Ladybug Cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago after posting my owl cupcakes, I received an email from a reader wondering if I had a recipe or method for decorating cupcakes to look like ladybugs.  Her daughter’s first birthday is coming up and the party is ladybug-themed.  Hello, Cupcake! has tons of fun and unique cupcake ideas, but ladybugs is not one of them.  I began writing back to her to tell her I did not know of a ladybug cupcake, but then immediately an idea popped into my head and all at once I knew how I would make them.  So, instead I wrote her back saying that I would give it a shot and see how she liked them.  Well Sara, here you go – I hope these are what you were looking for!

I had such a blast coming up with these on my own.  I did a lot of experimenting with different “materials” (cookies, candies, etc.) and methods of assembly to get exactly the look I was going for.  I took step-by-step pictures along the way since this is more of a method than a recipe.  Enjoy!

Ladybug Cupcakes
Supplies needed:
12 chocolate (or other flavor) full-size cupcakes
1 package Oreo Cakesters
Red candy melts (I used about 1/2 bag)
Black M&Ms
Canned vanilla frosting, half colored green and half left plain
Mini Oreo cookies
Black licorice

As always, I started with Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cupcakes.  They are just so simple to throw together and taste great every time.  (I didn’t show it in the picture, but I did end up leveling some of them.)

Separate one of the chocolate cookies from an Oreo Cakester and split it in half.  These will be the ladybug wings.  Do the same with the remaining half and discard the filling.  (I chose Oreo Cakesters because they are much easier to cut than regular Oreos.  They require a bit more care because they are softer, but I found them much easier to work with.  They also happen to be the perfect size for fitting on top of the cupcakes.)

Repeat this process until you have 12 sets of wings.

Melt red candy melts in the top of a double boiler.  

Carefully dip the top side of each cookie half into the melted red candy to coat evenly.  I found the best method for handling this step was to place the cookie half face down in the red candy melts, then gently remove it using two forks (one to tip it out of the candy, one to hold it) so that as little candy melt gets onto the bottom side of the cookie as possible.  Gently shake the fork holding the cookie half to remove excess candy, if necessary.  Transfer to a work surface and top with black M&Ms.  (I tried many different candies for the ladybug spots including mini M&Ms, chocolate chips, and jelly beans, but ultimately chose regular black M&Ms for size and color.)  Allow the candy to set completely before proceeding.  

(If there are little jagged bits of hardened candy sticking out around the edges, it is okay because they are mostly surrounded by frosting.  If they really bother you though, just trim them off with a small paring knife.)

Using a plastic bag with the corner cut off, pipe two large blobs of plain frosting onto a cupcake.  This will be used to “glue” the wings on.

Place the wings on the cupcake, all the way to one side of the cupcake so that there will be room for the head.  Squeeze another blog of frosting in front of the wings, where the head will be.

Before placing the head on the cupcake, cut two short pieces of black licorice and stick them in between the cookie pieces of the mini Oreo to look like antennae.  (I could not find regular black licorice so I had to make due by cutting small pieces of black Twizzlers.)  Once the head and antennae are assembled, place the head on in front of the wings.

(Note: I think Junior Mints would also be perfect for the heads, but they would not hold the antennae as easily as the mini Oreos do so that is why I ended up choosing to use the cookies.)

Using another plastic bag with the corner cut off and filled with the green frosting, pipe small blobs of frosting around the front of each ladybug to look like grass. 

And that’s it!  I was actually surprised at how simple these were.  Definitely less involved than some of the other cupcakes I have made.  

My niece certainly seemed to enjoy them! 

Source: Annie’s Eats original

53 Responses

  1. those are adorable! you did such a wonderful job, I am so bad at frosting, let alone decorating.

  2. These are absolutely adorable!!! You are so sweet to go to this length for a reader! LOVE these!

  3. These look great! Nice work.

  4. Annie, once again you blow my mind with your creativity!! BEAUTIFUL job on this babies!!!

  5. Those are absolutely adorable! So creative-great job!!

  6. You have outdone yourself!! Those are amazingly adorable!

  7. They look adorable. What a great idea!!!

  8. these are the most creative little treats! Great work!!!

  9. Brilliant and adorable.

    How long did it take for the red candy melt to set?

    • Hi Rookie Cookie,
      I don’t remember exactly but I would say it was about an hour or maybe a little less.
      🙂 Annie

  10. Wow, they are brilliant and so creative.

  11. Nice work Annie – they are super cute! You’re so creative! And, your niece is adorable!

  12. Very cute!

  13. annie, holy are amazing and so talented…

  14. Great job! These look cute!

  15. Wow. You are a genius. These look utterly adorable.

  16. precious and creative! my nickname is bug so i love these!

  17. Aww, so cute! I’ll be linking to these.

  18. awwww so cute! Love what you did with the cookies.

