Mum Cupcakes

Soft and fluffy chocolate cupcakes are topped with a delicate buttercream chrysanthemum. These Mum Cupcakes make a perfect Spring treat or give these mums to Mom for a Mother’s Day!

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Soft, moist chocolate cupcakes are adorned with a subtle two-toned pink Chrysanthemum flower, made from smooth vanilla buttercream frosting. These Mum Cupcakes are the perfect dessert to treat the Mom in your life for Mother’s Day. Mums for Mom!

One of my all-time favorite decorating techniques is a gorgeous buttercream flower. I piped mum cupcakes at my very first job in a grocery store bakery and instantly fell in love with how delicate and beautiful they are. It takes some practice to get the angle and pressure just right if you aren’t familiar with piping buttercream. But let me tell you, they are worth the practice and everyone you share with will love them. Whether you are putting these on a cookie, cake, or cupcakes these are always a stunning crowd-pleaser! 

How to Pipe a Buttercream Mum

  1. Start with a 12-inch piping bag fitted with a #80 mum piping tip. I like to use a coupler which makes it easy to change the tips if you want to swap the tip for another size but the coupler isn’t necessary. Add a stripe of dark pink buttercream to the bag then fill the remaining amount (about ⅔ full) with light pink frosting. This will give your petals a two-toned look. Fit another piping bag with a #352 leaf piping tip and fill ⅔ full with green frosting.
  1. Use the piping bag with the mum tip and pipe a ring of petals around the outer edge of the cupcake, holding the piping bag at a 45° angle. Apply steady, even pressure to the piping bag and release as you finish the petal. Each petal should be positioned right next to where the last one is.
  1. Pipe another ring of petals, slightly overlapping the previous ring.
  1. Once you have about 2 or 3 rings of petals, shift your tip closer to a 90° angle. Increase the angle closer to 90° as you continue piping rings until the center is filled with petals.
  1. Finish the cupcake with a few leaves. Use the piping bag with the leaf tip and pipe leaves around the outer edge of the cupcakes, tucking them under the mum petals.

Tips for the Best Buttercream

  • Press out the air bubbles. You may notice that the buttercream frosting has an airy or bubbly texture. This is completely normal and just means air has been whipped into the frosting. This isn’t always ideal though, especially when you want a super smooth consistency for piping. After the frosting has been mixed, simply use a rubber spatula to press the frosting against the bowl to help push out the air bubbles. I also have found that once you mix the frosting by hand to incorporate food coloring, it helps press out the air bubbles and naturally becomes the perfect consistency.

  • Use gel food coloring. Americolor is my go-to brand for gel food coloring. Make sure not to use liquid food coloring or it will loosen your buttercream, making it difficult for the mum petals to hold their shape. For these mum petals, I used Americolor “dusty rose” and for the leaves, Americolor “laurel”.

  • Sift the powdered sugar. I typically avoid sifting powdered sugar at all costs but for piping buttercream flowers, I do recommend it. Use a fine mesh sieve to sift the powdered sugar before adding it to the butter to avoid any tiny lumps clogging up your piping tips.

  • Don’t let the buttercream get too warm. As you are piping the buttercream, the frosting will continually get softer from the warmth of your hand. If your hands tend to run hot (like mine), this may make your buttercream too soft and your petals will start to droop as you pipe them. I recommend letting the piping bag sit for 5-10 minutes when you notice that the buttercream is getting too soft, to allow the buttercream to cool off. You could also pop the piping bag in the fridge for a few minutes. Just don’t let it chill in the fridge for too long, as the butter will start to solidify. 

Mum Cupcake FAQs

How should I store the cupcakes?

The frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These can also be refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Allow the chilled cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving, for the best taste and texture.

What is the best way to store leftover buttercream?

Any leftover buttercream can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. The buttercream will stiffen in the fridge so let it sit at room temperature for a few hours before using. Re-whip the frosting with an electric mixer to make it smooth and fluffy again. 

What decorating tips do I need?

You’ll need tip 80 for the mum petals and tip 352 for the leaves. There are other varying mum and leaf tips but these are the ones that I used. Ateco has been my favorite brand for decorating tips for a long time but other brands like Wilton make good piping tips as well.

