Bring a little bit of ‘Under the Sea’ to your next celebration with these adorable Little Mermaid Cupcakes! Perfect for birthdays, baby showers, or any other special occasion. These cupcakes feature Ariel and her friend Minnie Mouse in all their colorful glory atop moist and delicious gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. With a few simple ingredients, you can create these enchanting treats that are sure to make a splash at your mermaid-themed party!
DROP those cupcake toppers you just got at Party City!
To celebrate Halle Bailey’s recent casting in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, these cupcakes are inspired by Ariel and her beautiful mermaid tail.
Using one of my favorite cupcake recipes, a delicious gluten-free vanilla cupcake is the base of these treats. Topped with luscious homemade buttercream, these cupcakes are a real showstopper.
I used a fun mermaid sprinkle mix and amazing fondant decorations to capture the whimsy of The Little Mermaid!
Note: For a list of ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the bottom of this post and save the recipe card!
When is the new Little Mermaid movie coming out?
It comes out on May 26, 2023!
This live-action take on the classic The Little Mermaid (1989) and features Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. Always curious about the world beyond her home, Ariel sets off on an adventure and embarks on a journey that will change her life forever.
You can get into the under-the-sea mood by baking these adorable Ariel cupcakes! They’re super simple to make and look so cute. These little treats are sure to delight both young and old alike, as they’re full of the wonderful flavors of the sea!
With a nod to Ariel, these Minnie-themed cupcakes are perfect for a movie release party or just an afternoon treat with the kiddos.
This recipe is perfect for anyone who is:
- Peanut & tree-nut free
How to make fondant ears and bows
To start making your Little Mermaid cupcakes, first, prepare your fondant accessories by following the instructions in the recipe card down below.
- Fondant (in green and purple)
- Bow silicone mat
- Circle fondant cutter
- Mermaid scale stencil
- Edible glitter dust (or spray)
- Powdered sugar
Make the mermaid scale ears
Start out by sprinkling some powdered sugar onto a cutting board and some on your hands.
Make the Minnie Mouse bows
Then, with the purple fondant, roll it into one large ball and pinch off 1 teaspoon size ball of fondant. Press it into the larger bow-size mold and then gently press it out. You should have 22 bows.
Note: Leave all of the fondant pieces out overnight so that they can harden and become easier to work with.
How to make vanilla frosting
Frosting… a way to a girl’s heart!
So I can go either way – if I’m in the mood, I’ll make my own frosting, but I am definitely not opposed to the sugary deliciousness of canned frosting.
For this recipe, I’ll show you how to make your own vanilla frosting but no shame if you just want to run to the store and pick up your fav!
These are the frosting ingredients:
- Sweet cream butter (unsalted)
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy whipping cream
- Pure vanilla extract (splurge- trust me!)
Whip up the white frosting
Mix together the butter, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla in a standing mixer on medium speed until well combined and smooth.
Set it to the side until the cupcakes are cool completely.
If you want to mix things up, consider adding some allergy-friendly food coloring to the frosting mixture. Try adding blue or a teal color for a pop of color!
How to make mermaid sprinkle mixture
So, I know you can go buy a mermaid or under-the-sea-themed sprinkles, but I wanted to make my own. That way, I can add all the colors I wanted!
For my sprinkles, I used 1 package (each) of:
- Lime green sprinkle mix
- Blue sprinkle mix
- Pearl sprinkles (in blue, green, and purple)
- Mermaid tail sprinkles
All you need to do is pour each bag into a small container and give them a toss. Try grabbing a container with a lid so you can store any leftovers you may have.
I will say that just because I made my own mermaid sprinkle mix doesn’t mean you have to! Feel free to buy one premixed and even in different colors!
How to bake gluten-free cupcakes
This is such a fun part of baking – I bet the kiddos would love to do it with you!
Now if I have the time (and energy) to make my cupcakes completely from scratch, I love to follow the gluten-free vanilla cupcake recipe from Gluten Free On A Shoestring. It’s so deliciously moist and fluffy and even better when topped with a creamy vanilla frosting.
But if I’m in a bit of a pinch for time, I love to use the cupcake mix from Krusteaz or Simple Mills. It is very similar to the recipe from Gluten Free On A Shoestring, and it takes up less of my prep time to make. Just follow the package directions.
It’s ultimately up to you! You can use whatever type of cupcake you like for your Princess Ariel party 🙂
Put together Ariel cupcakes
I want to make this an easy cupcake decorating idea – so I am going to break it down step by step!
Finish prepping the fondant pieces
- Using the scale stencil and edible glitter dust, lightly brush (or sprinkle) each of the green fondant circles to give them that mermaid scale effect.
Frost the cupcakes
- Pipe on a generous swirl of the buttercream frosting onto each cupcake.
- If you decide not to use a piping bag, use an icing spatula or butter knife to add spread a thick layer of frosting on the vanilla cupcake.
Add the mermaid sprinkles
- The best way to decorate the top of the cupcakes is to add the sprinkles to a plate and gently press the cupcakes into the sprinkles.
- If not, hold your hand over the cupcake and slowly pour the sprinkle mix over each cupcake until completely covered.
Decorate with fondant pieces
- After adding sprinkles, pipe a dollop of frosting into the middle of the cupcake.
- Carefully place a purple Minnie Mouse bow in the center of the frosting.
- Then, place two mermaid scale “ears” on the sides of the bow.
- The last final touch to these mermaid dinglehopper cupcakes is to pierce the cupcake with a tiny silver fork.
Serve the mermaid cupcakes while playing The Little Mermaid, and enjoy!
Here are the most common questions I get any time I share this Minnie-themed Little Mermaid cupcakes recipe. If you have any more questions, drop them for me in the comments below or DM me on Instagram!
What if I can’t find colored fondant?
No problem! You can always use a white fondant and color it yourself. For example, use a few drops of purple food coloring to make the bows!
Do I have to make vanilla cupcakes?
No! These Little Mermaid cupcakes can be made with any flavor cupcake you like. I bet they would be delicious if you used chocolate cupcakes!
Can I make these mermaid cupcakes ahead of time?
Yes, you sure can! These cupcakes will stay fresh for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container. Just make sure they’re completely cooled before storing them away.
Looking For Some More Disney Recipes? Try These!
- Mickey Gluten-Free Beignets (Vegan Recipe)
- Honey Bee ‘Winnie The Pooh’ Cupcakes
- Minnie Mouse Halloween Bundt Cake
- Mickey Mouse DoubleTree Cookies
- Mickey Mouse Donut Cookies