Friday, July 1, 2011

Turtle Cupcake Toppers

by Sweetopia

Recipe & How-To - How cute are these, you have to make them.

According to Wikipedia and American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), “…the day was created to help people protect and celebrate turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world… ATR is the founding sponsor of World Turtle Day and is certified by state and federal agencies as a nonprofit corporation to provide for the protection of all species of tortoise and turtle.”
How to Make Turtle Toppers:

You’ll need

Royal Icing Recipe and Food Gel Colorings
Piping Tips #2 and #3
Piping Bag
Parchment Paper or Acetate/Transparency Sheet
Black Food Color Pen



Step 1: Using a #3 tip, pipe a circle of green royal icing on slightly greased acetate paper.
Step 2: Using a #3 tip, immediately fill in the center with brown icing.
Step 3: Gently shake the acetate paper on the table so that the icing smoothes over.
Step 4: Wet-on-wet technique – Using a #2 tip, pipe the dots on the brown icing
Step 5: Immediately pipe the second layer of dots.
Step 6: Gently shake the acetate paper on the table so that the icing smoothes over.
Step 7: Using a #2 tip, add the head, legs and tail
Step 8: Let the icing dry for 24 hours and add two dots as eyes, using a black food color marker.
The second turtle kind of happened while I was playing around with the icing. Here’s how you do it:
The best thing to do is try it out and the key element to the instructions in the photo above, is that you take the piece of acetate paper, slide it under the edge of the circle of royal icing (the turtle shell), and then move the acetate paper as if you’re about to scoop up or scrape off the icing; it makes the circle curl and create the shape of a domed turtle shell.

So now on to the cupcakes themselves:

When you bite into this cupcake, you’ll find a chocolate turtle surprise!
*Note: It may look like the batter around the turtle isn’t fully baked but the tester, came out clean!

Besides the recipes, you’ll need

  • Piping Bag
  • Cupcake Liners
  • Ateco Pastry Tip #829 (or called #9)

Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes Recipe

For a printable version of the recipe, click here.
Yield – Makes approximately 24-28 cupcakes


  • ¼ pound (4 ounces) of unsalted (room temperature) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 9 fluid ounces of your favourite chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • *24-28 chocolate Turtles
*You can buy the name-brand Turtles, but bulk food stores usually carry them as well.  If you can’t find them, substitute some chocolate melts, a few pecans and a caramel square.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C.  Line your muffin tin with liners.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs, chocolate syrup, milk and vanilla.  Add the flour and mix until just combined.
  3. Scoop the batter into your cupcake liners with a spoon or ice cream scoop.
  4. Bake for 26 minutes or until the center of the cupcake has just set. (I insert a barbeque skewer to check).
  5. Take out the cupcakes, make a little hole in the center with a knife and insert a Turtle chocolate as far as the cupcake allows.
  6. Bake for another 4 minutes.
  7. Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly in the pan and then top with chocolate icing and *optional toppings.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

For a printable version of the recipe, click here.


  • 24 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cups 35% cream
  • 1 tablespoon clear corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces unsalted (room temperature) butter
  • 16 ounces (1 lb) icing sugar


  1. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate and cream together.  (Make your own version by placing a glass or stainless steel bowl on top of a pot with simmering water).   Stir occasionally until the chips are melted.
  2. Off the heat, stir in the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture, softened butter and icing sugar on medium speed for a few minutes, until it has thickened.

*Optional toppings – Caramel sauce, melted milk chocolate and small pieces of Turtles chocolates. I cheated and used the caramel dipping sauce from the supermarket, which you can usually find by the apples. One tip about applying the caramel; I heated it up in the microwave for about a minute, then put it in a canvas piping bag fitted with a #2 tip, and piped it on. This prevents big globs of caramel from falling on your cupcake (although that could be kind of yummy!). Squeeze bottles work really well for this and melted chocolate as well.

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