Aug 08


Chocolate Seashell Cupcakes

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Not much says summer more than seashells and sand.  In this case, the ‘sand’ is brown sugar and the ‘shells’ made of white and milk chocolate.

I’d been waiting for summer to make these and am finally able to post them.  Vanilla cupcakes covered in light blue vanilla buttercream and topped with white and milk chocolate sea shells.  The recipes are at the end of this post if you’d like to try making them.

How to Make Chocolate Seashells

Easy peasy to make.

  • Melt chocolate wafers in two of these chocolate melting pots; one for white chocolate and one for the milk chocolate.  If you don’t have the melting pots you could easily use a double-boiler.
  • Spoon the chocolate into a squeeze bottle; alternating layers of white and milk chocolate.
  • Squeeze the melted chocolate into your chosen moulds.  I used this silicone shell-shaped ice cube tray, this chocolate mould as well as a few moulds my friend lent me to make the chocolate sea shells (She couldn’t remember where she got them, but if I find out on my own I’ll come back and post the info. here!).
  • Scrape the excess chocolate off the back of the mould with a pastry scraper.
  • Place your molds in the freezer for approximately several hours or overnight to be completely safe.
  • When you take them out, turn the mould over a cutting board or plate.  The chocolates should come out easily, but if they are stuck, gently tap or bend the mold to help them out.
  • Enjoy!

I used these gold stripe baking cupsto make the cupcakes in and piped the icing with a large star tip.

Thank you to Holly’s Sweets & Eats for these fantastic cake stands! She always has the prettiest and most unique stand, platters and gift items.  It’s no wonder she recognized me when I finally introduced myself.


Another big thanks to Rowell Photography for taking these fresh summer photos!

This crown is another item from Holly’s Sweets & Eats.  Couldn’t you see a frog-princess type cupcake sitting in it?

If you’d like to try these cupcakes, below are the recipes I used and here’s a video on making the icing swirl.

Happy baking!




Vanilla Cupcakes {from Martha Stewart’s site}


Makes about 3 dozen

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, until well blended. Mix in vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with milk in two batches, beating until combined after each. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin tins. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.


Vanilla Buttercream {from Martha Stewart’s site}


Makes 5 cups

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Combine sugar and egg whites in mixer bowl. Place bowl over pot of simmering water; whisk until hot and sugar is completely dissolved, 3 minutes. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat mixture on high until cooled, about 15 minutes.
  2. Using paddle attachment, add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until completely incorporated. Stir in vanilla. If not using immediately, refrigerate in airtight container up to a week, or freeze up to a month. Bring to room temperature, and rebeat or stir vigorously before using.
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  1. August 9, 2010 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    very nice! did you use the open star or closed star tip?

  2. August 9, 2010 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Oh, I love the look of these cupcakes and I love the plates they were photographed on. Recipe looks great as well. Thanks for posting.

  3. August 9, 2010 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    They are very pretty! That is a great idea 🙂

  4. Jen
    August 9, 2010 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Very pretty! I made need to try these. Thanks for sharing!

  5. August 9, 2010 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    These look so summery, beachy and gorgeous. Would look lovely for a beach theme wedding.

  6. August 9, 2010 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    So beautiful cupcakes

  7. August 9, 2010 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    gorgeously designed cupcakes! I love the colours…it reminds me of a sunny beach!

  8. August 9, 2010 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    These are so beautiful and sound so delicious! I love the “shells” against the pale aqua! The photographs are beautiful! Thanks for the directions on making the shells!

  9. August 9, 2010 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    These are gorgeous Marian! so fresh and summery!

  10. August 9, 2010 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Very nice blog and very pretty….i love so much!!

  11. katie
    August 9, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    They are very pretty! Perfect for summer!

  12. August 10, 2010 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    These are so pretty. They make me wish I was still at the beach.

  13. Jen
    August 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m back again and I made them yesterday after seeing your post. I rushed out to the baking store for a shell mold and got going. Your molds and shells are much more detailed but this was super fast and easy to do. Thanks for the post!

  14. marian
    August 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Tanisha: I used the large open star tip.
    Jen: That’s awesome that you made them! I’d love if would share a pic of your chocolates on my facebook page!

