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food

Lion Cupcakes

These adorable caramel-filled cupcakes decorated like lions are perfect for any themed birthday party.

Ingredients

  • Cupcake batter:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • Buttercream:
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • black food colouring
  • tan food colouring
  • brown food colouring
  • ½ cup dulce de leche caramel
  • 24 chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Bake the cakes: Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and eggs one a time, mixing with each addition. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the batter in 2 additions, alternating with the sour cream. Pour the batter into a lined muffin tin. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely.
  2. Make the buttercream: Beat the butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, then beat for 3-5 minutes, until fluffy. Dye 1 tbsp buttercream black. Divide the remaining buttercream in half and dye it brown and tan. Place the black buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a small, round piping tip. Place the brown buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a #133 grass piping tip. Place ¾ of the tan buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a medium, round piping tip. Place the remaining tan buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a #103 piping tip.
  3. To decorate: Use the base of a large piping tip to cut holes into the center of each cupcake. Place the dulce de leche into a piping bag fitted with a large, round piping tip. Pipe it into the center of each cupcake. Use the tan buttercream fitted with the medium, round piping tip to cover the entire surface of the cupcakes. Smooth the surface with a knife. Use the brown buttercream to pipe the mane. Use the same tan buttercream for the face to pipe two cheeks onto the center of the cupcakes. Use the tan buttercream with the #103 piping tip to pipe the ears. Stick 2 chocolate chips onto the face as the eyes. Pipe a tiny nose between the cheeks with the black buttercream.