Alfresco dining

Seedling Cupcakes

Nothing is more likely to put Spring into your step than these seedling cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream and Oreo crumb soil. Read on for step by step instructions on how to make seedling cupcakes for a Spring teatime treat.

Cupcakes with fondant shoots in Oreo soil

Makes 12


Edible green modelling paste for the fondant seedlings


150g good quality dark chocolate

100g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

200g light brown sugar

2 large eggs

75g plain or vanilla yoghurt

175g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

240ml milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


340g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

120g cocoa powder

625g icing sugar

120ml milk

6 Oreo cookies


  1. You will need to make the seedlings at least 12 hours before. This allows the modelling paste to dry and harden. Knead the paste in your hands and then shape 12 little shoots out of it, making sure to leave enough stalk to insert them into the top of the cupcakes. Then leave them out to air-dry, preferably overnight.


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F (170C fan) and line a cupcake or muffin tin with cupcake cases or 12 silicon plant pot cases.
  2. Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or over a saucepan of boiling water. If using the microwave stir every 20 seconds to prevent burning. Set to one side to cool slightly.
  3. Cream the butter until pale and creamy with no lumps. Add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the eggs a little at a time and mix well. Then add the melted chocolate and yoghurt and beat together.
  5. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix gently until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and mix gently until all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Fill the cupcakes about three quarters of the way full to leave room for rising. Put in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.


  1. Cream the butter by hand or using a mixer until pale and creamy with no lumps.
  2. Add the cocoa, icing sugar, milk and butter and mix until fully combined.
  3. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitting with a large round nozzle and pipe a large blob of buttercream on top of each cupcake.
  4. Place the Oreo cookies into a heavy-duty plastic bag and beat with a rolling pin until they have completely turned into crumbs.
  5. Place the crumbs into a small bowl and gently dip the top of each cupcake into the crumbs.
  6. Ensure all the buttercream is completely covered with the “soil” and then place the fondant seedlings into the top of each cake.
Keep your cupcakes in an airtight container in a cool dry place to stay fresh for 3-4 days.

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