Mermaid Cupcakes


When I first created this post, it contained two amazing dairy-free watermelon snack ideas. But I’ve since divided the recipes into two posts to make these goodies easier to find. You can now enjoy the Breakfast Push Pops over here, and the Mermaid Cupcakes below. Technically this one is more of a crafty how-to. Nonetheless, I do have some delicious dairy-free cupcake and frosting recipes to recommend that can make it all happen.

Mermaid Cupcakes - a fun how-to with tips + recommended dairy-free frosting and cupcake recipesThis how-to recipe with photos for mermaid cupcakes was shared with us by the National Watermelon Board.

Choose Your Mermaid Cupcakes and Frosting Recipes

I’ve hand picked our favorite dairy-free recipe options for “white” cupcakes with frosting, and the list includes something for almost every special diet need.

Vegan Coconut Banana Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting – Banana, coconut and watermelon are made for one another! But skip the coconut topping and let the watermelon tails and turquoise sea frosting be the highlight.

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Buttercream – This is a classic, popular recipe that is also vegan and free of the top 8 allergens!

Gluten-Free Lime Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting – If you’ve never tried lime and watermelon together, then you’re in for a treat! This recipe is actually grain-free and soy-free, too. Plus, the frosting requires no margarine or shortening. However, the cupcakes are made with eggs and nuts.

Raspberry Cupcakes with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting – This is a “just” dairy-free recipe that also offers some versatility. You can swap in other berries for the raspberries or omit the fruit altogether for a simple vanilla cupcake.

Special Diet Notes: Mermaid Cupcakes

This is more of a guide than a strict recipe. So you can use the cupcake and frosting recipes you need (see my recommendations above) to make these mermaid cupcakes dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and/or vegetarian.

Mermaid Cupcakes
Prep time
Total time
Note that this is more of a how-to guide. See the post above for cupcake and frosting recipe recommendations.
Serves: 1 Watermelon Mermaid Tail
What you will need:
  • Cutting board
  • 1 large oblong seeded or seedless watermelon
  • Kitchen knife and paring knife
  • Large bowl and spoon or scoop
  • Green dry erase marker
  • Channel knife
  • Dowels and toothpicks
  • Optional decorations (found at any craft store): Edible turquoise shimmer powder / disco dust, mermaid cookie cutters, light blue or turquoise fabric or mermaid decorations.
  • Dairy-free white frosting
  • Baked and cooled cupcakes
  1. Wash the watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.
  2. On cutting board, place the watermelon on its side and cut off 4 inches from one end of watermelon to provide a sturdy base. Cut the remaining watermelon in half lengthwise.
  3. Hollow out both halves of the watermelon, reserving watermelon pieces to dice up for serving or cutting out mermaid shapes.
  4. Use the dry erase marker to trace a mermaid tail freehand lengthwise across one entire half. With the knife of your choice, carefully trim away to form the outline of mermaid tail. Use the channel knife to form scales and details.
  5. For added detail, brush on edible turquoise shimmer powder/disco dust (purchased at cake decorating store or craft store).
  6. Use pencil-sized dowels to secure the mermaid tail to top of base.
  7. Mermaid Cupcakes - a fun how-to with tips + recommended dairy-free frosting and cupcake recipes
  8. Cut the watermelon flesh into mermaid shapes with a cookie cutter or knife.
  9. Swirl the frosting with some of the edible turquoise shimmer powder or natural blue or turquoise food dye (you can add just a little yellow or green dye to a bright blue to give it more of a sea effect).
  10. Top each cupcake with a mermaid tail.
If using the mermaid watermelon cutouts as topper for cupcakes, as shown, add watermelon cutout with toothpick or small dowel first and then ice around it.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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