Monday, April 23, 2012

Easy Little Pandas


I made some cute chocolate cupcakes for you today.


And they’re mini, too. It’s hard to tell in this picture I know.


But because the cupcakes were mini, I was able to use chocolate chips to dress them up as sweet little pandas.


Chocolate chip covered pandas that are super easy to make.


First frost your cupcakes. Use a decorator bag with Ateco Tip #807 and you can whiz right through this part.


Pipe a small mound of frosting on top. You don’t need to cover the cupcake completely.


Because you will be pressing it into a bowl of sanding sugar to cover all the frosting. And when you do, the frosting will spread out and cover most of the top.


Like so.

Then you can start making panda faces.

Insert a chocolate chip sideways and towards the bottom for a nose.


Then press two chips pointed side down into the frosting to start on the eyes and two more in position for the ears.

I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips because they are a little larger in diameter and were better for panda proportions.

And the great thing about covering them in sanding sugar first, is that you can easily reshape the face if necessary without getting frosting all over your fingers.


If you want to add mouths, try black or chocolate jimmies and press them into the frosting.


Then you just need to finish the eyes.


Use a black edible ink pen to draw on white confetti sprinkles for dotted eyes and then attach them to the chips with a tiny bit of frosting to hold them in place.

You could also just pipe frosting on for eyes if you want to skip the pin and sprinkles.


There you go. Easy little pandas.

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup hot water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Fill mini cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk.
  • Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined.
  • Add hot water and mix.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Cool and decorate.

To decorate, you’ll need:

  • Frosting (I used the one from this post)
  • Decorator bag and Ateco tip 807 (or just use a ziploc bac and cut an end off)
  • White sanding sugar
  • Chocolate Chips (I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips for their size)
  • Jimmies (Chocolate or black and you could also just leave them off)
  • Pastel confetti sprinkles (just the white ones)
  • Black edible ink pen



Colleen said...

I made these for my 10 year old daughter to take to class for her birthday! They were so cute! I had to make a few changes as I couldn’t find some things
and there is a child with peanut allergies in her class. We did find candy eyes to stick on to the chocolate that worked pretty well. Thanks my daughter loves pandas, she will be so surprised!!

September 4, 2012 12:25 AM
Angel said...


September 6, 2012 10:29 AM
rachel said...

This is so cute!!!! I am going to plan a panda party RIGHT NOW and serve these!

September 15, 2012 02:49 PM
Crystal said...

I’m making these this week! Thanks for the inspiration!

September 25, 2012 10:49 AM
Isabel? said...

wow,i love them <3 so cute :) you know your blog is famous in germany,too? I often do some of your cake pops with my friends :))) greatings from germany <3

October 4, 2012 05:05 PM
Jae P said...

Love these. Cutest idea. Love it

October 4, 2012 09:10 PM
Alexis said...

Awesome Pandas!

October 7, 2012 07:16 PM
reha said...

Just wondering if you could use normal sugar instead of sanded? What would be the difference? Thanks.

October 9, 2012 01:14 PM
Tina said...

How would you make these with regular sized cupcakes?

October 11, 2012 11:04 AM
Lenna said...

My 3 yr old wants a Kungfu Panda party for his birthday. These are perfect.

October 13, 2012 10:04 AM
Paul Scarth said...

Really cute! What size cup / conversion to grammes have people been using ?

October 16, 2012 01:46 PM
shafriza said...

When i saw these i was really inspired to get back in to baking.. i stopped for a while cos i got married.. and finally i tried out the mino choc cup cakes… made 24 of them..perfect. thank you for the perfect chocolate cup cake recipe… now i have to start making these cute faces you make with the sprinklers.. i wish they had stuff like that here.

October 17, 2012 07:47 AM
sabry said...

Per TAZZA cosa intendi??? :)

October 21, 2012 01:48 PM
sabry said...

what do you mean for “cup”??

October 21, 2012 02:39 PM
Callie said...

These are wonderful! I tried them tonight to surprise my husband (we both love pandas), and they turned out great! Here’s a link to my blog post if you’d like to see. Thank you so much for the great idea!

October 23, 2012 01:00 AM
Diana said...

Oh, mine were a disaster. I followed a different muffin and different frosting recipe…. the chocolate muffin was lovely and gooey, but the frosting came out more yellowish. And I couldnt pipe a perfect circle mound, so the panda was all odd shaped. And then the colour of my chocolate chip wasn’t dark enough. BOO. Will try again later :D

October 25, 2012 10:21 AM
Kelsie said...

These are so dang cute! I can’t wait to make these for my birthday!

October 30, 2012 04:55 PM
Ingraid said...

So cute!! and so well explained, thank you :D
I will try to make them this week, but I think I’ll change the sugar that covers the frosting for coconut…

November 19, 2012 07:42 PM
Caroline said...

Did you need to use white colouring in the frosting or was the sanding sugar enough to make it white?

November 22, 2012 06:50 AM
Lester Lamoree said...

These look absolutely amazing, I can’t wait to try them. Thank you

December 8, 2012 09:46 PM
kewkew said...