  19. Great job Annie – they look great!

  20. These are TOO CUTE! I made a ladybug cake for my god daughter’s 3rd birthday, a month ago, I wish I would have made these instead …. adorable!

  21. THOSE ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. I LOVE ladybugs, these are TOO cute!

  23. Too Stinkin Cute!! Adorable !!

  24. Those look too cute to eat!

  25. Wow! You did an awesome job! Makes me want to have kids so that I can make these for them haha. Nah. j/k. I’m fine without kids haha.

  26. Very creative Annie. They look awesome.

  27. Wow! Great work! You’re really creative..and thanks for the pictures and step by step procedure =)

  28. Wow!! Fabulous job!!!

  29. First let me how cute these are. I have a couple of questions Annie. What are Red Candy Melts? I can’t find anywhere, is there something else like Almond bark and just die it red to use? Also where did you find just black M&Ms?

    Thanks, Jessica

    • Hi Jessica!
      Different colored candy melts are available at craft stores that carry Wilton products, such as Michael’s or Joann’s. I also found the all black package of M&Ms at Michael’s, but specialty candy shops also often carry them. Depending on how soon you need them, you can definitely order them online as well.
      I hope that helps!
      🙂 Annie

  30. I’m going to attempt to make these for my daughters 1st birthday this weekend!!! Wish me luck. 🙂

  31. Were these mini m&m’s? I found regular sized ones at Party City so thats where I will go if its the regular sized ones. I checked Michaels and they didn’t have any! Thanks so much for your creativity and williness to share!

    • Hi Nicole,
      I just used regular sized M&Ms. I tried some with minis, but I preferred the look of the larger ones. Good luck, I hope you enjoy them!
      🙂 Annie

  32. Annie I love your website so sweet and calm. And your niece is totally adorable!
    Great job on these instructions for making the cupcakes 😉
    Eren Mckay

  33. Hi Annie!

    We’re throwing my daughter a Ladybug Party for her first Birthday this weekend, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to find your instructions on how to make these adorable little cakes! I’m so excited to make them!

    Thank you for your creativity and for sharing!

  34. I made these for my niece’s birthday and they were a hit!! They really weren’t hard to do at all. The only thing I found a little tricky was getting the red chocolate on the wings, but I think with practice I would be better. Thanks!!!

  35. I just finished making these…. THANK YOU!! I make cupcakes to every week for my daughter’s pre-school class to correspond with the letter of the week….. and this week the letter is L! Can’t wait to see what the kids think. I just used brown m&ms… and the green store bought frosting in the tube.

  36. I just searched tonight for cute ladybug cupcakes for my daughter’s 1st birthday bc she’s my little ladybug! Ha! Anyway, I found your ladybug cupcakes & not only are they adorable
    but seem rather easy to make. Cat wait to try them in a couple of days bc her party is on the 13th of feb. Thanks again & I will send more comments & pics of how mine come out.

  37. Thank you for posting these beautiful cupcakes. I can’t wait to make them for my daughter’s birthday. We’ll serve them with a side of dirt 🙂

  38. pretty sure i will be having these at my baby shower :] best idea so far

  39. Thank you so much. Your step by step instructions were perfect. I used shredded coconut (dyed green) for the grass instead and used white frosting as “the glue”. You are so creative, and most importantly it was very easy and so much fun to make!

  40. Thank you–these were a big hit with my 1st graders and kindergartners today. These are the first cupcakes I’ve ever decorated, and everyone who saw them was impressed! I found making the heads a little difficult–they kept breaking. Eventually I figured out a way to do it. Thank you so much!!

  41. They look so cute and wanted to make them for my daughter’s 1st bday party. I was wondering where you get black M&M’s and where you get red candy melts? I never heard of them. Thanks for your great ideas.

  42. Hi I was wondering if red frosting would work on the wings instead of the candy melts?

  43. I have to say these cupcakes are adorable. I have been searching the internet for a cute ladybug cupcake design. These are wonderful and I am going to try to attempt them for my daughters first birthday party next month. I really appreciate how detailed you were with how to make these it helps a novice like myself feel like decorating cupcakes is possible. 🙂 Thanks

  44. Hi Annie. I am having a ladybug party for my girls this weekend. Your ladybug cupcakes are sooo cute! I have looked all over the internet and these are by far the cutest and look easy to make. Where did you get the Hersheys Perfectly Chocolate Cupcake mix? Thanks. 🙂

  45. Hey Annie don’t know if you remember me or not. I was an intern when you were a third year medical student… Just wanted to let you know that I love your website and I’m getting ready to try some of your reciepes. Hope your residency is going well.

    • Audrey, of course I remember you! I think of you from time to time and wonder how you’re doing. Hope everything is going well!

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