DIY Love Bug Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and that means it’s time for some lovely new tutorials and inspiration!  Today’s DIY is an idea that’s been floating around in the back of my mind for three years now…. just waiting for me to give it a try.  Finally, this silly little idea is making it to the blog.  Good news is, I think they were worth the wait.  Hopefully you agree!

Remember those cute little pom pom art projects you used to make as a kid for Valentine’s day?  You know the ones… pom pom bodies, googly eyes and little antenna ears.    Well, that childhood favorite is becoming a sweet little cupcake project.  Super easy.  Super simple.  And fun enough to get the kids involved.  It’s Love Bug Cupcakes!

DIY Love Bug Cupcakes for Valentine's Day | Step by Step Tutorial | by Carrie Sellman for

Hold tight because these little furry guys are about to invade the blog…. it’s an attack of the Love Bug Cupcakes!  And they’re here to kill you with cuteness.

DIY Love Bug Cupcakes for Valentine's Day | Step by Step Tutorial | by Carrie Sellman for

DIY Love Bug Cupcakes for Valentine's Day | Step by Step Tutorial | by Carrie Sellman for

Scurrying this way and that way… these Love Bug Cupcakes are just dying to ask you…

DIY Love Bug Cupcakes for Valentine's Day | Step by Step Tutorial | by Carrie Sellman for

I obviously had way too much fun photographing these cupcakes!  But I love their cute little faces and how their eyes can say so much, just by how you position them on the cupcake.  Okay, let’s get to the tutorial, shall we?

DIY Love Bug Cupcakes for Valentine's Day | Step by Step Tutorial | by Carrie Sellman for
DIY Love Bug Cupcakes for Valentine's Day | Step by Step Tutorial | by Carrie Sellman for

a tutorial by Carrie Sellman


cupcakes, baked without wrappers or wrappers removed
buttercream icing
red fondant
heart shaped cutters, big and small
lollipop sticks
large candy eyeballs
pastry tip #233

STEP 1 :  Roll out red fondant and cut out hearts using the large heart cutter.

STEP 2 :  Repeat until you have one large heart for each of your cupcakes.

STEP 3 :  Roll out more red fondant and cut out hearts using the small heart cutter. Repeat until you have four small hearts for each of your cupcakes.

STEP 4 :  Place one small heart, pretty side down onto parchment paper.  Place lollipop stick onto heart.  Place second heart on top and press down to seal the two hearts together, lollipop stick inside.  If fondant is too dry to seal together, lightly wet the inside with a light dab of water.

STEP 5 :  Repeat until you have used up all of your small hearts.  You should now have two of these sticks for each of your cupcakes.  These are the antenna ears.

STEP 6 :  Place one large heart, pretty side up onto parchment paper.  Put a dab of icing onto the pointy end.  Place cupcake on top, positioning over the pointy end.

STEP 7 :  Fill a pastry bag with buttercream icing and attach pastry tip #233 (aka, the Grass Tip because you use it to make grass-like decorations).  Put the tip up against the cupcake and gently squeeze the bag while pulling straight out and away.  Release pressure to finish the strands.  Continue making short ‘hairs’ by moving just to the right of your first clump of hair and repeating the same motion to squeeze on more icing.  Pipe a complete circle of icing all the way around the base of the cupcake.

NOTE :  You may find it easier to gently hold the cupcake in one hand while piping with the other.

STEP 8 :  Continue piping to cover the entire cupcake with icing.  Circle up the cupcake, row after row.

STEP 9 :  You’re almost there!  Just a few more squeezes and your Love Bug will be completely covered in yummy icing.

STEP 10 :  Insert two ears into top of cupcake.

STEP 11 :  Gently push two candy eyes into place on the face area.  And now your Love Bug is complete!

