Eat & Watch: Leopard Cupcakes & Bringing Up Baby


I am constantly finding inspiration from films for new recipes. I have had this idea/recipe floating around in my mind for a couple of months now, and I just needed the time to do it. Inspired by Bringing Up Baby (1938), I created a leopard cupcake since the movie is, after all, revolved around finding Baby, an heiress’ pet leopard. I made a simple vanilla cupcake and added rainbow sprinkles to serve as the leopard’s spots, as well as created a topping that resembled leopard spots – just more colorful.

Make the cupcakes. I followed a simple vanilla cupcake recipe (below), and then added rainbow sprinkles to create a “spotted” leopard effect.
Tip: Fill the cupcake liner 3/4 full of batter – this will give you a puffy dome effect on top of the cupcake.

While the cupcakes start cooling, start making the cupcake frosting (recipe also below). This is one of the best parts because it involves a lot of butter and sugar and food coloring. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting over each cupcake. I kept the frosting white for this part so that the leopard spots would stand out, but it can be any color you choose.
Don’t Forget: Set some frosting aside for the leopard spots – I set aside 3 bowls (since you’ll be using 3 colors for the spots) filled with a little more than 1/4 cup of frosting for 12 cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes have been frosted, set the cupcakes aside. It’s time to focus on the 3 bowls of frosting. Now you get to choose which colors you want to create using food coloring. I wanted a light blue and lavender spot with a dark brown edge. I used 1 blue and 1 red drop of food coloring for the lavender, and 2 blue and 1 red drops for the lighter blue. You can also add more white frosting to create a lighter color.

Once you have your colors mixed, use your decorating tools for a detailed effect. I used the smallest tip in this decorating kit so I could have more control over what I was designing.
Tip: When you have such small frosting proportions or run out of icing bags, just use a small ZipLock bag to hold the frosting.

The first thing you’ll want to do to create a leopard spot is make small circles all over the cupcake with one of your frosting colors [picture on left – I used the light blue for a circle]. Once all of the cupcakes have the first color, you can add the second color. Instead of a circle, create a shape that resembles a parentheses [picture on right – the second color I used was lavender], outlining only half of the circle. It’s okay if your circles aren’t perfect, you want it to look natural.

For the finishing touches, use your third color to outline the two-colored spots you just created. You don’t want to completely circle the spots, but enough to give it a leopard look. At first I made my darker spots too thin, so I went back and made the edges thicker. Add small random squiggles so the spots aren’t standing alone. These spots are surprisingly simple to create; the only time-consuming part is the details on the spot, but somehow I find it relaxing. The best part about these cupcakes is that you can make them all different colors and because the spots don’t need to be a perfect circle, there is room for mistakes.

Vanilla Cupcakes

· 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
· 3 large eggs
· 2/3 cup of baker’s sugar
· 1 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
· 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
· 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
· 1/4 teaspoon of salt
· 1/2 cup of milk (I used 1%)

* Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer, or you can mix by hand.
2. Add the 3 eggs, one by one, and mix well after adding each one.
3. Add the vanilla extract to the mix.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. In the bowl with the electric mixer, add the flour and milk – alternating between the two, ending with the flour.
6. Beat the mixture until smooth, and then fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.

Cupcake Frosting


· 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
· 1 1/4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
· 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
· 2 1/2 tablespoons of light cream (I used half and half)

1. In a bowl, mix the butter and vanilla extract together.
2. Add the powdered sugar in little by little – if you add too much at once the powder will go all over.
3. Add the milk and blend the mixture until it is light and airy. Add more milk if the frosting is not fluffy enough.

{food photos by a dash of cinema} {bringing up baby}


4 thoughts on “Eat & Watch: Leopard Cupcakes & Bringing Up Baby

  1. Pingback: That’s a Wrap! «

  2. Pingback: Leopard Cupcakes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s