Interiors by Kirsten Armour 4 minutes

Koala Cupcake recipe by Masterchef contestant Tessa Boersma

We’ve teamed up with Masterchef contestant, Tessa Boersma to create our very own Koala Cupcakes to celebrate our Surprise Birthday Sale we’re throwing—up to 20% OFF sitewide!

These koala cupcakes are the perfect lockdown activity to celebrate with the whole family. Easy to decorate (just cover with fondant and a delicious vanilla buttercream icing), you’ll have a beary cute cuppie! 

To make sure your cupcakes come out as scrumptious as can be, Tessa will be taking you through each step via Instagram Live takeover on the @koala Instagram account. The Live will happen at 9:00AM on 22 Wednesday September. Mark it in your calendar, bakers!

To make this extra sweet, we’re giving you the chance to WIN a $1,000 Koala voucher! Submit a photo of your koala cupcakes (fails welcome) on Instagram by tagging us @koala and using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayKoala. Instagram Stories are welcome as entries (make sure you’re not private so we can see your tag!). The competition ends at 11:59pm on 26 Sunday September. T&Cs apply.


Vanilla cupcake base with a grey vanilla buttercream

Makes 10 cupcakes


1 cup cake flour (or plain flour)

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of flaked salt

2 large eggs, at room temp

3/4 cup caster sugar

60g unsalted butter , cut into cubes, at room temp

1/2 cup full cream milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)

1 1/2 tsp Extra virgin olive oil

Zest from 1 lemon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C fan forced and place a shelf in the middle of the oven. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the salt and lemon zest and whisk together until combined. Set aside.
  3. Place butter and milk in a small saucepan over a low heat to slowly melt the butter. Once butter has melted, remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Place eggs into a cake mixing bowl with the whisk attachment on. Beat eggs for 30 seconds on medium and then increase the speed to high. Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time every 15 seconds. Beat the eggs until the mixture has tripled (about 5 mins) and turns white. Do not overbeat (once it has tripled in volume start adding in the flour – on low). Note: can be hand mixed as well.
  5. Add in 1/4 cup of the flour mixture at a time – scatter across surface of the eggs, with the whisk going at the lowest speed. Repeat this until all of the flour mixture has been added. Stop beating once flour has only just incorporated. 
  6. Pour hot milk, vanilla and oil into the now empty flour bowl. Using a whisk, add a whisk full of batter into the hot milk and whisk quickly until smooth. 
  7. Add the milk mixture into the egg batter and whisk slowly until it has all combined. Be sure to scrape down and whisk the edges and bottom. 
  8. Scrape/pour batter into a small jug for easy pouring. Fill each of the muffin liners to 2/3rds full (About 1 cm from top of liner).
  9. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven. Cool for just 2 minutes then use a fork to help remove and place on cooling rack. Cool completely before icing.


125g unsalted butter (room temperature), cut into large cubes

2 cups Icing mixture, sifted

Small pinch of flaked salt

1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (seeds only)

1 tbsp full cream milk

Black gel colour


  1. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until smooth and fluffy, about a minute. Note: can be hand mixed as well.
  2. Add the sifted powdered sugar a spoonful at a time over medium-low speed. Keep doing this until all of the sugar is added, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  3. Add the salt and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  4. Next add the milk and whip the frosting for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  5. Lastly add the black gel colouring until you get your desired grey colour, stir to combine



Grey vanilla buttercream

Grey, White and Black fondant (250g grey, 100g white and 50g of black – roughly)

Instruments to cut a 20mm circle, a 30mm circle, a circle that is the same size as the top of your cupcake (70-80mm) a knife and a ravioli cutter (optional – this will give the ears a serrated edge but you can also do this manually with a knife).

  1. Spread a cupcake with about 1-2tsp of buttercream frosting (ensure you don’t spread the frosting too close to the edge of the cupcake as it may spill out once the fondant goes on. 
  2. Separately roll out each colour of the fondant to about 2mm thick. Using the cutter that matches the diameter of the cupcake, cut out a circle of the grey fondant. Place this on the cupcake and lightly press into the cupcake with your palm.
  3. Next cut out the 30mm of grey fondant. Cut this circle in half and press the round edge with a ravioli cutter to give it a patterned edge. Place one half onto the koala cupcake – straight edge first (you may want to wet slightly with some water to help stick), place on the outer edge of the fondant on the cupcake. Curl it slightly to give it a roundness. Continue this step on the other side.
  4. Next cut out the 20mm of white fondant. Cut this circle in half and place one edge (straight side) into one of the already placed grey ears. Softly press the two ears together so they stick together. Repeat this on the other side.
  5. For the eyes, cut out two small squares from the black fondant. Roll one in the palm of your hand and then press lightly with one finger to create a round ‘eye’. Place the eye on the cupcake and repeat with the other piece of fondant. 
  6. For the nose, cut a piece that is double the size of the eye piece and roll into a log between the palm of hand. Press down on one end with your finger and then slightly on the top to create a teardrop shape. Place this on the cupcake. Done!

Koala is turning 6 and we’re throwing you a Surprise Birthday Sale for getting us this far. With up to 20% OFF sitewide, this is one party you don’t want to miss.

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