Mermaid Tail Cupcakes Tutorial

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

Apparently, people like mermaid cupcakes. I'm always getting emails with people asking me how to make these, so I figured a tutorial was in order. Here are the step-by-step instructions so you can make your own mermaid tail cupcakes! (Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

First, make cupcakes. They're kind of an important part of this thing. 

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial
Cute swirly cupcake wrappers from Michael's

Making the Mermaid Tails

Materials needed:
Mermaid tail template
wax paper
Zip Lock baggie
Wilton Icing Color (if you use white candy melts)

Now we're going to make the mermaid tails. Cover your work surface with wax paper. Because I have no artistic abilities whatsoever, I found a mermaid tail template on Google, then resized and printed it. Slide it under the wax paper.

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

Use Wilton Candy Melts to make the tail. I prefer to use the white ones, then color them green with Wilton Icing Color (I used Leaf Green) so I can control the color. However, you can buy colored ones if you want.

Melt the chocolate according to the directions on the package. You don’t need to use the whole bag—a little goes a long way. After it’s melted, add the food coloring if you are using white candy melts. 

Put the chocolate into a zip lock baggie. It helps to place the baggie in a cup and just spoon and pour the chocolate into it.

Squeeze all of the chocolate into one corner and cut a tiny hole to pipe the chocolate onto your work surface.

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

Using your template, outline the mermaid tail, then fill it in completely. Don’t skimp on the chocolate.

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

Now glitter-fy it with sprinkles!

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

Cutifying the Cupcake

Materials needed:
piping bag
small Star Tip (I used a Wilton number 18)
blue icing (I used Wilton's sky blue)

First off, cut a little slot in the cupcake, then slide the mermaid tail into it.

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

Now it's time for the icing! Prep your piping bag with a small star tip (I used 18 this time, but I've also used 16), and add the blue icing.

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial
You can also try bag striping for a cool effect.

Pipe icing on the cupcake in little swirls.

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

Continue until the cupcake is covered with swirls, then make wave peaks with a toothpick.

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial

And there you go! You have yourself a beautiful mermaid tail cupcake!

mermaid tail cupcake tutorial


  1. Waoo!! This is beyoooooooooooooooooooond awesome!! I soooo want to try this! Thanks for posting the tutorial!

  2. This is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen a cupcake do!!! Thanks, doll...can't wait to try them out!

    <3 Cambria

  3. Awesomeawesomeawesomeeee

  4. Saw this on pinterest, absolutely darling

  5. woo woo just made them for my daughter's 3rd bday this weekend! So cute and elegant!

  6. I'm so glad to hear that! Thanks for letting me know you made them!

  7. Darling! Thank you for making this tutorial!

  8. These are exactly what I've been searching for! I literally shrieked in delight when I stumbled upon your blog! I'm planning on making these exact cupcakes this week for my daughter's mermaid themed birthday party! Thanks so much for the awesome idea, and helpful tutorial!

  9. Can you give me the link where you found the template for the mermaid tail? What did you re-size it to?

  10. I am turning 13 this year and I am planning the biggest pool party out there. I have searching forever for the perfect cupcake design and here it is! My ocean themed party is complete! Thanks! I am going to try this shark fins, fish sticking out the water and anything else I can think of!

  11. These are COOL.. I'm building a wedding tutorial collection for our website soon. I'm going to have to link them to the cupcake idea. So simple and so cute :)

  12. Thanks for the inspiration

  13. I love the idea of shark fins! I hope your thirteenth birthday was the best!

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  58. These look fabulous. I'm going to follow your instructions and give it a try this weekend. Thanks a lot - you are very talented!

  59. I just google "mermaid tail template." The first few are really good!

  60. Thank you so much! I'd love to see your results if you don't mind sharing! (You can email me at mrsdorkblog @ I always love hearing when someone makes these!

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  62. Love these and am attempting to make them! :) Do you think I could make the tails tonight, the cupcakes tomorrow and serve Saturday morning? I know the cupcakes will be fine, I've just never worked with melting chocolate. Thank you!

  63. I would think so! I might even suggest putting the tails in the fridge. I've never made them more than a day in advance. Just don't let them get hot! When I took my cupcakes outside to photograph them the tails kept melting and breaking! Let me know how they go! I'd love photos if you think about it. ;)

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  83. I want to make these, but have to transport the cupcakes. What do you think about putting in the tail after they are iced (and transported!)?

  84. That's probably the best way to do it in this case! Just make sure you make the tails pretty thick, because you'd hate to have them break once you get there. And please be especially careful if you will have them in a hot car. When I was photographing these outside, I had to keep grabbing new cupcakes because the tails would buckle and melt! Good luck with making these. Let me know how it goes!

  85. Yay! This is so awesome! Just did a test run with Key Lime flavored candy melts for my daughter's 5th birthday party next month and we are all jazzed that this works so great! Thanks for sharing!!!

  86. I'm so glad it worked so well for you! I hope your daughter has a very happy birthday!

  87. How many ounces do you need for 24 cupcakes? Just want to make sure I order enough. Thank you! These are too precious!

  88. One bag should be more than necessary. A little goes a long way with the melting chocolate! Thank you so much!

  89. Hi

    I'm going to attempt to make these for my daughters 5th birthday next week, I've not had much luck with candy melts before - do you have any advice? Also how long does it take to set, and how far in advance can you make them?

    Many thanks

  90. Hi! My best recommendation is to microwave the candy melts in short spurts--maybe 20 seconds--then stir. They actually keep their shape a little once they're already melted, so the only way to know if they're ready is to stir it. Otherwise, it's easy to leave them in the microwave too long.
    I'd suggest giving them an hour or two to set. It probably doesn't even need that long, but just to be safe. I'm not sure exactly how long they keep. I would guess for a while since candy melts have a pretty good shelf life. If you make them in advance, I'd suggest adding the tails to the cupcake closer to party time. Also, try to keep them in a cool place. When I took the outside photos, I only had a few seconds before the tails buckled over from the heat! (Granted, I photographed them in July in Louisiana.)
    Best of luck to you! Let me know how it goes, and if you think about it, email me a photo to mrsdorkblog (at)!

  91. Brilliant thank you for your help, I shouldn't have the heat problem, I'm in the UK and it's freezing!! Lol.
    I will post a picture (if they go well)... Lol
    Thanks again

  92. Hi, is there a possibility that these could be made without candy melts? Any ideas for an alternative?

  93. I think a good alternative would be sugar cookies. I tried a quick google search for a mermaid tail cookie cutter--all I found were whole mermaid ones, but you could use one to make do if need be. Alternatively, you could use a template and cut them out yourself.

    And, of course, you could always print some tails out and attach them to a toothpick. You would still have the cute factor, and they would probably be better for travel/heat!

  94. Oh, thank you so much for that, I would never have thought of it, truly brilliant, I will be doing this straight after school tomorrow!!

  95. I made these for my daughter. Thought they came out pretty well considering I had all of 3 hours to do everything including shopping for the ingredients and making the cupcakes and frosting from scratch. Thought you'd like to see.

  96. Oh my goodness, they turned out perfectly! Thanks for sharing! I'm sure your daughter loved them! :)

  97. Indeed! They were a big hit! Thanks for sharing the "recipe."

  98. LOVE this idea & can't wait to try it for my daughters birthday party in 2 weeks. I'm super excited! Thanks so much for sharing HOW you actually made it :) SO creative you are!

  99. Did you add white icing of is the blue mixed?

  100. I did bag striping using white icing with blue stripes. I have a link under one of the photos that explains how to do it.

  101. Love these! But my 5 year old insisted they have faces :-) Thank you for sharing!

  102. Oh my goodness--so cute! You have quite the smart daughter. :) Thank you for sharing a pic!

  103. Just wanted to stop by & show you my cupcakes. I made them for my daughter's 6th birthday mermaid theme party. They were a hit!