Avatar: The Last Airbender Cakes

Oh, how I adore this show. My Avatar: The Last Airbender cakes are easy, delicious and make quite the statement. Fun cupcakes for an endlessly fun throwback TV show. Let’s whip up an (air)storm, shall we?

About the TV show:

Joining my Teen Titans seaweed bread, we have a second throwback recipe! It felt so right to base it on Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender (the ORIGINAL cartoon series). I didn’t actually watch much of this incredible TV show when it was airing, but I was properly introduced to it when I was in Japan in 2019. I fell in love immediately. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender is everything a person could ask for from a cartoon: it’s visually thrilling; the story has you gripped from start to finish, the concept itself is so enticing and it’s difficult not to get invested in the characters. Honestly, despite its status as a “children’s television show”, Avatar: The Last Airbender is TIMELESS.

I’ve rewatched it twice since I had to leave Japan (and counting).

Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Avatar: The Last Airbender first aired in 2005 and ran for three books (seasons) until 2008.

It’s set in a world where people are able to manipulate the energy around them: ‘benders’ are those who can control the elements. The four main elements: Air, Earth, Water and Fire. Plus, compound elements and skills that fall within the four main elements like metal (Earth), healing (water), levitation (air) and lightning (fire).

Katara (a water bender) and her brother Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe come across Aang, the last airbender, who has been trapped in ice for a hundred years. Once released from his icy cage, Aang learns of the decimation of the airbenders and the century long war that the fire nation declared.

Katara and Sokka then learn that Aang is in fact the Avatar: the only person able to bend all four elements. From there, they set out on helping Aang master all four elements in time to fight the Fire Lord and finally end the war. 

The three books (seasons) are laid out in chapters, following the progression of Aang’s quest to master the four main elements. He meets and befriends various other benders and is hunted by the Fire Lord’s son, Zuko, who is desperate to capture the Avatar and “restore his honour” in the eyes of his father.

The characters in the show are some of the most iconic characters in television, in my opinion. Big up Iroh AKA Zuko’s Uncle!

The spin-off: The Legend of Korra (2012) was also brilliant and I recommend watching it after (if you haven’t already). Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my absolute favourite TV shows and genuinely means the world to me. I will continue to rewatch the original series repeatedly and remain in hope that Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko return to the Avatar Universe to further expand.

About the bake:

To celebrate this wondrous show, I decided on cupcakes. They’re as fun to make as the show is fun to watch. For the flavour, I went for coconut because it’s one of my favourites and just felt right. But, any flavour will work with these. I considered lemon, orange and peppermint before I settled on coconut.

As for the colour scheme and decorations, I chose to replicate the insignias that represent the four main elements: Air, Earth, Water and Fire. I topped the cupcakes with them in their respective colours.

No copyright infringement intended.

The colour of the buttercream that top my Avatar: The Last Airbender cakes is a reference to the colour of Aang’s markings – a distinctive light blue that glows when he connects to the spirit realm. 

The insignia decorations are piped white chocolate. It’s important to temper the chocolate first before using. Otherwise, the designs won’t stay solid at room temperature and will likely collapse (trust me, I watched my designs collapse when I was experimenting). Tempering is easier than it sounds and is so worth doing. The designs look and taste much better for it! 

The key is to make sure that the temperature of your chocolate reaches 43°C (110°F) but no higher and then cool it back down to 29°C (84°F) by “seeding” in the rest of the chocolate and stirring constantly.

“Seeding” simply means adding the rest of the chocolate in, a bit at a time, until it’s all melted.

I’d really recommend getting a food grade thermometer (if you don’t already own one) because it makes keeping track of the temperature so much easier.

Decorating with chocolate is the fun part: you can try as many times as you like and use up all the chocolate you’ve tempered. Try different methods of creating the Insignias and get artsy! We’re here for fun, not perfection.

