How to Make Shark Fin Cupcakes

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team

Hosting a Shark Week party? Cap off the night with a sweet shark-themed treat: these lemony “shark bite” cupcakes. Filled with raspberry jam and topped with a chocolate shark fin, you and your guests are guaranteed to go Jaws on these babies.

Tip: This recipe has multiple components, so plan ahead. The shark fins can be made ahead of time and kept cool in an airtight container for at least a week. The frosting will also keep that long in the fridge. The cakes themselves can be made the day before. The day of the party, all you have to do is fill, frost, top, and chomp!


Lemon cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tsp. lemon zest
  • Raspberry jam


Cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste/vanilla bean
  • Blue and black gel food coloring (making light gray)


Shark fins:

  • White chocolate
  • Blue and black gel food coloring (making light gray)


Make the cakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter until smooth, then cream together butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Beat in flour mixture slowly, alternating with milk. Add lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream, and gently combine until smooth.

Pour batter into cupcake liners about ¾ full—or even better, use an ice cream scoop to distribute the batter evenly. Bake 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

Make the frosting

In a stand mixer (or by hand, if you’re feeling masochistic), beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and sugar and mix until incorporated. Optionally, add a drop each of blue and black food coloring to make light blue-gray frosting, or keep it natural for more of a great white underbelly.

Make the fins

Melt white chocolate over low heat in a double boiler or bowl placed over simmering water. Add black and blue food coloring to match frosting. Spread onto wax paper or a non-stick baking mat and let cool. When chocolate is cool but still slightly pliable, use a paring knife to carefully cut into triangle-like shapes to use as shark fin toppers.


When cakes have fully cooled, use a cupcake or apple corer to cut out the middle of each cupcake and fill with a teaspoon of raspberry jam. Frost cupcakes using a small offset spatula or pastry bag, and top each cupcake with a chocolate topper. Fin!


After you’re done slaving away in the kitchen, don’t forget to invite a few friends over to enjoy! Plan your premiere party for July 22 and tune in to Shark Week, only on Discovery.


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