Bonfire Cupcakes

These Bonfire Cupcakes are made with the best chocolate cupcake, vanilla buttercream flames, matchmaker kindling and popping candy sprinkles.

Reasons To Love This Recipe

Popping Candy was made for bonfire night. Why would you only watch the firework displays when you can feel the popping sensation too.

The flame vanilla buttercream I was inspired to make the. Buttercream like this because I loved how it looked on my Ice Lolly Cake. Also, it isn’t as difficult as it looks to make.

Chocolate Cake! Need I say more.

Before You Start Baking

Before you start baking, we need to preheat our oven. This ensures the cupcakes bake at the correct temperature.

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Another thing I prefer to do before I start baking is to line my muffin tray with cupcake liners. This way, when the cupcake batter is ready, I can just put them straight into the oven and don’t need to leave the batter sitting while I get organised. The rising agents in the cupcakes start working as soon as they are added, so the quicker you get them into the oven the better.

Making the Cupcakes

In this recipe, I used caster sugar because I didn’t have any light brown sugar. Normally, when I am making a chocolatey bake, I would use light brown sugar. It gives the cake a caramelly taste, but you can use caster sugar if you prefer.

I start by creaming together the butter and sugar until they are pale and fluffy. Next, I add in the remaining ingredients and mix until they are fully incorporated. The beauty about this is you don’t need to mix the batter for too long. Around a minute or so, should do it.

I wouldn’t recommend putting the ingredients into your stand mixer and going away and leaving it. Overmixing the batter can cause so many problems, you want it to be just mixed.

Split the mixture into your cupcake cases. I find the easiest way to do this is by using an ice cream scoop this way I know all the cupcakes have the same amount of batter in them.

For these cupcakes, I used Iced Jems Baking Cups. They come in so many different colours and patterns and are perfect for cupcakes. You can also bake them on a flat oven tray, and they hold their shape.

How Do I Know the Cupcakes Are Baked?

There are a few different ways to tell if the cupcakes are baked. If you have a cake tester you can check the thickest part of the cupcake. If it comes out clean then the cupcakes are ready but if it still has batter on it then pop them back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and check again.

You can also press the top of the cupcake gently with your finger and when you remove your fingers if the cupcake springs back then it is ready. If it doesn’t spring back just as above put them back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and check again. Repeat until the cupcakes spring back.

Leave the cupcakes too cool for 15-20 minutes in the muffin tray and then move onto a wire rack to cool fully.

Make the Buttercream

Once the cupcakes are cooled completely make the buttercream.

To make the buttercream beat the butter for up to 5 minutes until pale and soft. For the butter, you must use unsalted butter. The type that comes in a block and is wrapped in foil. If you use a baking spread or margarine, then it will be too soft and the buttercream won’t hold its shape.

Once you have beat the butter add the icing sugar until it Is fully incorporated.

Split the mixture equally into three bowls. To one bowl we are going to use food colouring to make it yellow, add red to another and orange to the last bowl.

I would recommend adding the food colouring a little at a time. If you add too much, to begin with then you are stuck with it. Adding it little by little means you will get the desired colour.

Once you have coloured all the buttercream put it to one side and line the work surface with a strip of buttercream.

Spread the yellow buttercream in a line down the centre of the cling film. Add the orange buttercream in a line next to the yellow and the red on the other side of the yellow. So your buttercream is spread in three even lines. Now roll the buttercream up so the red buttercream is now touching the yellow buttercream. Twist each end of the clingfilm so the buttercream doesn’t splodge out.

Put your favourite piping tip into a piping bag. I used a Wilton 1M Piping Tip and these piping bags cut one end of the cling film and place the cling film into the piping bag. So that the secure side is at the top.

Pipe the buttercream onto your cooled caked.


Once you have piped the buttercream onto the top of the cake sprinkle over some popping candy. I have to admit I did initially struggle to find some but Waitrose has some in their baking sprinkle section. Cut the matchmakers in half and place them on top of the cupcakes. I used three pieces of matchmaker, but you could use four.


Why not make these cupcakes extra by adding a mini marshmallow to a cocktail stick and placing it leaning against the buttercream? You could also gently toast the marshmallows and leave them to cool before putting them onto the cupcakes.

If you can’t get popping candy don’t worry! These cupcakes will still look and taste fab without it.


Baking Cups



Measuring Spoon

Mixing Bowls

Cake Tester

Red Food Colouring

Orange Food Colouring

Yellow Food Colouring

Piping Tip

Piping Bag

*I earn a small amount of money if you buy any of these products. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting A Spoonful of Vanilla.

Pin it For Later!

If you do have any questions about these Bonfire Cupcakes or any other recipes on my blog you can contact me either by sending me a DM on social media or an email. You can find all my details on the right-hand side of this page. 

Bonfire Cupcakes

Sarah Mark
These Bonfire Cupcakes are made with the best chocolate cupcake, vanilla buttercream flames, matchmaker kindling and popping candy sprinkles.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Decorating Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 12 Cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

  • 145 g Unsalted Butter or Stork
  • 145 g Caster Sugar or Light Brown Sugar
  • 120 G Self-Raising Flour
  • 25 g Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 30 ml Whole Milk

For the Buttercream

  • 250 g Unsalted Butter
  • 500 g Icing Sugaer
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Red Food Colouring
  • Orange Food Colouring
  • Yellow Food Colouring
  • Popping Candy


To Make the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and leave to one side. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until all combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners. I use a small ice cream scoop to do this so I know that they are all even.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You will know the cupcakes are ready when they are golden brown and springy to touch.

To Make the Buttercream

  • In a bowl beat the butter for up to 5 minutes until it is pale and soft.
  • Gradually add in the icing sugar until it is fully corporated. Add the Vanilla Extract and mix again.

To Decorate

  • Split the buttercream into three seperate bowls
  • To the bowls add the red, yellow and orange food colouring. Add a little at a time to each bowl and mix until you reach the desired colour.
  • Lay out a piece of cling film
  • Using the red buttercream spread it into a line on the cling film. Add the yellow, and orange lines alongside the red.
  • Roll the clingfilm up from long end to long end and secure both ends.
  • Snip the end off one of the sides of the cling film and put it into a piping bag with a 1M Piping Tip. Pipe swirls onto the top of the cake and decoratewith some popping candy.
  • Cut the Matchmakers in half and add them onto the top of the cupcakes.


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