How to Make Succulent Cupcakes

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These stunning cupcakes are inspired by the latest succulent cake craze. Beneath the rose scented buttercream succulent flowers, are twelve delicious dark chocolate cupcakes just waiting to be eaten. While these succulent cupcakes look difficult to create, the process could not be more simpler. Learn how by following the step-by-step tutorial below!

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Things You'll Need

  • 7.8 ounces / 220 grams all-purpose flour

  • 10.5 ounces / 300 grams granulated sugar

  • 3.5 ounces / 100 grams cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 6.4 ounces / 180 milliliters whole milk

  • 5.7 ounces / 160 grams vegetable oil

  • 6.7 ounces / 190 milliliters brewed coffee

  • 8 ounces / 226 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon rose water

  • food dye: e.g. pink, green, purple, blue

  • 12 cupcake liners

  • 4 piping bags

  • piping tips: e.g. rose tip, petal tip, leaf tip, scallop tip

Step 1: Make the cupcakes

Pre-heat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit / 180 Celsius. Line a 12 cupcake tin with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the eggs, milk, oil and coffee. Whisk until smooth and combined.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Divide the mixture between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them no more than two-thirds full.

Bake, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cupcakes have risen and a skewer inserted into the middles comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before placing the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely. Then, use a serrated knife to level off the tops until the cupcakes are evenly flat. Place the cupcakes into a medium rimmed baking tray. Set aside.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Step 2: Make the buttercream

Place the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Beat, on medium-speed, until very smooth and fluffy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add in the cream and rose water. Beat until loose and combined, two more minutes.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Divide the buttercream into separate bowls, then, use a few drops of food dye to color as desired. We colored our buttercream various shades of green, pink and purple, but, the choice is yours. Place the colored buttercream into piping bags fitted with a piping tip.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Step 3: Decorate

Begin to pipe the succulent flowers in various shapes and heights onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Once piped, place the succulent flowers into the refrigerator to chill until firm.


Piping succulents is all about trial and error. The more you continue to pipe, the easier it becomes to figure out what looks good and what doesn't. It's also good to refer to various visuals as you work. These images were used for piping inspiration: one, two, three. Make sure to keep a small remainder of buttercream to fix any mistakes that may occur during assembly.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Once the buttercream succulent flowers are firm, begin to assemble them onto the cupcakes. Gently remove a succulent flower from the parchment paper and place it on top of the cupcakes set in the baking tray. Repeat with the remaining succulent flowers until the tops of the cupcakes are coated in a patterned bed of buttercream succulents. Use the buttercream set aside above to pipe and fill any gaps.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho

Set the tray in the refrigerator to firm before serving, about 15 minutes.

Step 4: Serve

Serve the succulent cupcakes. They are best eaten on the day of making but will keep stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Image Credit: Thalia Ho
Image Credit: Thalia Ho