Cookies, Cupcakes, Movies

Dancing Baby Groot Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes

After three long years, Guardians of the Galaxy is back with Volume 2! The sequel stays true to all we loved about the first film, providing another shoot-em-up space adventure with plenty of laughs and a feel-good soundtrack. Every member of our favorite galactic motley crew returns to the big screen- with one slight change: Lovable Groot comes back as Baby Groot and, to be honest, I could not be more stoked about that. He’s the cutest, and they made him cuter. Well done.

The film picks up on the dysfunctional group of heroes, renowned throughout the galaxy for killing that one bad guy last time and saving the planet! (Remember that? Me too.) This time, the crew maintains their official title as galactic guardians, landing a gig with a powerful alien race called the Sovereign. An effort to protect valuable batteries from invaders goes awry thanks to Rocket’s habitual thievery. As the Sovereign Army’s newest target, the guardians flee the planet, narrowly escaping with the unexpected help of (surprise!) Peter Quill’s father. The movie then delves into Starlord’s parentage, leading the characters deep into an emotional, yet silly, plot line.


Of course, I had to make Baby Groot cupcakes! Are you even surprised? There was no doubt in my mind lil Groot would be the star of this blog post. The biggest challenge of these treats was capturing his cuteness in its full glory. I’ll be honest with you, these desserts pictured are my second attempt. The first Groot’s were not adorable enough, and that did not work for me. I threw them away and started again, and I’m so happy with that decision. The key to maximum charm on these cookies is in the eyes. When piping, make them a little far apart and don’t forget to add the little white dot in his eyes. I pulled these tips from my experience with drawing cartoons and they made a world of difference.

For this dessert, you’re going to need little terracotta pots. I picked these up at my local JoAnn’s and washed them well before baking. I used six, unglazed, untreated 6oz pots. They’re about 2 ¾ inches tall and wide. After washing, brush the inside of the pots with vegetable oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

For the Groot gingerbread men, use this stencil. Print it out, cut it out, and place on your rolled out gingerbread dough. Carefully cut around the stencil with a knife. This is time consuming, and kind of a pain, but look how cute they are!

Once your Groot gingerbread men are baked and cooled, it’s time to bring him to life. I used Wilton #2 and #3 tips to pipe the royal icing vines, eyes, and smile. For his little leaves, I used Wilton #65 leaf tip. The leaves are optional, but I like the pop of color they brought to this otherwise neutral dessert.

When it’s time to put the Groot’s into the cupcakes, I recommend popping them in the freezer for 20 minutes first. This firms up the cookies and makes them easier to press down into the cupcake. After frosting the cupcakes and topping them with graham cracker crumbs, insert a knife into the center to create a slot for the cookies. Carefully press the cookie down into the cupcakes.

There you have it! Adorable baby Groot dancing cupcakes. For detailed recipes, check out the write-ups below. (Pro-tip: Listen to the Guardians of the Galaxy playlist while you make these.)


Chocolate Flowerpot Cupcakes

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 50m
  • Total Time: 1h
  • Serves: 6
  • Yield: 6 cupcake pots


  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush inside of each flowerpot with oil, and line bottom with parchment paper round. Brush parchment with oil, and lightly dust with cocoa.
  2. Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add egg and yolk, 3/4 cup warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Divide batter among prepared pots, filling each about two-thirds full. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheet about halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cakes cool completely in the flowerpots on a wire rack.
  4. Frost cupcakes with frosting and top with graham cracker crumbs.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 10m
  • Yield: 3 cups frosting


  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 c confectioners\' sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
  2. Add the confectioners\' sugar, one cup at a time, beating on a low speed as it incorporates. Add in salt.
  3. Once all ingredients start to incorporate, increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Groot Gingerbread Men

  • Prep Time: 1h 30m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 1h 50m
  • Serves: 6
  • Yield: 6 big Groot cookies


  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c unsulfured molasses


  1. Before you begin, note that this dough has to chill for at least 1 hour. Plan accordingly!
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar on high speed with the paddle attachment on an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg and molasses. Incorporate the molasses by pouring a careful steady stream while the mixer is on low.
  5. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix on a low speed until combined.
  6. Flatten the dough into a round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. The longer you chill the dough, the easier it will be to work with later.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. If you haven\'t already, print and cut out the Groot stencil (the link is in the blog post above.)
  8. Roll the dough out to be about 1/8th of an inch thick. It may be easier to roll the dough directly onto the silpat/parchment paper, cut around the Groot stencil, and pull away the dough to avoid transferring Groot\'s tricky shape. Cut the shapes out using a small knife and a lot of patience.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cookies should be golden brown and spring back a little bit if you press them with your finger. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks before decorating.

Small Batch Royal Icing Recipe

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 10m
  • Yield: 2 cups frosting


  • 2 c confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tbsp. meringue powder
  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine powdered sugar and meringue powder.
  2. Add the water and extract slowly. Beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form (about 5-7 minutes).
  3. Add food coloring and more water to reach desired color and consistency.