Get into the Winter Spirit with Adorable Polar Bear Cupcakes

Wow the whole family with a winter treat that’s almost too cute to eat! These polar bear cupcakes are the perfect dessert for not only a delicious holiday treat, they are fun for any winter themed party or you can make a batch just to surprise the kids. The easy polar bear cupcakes look so detailed, that people won’t believe that they are homemade cupcakes. 

Making Bear Cupcakes

These easy animal cupcakes are decorated to look like a polar bear face are made from scratch. And with homemade icing, but they are so adorable people will swear that you bought them from a bakery. You might be thinking that made-from-scratch cupcakes with homemade frosting, decorated to look like a polar bear face, will just be too much trouble, but you would be wrong! 

You likely have all of the ingredients that you will need for the vanilla cupcakes and frosting, but you will need a few special ingredients for decorating, which we will cover below.

Polar Bear Cupcakes Recipe

For the vanilla cupcakes, you will need flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, milk, butter, sugar, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla extract. 

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and line your cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl combine your milk and vanilla extract. 

In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium until they are light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and egg whites one at a time until they are creamy. Slowly add half of the flour mixture, then the milk mixture, and the remaining flour mixture until just blended each time. Divide the batter among your cupcake liners and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

For the frosting, you will need butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. Use your stand mixer and cream the butter and vanilla until combined. Mix in half of the powdered sugar until combined, the frosting will look like pebbles at this point.

Add the remaining powdered sugar, and turn the mixer on medium speed. Mix in the heavy cream and continue until the frosting is smooth. Scoop some of your frosting into a piping bag for decorating, and leave the rest in the bowl. 

To decorate your polar bear cupcakes you will need a few additional ingredients. You will need black edible pearl sprinkles, white sanding sugar, and Girhadelli white chocolate melting wafers. You find all three of these on Amazon (affiliate links), and possibly in the baking section of your local craft store.

Scoop some of your white frosting onto the top of the cupcakes and spread it around with a spatula. Take two of your white chocolate wafers, put a dollop of frosting on them and use them to make the polar bear’s ears. 

Take another white chocolate wafer and place it to make the nose. Put a dollop of frosting on top of this white chocolate wafer. Coat the top of the cupcake in the white sanding sugar, over a bowl so you don’t make a mess or waste any of the sugar. Pick two black pearl sprinkles for the polar bear’s eyes and a slightly smaller pearl for the polar bear’s nose. 

These polar bear vanilla cupcakes are delicious and they look amazing too! Perfect to serve as Polar Express cupcakes at school or at any holiday gathering that you may be hosting or attending this year. Just don’t be surprised when everyone asks you where you bought them! 

Yield: 16 Cupcakes

Polar Bear Cupcake

Polar Bear Cupcake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 1⁄2 C Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1⁄4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2/3 C Whole milk
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup Unsalted sweet cream butter, slightly softened
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 large Egg whites

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 1⁄2 C Powdered sugar
  • 1 C Unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp pure Vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Black edible pearl Sprinkles
  • 2 - 8 oz white sanding Sprinkles
  • 1 - 30 oz Ghirardelli white melting wafers
  • 1 large Piping bag fitted with large round tip
  • Large round cookie scoop
  • 1 Mini angled cake spatula


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Reduce the speed to medium-low, slowly add the egg and egg whites one at a time, and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then the milk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition.
  6. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean—about 18 to 20 minutes.
  7. Using a standing mixer with a paddle beater, cream the butter and vanilla until combined.
  8. Mix in 2 C of powdered sugar on low speed until combined, the frosting will look like pebbles.
  9. Mix in the remaining powdered sugar and slowly increase speed to medium speed.
  10. Mix in the heavy whipping cream and continue to beat the frosting until it is combined and smooth.
  11. Scoop a mound of frosting on top of the cupcake and use the cake spatula to smooth into a thick mound.
  12. Scoop some frosting into the piping bag.
  13. Take a white chocolate melting wafer and pipe a dollop of frosting on top of it.
  14. Place the frosting wafer into 1 top corner of the frosting mound to create the ear of the bear Repeat for the other side.
  15. Now you should have the ‘head’ and ‘ears‘.
  16. Place a wafer in the center of the frosting to create the ‘nose’.
  17. Pipe frosting on top of the wafer.
  18. Using the white sanding sugar, coat the cupcake in the sanding sugar. Make sure to do this part over a bowl to avoid messes.
  19. Pick out two large size black pearl sprinkles for the eyes and place them above the nose. Make sure to press down into the frosting.
  20. Pick out a slightly smaller black pearl sprinkle for the nose.
  21. Enjoy!

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