Top Tips:

  • Avoid over mixing the cake batter. Over mixing can move you away from the light and fluffy texture that makes a cake so tasty to eat.
  • A food grade thermometer is really helpful when tempering the white chocolate decorations. It means your level of accuracy is much higher and the result is much more desirable. Whilst it’s not absolutely essential, I highly advise using a food grade thermometer for optimal chocolate tempering.
  • Add the colours to the tempered chocolate quickly. Don’t hang about. You risk altering the tempered chocolate too much.
  • Use any piping tip (or none at all) for the buttercream. I went for a simple magical swirl because it made sense to me, but you can literally do whatever you want. These are your cupcakes, friends.

These Avatar: The Last Airbender cakes are delicate and utterly moreish. You best believe I devoured about four of them in a single day. They’d make seriously great viewing party treats!

I made twelve cakes but if you want to make more, simply double the recipe ingredients (apart from the baking powder – stay with 1 tsp if making twenty-four cupcakes).

Happy baking, happy eating!

Ingredients:

Avatar: The Last Airbender cakes:

  • 100g [3.5 oz] unsalted butter
  • 100g [½ cup] caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g [½ cup + 2 tbsp] self-raising flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp natural coconut flavouring

Decoration:

  • 100g [3.5 oz] unsalted butter room temperature
  • 250g [1½ + 3 tbsp] icing [confectioners] sugar
  • 200g [1 cup] white chocolate (chopped)
  • Baby blue food colouring 
  • Green food colouring
  • Red food colouring

Serves: 12

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Chilling time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 15 – 20 minutes

Decorating time: 20 minutes

Method:

Avatar: The Last Airbender cakes:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C [350°F] or 180°C fan and prepare your muffin tray by placing cupcake cases in each designated space.
  2. Soften the butter then add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat again until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the coconut flavouring.
  5. Sieve the flour and baking powder over your cake batter and then mix until evenly combined. Be careful not to over mix!
  6. Divide the batter equally into your cupcake cases.
  7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown and a cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool fully on a wire rack.

Buttercream:

  1. While your cakes are cooling, make your buttercream.
  2. Beat the butter to loosen it, then add the icing sugar ⅓ at a time, beating in between. 
  3. Add the blue food colouring until you get the right tone of blue.
  4. Once the cakes are cool, pipe the buttercream on top of each one in whatever pattern you fancy.
  5. Set the cakes aside and start on the chocolate decorations.

Chocolate insignias:

  1. Prepare two or three baking trays by lining them with greaseproof paper/baking parchment.
  2. To temper the chocolate, melt ⅔s of the chocolate in a bain marie (bowl set over a pan of water that has been brought to the boil), stirring continuously. Using a thermometer to measure the temperature, melt the chocolate and stir until it reaches about 43°C (110°F). 
  3. Take off the heat and “seed” in the remaining chocolate a handful at a time to bring the temperature down to about 29°C (84°F), stirring continuously. This may take some time but be patient!
  4. Place the bowl back onto the heat (the pan) for about 10 seconds, stirring non-stop to inject some heat back into the chocolate. Take the chocolate back off the heat and stir, then place it back over the heat again. Repeat this process until the temperature of the chocolate has reached 32°C (89°F). Do not leave the chocolate over the heat the whole time and do not let the chocolate exceed 33°C (91°F).
  5. When the chocolate has reached the correct temperature, it is now ready to work with. Split it into 4 quarters, with ¾ in 3 bowls and add the three colour dyes into the individual bowls, leaving the last quarter in the original bowl without dye (this will be for your Air decorations). The measurements don’t need to be exact.
  6. Add each quarter to a piping bag and pipe the Insignia decorations for each element onto your greased and lined baking trays using the chocolate.
  7. Place in the fridge or freezer for around 15 minutes or until set. Due to the tempering, it doesn’t take long at all for the chocolate to harden and be ready for decoration!
  8. Arrange your cupcakes and prepare to decorate. If the buttercream seems a little hard or stiff on the outside, use a knife to make a thin indentation in the centre of each one, just deep enough for the chocolate decorations to be able to sit in without snapping.
  9. The colder the chocolate is, the easier it is to handle when decorating. When the chocolate is set (and cold), sit the chocolate Insignias into each cupcake.

