Pipe some happy sunshine on your cupcakes. You can make these sunflower cupcakes with any flavor cupcake, but use the vanilla buttercream detailed below. Piping the sunflower design is much easier than you expect- the right tools and a little practice are all it takes.

sunflower frosting design on cupcake

You are watching: How To Make Sunflower Cupcakes

I started making these sunflower cupcakes when I decided I wanted to improve my frosting decoration skills. Piping intricate designs has never been my forte, but I vowed to improve my abilities. I had been extremely intimidated by cake and cupcake decorating but once I began, I was pleasantly surprised with how EASY it was/is to create beautifully decorated confections. And you will be too! It all started with the courage to TRY.

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Trust me, if I can pipe frosting roses and more buttercream flowers, so can you.

Tell Me About These Sunflower Cupcakes

  • Flavor: The pictured cupcakes are vanilla cupcakes and we recommend the vanilla buttercream detailed below. It’s creamy, but sturdy enough to hold the detailed sunflower shape. If you’re looking for other cupcake flavor options, try pumpkin cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, or apple spice cupcakes.
  • Ease: I promise buttercream sunflowers are nothing fancy or complicated. Just make sure you have the right tools (listed below) and that the butter is brought to room temperature before you begin making the frosting. Room temperature butter is imperative for the consistency and success of the buttercream.
  • Time: After you have baked and cooled your cupcakes, set aside a little over 30 minutes to make and pipe the frosting.

sunflower cupcakes with yellow and green buttercream in piping bags

Tools You Need

  • Gel Food Coloring: To replicate the same colors pictured, use the following as your guideline. For the golden yellow, 3 drops of the “lemon yellow” color and 1 drop of the “orange” color. For the green, 1-2 drops of “leaf green.”
  • Piping bag: You can use a disposable or reusable piping bag. 12, 14, or 16 inch size works, but I prefer the 16 inch because it gives you a little more room.
  • 352 Leaf Piping Tip: You only need 1 piping tip. The same tip produces the sunflower petals AND the cute green leaves!
  • Chocolate Sprinkles or Brown Gel Food Coloring for the center.

Overview: How to Make Buttercream Sunflowers

  1. Bake & cool about 12 cupcakes.
  2. Make a batch of vanilla buttercream. You want a sturdy frosting that will hold the detailed petal shape. We strongly recommend the vanilla buttercream recipe below.
  3. Tint the frosting two colors. The gel food coloring listed above is best. Liquid food coloring works in a pinch, but it can change the consistency of the frosting if you use too much.
  4. Make the yellow center. Add a circle of golden yellow frosting in the center of the cupcake. You can use a knife or just use the leaf piping tip and swirl it around to get a circle.
  5. Add the sprinkles. Dip the frosting circle into chocolate sprinkles. This is the center of the sunflower. Alternatively, you can tint some frosting brown to create the center.
  6. Begin piping petals. Let’s watch a quick video so you can see how to pipe the petals.

toppings for sunflower cupcakes including chocolate sprinkles on a plate and yellow and green frosting in piping bags

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piping sunflower petals onto cupcake with yellow frosting

Success Tips for Buttercream Sunflowers

  1. Take your time. Pipe slowly because this isn’t a race! It definitely takes a couple of tries to find your rhythm.
  2. Begin outside. Always start piping the sunflower petals on the outside edge. Adding layers of petals inside creates a realistic depth.
  3. Have fun. This is the main thing- just have fun. Each of your sunflower cupcakes will look better than the last. Practice makes perfect, I promise.

sunflower cupcakes on a gold plate

More Fun with Piping Tips

  • How to Pipe a Two-Toned Frosting Rose
  • Piping Tips 101
  • Cupcake Bouquet
  • 6-inch Cake with Easy Buttercream Flowers

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