Secret Garden Red Velvet Cupcakes


  • For the Royal Icing Flowers
  • 2 cups 240 g confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons water
  • Red yellow and green food coloring
  • Waxed paper
  • 3 disposable decorating bags I used Wilton 16"
  • Pastry tips - #104 #352, #2.5 (you can use #3 if you can't find)
  • Flower nail
  • For the Cupcakes
  • 1 18.25 oz or 517 g box Red Velvet Cake Mix (prepared according to package instructions - I used Duncan Hines)
  • For the Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup 226 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups 453 g confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup 60 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract I used Wilton
  • 1 disposable decorating bag I used Wilton 16"
  • #1M pastry tip


  1. For the Royal Icing Flowers
  2. Place sugar, meringue powder and water in a large bowl. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 6 minutes. Immediately transfer to an airtight container or cover bowl with a damp cloth. This icing will dry out quickly. Before making the flowers, take out 2/3 cup of icing and place in an airtight container (for the flower centers and leaves later). Add red food coloring to the icing and mix. I used a whole jar of Wilton No-Taste Red Food Coloring. Cut 24-30 (2"x2") squares out of waxed paper. Fill a decorating bag fitted with a #104 tip with red icing. Place a little icing on a flower nail, then place a waxed paper square. Pipe a 5 petal flower. Place on cookie sheet to dry. Repeat. You should have enough for 24 flowers. Let flowers dry for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. For the Cupcakes
  4. Make the cupcakes according to the cake mix package instructions. Let cool.
  5. For the Buttercream
  6. Place softened butter in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Turn mixer down to low and gradually add sugar, cream and vanilla. Turn mixer up to medium and beat for 3 more minutes.
  7. To decorate
  8. Place 1/2 of the buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a #1M tip (refill bag when needed). Pipe buttercream onto cupcakes in a circular swirl pattern (like soft serve ice cream). Place a dried royal icing flower on each cupcake. Using the remaining royal icing, color half green and the other half yellow. Place the green icing in a pastry bag with a #352 tip and the yellow icing in a pastry bag with a #2.5 tip. Pipe 5 yellow dots in the center of the flowers. Pipe a green leaf on each side of the flower.