The Art of a Great (and super simple) Cupcake


So I’m not much of a baker.  Well, not much of a cupcake baker.  And those beautiful frosting swirls?  Yep, can’t do it.  Don’t get me wrong – I have those little tools and the puffy pastry bag, but it just doesn’t happen.  Not for me.  And I’m fine with it because I can buy any generic grocery store cupcake and turn it into a perfect party dessert (in about five minutes).

So today on the blog, I’m sharing my secret.  It’s simple:

  1. Buy those grocery store/bakery cupcakes.  I won’t tell. (And for those of you who can actually bake a delicious cupcake… well.. I’m jealous).  For the rest of us, here’s a tip: pre-order.  Our local grocery store takes preorders, and will always honor my request for two different color frostings and any color sprinkles.  This makes a HUGE difference.  Do it.
  2. Pick up a package of adorable cupcake liners from any craft store, party store, or on Etsy.  I’m partial to polka dots or other bold designs.  Place the cupcakes right into the new liners (as is) a little bit before serving. Don’t do it too early because the pretty cupcake liners tend to spread out and loosen up over time.
  3. And lastly… add a printable cupcake topper!  Of course, I’m a little biased since I design cupcake toppers, but I’m amazed by how many people don’t use them or don’t know how to make them.  It’s super simple:
    1. Print the file on heavy white card stock (100 lb or more) from any color printer.  At Oodles and Doodles, they come formatted with 12 per page.
    2. Purchase short lollipop sticks from any craft store.  Make sure they’re the SHORT 4 inch ones, and not the super long (6 inch) ones.
    3. Grab a 2 inch round punch (really, they’re cheap and worth it) and punch out the circles.  (I design cupcake toppers as a circle inside of a square so you can always cut them out as squares as well.  But, to be very honest, it’s the circle that makes it).  Buy a punch.  They’re inexpensive and you’ll be shocked how many times you use it (favor bag labels, gift labels, etc).
    4. So here’s the easy part.  Once you have the toppers punched out all you have to do is glue or tape them on to the lollipop stick.  Lots of different methods work.  For those perfectionists, you can use a white dot sticker to tape the back so you won’t see any unsightly glue.  For me, I have a love affair with my glue gun and use that.  Quick and totally simple. (You can find these London Guard cupcake toppers and the whole matching party kit available here).
  4. Display them beautifully on a cupcake tower or platter.  I have one from Crate & Barrel that’s held up through many parties.  And for more easy display tips, check out this party decoration tips post.

And that’s it!  It’s an inexpensive party dessert that only takes a few minutes, but feels like it took hours.


Photo Credit: Bridget Lynn Photography

Happy 4th!

4th of July cupcake toppers

To get your 4th of July party started, you can download some free printable cupcake toppers/tags here!  If you’ve never made cupcake toppers before, below are some super simple directions:

1. Download the item via Google Documents.
2. Print on heavy white card stock (or Avery full sheet labels for stickers)
3. For cupcake toppers, trim into circles (or better yet.. use a 2 inch round punch).
4. Glue the toppers on to either a toothpick or a lollipop stick (you can find those in baking aisles in craft stores).
5. Or trim into squares and use these for favor tags, to decorate vases, pitchers, ice buckets, as napkin rings/ties, large confetti… you name it!

Happy 4th everyone! Hope you have a great day!