Buttercream Sunflower Cupcakes Recipe

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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You know what always brings a smile to everyone’s face at a party or get-together? Sunflowers, the ambassadors of happiness.

Sunflower cupcake

But here’s the thing: preparing food and flowers can be tiring, not to mention super pricey. So I put on my thinking cap and had a brilliant idea: why not combine them? And that’s how my awesome sunflower cupcake ideas came about! 

Why Everyone Loves Cupcakes Recipe With Sunflowers

Sunflower cupcake recipe
  • These little treats are basically edible rays of sunshine that brighten up any occasion — what with the adorable flower design, vibrant yellow shades, and all that jazz. They’re perfect for birthdays, spring picnics, baby showers, or just to cheer up someone you love dearly.
  • Most sunflower cupcakes start with a classic vanilla or lemon base, our classic crowd-pleasers. And let’s not forget about the frosting! You can go with traditional buttercream in vanilla or lemon or even kick it up a notch with some chocolate.
  • Add some fruity jams or a zesty lemon curd if you feel extra. Oh, and who says sunflowers have to stick to yellow? Your cake, your canvas. Feel free to get wild with all the rainbow colors! 
  • The best part? Whipping them up isn’t rocket science. These babies are beginner-friendly, so whether you’re a baking pro or just starting out, it doesn’t matter at all. Just dive in and have a blast! 

How To Make Simple Sunflower Cupcakes

Before we get into all the sunflower frosting fun, let’s make sure you’ve already got a batch of 24 unfrosted cupcakes on hand. Use any cake recipe you like; there are hundreds of options on my blog, so take your pick!

But here’s my two cents: since the entire frosting will steal the show anyway, you should go for a nice, easy cake recipe that doesn’t take too much time, like lemon or apple pie cupcakes

Step 1.

Grab a mixer (it doesn’t matter whether it’s standing or handheld), pop on the paddle attachment, then beat your butter until creamy and nice. Took me 2 minutes or so. 

Step 2.

Now, toss in 10 cups of confectioner’s sugar, some heavy cream, and a bit of vanilla extract while keeping the mixer on low. Then crank it up to higher speed and keep it going for a solid 3 minutes! 

Feel like your frosting is a tad too thick? Just add another 2 tablespoons of cream. And if it’s leaning on the sweeter side, a pinch of salt — I usually go for about ¼ teaspoon. 

Step 3. 

Let’s get our sunflower leaves ready! Scoop about 1 ½ cups of frosting into another bowl, then mix in some green coloring until you’ve nailed that perfect leafy shade. 

Add some orange and yellow food coloring to the rest of your frosting for the main event — the sunflower petals. Most of us are after this basic sunflower hue, but feel free to play with the shades however you like! 

Step 4. 

Sunflower cupcake piping bag

Grab a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip and load it with your yellow frosting. If you’ve got a spare leaf tip handy, fill another bag with the green frosting. 

Step 5.

Time to decorate!

Spread or pipe a frosting circle at the middle of each cupcake (mine usually ends up around 1.25 inches in diameter), then dunk them in chocolate sprinkles to give them a classic sunflower center look. 

Sunflower cupcake 1 2

Step 6.

Start from the cake’s outer edge and pipe those yellow petals around, all while lifting your piping tip upward. 

Got that first layer done? Great! Now, go ahead and pipe the second layer atop the first, a bit closer to the cake’s center. Finish off with a final layer of petals smack dab in the middle! 

Sunflower cupcake 3 4

If you spot any gaps, don’t sweat; just pipe in some extra petals to cover them up. And don’t forget to add a couple of green leaves around the edges to really bring your sunflowers to life!

Sunflower cupcake 5 6

Step 7.

Now that your summer cupcakes are all dolled up, let’s pop them in the fridge for a couple of hours. Spending time in the fridge helps them keep their petal shapes pretty until it’s time to dig in. 

How To make Sunflower cupcake


1. I sometimes use two shades of yellow for the petals for an extra realistic vibe. Pipe a darker yellow ring on the outside and fill the center with a lighter shade. Boom! That’s how you add instant depth to the flower.

2. Tired of the same old chocolate center? Then add some texture to give it a more delightful crunch! Sprinkle on some chopped nuts, cocoa nibs, crushed Oreos, you name it. 

3. If you are looking for something more classy, try royal icing. Pipe tiny pollen marks in the center or delicate veins on the flower petals. Small details matter!

4. Airbrushing is also a fantastic idea. Grab a good airbrush, then create some subtle shading or a gradient effect on your sunflowers. 


Can I Create A Honeycomb Effect For My Flower Cupcakes?

Totally! Drizzle melted white chocolate in a zigzag pattern over the baked cupcakes before adding sunflower frosting. 

How Should I Present My Gorgeous Cupcakes?

I usually use a small flower pot or teacup as a base and place a single cupcake inside. Or you can arrange your homemade cupcakes on a platter or cake stand to resemble a field of sunflowers. It’s all up to you! 

Good luck with your adorable sunflower cupcakes! Follow me for more fun food ideas.

Discover More Unique Cupcake Recipes:

Sunflower cupcake

Sunflower Cupcakes

Sunflower cupcakes, the cutest little treats! These babies are decorated to look like cheerful sunflowers, bringing joy and a whole lot of flavor excitement to any party. They’re a breeze to whip up, too.
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Course: Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 24 Cupcakes
Calories: 345kcal


  • 2 cups (32 tbsp; 452g) softened, unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 cups 1200g confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup 120ml heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Salt (for taste test)
  • Orange, yellow, & green food coloring
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • 24 fully-cooled cupcakes


  • Start with a batch of 24 mini cupcakes using any recipe of your choice. (e.g., lemon or apple pie cupcakes)
  • Beat the butter until creamy, then add 10 cups of confectioner’s sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract, and mix for 3 minutes until smooth. Adjust consistency and sweetness with cream or salt if needed.
  • Separate frosting into two portions. Color one portion green for leaves and the other portion orange and yellow for sunflower petals.
  • Load yellow frosting into a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip and green frosting into another bag.
  • Decorate cupcakes by piping a frosting circle onto each, then dipping in chocolate sprinkles for the center.
  • Pipe yellow petals around the edge of each cupcake, layering closer to the center with each round. Fill in any gaps with extra petals and add green leaves around the edges.
  • Refrigerate your cute cupcakes for a couple of hours to set the frosting and maintain the petal shapes before serving.


  • To enhance realism, use two shades of yellow for the petals: pipe a darker outer ring and fill the center with a lighter shade.
  • You can add texture to chocolate centers for variety using sprinkled chopped nuts, cocoa nibs, or crushed mini Oreos. 
  • For a classy touch, use royal icing to add tiny pollen marks or delicate veins to flower petals.
  • If you want more visual depth, consider creating subtle shading or gradient effects with an airbrush.


Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 227mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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