Easy Mermaid Cupcakes (with Video)

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A fun dessert for a Mermaid Birthday Party, these Mermaid Cupcakes look like they were made in a bakery but are incredibly easy to make at home! 

Quick and easy Mermaid cupcakes perfect for a Mermaid Birthday party. The best homemade buttercream frosting, pretty mermaid sprinkles and a homemade candy tail

Mermaid Cupcake Recipe

Ever since I published How to Make a Mermaid Cake 4 years ago, I’ve been getting nonstop requests to do more mermaid recipes. We’ve made Mermaid Bark, A Mermaid Fondant Cake, Mermaid Pasta… just about anything I could think of to give a mermaid twist! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to make mermaid cupcakes!

These cupcakes are incredibly easy to make. All you need is a basic piping set like this one, a mermaid tail mold (we’ve also used ours to make mermaid tail soaps for a party favor), and a pretty sprinkle mix. You can buy the sprinkle mix pre-made, or just peruse the sprinkle section at a bulk store and mix and match colors that work for a mermaid theme. 

If you even make two cakes or cupcakes a year, I highly recommend purchasing a basic piping set like this one – you won’t believe how easy it is to pipe gorgeous decorations yourself using the right equipment!

(For just a bit more, this starter cake decorating set is a crazy good deal – basically everything you will ever need for cake or cupcake decorating is in here!)

There is also a Wilton Decorating Kit that has everything you need to make mermaid cupcakes (where was this when I was making mine?!)

You won't believe how incredibly simple it is to make these Magical Mermaid Cupcakes

And to make these mermaid cupcakes even easier, I had zero qualms about using a boxed cupcake mix. (Feel free to swap in your favorite from-scratch recipe for the cupcakes if you prefer.)

However, I feel very strongly about using homemade frosting. Homemade frosting covers a multitude of lazy mom sins, and transform boring, boxed cupcakes into bakery-quality desserts. This buttercream frosting recipe is incredibly easy and I always get tons of compliments on it. It is definitely worth the extra 3 minutes of effort.

You may want to make some of these cupcakes without sprinkles for children who don’t like the crunchy texture they add. (I usually even have a couple on hand without any frosting at all for those kids who just end up scraping off all of the frosting anyways.)

And just a quick note about those candy mermaid tail toppers: they take about 2-3 hours to set at room temperature, so I highly advise starting to make them the day before you plan to make the cupcakes. I’ve made the mermaid tails with both the big mold and the smaller one, and while the big one makes a big impression, the process goes a lot faster with the tiny ones and they are going to be way easier to transport. (The big ones you have to push down into the cupcake a bit or they topple over.)

More Recipes for a Mermaid Birthday Party:

Check out our quick recipe video to see just how easy it is to make these Mermaid Cupcakes, and then don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to grab your free printable recipe card!

 

How to make mermaid cupcakes - two-tone frosting, magical mermaid sprinkles, and a candy mermaid tail combine to make a gorgeous birthday party cupcake

Mermaid Cupcake Ingredients

For the cupcake frosting:

To decorate the mermaid cupcakes:

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: swap out the boxed cupcake directions for your favorite cupcake recipe.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

How gorgeous are these mermaid cupcakes? Plus, super simple and quick to make

How to Make Mermaid Cupcakes

To make the edible mermaid tails:

Start this process the day before as the edible mermaid tails take a while to set.

Place candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 35 seconds. Stir and reheat as needed.

Spoon the melted candy melts into the mermaid tail mold. Allow to set at room temperature for at least 2 hours before attempting to remove.

Store at room temperature until ready to use.

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 375F

Prepare the cupcake batter according to package directions, adding in the flavor extract, if desired, and portion into cupcake liners, about 1/3 cup of batter per liner.

Bake until the tops are set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Follow package directions.)

To make the frosting:

Combine the butter, powdered icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes.

Adjust the consistency of the frosting with cream or additional powdered icing sugar.

To decorate the mermaid cupcakes:

Divide out the frosting among 3 bowls. Dye each bowl a different color using the food dye: teal, pink and purple.

Scoop half of each bowl into it’s own piping bag fit with a star tip. You will have a piping bag with half of the pink frosting, and a bowl with half of the pink frosting. A piping bag with half of the purple frosting, etc.

Pour half of the sprinkles into a shallow bowl.

Use an offset spatula (or a spoon), to spread 2 Tablespoons of frosting onto each cupcake. Smooth the frosting down and then dip into the sprinkles, coating the frosting completely. Set aside.

