I absolutely love sunflowers. They can be rustic and casual or elegant depending on the setting and they are so darn cheerful.
These really were easy to make and I can promise you I am no expert cake decorator. If I can make these, anyone can.
Here are the simple steps to make these cupcakes– I have a quick little video for you way at the bottom too if that helps. It really is quite easy to make these!
I started by baking chocolate cupcake mix directly in a cute little cupcake liner terra cotta pot. These are completely food safe and dishwasher safe but you can also bake in a standard cupcake liner and place the baked cupcake in the pot after it cooks. I have used box mix for this recipe or this from scratch chocolate cupcake recipe is delicious.
Once you have your cupcakes, it is time to make the frosting. I used this perfect buttercream recipe and thickened it up by adding extra confectioner’s sugar. You want the frosting very firm and stiff to hold up the petals. Separate the frosting into three bowls- 20% of the frosting in one small bowl, 20% in another and the remaining frosting keep in your mixer. Add a few drops of golden yellow coloring and mix well to get a bright, sunshine yellow.
The smaller bowls of frosting- either add about 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder or brown food coloring to get a brown color similar to milk chocolate. The last small bowl, add leaf green coloring to get the green for the leaves.
You can use any frosting you like- buttercream isn’t the best for holding the shape of the petals but to me taste is ultimately the most important thing and these tasted delicious.
Next I took a standard piping bag and cut a V shape like this. Use very sharp scissors and the points of the V will be on either side of the bag where the seams meet. You can use various Wilton tips to create leaves but I personally had better luck with this method than with either of the Wilton tips I used.
Fill with your green frosting and with the seam of the bag facing up (and the cut V shape to the side not facing you), squeeze hard to create your first leaf and slowly release pressure toward the end of the leaf. Flip the cupcake around to create a second leaf on the opposite side of the cupcake.
Once you finish adding leaves to all the cupcakes, fill a second bag with the yellow frosting. This bag will also have the little cut V in it. I had much better luck only working with small amounts of frosting, not a huge full bag. My leaves just turned out a little prettier.
I prefer to start with one leaf and flip the cupcake to create a leaf directly across from that one and on and on rather than doing the leaves one at a time next to each other.
Once I finished the first layer of petals for the sunflower, I set in the fridge for a moment to set and worked my way through a first layer on the rest of the cupcakes. I came back and did a second layer in the same method.
Now you are nearly finished! Pick up your last bowl of chocolate frosting and snip a straight line off the tip of the third bag, fill the bag and use the chocolate to create a circle in the center of the flower.
Once the chocolate frosting fills the center of the cupcake, you can leave it as is or I added mini chocolate chips. I think little brown pearl sprinkles would be fantastic as well or I have seen mini Oreos used for sunflower cupcakes. Whatever you like or have on hand. I served these on a platter and sprinkled crushed Oreos around to look like dirt for my potted plants.
And that is it! These really are quite simple to make and I can pretty much guarantee they will be a hit.
Here are some things that will come in handy making these cupcakes:
And here are a few other recipes you might like: