• Gold cupcakes (Nick Makrides)Source: Nick Makrides

We're all about cupcake bling and this stunner is shining bright like a sweet, sweet diamond. #MardiGras40






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (30 votes)



  • 429 g all-purpose flour
  • 265 g caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 375 ml of milk
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 125 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt (can substitute with sour cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 drops yellow food gel
  • 5 drops gold food gel
  • gold sprinkles
  • gold paint
  • 2 tbsp Gold lustre dust
  • 3 tbsp vodka or vanilla extract 


  • 1 batch of fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting (recipe here)
  • 2 drops yellow food gel
  • 5 drops gold food gel
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Freezing time: 50 minutes

To prepare the buttercream frosting, add gold and yellow food dye along with cocoa powder to buttercream and mix until very well combined.

Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160°C (320°F) or 180°C (356°F) for a conventional oven. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, caster sugar and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to mix for a couple minutes to help everything combine well (alternatively you may do this by sifting the ingredients together). Add the softened butter and let it mix until it resembles a fine sand-like texture.

Next, add milk, eggs, yoghurt, oil and vanilla extract in a large jug and whisk well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl, add yellow and gold food gel, and mix for another 20 seconds.

Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way (using an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process otherwise you can use two tablespoons). 

Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting. 

To prepare frosting, fit the end of a piping tip with a Wilton 1M tip and frost swirls as shown in the video. Freeze for 30 min.

To make gold paint combine the lustre dust with enough vodka or vanilla extract to create a liquid paint.

Use a small food-safe brush to paint the top out of the cupcakes with gold. You will also use it to paint the frosting with gold paint. If you feel the frosting softening then freeze for another 20 min and continue painting, taking care to cover all the frosting.

Core the centre of each cupcake and fill with gold sprinkles. Add a dab of frosting on top to help attach the frozen frosting to each cupcake.

Allow thawing before serving.



• I use Americolour brand for my coloured food gels.


This recipe, photography and styling is by Nick Makrides from The Scran Line. For more check out his Instagram @thescranline.