How can I make the buttercream pure white?

The buttercream is naturally pretty white but if you use pure vanilla extract, it will have a slight beige tint. If you want a pure white color, use clear vanilla flavoring. You could also add white gel food coloring if you want it even more white but I’ve found that the clear vanilla and whipping the buttercream for the correct amount of time tend to do the trick!

How do I get two colors on the petals?

This is done by filling your piping bag with 2 different colors. I like to use the same color and make half the frosting a light shade and half the frosting a darker shade. The more contrast between the colors, the more noticeable it will be. For a subtle look like I have pictured, make the colors closer in contrast. Stripe your piping bag with one of the colors, then fill the rest of the bag with the other color. Be sure to adjust your piping tip by twisting it slightly to line up with where you want the colors. For example, the darker color on the outer petal and the lighter color on the inside of the petal.

Baking Tip: Weigh Your Ingredients!

I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients rather than using measuring cups because it is the most accurate way to bake. Weighing your ingredients will give you more consistent results with your recipes and a better success rate, every time. Using a scale also saves you dishes which means easier cleanup! I provide gram measurements in all my recipes and this is the scale I love to use.

More Cake Recipes You’ll Love

If you make this recipe and love it, be sure to leave a comment below. Happy baking!

Mum Cupcakes

Soft and fluffy chocolate cupcakes are topped with a delicate buttercream chrysanthemum. These Mum Cupcakes make a perfect Spring treat or give these mums to Mom for a Mother’s Day!
Author: Rachel
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 32 minutes
Yield 12 cupcakes


For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 6 Tablespoons (83g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup (36g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (130g) warm water

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup (60mL) heavy cream

For Decorating

  • pink and green gel food coloring


  • Chocolate Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy and light in color, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Slowly add the eggs and vanilla, combining well after each addition. Scrape the bowl well with a rubber spatula then add the cocoa powder. Mix on low just until combined and scrape the bowl again. Mix on high for about 10-15 seconds until well combined.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add half of these dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on low speed. Slowly stream in about half the water. Mix just until combined then scrape the bowl well. Add the remaining flour and slowly stream in the remaining water with the mixer on low, just until combined. Scrape the bowl again and give the mixture a few final folds to ensure everything is incorporated.
  • Use a cookie scoop to divide the batter among the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the cupcakes spring back to the touch (or a toothpick comes out mostly clean). Allow to cool completely before decorating.
  • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and heavy cream to the bowl. Start mixing on low speed until the ingredients are combined, so the powdered sugar doesn’t spill out. Scrape the bowl well with a rubber spatula.
  • Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. The frosting should be completely smooth and creamy.
  • Decorating: Color about ½ cup of the buttercream green then divide the remaining buttercream in half, coloring half of it light pink and half of it darker pink.
  • In a piping bag fitted with a number 80 piping tip, use a small spatula to add a strip of the darker pink buttercream to the bag then fill the bag about ⅔ full with the lighter pink color. In a piping bag fitted with a number 352 piping tip, fill it about ⅔ full with the green buttercream
  • Hold the pink mum tip (tip 80) with the rounded part facing down (so it looks like a smile) at about a 45° angle. Working with one cupcake at a time, pipe a ring of petals around the outer edge of the cupcake, placing one petal right next to the last. Use a turntable or turn the cupcake with your free hand after each petal. Continue piping about 1 or 2 more rings of petals, then shift the piping tip to a 90° angle as you continue piping rings and get closer to the center until you have filled the center with petals and covered the cupcake.
  • Hold the leaf tip (tip 352) at a 45° angle, with the two points lined up vertically and the openings on either side. Pipe leaves around the outer edge of the cupcake, under the outer mum petals.
  • Repeat the same process for each cupcake then serve these beauties and enjoy!


*See the above blog post on tips and tools for decorating and frequently asked questions about the recipe!
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I’m Rachel

I’m the dessert lover, recipe developer, and content creator behind Sweet Kitchen Cravings. Here you’ll find classic yet special recipes that are sure to impress your loved ones!

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