These are just adorable. My girls want to make them right now (unfortunately we can’t, but we will make them soon I hope. Thanks for sharing, so creative.

December 9, 2012 10:54 AM
Anonymous said...

what is frosting?

December 20, 2012 04:16 PM
Mim said...

mini panda cupcakes

January 6, 2013 12:15 AM
Anonymous said...

Can you use any confetti sprinkles or do you have to use a specific size, like the jumbo confetti ones?

January 11, 2013 10:55 PM
Mary said...

I just tried this and it turned out well, but I used your icing recipe and it doesn’t look as white (a bit yellowish). Did you colour yours? Thanks so much for the idea!

January 17, 2013 10:22 PM
Le blog de Sarah said...

These looks absolutely scrummicous !!

January 21, 2013 03:40 AM
Melanie said...

Awwww these are so cute

January 23, 2013 10:33 AM
Cindi Richards said...

These are adorable! I am going to make them for my grandson’s 5th Kung Fu Panda party. Will regular granulated sugar look just as well, instead of the sanding sugar?

January 24, 2013 03:55 PM
Paula said...

OMG so cutee *-*

January 31, 2013 01:28 PM
Cute blog said...

I’m going to make them :D

January 31, 2013 01:29 PM
Wei said...

Hi i loooove pandas. They’re really cute, I try make them for my brothers, because I am rather new in the baking word I would like to ask you about the recipe is it 1 and 1/3 cup and how large should the cup be?

Thanks for the answer :)

February 2, 2013 08:53 AM
Nadine said...

What means sanding sugar in german? Can i get it here also?

February 10, 2013 05:49 AM
yemek tarifleri said...

looks easy and delicious. thanks for the recipe…

February 10, 2013 04:56 PM
Leanne said...

Oh they are gorgeous!

February 18, 2013 01:02 AM
Allison said...

Do these cupcakes need to be refrigerated after they are decorated? I am worried about the icing melting if I don’t and the chocolate getting a “bloom” if I do. I need to make them the night before.

February 22, 2013 01:21 PM
Larisa said...

That are soooooo cute!!!!

February 27, 2013 12:56 PM
Akiya said...

Omg!!!!!!!!!! I love how cute they are and they’re so easy to make it’s amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 1, 2013 10:43 AM
Luz said...

How many do those make

March 3, 2013 11:07 AM
Anna said...

It Was Awesome ^-^

March 11, 2013 05:18 AM
yemek tarifleri said...

tatl? tarifleri ve yemek tarifleri için te?ekkürler.

March 26, 2013 04:24 AM
Iana said...

I want to make these tonight, but I don’t know where to get white sanding sugar. Does anyone know if I can just use regular granulated sugar?

April 18, 2013 10:43 AM
Coryy said...

So for a regular sized cupcake can I still use the same sized chips? Or do they have to be like Hershey kiss size??

June 2, 2013 06:30 AM
luna said...

so cool making them for a bakeoff

June 22, 2013 09:13 AM
Clair said...

What is the white icing made off? Where. An I get sanding sugar or a similar substitute ? Thanks they look so cute!

June 27, 2013 07:41 AM
Bettina said...

They are sooo cute! I have to make them some day! :-)

August 22, 2013 06:38 AM
Sophie said...

Love them. SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 29, 2013 09:02 PM
Anonymous said...

Love them would like to meet you

September 2, 2013 09:42 PM
Amanda said...

So cute! Where do you buy white sanding sugar?

September 6, 2013 05:47 PM
Boe Ling said...

hi I got this from facebook (groupon singapore)
would like to check those measurement are in cups. How about in gm? Would you mind to share with me.
thank you in advance!

September 12, 2013 07:29 AM
Anonymous said...


September 15, 2013 09:02 AM
alexcellent said...

These cupcakes are awesome! So cute! I tried them and was very pleased with the results.

September 15, 2013 09:46 PM
autie said...

wow so easy to make made them for my friend for her birthday

September 20, 2013 10:36 PM
Daniela said...

Hi, i’m daniela from lima-peru, i made this recipe today and the cupcakes were delicious, thank you so much.

September 21, 2013 01:02 AM
Sarah said...

So Cute!!! Going to try to make them.

September 21, 2013 08:58 AM
gwen said...

I can’t find the white confetti circles. Does anyone know where to get them in the southeast?

September 21, 2013 10:48 AM
Carolina said...

This look awesome! :) With this recipe how many cupcakes did you get?

Thank you!

October 2, 2013 05:08 AM
Salam said...

Oh My God….they are so cute…it just that I am not sure I’ll be able to eat them up if Im making them. They are super cute

October 18, 2013 02:08 AM
loran said...

There ADORABLE!!!! they make me smile :)

October 23, 2013 01:02 PM
Evelynn said...

Omg! So adorable ;}

November 10, 2013 03:19 PM
amanda swindells said...

fab just fab xxx

December 12, 2013 04:28 PM
Anonymous said...


January 12, 2014 01:56 AM
Anonymous said...

outstanding . i do not have words for this

January 12, 2014 01:58 AM
Anonymous said...


