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Looking for a cute spring dessert? These Easy Chocolate Flower Cupcakes are simple, fun, and perfect for birthdays and showers! Learn how to make chocolate flowers from candy melts, and use them to create bright and cheerful flower cakes or cupcakes.
🌺 Chocolate flowers made from candy melts
I love the chocolate flower trend I’ve been seeing spring up all over the place. (Chocolate flowers…spring up…get it? GET IT?) I mean, fondant flowers are fun. Buttercream flowers are classic. But chocolate flowers feel like a fresh spin on floral desserts, and I am here for it!
Chocolate flowers can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be. I think I first saw them on The Cake Blog, designed by Erin Gardner. Since then, I’ve seen some versions, made by master chocolatiers, that are stunning, each petal glossy and precisely measured to within a millimeter of its life. I’ve seen other versions that are much more organic, consisting of a few painted leaves and maybe a squirt of frosting in the center. Neither approach is wrong, but for this project, we’re keeping things basic and making our flowers charmingly simple, so they’re perfect for beginners and experienced bakers alike!
🧾 What You’ll Need
Before we get to the how-to’s, let’s run through the ingredients you’ll need. Since “easy” is the watchword of the day, the cupcakes are a gussied-up box mix. You can, of course, use different flavors, or substitute your favorite cupcake recipe instead. Here’s what else you’ll need to know… (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Cake mix: I love the light, springy taste of lemon cupcakes, but feel free to swap in your favorite flavor of cake mix!
- Pudding mix: Adding lemon pudding mix to the cake mix makes for a beautifully moist and springy cupcake. Make sure you’re using INSTANT pudding mix instead of the cooked variety.
- Lemon extract: Pure lemon extract helps boost the lemon flavor.
- Melted butter: Swapping butter for oil in the cupcake batter yields a more lush and flavorful cupcake.
- Milk: Using milk instead of water is another cake mix upgrade. Milk produces a more tender cupcake. You can also use a 50/50 combination of milk and water if you prefer.
- Candy coating: although these are called “chocolate flowers,” my favorite way to make them is actually to use candy coating. It’s basically foolproof, comes in a variety of colors, and holds its shape well in higher temperatures. Some popular brands include Wilton Candy Melts, Merckens, and Sweet Tooth Fairy Meltables. You’ll want 5-6 different colors to recreate these cupcakes.
- Microwave-safe bowls: to melt each individual color of candy coating.
- Paintbrushes: Time to let out your inner artist! Use food-safe paintbrushes to create chocolate petals.
- Parchment paper:The petals are painted onto strips of parchment paper. Waxed paper can be used as a substitute.
- Piping bag: Piping is not a big focus of these cupcakes, but assembly will go faster if you use a piping bag to put the buttercream on the cupcakes.
- Grass cupcake wrappers: These are not a necessity, but since I always get questions about them, here’s where to find the pretty grass tulip cups that the cupcakes are baked in.
Here’s an overview of how to make chocolate flowers. You can get full, printable instructions in the recipe card down below.
Begin by gathering your melted candy coating, clean paintbrushes, and something concave to shape the petals as they dry. I used a rolling pin holder, but you could even cut a cardboard tube in half and use that! You can also let them dry straight, but I like the shape a little better when the petals curl inward.
Create curved chocolate petals
- Dip a paint brush in the melted candy coating, and begin painting petal shapes on a strip of parchment paper. The size will depend on what you want your final design to look like, but for cupcakes, 1.5-2″ is a good size to shoot for.
- Don’t worry about perfection–the petals look better when they’re more organic. If they show brush strokes or have ragged edges, all the better, because they’ll look more natural. You’ll want 7-8 petals per cupcake, and don’t forget to make a few extra in case of breakage!
- Once you’ve filled up a strip with petals, slide the parchment onto your cardboard tube or other concave surface, so they dry with a slight curve to them.
- Repeat with as many colors as you have!
Add a contrasting color on the bottom
- After they’ve dried in a slightly curled shape, you can brush a contrasting color around the bottom edge, coming 1/3-1/2 way up the petal.
- Repeat with all of the petals, then let them dry completely.