Repeat with all cupcakes.

Using the piping bags, swirl a different color of frosting onto each cupcake – pink and teal, pink and purple, purple and teal.

To make the swirl effect, start in the middle of the cupcake, swirl your wrist to make a circle going towards the edge of the cupcake, and then swirl back to the centre to create a small domed effect. Flick your wrist away to stop the frosting.

Sprinkle a light amount of mermaid sprinkles over the swirled frosting and then insert a mermaid tail into each cupcake.

 

Pin this Easy Mermaid Cupcakes recipe:

A step-by-step tutorial for how to make these Magical Mermaid Cupcakes - two-tone buttercream frosting, pretty sprinkles, and easy homemade candy tails

Grab your free printable for our Mermaid Cupcakes recipe:

Yield: 18 cupcakes

Mermaid Cupcakes

Mermaid Cupcakes

A super simple mermaid cupcake recipe with candy mermaid tails is perfect for a Mermaid Birthday Party!

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box white or vanilla cake mix
  • PLUS ingredients called for on box
  • 1 Tablespoon flavor extract of choice (coconut, vanilla, etc.)

For the cupcake frosting:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons cream
  • Food dyes of choice (we used pink, teal and purple)

To decorate the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups candy melts, one color or equal amounts pink, teal and purple
  • Mermaid sprinkle mix

Instructions

To make the edible mermaid tails:

  1. Start this process the day before as the edible mermaid tails take a while to set.
  2. Place candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 35 seconds. Stir and reheat as needed.
  3. Spoon the melted candy melts into the mermaid tail mold. Allow to set at room temperature for at least 2 hours before attempting to remove.
  4. Store at room temperature until ready to use.

To make the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Prepare the cupcake batter according to package directions, adding in the flavor extract, if desired, and portion into cupcake liners, about 1/3 cup of batter per liner.
  3. Bake until the tops are set and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (Follow package directions.)

To make the frosting:

  1. Combine the butter, powdered icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes.
  2. Adjust the consistency of the frosting with cream or additional powdered icing sugar.

To decorate the mermaid cupcakes:

  1. Divide out the frosting among 3 bowls. Dye each bowl a different color using the food dye: teal, pink and purple.
  2. Scoop half of each bowl into it’s own piping bag fit with a star tip. You will have a piping bag with half of the pink frosting, and a bowl with half of the pink frosting. A piping bag with half of the purple frosting, etc.
  3. Pour half of the sprinkles into a shallow bowl.
  4. Use an offset spatula (or a spoon), to spread 2 Tablespoons of frosting onto each cupcake. Smooth the frosting down and then dip into the sprinkles, coating the frosting completely. Set aside.
  5. Repeat with all cupcakes.
  6. Using the piping bags, swirl a different color of frosting onto each cupcake - pink and teal, pink and purple, purple and teal. 
  7. To make the swirl effect, start in the middle of the cupcake, swirl your wrist to make a circle going towards the edge of the cupcake, and then swirl back to the centre to create a small domed effect. Flick your wrist away to stop the frosting.
  8. Sprinkle a light amount of mermaid sprinkles over the swirled frosting and then insert a mermaid tail into each cupcake.

Notes

And just a quick note about those candy mermaid tail toppers: they take about 2-3 hours to set at room temperature, so I highly advise starting to make them the day before you plan to make the cupcakes. I've made the mermaid tails with both the big mold and the smaller one, and while the big one makes a big impression, the process goes a lot faster with the tiny ones and they are going to be way easier to transport. (The big ones you have to push down into the cupcake a bit or they topple over.)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 594Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 122gFiber: 0gSugar: 100gProtein: 1g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

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These mermaid cupcakes are perfect for a Mermaid Birthday Party or Mermaid Movie Night, or just a special treat for your own little mermaid!

For more fun mermaid crafts to include at your Mermaid Birthday Party, check out:

Check out our other Delicious Cupcake Recipes:

Cupcake Recipes

A step-by-step tutorial for how to make these Magical Mermaid Cupcakes - two-tone buttercream frosting, pretty sprinkles, and easy homemade candy tails - perfect for a mermaid party  These Mermaid Cupcakes are perfect for a Mermaid Birthday Party or Mermaid Movie Night

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Dedra,
      They are actually the inner liners from Reynold’s Foil Cupcake liners. They have two liners – the printed outside and the foil liner inside, so I just separated them and saved the printed liners for another recipe.

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