January 12, 2014 01:58 AM
deanna said...

chck this out

January 31, 2014 02:42 PM
Anonymous said...

these are cool

February 13, 2014 08:41 PM
Debra Hoffer said...

would love to see more cupcake recipes, just love making cupcakes and having new ideas to decorate them, i love your site,

March 21, 2014 11:28 AM
Alisson said...

These are so cute! My son’s favorite animals are pandas, I bet he would love these treats!

March 25, 2014 02:55 PM
Kelas Bakeri said...

wow. so cute, I would try these.

May 22, 2014 07:40 AM
Pearl said...

I made this once for a baby shower and they turned out great! And the best part was the flavor! I am now making them again for my daughter’s last day of school..

June 18, 2014 11:06 PM
Candace said...

I can’t wait to use this at my party

June 27, 2014 08:10 AM
Anonymous said...


September 13, 2014 03:36 PM
fathima said...

Must try this lovely little cuppies. Thanks for sharing.

October 6, 2014 08:19 PM
Valentine said...

These cupcakes are so beautiful! I’m an extreme fan of panda’s. I like to bake cakes and especially cupcakes. It’s so easy and everyone likes it. You gave me such a good idea to make new cupcakes. I definitely make these amazing cupcakes for my birthday. I just want to know where you got the marker with edible ink?

October 18, 2014 06:55 AM
dfghjk said...

how many does this recipe make?
also it should say plain flour

November 23, 2014 09:57 PM
Cintia said...

Hi, I’m follow your work with pleasure, I love it! As a blogger I know what it means to put effort and time to make a post, and I know it is very annoying to find people that copy without even asking, but we point out a post I found in a Spanish blog that completely yours playing a tutorial . This is the link

Cite the source, but I copied it all! You know what to do, I just wanted to point it out.

Forgive my very limited English, Google Traslate does miracles!

December 4, 2014 09:10 AM
Frida said...

Is it possible to make these cupcakes without eggs?? :)

January 17, 2015 01:36 AM
Chris said...

My daughter and I made these for a panda party. We did a few things differently and they came out *almost* as cute as Bakerella’s. I don’t have tips or a piping bag, so we used a zipper bag with the corner snipped off to pipe the frosting (which was canned white frosting – the whipped kind – actually pretty tasty!). Didn’t have white confetti for the eyes, or an edible ink pen, so we used a small plastic medicine-dosing syringe to pipe a dot/blob of white onto an inverted chip. To make the small dot on the white blob, we took a mini chocolate chip, snipped off the pointy little tip, turned it upside down and pressed it into the white icing.

The sanding sugar looked great — made the cupcakes look furry. I bought it at Michael’s and it was called Sparkling Sugar. It was kind of pricey – $6 for a jar (had a coupon of course). So next time I would think about trying granulated sugar, or possibly even powdered sugar, or sweetened coconut (YUM!).

The hardest part was getting the jimmies to stick. Also, the cupcakes become a little top-heavy, and they tipped over in the container I carried them in (but remained mostly intact). Next time, I would put them back into the mini-cupcake pan for safer transport. Thanks for the great recipe.

February 15, 2015 09:08 PM
Sam Dizon said...

Hi! How many little cupcakes per recipe?

February 22, 2015 08:41 AM
Diane Vierra said...

I would like to Pin this recipe on my Recipe page, but cannot. Is there an option for Pin?

March 4, 2015 04:20 AM
kelsi said...

Do you guys have a kid who thinks leperchans are real? What do I do!!!!

March 15, 2015 10:56 AM
desiree said...

these look delicious I want these someday. but I don’t know if I will eat them or not cause their so adorable. Jk I can . just need to find out how to get the recipe to make them. ;)

March 30, 2015 03:39 PM
desiree said...

has anyone ever tried apple dumplings made by pioneer woman their an awesome snack and dessert. which ever you want them to be all you have to do is Google them. I think the panda cupcakes will beat them though. plus I love Oreos do I think this will go quite well.

March 30, 2015 03:43 PM
desiree said...

panda cupcakes are soooooooooo cute my little twin cousins kylie and kindle will love them so much.

March 31, 2015 12:12 PM
Abby said...

OMG!!! I showed these cupcakes to my mom and sister and they both freaked out because these are so stinkin cute!!! I HAVE TO MAKE THESE SOMETIME!!!!!

April 13, 2015 12:35 PM
Kim said...

how many cupcakes will this recipe make?

May 31, 2015 08:48 PM
Rosette said...

Hi…love your panda cupcakes and want to make them for my 7 year old birthday. I can’t seem to find any white confetti candy…can you tell me where to find some? Thanks.


September 20, 2015 10:08 AM
Ryan said...

They’re adorable. Thanks for the great post, keep up the good work

September 23, 2015 09:31 AM
Valerie said...

Hi! Love this recipe. I actually tested it out with my family and filmed a kind of video review!

I ended up not finding all of the decorating ingredients, but we tried to do the best we could! :) Not nearly as pretty as yours, but it was so fun.

October 11, 2015 01:53 PM
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