Mermaid Cupcakes


These mermaid cupcakes are as tasty as they are cute. Tender vanilla cake is topped with aqua-colored buttercream frosting and decorated to look like a mermaid diving into the sea. They're delicious and so much fun!

Closeup shot of mermaid cupakes on table

Growing up, my mom often made cupcakes for parties and gatherings of all kinds. I always loved it when she made them because they were so delicious and so much fun. After all, what could be better than a hand-held cake?

At the age of 8, I thought nothing could be better than cupcakes, and even now as an adult with kids of my own, I still think they're tough to beat. That's why I find myself making them quite often.

Super Cute Mermaid Cupcakes

Just like regular cake, these cupcakes are rich, moist, and tender. It's a from-scratch recipe that uses simple ingredients to make a delicious final product. That tender cake is made even better with all the rich, sweet buttercream frosting that I pipe on top of it!

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • It only uses basic ingredients that are pantry staples. Most if not all of them are already in your kitchen.
  • It's an easy recipe that only takes a few steps.
  • These cupcakes are so pretty with their aqua buttercream and mermaid tale.
Closeup shot of mermaid tail cupcake.


All the ingredients used in this recipe are pantry staples. In fact, you probably have most of them in your kitchen right now. The only things you might have to buy are the sprinkles and the mermaid tails.

  • Basic cake ingredients: Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, eggs, and water are all you need for the cupcakes.
  • Simple buttercream ingredients: Butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and food coloring make the frosting.
  • Sprinkles and plastic mermaid tails: For the decorations.

You'll find the full list of ingredients along with exact quantities in the recipe card at the end of the post.

How to Make Mermaid Cupcakes

Making these cupcakes is incredibly easy. It uses a basic vanilla cake recipe and buttercream frosting. We'll take a look at the broad strokes here, but you can find the full instructions in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Overhead shot of individual cupake ingredients on table

1: Combine the dry ingredients.

Overhead shot of dry cupcake ingredients in bowl

2: Combine all wet ingredients except the water.

Overhead shot of wet cupcake ingredients in bowl

3: Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.

Overhead shot of wet and dry ingredients in bowl

4. Add the water to the mixed ingredients.

Water being poured into batter in bowl

5: Fill liners 2/3 full.

Overhead shot of cupcak tin filled with batter

6: Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

Overhead shot of baked cupcakes in cupcake tin

7: Mix the frosting ingredients until thick and creamy. Then, add food coloring.

Closeup shot of milk being poured into bowl of butter and powdered sugar

8. Frost the cupcakes, sprinkle with sprinkles, and add a mermaid tail to each.

Closeup shot of cupcakes frosted with blue buttercream
Closeup shot of decorated mermaid cupcakes

Substitutions and Variations

  • Boxed cake: You can use boxed cake mix for this recipe if you like.
  • Premade frosting: If you like, you can use premade frosting.
  • Your favorite cake mix: Use your favorite cupcake batter recipe.
  • Change the colors: Omit the mermaid tail and change the colors to make these perfect for any event or holiday.

If you like colorful sweets like these cupcakes, then take a look at this tie-dye vanilla roll cake.


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spoon or whisk
  • Cupcake tin
  • Cupcake liners
  • Frosting bag
Closeup shot of mermaid cupcake


Counter: Store these cupcakes in an air-tight container for up to 2 days at room temperature.

In the refrigerator: Refrigerate them for up to a week in an air-tight container.

In the freezer: Freeze them for up to 3 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.


  • Be sure your butter is fully softened when making the frosting or you'll end up with butter bits in the frosting.
  • Adjust frosting thickness by adding more milk if the frosting is too thick or more powdered sugar if it's too thin.
  • Be sure your cupcakes are fully cooled before frosting.
Closeup shot of mermaid cupcake cut in half


Are cupcakes different from cake?

Not at all. The only difference is the pan in which they're made.

Why doesn't buttercream have to be refrigerated immediately?

It uses a very small amount of butter and milk which is stabilized by the very large amount of powdered sugar.

How do you freeze cupcakes?

Open air freeze them until the frosting is hard. Then, wrap them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and store them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.

Closeup shot of mermaid cupcake.

More Cupcake Recipes You'll Love

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Mermaid Cupcakes

Mermaid Cupcakes

These mermaid cupcakes feature rich, tender vanilla cake, aqua buttercream frosting, and a mermaid tail for decoration. They're adorably good.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1⁄2 cup butter, softened 

  • 4 cups powdered sugar 

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • Aqua blue food coloring gel
  • Decorations:
  • Mermaid sprinkles
  • Plastic mermaid tails


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Prepare cupcake pans by lining them with cupcake liners.  Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, beat milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs together.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Beat again until smooth.
  6. Add water and beat again.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared cupcake pans, filing each liner ⅔ full.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  9. To prepare frosting, in a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar together. 
 Add 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla. Beat well.

  10. If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  11. Next, add food coloring gel until desired color is reached.  This will vary depending on the type of food gel you are using.
  12. Transfer frosting to a large ziplock bag and cut a small corner off.
  13. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake, adding sprinkles before the frosting hardens.
  14. Carefully place a mermaid tale on top of each cupcake.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 292Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 27mgSodium 216mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 0gSugar 38gProtein 3g

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