These moreish Avatar: The Last Airbencer cakes will last for around 4 days in an airtight container but chances are, they won’t last that long! If you’re having an Avatar: The Last Airbender viewing party (or marathon session) then I truly hope you love both the show and the cupcakes.

Recipe card:

Avatar: The Last Airbender Cakes

Laura – Flavour of the Film
Easy and fun coconut flavoured cupcakes decorated with American buttercream and tempered white chocolate designs representing the four element insignias, celebrating Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes:

  • 100 g [3.5 oz] unsalted butter
  • 100 g [½ cup] caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g [½ cup + 2 tbsp] self-raising flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp natural coconut flavouring

Decoration:

  • 100 g [3.5 oz] unsalted butter room temperature
  • 250 g [1½ + 3 tbsp] icing [confectioners] sugar
  • 200 g [1 cup] white chocolate chopped
  • Baby blue food colouring
  • Green food colouring
  • Red food colouring

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 200°C [350°F] or 180°C fan and prepare your muffin tray by placing cupcake cases in each designated space.
  • Soften the butter then add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat again until fully incorporated.
  • Add the coconut flavouring.
  • Sieve the flour and baking powder over your cake batter and then mix until evenly combined. Be careful not to over mix!
  • Divide the batter equally into your cupcake cases.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown and a cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool fully on a wire rack.
  • While your cakes are cooling, make your buttercream.
  • Beat the butter to loosen it, then add the icing [confectioners] sugar ⅓ at a time, beating in between.
  • Add the blue food colouring until you get the right tone of blue.
  • Once the cakes are cool, pipe the buttercream on top of each one in whatever pattern you fancy.
  • Set the cakes aside and start on the chocolate decorations.
  • Prepare two or three baking trays by lining them with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
  • To temper the chocolate, melt ⅔s of the chocolate in a bain marie (bowl set over a pan of water that has been brought to the boil), stirring continuously. Using a thermometer to measure the temperature, melt the chocolate and stir until it reaches 43°C (110°F).
  • Take off the heat and “seed” in the remaining chocolate a handful at a time to bring the temperature down to 29°C (84°F), stirring continuously. This may take some time but be patient!
  • Place the bowl back onto the heat (the pan) for about 10 seconds, stirring non-stop to inject some heat back into the chocolate. Take the chocolate back off the heat and stir, then place it back over the heat again. Repeat this process until the temperature of the chocolate has reached 32°C (89°F). Do not leave the chocolate over the heat the whole time and do not let the chocolate exceed 33°C (91°F).
  • When the chocolate has reached the correct temperature, it is now ready to work with. Split it into 4 quarters, with 3 of the quarters in 3 bowls and add the three colour dyes into the individual bowls, leaving the last quarter in the original bowl without dye (this will be for your Air decorations). The measurements don’t need to be exact.
  • Add each quarter to a piping bag and pipe the Insignia decorations for each element onto your greased and lined baking trays using the chocolate.
  • Place in the fridge or freezer for around 15 minutes or until set. Due to the tempering, it doesn’t take long at all for the chocolate to harden and be ready for decoration!
  • Arrange your cupcakes and prepare to decorate. If the buttercream seems a little hard or stiff on the outside, use a knife to make a thin indentation in the centre of each one, just deep enough for the chocolate decorations to be able to sit in without snapping.
  • The colder the chocolate is, the easier it is to handle when decorating. When the chocolate is set (and cold), sit the chocolate Insignias into each cupcake.

Notes

These moreish Avatar: The Last Airbender cakes will last for around 4 days in an airtight container but chances are, they won’t last that long! If you’re having an Avatar: The Last Airbender viewing party (or marathon session) then I truly hope you love both the show and the cupcakes!
Keyword american buttercream, avatar, avatar the last airbender, avatar the last airbender cakes, coconut cupcakes, cupcakes, insignias, nickelodeon, tempered chocolate

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