Pawsome Cupcakes (for humans only!)

Make and decorate adorable animal cupcakes with your kids to celebrate your pet adoption or hold a bake sale to raise funds to help animals in need.

What you’ll need:

  • your favorite cake recipe
  • cupcake pans and 24 paper cupcake liners
  • ingredients for Purrfect Chocolate Frosting (see recipe below)
  • ingredients for Pawsitively Delicious Decorator Icing (see recipe below)
  • jelly beans, chocolate chips, chocolate-covered raisins, mini-pretzels, vanilla or chocolate wafers (regular size and mini)
  • 2 decorating bags and #3 round tips


Make your favorite cake recipe and use it to bake 24 cupcakes. While cupcakes cool on a rack, mix up the icings.

Purrfect Chocolate Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 5–6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend butter and cocoa powder with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and continue to mix using low speed until frosting is smooth and creamy. If the frosting appears dry, add additional milk. If it seems too thin, add additional sugar.

Pawsitively Delicious Decorator Icing

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature

Blend butter and vegetable shortening with an electric mixer on low speed. Add vanilla, and then add sugar—one cup at a time—mixing well on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl frequently. Add milk and increase mixer speed to high, mixing until icing is light and velvety.

Place a quarter cup of each icing into a decorating bag and set aside. If your cupcakes are cool, ice them, using chocolate icing on half of the cupcakes, decorator icing on the remaining half. (You can also mix the two icings if you wish to create a lighter chocolate offering on some of the cupcakes.)

Let kids use candies, cookies, and pretzels to create animal faces on the iced cakes. Cut wafer cookies in half and in quarters for dog and cat ears. A pretzel and a mini wafer cookie stuck together with icing can make a dog snout. Jelly beans make cute noses. Try different candies for a variety of eyes. Pipe icing for whiskers and to add contrast to snouts and ears.

What pet can your child make? Encourage kids to create cupcakes with other favorite animal faces!