Why not make these Tropical Fish Cupcakes for an Under the Sea party? The cupcakes are a box mix, and the fish are simply Oreo cookies dipped in melted candy wafers! These fun party cupcakes are easy to make and your guests will love ’em!
I’ve got lots of fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties and celebrations for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
Tropical Fish Cupcakes
There are some party themes that I just LOVE – like Under the Sea theme, or Beach, or Tropical – must be my love of the ocean!
These cute tropical fish cupcakes would work perfectly for any of the party themes mentioned so if you’re looking for an easy cupcake to make for parties then these ones are IT!
To keep things as simple as possible, these cupcakes are made using a box mix (choose your favorite flavor), but if you’re really pressed for time you could use ready-made cupcakes.
Of course, if you want to make cupcakes from scratch you can always use the best vanilla cupcakes recipe!
For more time-saving, canned frosting is used. Just place into a piping bag to swirl the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
Then of course there are the fish which are made from Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies that are covered with candy melts and decorated with M&M’s and candy eyes.
I think these tropical fish cupcakes are FIN-tastic and I think your guest will the think the same too!
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
Ingredients Used in This recipe
For your convenience, I’ve linked any specialized ingredients needed for this recipe to Amazon below.
However, there are some of the more specialised ingredients you will need for this recipe which I’ve linked below to Amazon for your convenience.
- Box of Cake Mix – plus the ingredients to make. Use your favorite brand/flavor for the cupcakes. If you make vanilla cupcakes you could always add some blue food coloring to the batter before baking!
- Pillsbury Funfetti Vanilla Frosting in Aqua Blue – or you could color white frosting with blue gel food coloring
- Oreo Cookies – you could use the classic chocolate flavor or one of the others if you like
- Blue Candy Melts
- Green Candy Melts
- Orange Candy Melts
- M&M’s – you’ll need blue, green, orange, and red. You can pick them out of a mixed bag, or you may be able to buy bulk of a single color. You’ll need around 12 of each color (other than red, which is for the fish lips) for each fish. Ideally, you want to use Mini M&M’s, but regular size will work, you’ll just use less of them.
- Mini Candy Eyeballs
- Rainbow Nonpareil Sprinkles – known as Hundreds & Thousands here in the UK
For my UK readers: When I go on vacation to the USA, I like to stock up on my favourite American food products and ingredients, so you’ll find them used in some of the recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog. Luckily, we can buy a lot of American ingredients online these days, and in supermarkets (check the World Foods aisle!) which is awesome! (Although sometimes the price can be on the high side…) When I use American ingredients in recipes that I share on my blog, I always aim to suggest British alternatives or include Amazon affiliate links to where you can buy them online.
Equipment used in this recipe
If you are making the cupcakes you will need cupcake liners, a cupcake pan, and a wire cooling rack – you may already have those things in your kitchen.
You can melt candy melts/candy wafers in the microwave or a double boiler, or if you plan on making lots of candy covered treats in the future, I recommend investing in a candy melting pot (try this one if you’re in the UK, as the Wilton one is not available on Amazon.co.uk), as treat-making life is then so much easier!
You will also need a piping bag and star tip to pipe the frosting swirls on top of the cupcakes.
More Recipes Using Candy Melts
Candy Melt Wafers are such a fun ingredient to use in sweet treats, so here are some more recipes you might like to check out next:
Melting Tips for Candy Melts Wafers
If you use the Wilton Candy Melting Pot, you can check out Wilton’s demo video on YouTube which is really helpful. They also give tips on how to melt candy melts in the microwave, as well as using the double boiler method.
The two most important things are
- Do not overheat – use an even melting temperature
- Do not add water – it makes the candy seize up and become unusable. Make sure the equipment used is completely dry, and avoid using utensils that retain moisture like a wooden spoon.
If you find that the candy is too thick, add vegetable shortening or (solid) coconut oil in 1 teaspoon increments, up to 1 tablespoon, and stir well.
Another reminder – do not add water. The very first time I used candy melts I managed to get water in the bowl and it was ruined. Learn from my mistakes! Additionally, do not use vegetable oil, butter, milk, or any other liquids as this will also make the candy seize up.
If you are using your microwave, test melt a small amount of candy melts first, to see how it works. You may need to adjust the temperature and time to suit your machine. Heat in 15-30 second increments, stirring the candy melts each time. They may not look melted, but they might have started melting from the inside. Stirring helps to distribute the heat.
How Do I Make Tropical Fish Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
Save my How To Make Tropical Fish Cupcakes tutorial video to your Party Cupcakes YouTube Playlists so that it’s always there when you need it – don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel while you are there!
- 24 Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
- 1 (12 oz) package blue candy melts wafers
- 1 (12 oz) package orange candy melts wafers
- 1 (12 oz) package green candy melts wafers
- Mini M&M's chocolate candies in orange, green, and blue (about 12 for each fish)
- 24 red M&M's chocolate candies
- 24 candy eyes (1 for each fish)
- 24 cupcakes (from your favorite recipe or boxed mix)
- 2 - 4 cups blue frosting (from your favorite recipe or canned frosting)
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
- Melt candy coating according to package directions. If the candy is too thick to pour, add 1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening. Stir well. Do not add water. You can add up to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per bag of candy wafers.
- Dip each cookie into melted candy. Remove cookie, tapping gently against the side of the bowl, allowing excess candy to return to the bowl. If air bubbles form, pop them with a toothpick. Place the
cookie onto the waxed paper.
- Immediately add a candy eye, red M&M "lip" and M&M's scales. Allow cookie to set completely at room temperature or refrigerate for faster results.
- Pipe frosting over cupcakes in a circular direction working from the outer edge of the cupcake towards the center.
- Sprinkle rainbow nonpareils over the frosting.
- Place one cookie “fish” on top of each cupcake. TIP! If the icing is too thin to hold the fish, use a
toothpick to secure the cookie. After you refrigerate the cupcakes and the frosting hardens, you can remove the toothpick.
- For best results, refrigerate the cupcakes until ready to serve.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- M&M's Minis Milk Chocolate Candy, 10.8 oz
- Wilton Candy Melting Pot
- PME Electric Chocolate Melting Pots
- Wilton Candy Melts - Orange
- Wilton Candy Melts - Royal Blue
- Rainbow Sprinkles
- Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting, Funfetti Aqua Blue
- Wilton 710-7236 Mini Candy Eyeballs, 24 Count
- Wilton Cupcake Decorating Icing Tips, 12-Piece Set
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 500Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 252mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 2gSugar: 70gProtein: 3g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.