DIY Love Bug Cupcakes for Valentine's Day | Step by Step Tutorial | by Carrie Sellman for


Carrie Sellman , Founder & Editor

Carrie Sellman is the Founder & Editor of The Cake Blog. Her work has been published in BRIDES Magazine, Country Living Magazine and featured online at People, Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Real Simple, TLC, The Cooking Channel and more.


  1. 2

    Christina Reich says

    Hi Carrie,

    These love bug cupcakes are adorable. I’m going to make them for Valentine’s Day! Thank you for sharing your very creative ideas!!

    Christina Reich

  2. 4

    Brown Sugar says

    Fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.
    What type of container would you put these in for sharing / gifting since they can’t go in a standard cupcake tray?

  3. 8

    Joyce says

    These cupcakes are adorable to make with my little granddaughter. It’s such a cute project! She’ll love it! Thank you for sharing.

  4. 15

    Jaala says

    OMG!! I love them- so cute!!! I was going to practice piping flowers this weekend- but I’ going to make these instead :-)

  5. 16

    Jenna says

    These are so cute! Would you store them in the fridge or at room temp? Being fondant and buttercream I would think the fondant would go funny In the fridge but buttercream might lose shape/ melt at room temp in humid climate.

  6. 22

    Laura says

    Aw, going to try these for a friends little girls 4th birthday…

    Could any bakers give me some more ideas for the girls birthday, just making little treats like cookies, cupcakes, thanks :)

  7. 23

    Josee says

    Love them! I have a question about your supplies. I can no longer find those candy eyes anywhere. Wilton’s are awful now, as are the ones from Hobby Lobby. May I ask where you get your eyes??! ☺

  8. 28


    These are absolutely adorable. I’m going to get a mad dash on to make a couple. Thank you for answering the question about transporting them. I too had that question.

  9. 34

    Laura says

    I went to get a grass tip and all they had at our store was Tip #234. What is the difference? It is a grass tip? maybe bigger or small tip?

    • 35


      Tip #234 and #233 are very similar. The only difference is the strands will be somewhat thicker with #234. They will be thinner and placed closer together with #233.

      Either will work!

  10. 36

    Amy says

    These are so sweet. I’ve made a practice batch and am now ready to make adorable love bugs for my boyfriend on Valentines Day.

  11. 39

    Christine says

    Since cupcakes are not naturally round, how did you make these look so perfectly round? They are adorable and definitely something I’m making this year for valentine’s day :)

    • 40


      You’re right – cupcakes are not perfectly round. But when you take the baking wrapper off, the bottom half of the cupcake tapers in. The top half naturally rounds upward. So it is basically like a round ball at that point – although very imperfect.

      Once you pipe all of your icing on, going in a circular pattern from the bottom upward, it just naturally evens out.

  12. 41

    Mallory says

    I really do love these little bugs. They are adorable. I made a practice one with my buttercream and It didn’t hold up, the grass fur would just fall over. I used tip # 133. Do you think my buttercream isn’t stiff enough?

    • 42


      You do need a pretty stiff buttercream to make these. An American buttercream used for decorating is your best bet, similar to the one referenced above.

      If you’re using a powdered sugar based recipe, add some additional powdered sugar to stiffen up your icing. You’ll also want to be sure that your icing does not get hot. After piping for awhile, your hand can heat up the icing inside the pastry bag and make it too soft to pipe nicely. When that happens to me, I empty out my pastry bag and refill with fresh icing, saving the discarded icing to use once it sets up again.

  13. 44

    Bridget says

    I’ve made decorated cakes/cupcakes using the grass tip and find that, sooner or later, the buttercream gets too soft from the warmth of my hands and then sort of gets melty when piped. Any suggestions for avoiding this? I’ve tried putting it back in fridge in piping bag to chill a bit, but then have issues with it clogging the tip. I’m dying to make these cutie cupcakes!!

  14. 46

    Alexandria says

    Hello Carrie! I was wanting to use some of your cupcake pictures for my tumbler account. I would of course post the link along with the picture. I was wanting to get your permission and make sure I wouldn’t get sued for copyright.


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