Sunflower Cupcakes - Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Sunflower Toppers

Simple sunflower cupcakes idea with piped buttercream sunflowers and chocolate sprinkle centers. Great cupcake idea for weddings, birthdays and even baby showers!

Pretty buttercream sunflowers with chocolate centers on chocolate cupcakes.Sunflower Cupcakes Idea for Weddings, Baby Showers and Birthdays

I have been wanting to make these pretty floral cupcakes for a very long time. And so I finally decided to make them last weekend and since they turned out so well, I decided to do a tutorial on them as well.

I made these cupcakes along with a set of daisy cupcakes and since they too turned out pretty and nice, I’ve made a tutorial for them as well (click here for the tutorial).

With all the rage about piped buttercream flowers, I am sure these piped sunflower cupcakes tutorial will be useful. Instead of piping the flowers separately, freezing and then transferring them onto the cupcakes, I have decided to pipe the flowers directly onto my cupcakes. That way, no freezing was required, and the entire decorating could be completed pretty quickly too. 

I used buttercream for the flowers, and if you are not keen on working with buttercream, you can also make these in royal icing. Royal icing dries hard so if you use royal icing, you will get sweet crusted sunflowers for your cupcakes, which are not too bad, if you ask me.

Anyway, I have decided to use buttercream for this tutorial and below are the all the supplies you would need and step by step picture tutorials for the buttercream sunflower cupcakes. There also a video at the end of the page so don’t forget to watch that too!

Sunflower Cupcakes Tutorial

These were the main supplies I used to make the buttercream sunflower cupcakes:

  • Cupcakes – I used my egg less chocolate cake recipe for the cupcakes and baked them in medium sized white muffin cups. The cupcakes were slightly domed after baking, so I leveled them with a serrated knife for a flat top.
  • Buttercream – This was the main decorating medium. I used buttercream as a crumb coat as well as for the sunflower toppers on the cupcakes.
  • Palette knife – this was used to apply the green base icing for the cupcakes before piping the sunflowers on.
  • Chocolate sprinkles.

And below is my step by step guide on how to make sunflower cupcakes:

  • I started by getting my cupcakes ready. By getting them ready, I mean leveling them with a knife (if they are domed after baking). It is a lot easier to pipe the sunflowers on leveled cupcake surface rather than a domed one.
  • Next, I applied a thin coat of juniper green-tinted buttercream onto each cupcake. I did not apply much buttercream here, only to the extent that the entire cupcake surface is covered with a layer of the green icing and the surface is all level. 
  • And I chose to use green as the base coat so that should there be any tiny gaps visible between the piped sunflower petals later, the green base is what you will see and that sort of gives the flower a natural look, as if there is a stem or leaf underneath.

Apply a thin layer of buttercream on top of each cupcake

  • Once the base is done, I went on with the petals piping. For the petals, I used Wilton golden yellow food color to tint my buttercream to a pretty yellow hue, similar to that of the real sunflowers. 
  • For the petals piping, I used the leaf tip number 352. It is a leaf tip, but since each of the sunflower petals look similar to leaves, this tip is the best for piping the buttercream sunflowers. 
Use leaf tip number 352 to pipe the buttercream sunflower petalsSunflower Cupcake Piping Tip

  • Next, to guide me with perfectly round layers of petals, I used the help of 2 of my round cutters (or a drinking glass or bottle or anything that is round and with a diameter that is slightly smaller than the cupcakes) and gently pressed them onto my green frosted cupcake tops. For perfectly centered flowers on the cupcake, I made sure that I placed the cutters as centered as possible on the cupcake. 

Place the larger of the two round cutters on the cupcake, right in the center.
Gently press and lift the cutter to leave a circle mark on the cupcake
  • The 2 cutters I used are of different sizes in diameter. The purpose is to create 2 layers of round marks on the cupcakes top to guide the piping of the 2 layers of petals of the flowers. Again, if you don’t have a cutter, you can use a glass or bottle for this purpose. 
This is how the cupcake top looked like after the markings

  • The leaf tip number 352 is in the shape of an inverted “v”. Though it may seem natural to hold the piping bag with the flat side of the tip facing you, remember that for this tip, it is the narrow side that should be facing you, meaning you should not be seeing the inverted ‘v’ shape as you are piping the petals.
  • I started piping with one petal. I gently squeezed my piping bag and released as I pulled my tip away from the cupcake. Watch my video below for a better demonstration on how it is done.
Piping the first petal with tip number 352

  • This was how the first petal looked like.

The first petal piped on the cupcake

  • I continued piping the petals, one by one, using the first marked circle as the guide for placing my piping tip before piping out each of the petals.
  • Once the outer layer of petals were completed, I moved to the next layer of petals. 
The completed first layer of sunflower petals in buttercream

  • I piped the petals one by one until the full circle was completed. 
Pipe another layer of petals on the cupcake
Completed piping of sunflower petals on cupcake

  • Next, using a small spoon, I added chocolate sprinkles in the center of each cupcake. When doing this, I made sure to keep the sprinkles in the center and not drop any of them on the petals. And I also made sure that the sprinkles are sufficiently added such that none of the green icing at the base was visible. To hold the sprinkles in place, I pressed them lightly onto the cupcakes with the back of a spoon.
  • Another option for the sunflower centers is to use cookies. Simply place an Oreo cookie in the center instead of the chocolate sprinkles (if you are going to use Oreo as the flower center, make sure the diameter of the flower center matches the diameter of the cookies or you will end up with the green base icing visible after piping the petals).
Carefully place the chocolate sprinkles in the center of each buttercream sunflower

And that’s that. My super simple and super pretty buttercream sunflower cupcakes are complete.

Pretty right?

Completed buttercream sunflower on a chocolate cupcakePretty sunflower cupcakes with buttercream petals and chocolate sprinkle centers.

Here is the video of the tutorial above:

Hope you find this useful. 

Happy Decorating :)

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Learn how to make sunflower cupcakes for weddings, birthday and even baby showers with this easy tutorial.

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