Frost the cupcakes
- Use a piping bag to pipe a low swirl of frosting on baked and cooled cupcakes. Once you have your base layer of frosting, pipe halfway around the outside edge to create a horseshoe shape. This gives your petals something to rest on and creates a beautiful flower shape.
- Start adding petals to the top of the cupcake, overlapping them slightly as you go.
Finish by decorating the cupcake’s center
- Once all of the chocolate petals are added, pipe a bit of frosting in the center of the flower.
- Add a sixlet, candy pearl, or other type of sprinkle to the middle as the perfect finishing touch!
The sky’s the limit when it comes to these pretty chocolate flowers! Here are a few ideas to play around with:
- Decorate a cake instead of cupcakes! Make larger petals and layer them around the top of a round layer cake to create one giant chocolate flower. Or, decorate a sheet cake with a number of different colored flowers to create a chocolate flower bouquet.
- Add additional chocolate decorations, like chocolate leaves or chocolate in the center of the cupcakes as well.
- Assemble decorated cupcakes into a cupcake bouquet, and give as a gift or use as a table centerpiece.
- Use real chocolate instead of candy coating. If you do this, you’ll want to temper the chocolate. Additionally, if you are using white chocolate and want to color it, be sure to use oil-based colors instead of water-based colors, otherwise the chocolate will seize.
💐 Flower desserts you’ll love
- Fondant Flower Cupcakes
- Chocolate Rose Cupcakes
- Spring in Bloom Cake
- Strawberry Swirl Bundt Cake
- Giant Rose Cake
Easy Chocolate Flower Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 lemon cake mix, (approx. 16 oz) can substitute other flavors if desired
- 1 lemon instant pudding mix , (approx 5 oz) can substitute vanilla
- 1 cup milk
- 6 oz melted butter, (3/4 cup)
- 4 whole eggs
- 1 tsp lemon extract
For the Frosting:
- 8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 16 oz powdered sugar, (4 cups)
- 6-8 TBSP milk
- ¼ tsp salt
For the Chocolate Flowers:
- 10 oz assorted colors candy coating, I used 2 oz each of pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow
- Sixlets and/or candy pearls
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Line 20 cupcake cavities with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Combine all the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, then scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl well. Divide the batter between the cupcake cavities, filling them about 2/3 full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, until golden around the edges and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before decorating.
To Make the Frosting:
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until creamy and light in color.
- Add the powdered sugar, 6 TBSP of milk, and salt, and mix well for 1-2 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too stiff for your liking, slowly stream in the remaining 2 TBSP milk, a bit at a time, until you get a texture you like.
To Make the Chocolate Flowers:
- Cut strips of parchment or waxed paper, approximately 2 inches high and 10-12 inches long. You’ll need 1 strip for each cupcake. You will also need something slightly concave to place the petals in while they dry. I used a rolling pin holder, but you can use a cardboard tube cut in half, baguette pans, a fondant flower former, or anything with a similar round shape. Finally, you will need a clean food-safe paintbrush.
- Melt each of the candy coatings in a separate bowl in the microwave. Stir until melted and smooth. Dip the paintbrush in the coating and brush a petal shape onto a strip of parchment, about 1.5 inches long and less than 1 inch wide. (Thinner is better, the petals will look more natural that way.) Try to have the bottom taper and the top fan out a bit. Go over the petal a second time if the layer of coating seems thin.
- Repeat this process until you’ve made about 9 petals. I used 7-8 petals per cupcake, but always like to have an extra in case of breakage. Place the parchment strip in your concave petal former and let them dry.
- Once dry, brush a second contrasting color onto the base of the petals. Repeat until you’ve made enough petals for all of your cupcakes.
- Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a coupler. Pipe a single swirl onto each cupcake, then pipe a horseshoe shape around one edge—this will form a ledge and help your flowers angle slightly to the side, instead of just straight up.
- Place the petals around the edge of the cupcake, overlapping them slightly and leaving a little blank space in the middle. Add a small star tip onto the piping bag, and pipe a star of frosting in the center of each cupcake. Place a Sixlet or sugar pearls onto the frosting.
- These cupcakes are best served within 1-2 days of assembly. Enjoy!
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
About Elizabeth LaBau
I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media: