1.Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 12-hole (¹/³-cup/80ml) muffin pan with paper cases.
2.Make cake according to directions on packet; divide mixture evenly between paper cases.
3.Bake cakes about 20 minutes. Stand cakes in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-sides up, onto wire racks to cool.
4.Meanwhile, beat butter in small bowl with electric mixer until as white as possible. Gradually beat in sifted icing sugar and milk, in two batches. Tint buttercream with caramel colouring.
5.Cut violet crumble bars into thin shards. Cut licorice strap into 12 small triangles for nose; cut remaining licorice into strips to make whiskers and mouth.
6.Spread cakes with buttercream. Position licorice on cakes to make faces; use chocolate chips for eyes. Use crumble bar shards to make lions’ manes.
Cakes can be made 1 day ahead; store in an airtight container. Cooked cakes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw cakes at room temperature for about 3 hours. Cakes can be completed up to 3 hours ahead; refrigerate if the weather is hot. Serve the cupcakes on a large water lily leaf (visit your local florist or aquarium centre to enquire if they’re available) or make it yourself using dark-green cardboard or a waterproof dark-green fabric.