The Little Mermaid Cupcakes (GF)

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!

little mermaid cupcakes with fondant minnie ears

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:

  • Gluten-free 
  • Wheat-free
  • Peanut & tree-nut free
  • Shellfish-free
  • Soy-free
dinglehopper cupcakes for mermaid themed party

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.

You’ll need:

Make the mermaid scale ears

Start out by sprinkling some powdered sugar onto a cutting board and some on your hands.

Working with the green fondant, roll it out till it’s about 1/4 inch thick, and use the circle fondant cutter to cut out dots. You should end up with 48 of them!

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!)

Now, I mixed my frosting in my Kitchen Aid Mixer but feel free to use a hand mixer if you have it on hand.

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.

Use a big spoon (or large cookie scooper), carefully spoon the prepped frosting into a disposable piping back with a large star tip.

Set it to the side until the cupcakes are cool completely.

Baking tip:

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!

adding vanilla buttercream to mermaid cupcake

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:

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!

adding mermaid sprinkles to ariel cupcake

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.
adding frosting and sprinkles to little mermaid cupcakes

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!

mermaid dinglehopper cupcakes

FAQs

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.

little mermaid cupcakes  with ariel cupcake toppers

Looking For Some More Disney Recipes? Try These!

✨ Check Out The Recipe Down Below 👇

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little mermaid cupcakes with ariel cupcake toppers

The Little Mermaid Cupcakes (GF)


  • Author: Vee
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 22 cupcakes
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

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!


Ingredients

Fondant Accessories:

Vanilla Buttercream:

  • Sweet cream butter (unsalted)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Pure vanilla extract (splurge- trust me!)

Mermaid Sprinkles:

Cupcakes:

Decor:


Instructions

Make fondant ears and bows

  • Start out by sprinkling some powdered sugar onto a cutting board and some on your hands.
  • Working with the green fondant, roll it out till it’s about 1/4 inch thick, and use the circle fondant cutter to cut out dots. You should end up with 48 of them!
  • 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.
  • Set aside.

Make vanilla buttercream

  • Mix together the butter, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla in a standing mixer on medium speed until well combined and smooth.

Mix mermaid sprinkles

  • Pour each bag of sprinkles into a small container and give them a toss.

Bake cupcakes

  • Follow your favorite gluten-free vanilla cupcake recipe and bake. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting. 

Put together Ariel cupcakes

  • 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.
  • Pipe on a generous swirl of the buttercream frosting onto each cupcake.
  • 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.
  • 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!

Notes

  • Leave all of the fondant pieces out overnight so that they can harden and become easier to work with.
  • 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.
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: little mermaid cupcakes, ariel cupcakes, under the sea cupcakes, mermaid cupcakes, mermaid dinglehopper cupcakes, dinglehopper cupcakes,

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Have a magical day!

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