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

Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated 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 whole milk
  • 2/3 cup hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Fill mini cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together with a wire whisk.
  4. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix until combined.
  5. Add hot water and mix. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
  6. 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



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320 comments on “Easy Little Pandas”

  1. these are soooooo cute cant wait to do them for my daughters 11 birthday!!! YAY

  2. I love these cupcakes. Even though I proffesionally bake these are just so easy and adorable. I give a decorating class and I will be teaching these cupcakes. I will be adding another decorating skill and will be filling the cupcakes with some icing. Thank you so much for the awesome idea!!!:)

  3. hi! they are so adorable! hmmm, anyway, may i know the size of your cupcake liner? how many oz is it? thanks!

  4. Love this! What size of confetti sprinkles are these? They look bigger than the normal ones I see in my local grocery stores.

  5. Hi ! They look perfect in the pictures, I just finished doing 30 of them,  for a baby bday party tomorrow. But the cake became pretty dry and kind of hard in the outside, I followed carefully al the instructions, the only and single thing I changed was the sugar, I used a replacement for sugar because this is a baby bday (1 year old) and her mom wants her to eat the cupcakes without eating too much sugar. Is it normal that they became kinda hard ? I tasted one and they taste okay the inside is not hard it’s just the outside, but I’m kinda disappointed ? maybe I did something wrong but I can’t find what as I followed step by step with a lot of attention…

  6. Where do you get the white confetti for the eyes?

  7. I love these sweet cupcakes

  8. Do you think regular sugar could be used in place of the sanding sugar?

  9. What size is the muffin pan

  10. These are awesome! How many does the recipe make? I’m thinking of doing this for a birthday but I have to make a gluten/dairy/nut free batch so I’d like to know how much I’m working with.

  11. What do you use for the ears?

  12. What do you use for the ears?

  13. Wow amazing talent yar by seeing this one animal will come in our mind that pandas they will so cute like that these cakes are also co cute looking and yummy

  14. Thank you for the inspiration. I made these for my son’s birthday, and they turned out great. Tip for anyone else who’s going to try these: Using tweezers to place the confetti and sprinkles made the small pieces easier to place. 

  15. The recipe yield 24 mini cupcakes and 8 normal size cupcakes.
    I baked them on Monday,  left them in the basement (a real cold one). I decorated them (frosting and all) today (Wednesday). They were real good. It was a hit with kids and adults.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.  I made them for my son’s birthday (today – Panda theme). The kids loved them. They look so cool! I use the frosting you suggested and used sparkling sugar. I wanted to send you a picture but I am not sure how. 
    Thanks again & happy holiday. 

  17. How long do they last and do i have to store them in the fridge?

  18. Ahh these are the cutest! We will have to give these a try as they look too delicious.

  19. CUTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. How many does it make we are doing it for cupcake wars in our school??

  21. How many cupcakes does this yield?

  22. How many mini cupcakes does it make? So cute!

  23. How many cupcakes will one batch make? I’m using this for a gender reveal partyy

  24. How many do these make?

  25. Thanks for the idea!! I have a coworker who’s nickname is Panda so I’m going to make these for her birthday tomorrow! Super cute.

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.


  29. how many cupcakes will this recipe make?

  30. 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!!!!!

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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. ;)

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

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

  36. Hi! How many little cupcakes per recipe?

  37. 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.

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

  39. 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!

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

  41. 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?

  42. Must try this lovely little cuppies. Thanks for sharing.

  43. I can’t wait to use this at my party

  44. 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..

  45. wow. so cute, I would try these.

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

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

  48. these are cool

  49. chck this out

  50. thanks

  51. outstanding . i do not have words for this

  52. fab just fab xxx

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

  54. 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

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

    Thank you!

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

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

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

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

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

  61. 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!

  62. So cute! Where do you buy white sanding sugar?

  63. Love them would like to meet you

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

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

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

  67. so cool making them for a bakeoff

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

  69. 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?

  70. tatl? tarifleri ve yemek tarifleri için te?ekkürler.

  71. It Was Awesome ^-^

  72. How many do those make

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

  74. That are soooooo cute!!!!

  75. 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.

  76. Oh they are gorgeous!

  77. looks easy and delicious. thanks for the recipe…

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

  79. 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 :)

  80. I’m going to make them :D

  81. 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?

  82. Awwww these are so cute

  83. These looks absolutely scrummicous !!

  84. 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!

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

  86. mini panda cupcakes

  87. what is frosting?

  88. 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.

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

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

  91. 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…

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

  93. 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

  94. 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!

  95. what do you mean for “cup”??

  96. Per TAZZA cosa intendi??? :)

  97. 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.

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

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

  100. How would you make these with regular sized cupcakes?

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

  102. Love these. Cutest idea. Love it

  103. 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

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

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

  106. 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!!

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