating it.
Then it’s really up to you.
Two chocolate chips up at the top for the ears.
One sideways (& upside down?) for the nose.
Then I drew the pupils on the white sprinkles. Be careful because if you apply too much pressure, they break. Lesson learned.
Use a little bit of frosting to “glue” the white sprinkle to a chocolate chip for the eyes.
Then position the eyes however you want.
Making the mouths with the chocolate jimmies was fun because you could give them personality. The smirking ones were my favorite.
Source: Bakerella

Nutrition

Serving: 1g

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.


See Bakerella’s post for way better step by step instructions with pictures. I just looked at her pictures & copied. Everyone that saw these said the pictures don’t do them justice. I was proud.

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  1. Rebecca @ Heron's Crafts says

    These are sooooo cute! I saw them over at Six Sisters Stuff and had to come take a look! They look so proffessional – well done!
    Have a great weekend
    Rebecca @ heronscrafts.blogspot.com

  2. Maria says

    Oh my goodness these are absolutely beautiful!!!! They look like they just came from a bakery! BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  3. Six Sisters says

    Love your panda cupcakes!! Thanks for being a part of our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” Hope to see you again real soon!! -The Sisters

  4. Shannon says

    These are adorable–they are Kung Fu panda cupcakes!!! I love them!

    New follower,
    Shannon@SewSweetCottage

  5. C.J. says

    I had to Pinterest these, they are too adorable! I need to create an occasion to make them soon, because I like them so much. Newest follower, would love a follow back at http://sassyshopperreviews.blogspot.com/ Enter to win the giveaways while you’re there! 🙂

  6. Winnie says

    OMG – these are sooooooooo cute and adorable!
    You did a wonderful job

  7. The Pastry Chef says

    Saw this from Something Swanky – you did a beautiful job! Pinning so others can admire too :).

  8. damaris Rodriguez says

    Hi where you able to make 48 eyes out of one bottle of rainbow confetti? Need help not sure if one is enough.

  9. Vicki Burdon says

    I’m in the UK and im not sure what kind of sugar you used to dip the frosted cakes in. Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂

  10. Vicki Burdon says

    I’ve never heard of sanding sugar. Is it similar in consistency to granulated ?
    Thanks for the help! I’m so excited about making these 🙂

    • Melissa {Persnickety Plates} says

      No, not like granulated sugar. It’s a little chunky, not fine like regular sugar. I guess you could compare it to the consistency of coarse seas salt? You can kinda see in the first picture up top – it’s more of a sprinkle. You can also see a decent picture in the link I posted in the last comment. I need to remake them & take some better pictures =)

  11. Laurel says

    So cute cupcakes (and chocolate is my favorite flavor). Do you think a very narrow opening and soft frosting could make the eyes instead of the marking pen? Or would I just make a bigger mess?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I think that definitely would work & look cute, it just sounds like more work lol

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