First frost your cupcakes. Use a decorator bag with Ateco Tip #807 and you can whiz right through this part.
Pipe a small mound of frosting on top. You don’t need to cover the cupcake completely.
Because you will be pressing it into a bowl of sanding sugar to cover all the frosting. And when you do, the frosting will spread out and cover most of the top.
Then you can start making panda faces.
Insert a chocolate chip sideways and towards the bottom for a nose.
Then press two chips pointed side down into the frosting to start on the eyes and two more in position for the ears.
I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips because they are a little larger in diameter and were better for panda proportions.
And the great thing about covering them in sanding sugar first, is that you can easily reshape the face if necessary without getting frosting all over your fingers.
If you want to add mouths, try black or chocolate jimmies and press them into the frosting.
Then you just need to finish the eyes.
Use a black edible ink pen to draw on white confetti sprinkles for dotted eyes and then attach them to the chips with a tiny bit of frosting to hold them in place.
You could also just pipe frosting on for eyes if you want to skip the pin and sprinkles.
There you go. Easy little pandas.