Decorating Cupcakes

M’s theme for her birthday party was cupcakes. Each time she would explain this to someone, she’d declare “The theme of my party is. . . Cupcakes!” with high drama and a sort of jazz-hand flourish. She was inspired by the plates and napkins at Target right now, which made life easy. And last year we’d done “Water Fun,” which we figured we’d do again, at least a bit. The cupcake theme gave us another obvious activity: decorating their own cupcakes. Plus this meant that I didn’t have to bake an overachieving cake!

I impulse-bought this Betty Crocker 11-piece Decorating Kit at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and I was absolutely glad that I did. I already had a couple of frosting-bag style dispensers for decorating, and a cute pink plunger-style frosting dispenser, but these little bottles with red caps worked better than all of them. I’m sorry, but no matter how many times you tell a kid to squeeze from the top of one of those bags, frosting always ends up all over their hands. And the pink plunger thing kept coming apart. The Betty Crocker pieces stayed together, and 3 of the 4 dispensers had little accordion folds that made squeezing easy. They weren’t perfect–the kids had a tough time using the last bit of frosting–but they were excellent compared to the other pieces that we had. And they went in the dishwasher! Well worth the ten bucks, honestly.

I also found some McCormick Neon food coloring, which made purples, pinks, and turquoise a little easier. Usually I avoid food coloring, but I just had to embrace it for the day. The mini-marshmallows were popular, too.

Decorating Supplies

I thought that the girls would try to make lovely little roses and designs, but they seemed to go for quantity more than anything. I picked this example because it had fewer sprinkles than the others:

More, apparently, is more.

Each girl made two cupcakes, and we’ve still got cupcakes at our house. But it was so fun that I’m tempted to do it on a rainy day with just my kids. Maybe after the first couple of frosting mountains we’ll start getting artistic.


  1. If I hadn’t just had chocolate mousse at Mari’s I would be over there begging for a leftover cupcake…but alas I am STUFFED.

  2. Big Sister

    Wow. You rock as a MOMMY with a capital M. I hope you remind yourself that you are el supremo Mamasita and have a leftover cupcake with an appletini or a margarita with double tequila to celebrate. My most memorable childhood birthday cake was the three layer pink cake that had the Cinderella statue on top to cover the hole a sibling gouged out of the top to sample the frosting early. It certainly didn’t go with the cowboys and Indians theme. But it served its purpose and Mom (like you, was creative). And then again, it was the late 60’s and the times they were a ‘changin’.

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