David Atherton's 
Cheeky Mouse 

Some people are scared of mice, but I think they’re really cute. This cupcake recipe uses piped buttercream to make a little mouse face, with a pointy nose. Don’t worry if you don’t get the hang of piping the icing straight away. Take your time, practise lots and you’ll get there!

Ingredients (cakes):

65g caster sugar 

65g soft brown sugar 

100ml vegetable oil 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

2 medium eggs 

100g swede 

120g plain flour 

1 ½ tsp baking powder 

1 tsp ground mixed spice 

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Ingredients (Topping)


75g unsalted butter (at room temperature) 

150g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting 

1 tsp vanilla extract 

24 white chocolate buttons 

24 currants 

12 little ball-shaped sweets (or sprinkles) 

12 strawberry laces 




Makes 12 cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 160°C (fan-assisted).

  • Prepare a 12-hole muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.

  • Put the sugars, oil and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Crack in the 2 eggs and beat until smooth.

  • Peel and finely grate the swede until you have 100g. Add the grated swede to the mixture.

  • Add the flour, baking powder and spices, then stir until you have a smooth batter.

  • Use a dessertspoon to fill the cupcake cases three-quarters full.

  • Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove from the tray and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.

  • Put the butter, icing sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth (you can add 1 tsp of warm water to help loosen the mixture).

  • Put the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a small swirly nozzle (or use a sandwich bag and cut off the corner when you are ready to pipe).

  • Pipe a swirl of buttercream in the middle of the cupcake and try to make it come up to a point (this will be the mouse’s nose).

  • Using a small sieve, dust with icing sugar.

  • Gently press 2 chocolate buttons in for the ears, add 2 currants for the eyes, a little ball-shaped sweetie for the nose and a strawberry lace for the tail.

  • Repeat steps 10–12 until you have 12 cheeky mouse cakes!

Extracted from My First Baking Book by David Atherton  (Walker Books Ltd, £11.75)