Cupcake Tricks and Tips

In the past few weeks, I have baked 174 cupcakes. I made 150 for a big scouting event and then two dozen for a birthday party. That’s a lot of cupcakes! And I’ve learned some valuable lessons I thought I’d share.

1. Buy a jumbo sized piping tip. You just can’t beat it for piping frosting on to cupcakes. It makes them look so fancy and it’s actually easier and faster than spreading frosting on with a knife. See how pretty:

I bought Wilton’s 1M tip from Michael’s and used it in the piping bags I already had. It looks like this:

 I didn’t use a coupler or anything and it still worked great. Definitely $1.50 well spent.

2. Try adding toppers to your cupcakes for that extra something special. For the cub scout event, I made paper toppers stuck on toothpicks. Cute, easy, and it really reinforced the theme.

For the birthday party, I melted down chocolate chips carefully in the microwave, put the melted chocolate into a ziplock bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner, then piped “90” onto waxed paper. That’s right… the birthday girl was turning 90! That’s definitely something to celebrate, dontcha think?!

Once the chocolate hardened, I peeled the numbers off the waxed paper and put them on top of each cupcake. Nothing beats an edible decoration!

3. Plan a way to store and transport cupcakes. You don’t want to spend all that time making beautiful cupcakes only to have them slide off the tray and splat all over the trunk or smash into the lid of the too-small tupperware. The very best thing I’ve found for transporting and storing cupcakes? Under-the-bed plastic storage containers! I have one that fits 24 cupcakes:

 and one that holds about 100:

These worked so well. They are tall enough that the frosting doesn’t get smashed and wide enough to hold a lot of cupcakes. The hard plastic protects the cupcakes and I just can’t say enough about how perfect these containers worked! I will never use anything else! Plus I just dumped the old sweaters out onto my bed, washed/sanitized/dried them, then filled them up with cupcakes. When the cupcakes were gone, I washed them again and put the old sweaters back in… so dual purpose! Yay!

What if you want to give just one cupcake to someone? Thank you, Pinterest. I tried out this solution and it worked out perfectly:

The cupcake is in a clear plastic cup and tied with cellophane and a bit of pink lace. That way the frosting stays protected and the cupcake won’t dry out. And it’s purty. Always important.
4. Make a cupcake that tastes great. I love filled cupcakes. You just fill a piping bag with whatever filling you choose (instant pudding is easy and pretty darn tasty), stab the top center of each cupcake and squeeze the filling in. Easy peasy, but that little gooey surprise in the middle is so scrumptious!
This one is a S’mores Cupcake: chocolate cake with marshmallow cream filling, chocolate buttercream frosting and graham cracker crumb sprinkles:
It was pretty divine, I have to say. I used a boxed cake mix because I’m lazy and I don’t mind the taste of them. Just please, please, please don’t use shortening for the frosting. Yeck. Bleh. Gag. Butter tastes so much better!

So anyway. I’ve rambled on about cupcakes for long enough. Have a great day!


    • I didn't follow a recipe. Eek! I know, I know. BUT… I used two sticks of butter, about 2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 – 1/2 cup (ish) good cocoa, a pinch of salt, 2 TBSP milk and enough powdered sugar to get it to the right thickness. Hopefully that helps.


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