Cute up your cupcakes

Let’s be honest: Is there anything tastier than a cupcake? Anything cuter? Anything better? I don’t think so! We’re saluting our favorite bite-sized treats with some adorable decorating ideas sure to wow guests or, you know, impress the socks off Y-O-U.


Hey there, fancy pants!

Bust out of the grocery store blahs for your next soiree and hit up a local arts-‘n’-crafts store (we like JoAnn’s) or a cooking store (like Williams-Sonoma) for some oh-so-elegant edible decorations. You can find tiny faux pearls and silver beads plus metallic sprinkles and piles of patterned cupcake wrappers. Perfect!


Guess who

Test your creativity with cupcake caricatures. Grab gel icing for detail work and whip up (or buy) a few different colors of buttercream frosting. For bonus points, snag some itty bitty candies to use for details like eyes and noses. If you’re throwing a “guess who” party, decorate a cupcake for each of your guests’ aliases. If you’re hosting a Twilight movie madness party, decorate cupcakes with the faces of characters. You get the idea!


Menagerie munchies

Set our a variety of snacks and bite-sized treats, then have a blast with your babes combining the goodies into your favorite creatures. A dog could have a gumdrop snout, M&M eyes and jelly bean ears, while a chirpy bird could have a candy corn beak and piped icing feathers.


Flower power

Miniature cupcakes look sweet as can be when you pipe on some colorful buttercream frosting flowers. Pick up a rose petal decorating tip (it should look like a sort of slanted tear drop) and attach it to a pastry bag or plastic bag with a small hole cut in the tip. Experiment until you get the flower shape down, then decorate with sprinkles and candies.


Mini monsters

Instead of pouring your batter into muffin wrappers, try greasing up the pan with butter or a nonstick baking spray and baking your cupcakes au naturel. When they’re completely cool and ready for decorating, be ready with a pile of supplies—dried fruit slices or nonpareils for feet, licorice for antenna, mini M&Ms for eyes. Pipe on bright-colored frosting to give your monsters' fur, then munch away!


On display

If you’re playin’ the hostess with the mostest, try using a flat piece of cardboard or poster board as a display for all of your cupcakes. Use markers to create a Scrabble board for your bookworm bestie’s birthday party, then write out a cute message using your mini cakes. You can arrange them into a shape—hearts, horses or Harry Potter—or have them spell out good wishes.


by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016