Vegan Bubblegum Pick 'N' Mix Cupcakes*

Sunday 3 March 2019

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*The pick 'n' mix in this post were gifted by The Conscious Candy Company, but all opinions are 100% truthful and honest. You can read my full disclaimer policy here.

If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you will understand how frustrating it can be to find tasty sweets.

I'm talking about those traditional pick 'n' mix sweets. Who remembers being a kid (or an adult too) and just running to the pick 'n' mix with the little white scoop in one hand, and the bag in another. Then wondering why your parents' faces looked so shocked once the bag finally got weighed. How is a child supposed to understand you pay by weight and to not fill the entire bag? And then they had those clever pre-priced tubs, but you then had the problem of trying of strategically add all the sweets you wanted, without leaving any gaps, but also keeping the lid down - as you can tell, I'm a huge pick 'n' mix enthusiast.

vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes

It's been over ten years, and it still pains me how difficult it is finding tasty pick 'n' mix, without having to worry about what's inside, and constantly checking through all the ingredients. Then I discovered The Conscious Candy Company;100% vegan, cruelty-free sweets with over 50 varieties to choose from.

Like I mentioned, they sell over 50 varieties that get packed into 200g bags, (not all are available in single bags just yet), but if you're anything like me, how could you possibly pick a favourite. In a standard pick 'n' mix sort of way, you can order a 1k box filled with different sweets - straight to your door. They even do a monthly subscription box. They recommend eating them within 4 weeks, but we all know that would never be a problem we'd have to face... because our faces will be stuffed with the most delicious sweets. Have I mentioned they sell GIANT marshmallows? Hello, vegan smores! I've actually never had those, but it would be nice to be able to try this American tradition. Let me know if you'd like to see a vegan marshmallow bake in the future! They're so reasonably priced with a 200g bag at £1.99 and a 1k box for £9.99.

vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes
vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes

I was sent a lovely box from The Conscious Candy Company filled with sweets packed in pink and white striped paper bags. Such a lovely touch to a traditional idea, and very environmentally friendly too. All packaging is 100% recyclable, and they even use sustainable soy ink for printing! The only time plastic is used is when sweets have already been wrapped such as Drumstick chews and Lovehearts. I received the most popular flavours; bubblegum bottles, cherry cola bottles, cola bottles, fizzy cherries, and fizzy strawberries, as well as a mixed bag to sample. What I love most about these sweets is they have the exact same texture as I remember, even my non-vegan friends and family have been enjoying them... a little too much if I say so, but I guess it's nice to share right? I have tried vegan sweets before, and it's hard to explain, but they never had that chewiness in them. But these all taste like the real thing. My 8-year-old self is very happy right now.

.@helloaycan is sharing her vegan bubblegum cupcakes which are decorated with vegan pick 'n' mix!

Some of my favourites are the fizzy strawberries, which taste like the sweetest fresh strawberries. I also loved the cream-filled fizzy pencils, rainbow nibbles and rainbow sour shocks. But, a sweet which I wasn't expecting to taste the way it did is the banana foams, mainly because I didn't realise they were going to be foam. I definitely didn't think foam sweets were available in any vegan form, so I was shocked, pleased and sad I had finished that type so quickly.

vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes
vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes

So we have our pick 'n' mix, now we need to make our cupcakes. I wanted to wait until I had tasted the sweets to pick a final flavour. I tried them all, a number of times and a clear winner for me were the bubblegum bottles. Maybe it was an aesthetic thing, maybe it was because they are absolutely delicious, but either way, I had to make bubblegum cupcakes.

I have used my traditional cupcake recipe you would have seen in all my bakes; it's my light, airy, and full of flavour vanilla sponge, (we'll talk about the colours a little later), so the bubblegum flavouring is all in the buttercream. You can buy the flavoured extract, but I had somehow acquired a bag of bubblegum icing sugar in my baking cupboard. I'm probably such a baking amateur that I didn't even realise you could buy icing sugar in different flavours. Life changing! (If you prefer to use an extract, use plain icing sugar and add the extract in 1 tsp at a time). Lucky, this flavoured icing sugar is white, so we get to play with even more colours.

vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes

You can't expect a pick 'n' mix and bubblegum inspired cupcake to stick to its original colouring, can you? Not with my baking style most definitely not. The two coloured pink and blue sponge took its inspiration, of course, from the bubblegum bottles themselves. The easiest and most successful way I found to do this is by pouring the coloured mixture into two piping bags before adding them to your cupcake cases. I started with the blue at the bottom, and as I piped, I consciously piped them up the sides too which creates this uneven edge that I liked. I then added the pink mixture slowly on top. Be careful not to pour it on forcefully as it may push the colours together mixing them into a very unattractive greeny/purplish colour. It will still be tasty though, you may have to slightly change the theme of your cupcakes - maybe Barney? If you want to keep the two colours a surprise, use a thicker foiled cupcake case, but I appreciate the colours (aesthetics again), so I used white.

vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes

I was tempted to use a pink and blue buttercream too, but to go along an overall pick 'n' mix theme, I thought I'd carry on with the spectrum of colours with yellow, green and a little purple too. I simply used a spatula to scrape the buttercream colours down the edge of the bag and slowly pushed it down. I have seen ways to pipe onto clingfilm, roll and then add it to your piping bag, but that slightly scared me, so I used the technique I have tried a million times before.

To decorate, each cupcake had a bubblegum bottle, and then I selected a few others and just had fun mixing them up. I cut a few paper straws (which were conveniently blue and pink... yes aesthetics), and poked them into the side to play with the whole bubblegum bottle/drink idea. Don't they just look like the most fun and sweet cupcakes you've ever seen? And they honestly taste just as good!

vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes


This recipe makes 12 sweet delights!


  • 1 cup/225ml non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp/20ml cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups/220g self-raising flour
  • 1 cup/175g golden caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup/58ml flavourless oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extracts
  • Pink and blue food dye gel
  • 1/4 cup/50g dairy-free butter
  • 3/4 cup/125g vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups/400g bubblegum flavoured icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp dairy-free milk
  • Green, yellow and purple food dye gel
  • Pick 'n' mix to decorate


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) / 350°F / gas mark 4. Line the cupcake tin with cases.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the dairy-free milk and cider vinegar. Leave for 10 minutes to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients; flour, golden caster sugar, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder. Mix together with a wooden spoon.
  4. Into the dry ingredients, add the dairy-free milk and cider vinegar mix, flavourless oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Split the mixture into two equal bowls; add pink food dye to one bowl, and blue to the other bowl. Pour the mixture into two piping bags.
  5. Starting with the blue mixture, squeeze a little around the edge and the bottom of each case. Carefully squeeze the pink mixture on top. Place into a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
  6. To prepare the buttercream frosting, leave the butter and vegetable shortening at room temperature for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, beat together using a hand or standing whisk, the vegetable shortening and butter until it's light and creamy. Add the dairy-free milk and mix again.
  7. Gradually pour in the sifted icing sugar, half a cup at a time. You may want to add more, depending on the texture you like. If it starts to get dry, add a little dairy-free milk, one tsp at a time.
  8. Split your buttercream into three equal bowls for each colour. Use a spatula to scrape down the piping bag to create the multicoloured effect. Pipe on to your cupcakes, and decorate with sweets and a paper straw.
vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes
vegan pick 'n' mix bubblegum cupcakes

Let me know in the comments below what you think of these cupcakes, and what are your favourite pick 'n' mix flavours. Don't forget to check out The Conscious Candy Company if you're looking to treat yourself, or even send as a gift to another.