Koala Cupcakes

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vegan koala cupcake

♫ Listening to: Heart of Fire by Innerpartysystem ♫

I’ve never been to Australia, but whenever my friends go, I always ask them to bring me back a koala for my souvenir. Guess how many koalas I have now?! ZERO!!! I know, I have terrible friends. But maybe it was a blessing in disguise, because last week on Last Podcast on the Left (which is basically my favorite podcast besides Dolls & Doughnuts), I learned that all koalas have chlamydia. And since I now can’t unlearn that little factoid, I figured I’d drag you down into this dirty pool of knowledge with me. You’re welcome.

I had never made any tea flavored cupcakes before, even though I am a huge fan of tea and london fogs, so I turned to an expert for this recipe: Sam from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. I slightly modified her earl grey cupcakes recipe to make these vegan koala cupcakes for the bushfirerelief fundraising collaboration on instagram. You can check out the other Australia-themed bakes using the hashtag #bakeforaustraliacollab. I raised $175 for WIRES Wildlife Rescue who was on the scene helping these poor recently-homeless cuties. What a great way to celebrate Australia Day! If you prefer making cake animals instead of cupcake animals, you can check out this cake recipe.

This recipe makes 3 koala london fog cupcakes. To make a dozen, just multiply all the measurements by 4.

Vegan Earl Grey Koala Cupcake Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons unbleached flour (or use any all-purpose flour)
  • the contents of 1 earl grey tea bag (I used allegro because it was the cheapest organic one at whole foods)
  • 3 tablespoons organic or raw sugar*
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (if you use soymilk, buy organic)*
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil (or use sunflower oil or any vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegan Earl Grey Koala Cupcake Directions

Dollhouse Shortcut

You can make the cupcakes ahead of time, wrap each one in plastic wrap, and leave on the counter overnight, chill in the fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze them for up to 2 weeks, until you’re ready to decorate them.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Sift the 5 tablespoons of flour, the contents of 1 earl grey tea bag, 3 tablespoons organic sugar, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda into a small bowl.

Whisk those ingredients together.

Add the tablespoon of oil, 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla to the dry ingredients, and stir until you can no longer see any dry ingredients.

Place 3 cupcake papers into 3 cubbies of a cupcake pan, or into oven-safe ramekins. I’ve used both, and they both work well, but the ramekins result in a shorter, wider cupcake.

Add the teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the batter and mix.

Scoop batter into the 3 cupcake liners, until all the batter is used up. Try to make them each have an equal amount of batter. Quickly place them in the oven.

Bake for 18 minutes. When you insert a toothpick into the center of one, and it comes out clean, remove from oven. Set pan or ramekins on a cooling rack to cool for 10-15 minutes. Then remove cupcakes from the pan or ramekins and set them directly on the cooling racks to finish cooling completely.

peeling the cupcake paper off a koala cupcake

Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine (if you avoid soy, get the soy-free earth balance; otherwise, get the organic whipped earth balance)*
  • 1 tablespoon organic palm shortening* (I use spectrum because it’s sustainable)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup organic powdered sugar, sifted*
  • 1 teeny tiny drop black vegan food coloring
  • 1-2 drops of non-dairy milk, if needed for consistency (if you use soymilk, buy organic)*

Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Directions

Use room temperature vegan butter or margarine for this recipe, so this may require that you leave it sitting out for a few minutes before starting to make the frosting.

Whisk the 2 tablespoons of vegan butter or margarine, the tablespoon of spectrum sustainable organic palm shortening , and the ¼ teaspoon of vanilla. Whisk this as fast as you can without splattering it all over your kitchen, yourself, and any unsuspecting kitchen visitors looking for snacks. I’m very out of shape so I usually whisk it until I’m tired, take a little break, and whisk it again. When it’s light and fluffy with no lumps, you can stop whisking and go to the next step.

Sift in the ⅔ cup powdered sugar, half at a time, whisking for as long as you can between each addition.

Add the tiniest drop of americolor black gel color and mix well. If it looks greenish or blueish, you can add the tiniest amount of wilton red gel color to counterbalance it. You want to make the color look really light gray, otherwise you’ll end up with too dark of a gray (I know this from experience, so trust me). Black food coloring darkens over time, so start light.

Add 1-2 drops of non-dairy milk, if needed for consistency. You want it to be easily pipable so you don’t give yourself koalarpal tunnel syndrome while trying to frost these cuties.

Fill a piping bag fitted with Wilton tip 234 with your gray frosting.

vegan koala cupcake

Vegan Koala Cupcake Decorating Ingredients

Vegan Koala Cupcake Decorating Directions

Choose 3 pairs of matching eyes from the vegan chocolate chips (you want to look at the round bottoms of each chocolate chip and find 2 with approximately the same size bottoms).

Melt the rest of the vegan chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between each round. Once it’s all melted, you’re ready to make your noses.

Transfer the melted chocolate to a disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton small round tip 1 or skip this step since you’re only making 3 and just use a toothpick to draw them.

Tape some parchment paper to a cutting board or other flat item that you can fit into your freezer.

Draw 3 (or more if you want to be able to pick the best ones to use) noses with the melted chocolate. This can be done using the piping bag method, or you can just dollop some melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and use a toothpick to make it into the koala nose shape.

Transfer the noses to the freezer to chill while you start frosting the cupcakes.

Pipe the gray fur onto the top of one cupcake. I did this by starting on the edges and working my way towards the center. When I got to the center, I grabbed a chocolate nose from the freezer and placed it onto the cupcake. Then I added the chocolate chip eyes, pushing the upside down chocolate chips into the frosting so all that’s showing is the bottoms of the chocolate chips.

Place this cupcake into the freezer while you repeat the above step with cupcake number 2.

Place cupcake number 2 into the freezer and remove cupcake number 1.

Stick 2 cracker ears into cupcake number 1 and return it to the freezer.

Pipe the gray fur onto cupcake number 3, and give it a face.

Place cupcake number 3 into the freezer and remove cupcake number 2.

Stick 2 cracker ears into cupcake number 2 and return it to the freezer. Remove cupcake number 1.

Pipe fur all over the ears, until no crackers are showing.

Place this completed koala cupcake into the fridge, and remove cupcake 3.

Stick 2 cracker ears into cupcake number 3 and return it to the freezer. Remove cupcake number 2.

Pipe fur all over the ears, until no crackers are showing.

Place this completed koala cupcake into the fridge, and remove cupcake 3 from the freezer.

Pipe fur all over the ears, until no crackers are showing.

Place the last completed cupcake into the fridge.

Remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to serve them.

koala cupcake with a bite taken out

Here’s a video of the adorable Becky from Glue & Glitter making them!


* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.


Your website/recipes are so well done! I can't wait to try some out. Thank you!
HeavyDoseOfLavender -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I can always immediately tell when a recipe is yours, I love your style! Thanks for all the recipes, I've made a few and they've all been great!
Consistent_Pea -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is adorable! I've seen your recipes a couple of times before and they're always so pretty and creative!
pepperohni -⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