Penguin & Iceberg Cupcakes


These penguin cupcakes are so fun to make! It’s a lot of decorating, so it’s perfect to make with little kids! And even if it doesn’t look that great (especially because mine doesn’t), it’ll taste great!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated; scrape down sides of bowl, and beat in vanilla.
  2. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.


Dark Chocolate Frosting-Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.


Vanilla Frosting-Ingredients:


  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla milk


  1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.


Decorations for Penguins-Ingredients:

  • 7 doughnut holes
  • 4 mini doughnuts
  • 4 large marshmellows
  • chocolate graham crackers
  • 7 yellow starbursts
  • 14 mini chocolate chips


  1. Cut mini doughnuts in half crosswise.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of vanilla frosting into small ziploc bag, press out excess air, seal and set aside.  Spread vanilla frosting on 7 of cupcakes and place mini doughnut half, cut side down, on top.  Spread more vanilla frosting on top of mini doughnut and place doughnut hole on top.  Spread more vanilla frosting up sides of doughnut holes to fill gap as smoothly as possible.  Place cupcakes in freezer 10 minutes, until slightly frozen.

    Tint dark chocolate frosting with black food coloring.  Microwave in 1 – 2 cup microwavable measuring cup, stirring frequently, until it is texture of lightly whipped cream, about 35 seconds.  Holding 1 chilled cupcake by its paper bottom, dip it into black frosting just up to liner.  Hold cupcake above surface and allow excess frosting to drip off (be patient here and let this happen otherwise you end up with runny, messy looking penguins).  Turn right side up and let stand.  Repeat with remaining 6 cupcakes.

  3. Using clean scissors (I sprayed mine with Pam before cutting), cut 1/8″ off both flat ends of each marshmallow.  Trim 1/4″ off 1 side of 7 of marshmallow circles to create straight edge.  Press 1 cut marshmallow piece onto black frosting on each cupcake, straight edge next to paper liner, to make penguin’s belly.
  4. Using a serrated knife, cut the chocolate graham cracker to make it look like wings, so small half circles. Be careful as the graham crackers will be very crumbly! The 2 curved outside pieces will form the penguins wings.  (I just cut the Keeble cookies carefully in half.)  Trim 1/4″ from end of each wing.  Press trimmed end of graham cracker into frosting just below penguin’s head, 1 on each side, securing them with dot of black frosting.
  5. Cut 4 of yellow fruit chews in half on diagonal to form triangular beaks.  For each penguin, place cut side of 1 of triangles onto the black frosted doughnut hole, pressing gently to secure.  Cut and shape remaining 3 1/2 fruit chews into 14 three toed feet.  (I didn’t bother with the feet.)  Snip 1/8″ corner from bag of vanilla frosting.  Pipe white dots for eyes and add mini chocolate chips, pointed end in.  Pipe a small white highlight on each eye (didn’t bother with this either).

    Decorations for Icebergs-Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup blue and white rock candy
  • small colored fish candies (Swedish fish)
  • 1 strand black licorice


  1. Spread remaining vanilla frosting on top of remaining 5 cupcakes and press shredded coconut into the frosting.  (I dumped the coconut on a paper plate and pressed the top of each cupcake into the coconut.)  Arrange the rock candy on top of 4 of cupcakes in paper liners to make ice.
  2. Add fish candies and licorice lace to remaining cupcake in foil liner.  Attach other end of licorice lace to one of penguins.  (I put frosting on the back of each fish to secure it to the bucket and tied the lace around the base of the cupcake and then tucked the other end under the penguin’s arm.)
  3. Arrange penguin cupcakes in a curved line on a serving platter.  Place 2 fruit chew feet in front of each penguin.  Place iceberg cupcakes around penguins and sprinkle serving platter with fish candy and rock candy.
  4. Enjoy!



4 thoughts on “Penguin & Iceberg Cupcakes

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