Penguin Cup Cakes

We had Oscar’s family birthday party on the weekend.  This time I made the cake myself – penguin cupcakes.  I got the idea from  They were quite easy to make, the biggest problem I had was making the chocolate circles to replace the biscuits used in the original recipe.  I put the chocolate in the fridge to set then brought it back to room temperature to cut, most of my circles broke and I had to re-melt the chocolate and start again.  I’ve called this post Penguin Cup Cakes after the original recipe, but they look more like owls to me.  My mum thought they were beetles!  Oscar at least recognised them as birds.The cupcakes are a Bill Granger recipe from Bill’s Food.

Penguin Cup Cakes

Penguin Cup Cakes

Serves 16
Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 50 minutes
Allergy / Intolerance Artificial Addititives, Artificial Colours, Glutamates, Preservatives, Salicylates
Suitable for Amines Challenge, RPAH Elimination Diet - Amines Allowed, RPAH Elimination Diet – Very High Chemical
Meal type Sweet Things
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Halloween


For the cupcakes:

  • 250g unsalted butter (softened and chopped)
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup white self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain white flour
  • 185ml milk

For the icing:

  • 100g unsalted Butter (softened and chopped)
  • 3 cups pure icing sugar (sifted)
  • 60ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate:

  • 375g cooking chocolate (dark or milk)
  • Dried fruit (cut into triangles for the beak)
  • Colour-free jubes (cut into triangles for the feet)
  • 50g Smarties (for the eyes)


1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line 2 regular sized muffin pans with cup cake cases.
2. Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and beat until well combined. Sift the flours together and fold in while adding the milk. Stir until almost smooth.
3. Divide the mixture evenly between the cup cake cases and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
4. For the chocolate cut-outs, melt the chocolate as per the instructions on the packet and spread onto a piece of tin foil in a rectangle approximately 25 x 37 cm.
5. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature, then use a 5.5cm diameter scone or biscuit cutter to cut out circles of chocolate, then cut each circle in half. You should be able to get 24 circles or 48 semi-circles, enough for 16 cakes. Store them in the fridge until you need them.
6. For the icing, place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy.
7. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until well combined.
8. To assemble the cakes, cut the tops off the cupcakes, to create a flat surface for the icing and decorations.
9. Spread the icing over the top of the cake (don't worry about how neat it is as most of the icing is hidden) then add the chocolate semi-circles for the head and wings.
10. Add the eyes (smarties), beak (paw paw) and feet (jubes), using a bit of icing to stick on the beak and eyes.
11. If making the day before, store the cup cakes in an airtight container in the fridge overnight, then take them out to come up to room temperature for a couple of hours.


Very High Amines, Low Salicylates (except for Smarties), Low Glutamates


The cupcakes are a Bill Granger recipe from Bill's Food.

Smarties are made with natural food colours, but these are high in salicylates.

I used dried paw paw(high amines) for the beaks, but any allowed dried fruit, such as pears, could be used.


I stored the cup cakes in an airtight container in the fridge overnight, then took them out to come up to room temperature for a couple of hours.

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