  15. August 10, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink


  16. August 10, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! They are very pretty!!! Makes me want to go to the beach! 😉

  17. August 11, 2010 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    These cupcakes are so awesome! Perfect for beach-themed BBQs and dinners.
    We would love it if this idea or any others were shared with our online community! We love seeing such interesting ideas!

    We’re also running a SWEET contest to win tickets to see the Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro in Tornoto. visit our online community to check it out and enter!

    — Savannah

  18. bubble&squeak
    August 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    You’ve gone and done it again – you’re always making beautiful, sweet things to brighten our day.
    I love your work so much.
    I’ve also gone and collected all the Peggy Porschen books but your work is just as good. There really is some great talent in your part of the woods.
    Jood (aka bubble&squeak)

  19. August 13, 2010 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    So beautiful!

  20. August 16, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    This is such a great idea! I love the brown sugar as sand and the chocolate seashells are such a perfect touch!

  21. August 18, 2010 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    What beautiful cupcakes! Perfect for a beach wedding 🙂

  22. August 21, 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    They are so, so pretty! Perfect for summer!

  23. Jessica
    September 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Hey, this is a wonderful idea and came out beautifully. I love the shells in the first pictures, they look so real, great job. I was curious about finding more realistic molds for the seashells so i googled “seashell candy molds” and came up with a slew of them, they all look really good so there;s another option. 🙂

  24. December 22, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This is truly a wonderful post. I will certainly be reading this blog much, much more.

  25. January 17, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Marian: These are so beautiful! I can’t wait to try this in the Summertime!

    Thanks for the inspiration….


  26. February 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    Do this cupcakes need to be refrigerated as the buttercream uses eggs? 🙂

    • marian
      February 8, 2011 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      It’s fine to leave them out for four-six hours; the buttercream will be okay at room temperaure for that time. If you know you’re not using the cupcakes until much later, leave them in the fridge until about an hour or two (up until 6) for serving. You need the buttercream to soften up a bit before it’s served.
      Hope that helps!

  27. Becky
    February 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    LOVE your cake! And your website. I’ve been looking for the perfect frosting recipe and I think I’ve found it here. My only question is what if I don’t have a stand mixer? I only have a hand mixer. Any tips on how I could make it with that?
    Thank you!

    • marian
      February 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Becky, it’s the same proceedure; just a little more work on your part in terms of standing there and using the mixer to mix it all up!
      If it seems to be a little too hard on your mixer machine, add a little water to help thin it during the process.
      Happy baking!

  28. June 2, 2011 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    wonderful, a great read.

  29. Terry Fuller
    August 26, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    What happens when your chocolate in the squeeze bottles get to hard to squeeze from the bottle? How do you recommend reheating?

  30. marian
    August 26, 2011 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    @ Terry Fuller: Besides working as fast as possible and using the chocolate when it’s fully melted, you can have a little pot of warm/hot (but not too hot) water nearby where you can let the bottle sit adn melt a little. I try and stay away from using the microwave as if left in too long, the plastic can melt.
    If the chocolate is completel cooled, break it up by massaging the bottle, take all the chocolate out and re-melt.
    Hope that helps!

  31. November 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I am awestruck. Absolutely gorgeous!!!!

  32. Luisa Nodari
    November 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marina.
    Your work is fantastic . I love this blog .
    Could you please share how you made the sand ?

  33. marian
    November 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    @ Asmita: Merci!
    @ Luisa Nodari: Absolutely – it is brown sugar.

  34. Sal
    March 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I love this idea for cupcakes but I have 3 questions to ask;

    1. With the brown sugar, did you add anything to it? Or did
    You just crumple it with your hands/spoon?

    2. For the frosting, it says sugar? What kind? Icing sugar? Castor?

    3. I am making a cake next week and I would like to use this recipe
    In a cake though – for a 6 inch round cake and a 8 inch round cake For the vanilla cupcake recipe – aswell As the frosting to cover both of them, could you kindly give a rough estimate pls?

    Thank you so much!!

  35. Teresa
    April 23, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    wilton has the other shapes you have.. 😉 (found it here directed from amazon:

    love the idea! =) and the chocolates look very nice and tasteful! 😉

  36. Roshini
    December 31, 2012 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Oh they are sooooo pretty & I’m madly in love with that cake stand!!!

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