Published on August 16th, 2013 | by Rachel Budke0
Easy Cupcake Ideas
Today is a big day for my blog – IT’S OFFICIALLY ONE YEAR OLD! Wow, it’s hard to believe that it has been that long. I have improved so much already, and can’t wait to see where this next year takes me. Yesterday was my last day as an intern for Ali, from the popular food blog Gimme Some Oven. I learned so much from her about writing, photography, and all the little details that occur in the blogging world. Basically, I couldn’t have asked for a better summer. Little did I know, when she become my guitar teacher about 5 years ago, she would end up being such a fabulous boss, mentor, and friend.
Along with my internship this summer, I also took another job because I am studying abroad this upcoming semester and needed to boost up my bank account. I ended up being offered a job at a local grocery store to decorate cakes. Wow, it was a lot more difficult than I was anticipating, but I can certainly say that my skills have improved. Most of my time at the grocery store was spent icing and decorating cupcakes. I spent many 8-hour shifts icing cupcakes over and over, so I think it’s safe to say that I become a little bit of a cupcake expert! During the week of the 4th of July, I ended up icing about 1,500 cupcakes (with 56 pounds of icing!) in one day. All that piping really makes your hand hurt by the end of the day!
Since I learned so much about icing cupcakes this summer and it’s my blog’s birthday, I thought it would be a fun idea to share fun and easy cupcake ideas. There are so many ways to frost cupcakes, but I wanted to share some really simple ideas. All of these ideas are made with ingredients I had on-hand. Hopefully this will help you add a little pizazz to your next batch of cupcakes, without having to run to the store. Happy baking!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
The Super Simple Cupcake:
This cupcake is the easiest it can get! Simply just take your icing and spread it across the top of the cupcake. Since it is so simple, be sure you make it look as nice as possible by keeping the icing neat and clean. There are two types of spatulas that will help make this job extra easy, a regular spatula or an offset spatula.
A Little Bit Nutty Cupcake:
To make this cupcake, simply frost the cupcake exactly as your would for the “Super Simple Cupcake” shown above. When you’re finished, top the cupcake with your favorite choice of nuts. Some ideas are: almonds, peanuts, roasted hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pistachios.
The Berry Pretty Cupcake:
This cupcake option is one of my favorites. It looks so pretty and fresh! Simply frost the cupcake exactly as your would for the “Super Simple Cupcake” shown above. Top with your favorite berry. Some ideas are: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or boysenberries.
The Sweet and Salty Cupcake:
This cupcake uses one of very favorite ingredients of all time, Maldon sea salt. It is a bit on the pricey side, but I assure you, it’s worth every single penny. Maldon salt flakes are really unique because they are in the shape of a pyramid. They are very light, flakey, and crunchy, which makes it the perfect salt to sprinkle over the top of a dish when it’s finished. I used it on the cupcakes to give them a little sweet and salty combination. Simply frost the cupcake exactly as your would for the “Super Simple Cupcake” shown above. Sprinkle Maldon sea salt over the top and enjoy!
The Over-the-Top Cupcake:
This cupcake is a little bit more complicated to create. With a little bit of practice, it will look beautiful and professional. It is an over-the-top look that all icing fans with love! The key to creating this cupcake is the proper piping tip. Without this piping tip, unfortunately, your cupcakes just won’t look the same. To make this design, hold your piping bag directly upright. Start on the outside edge of the cupcake and squeeze the piping bag with even pressure, moving the bag in a circle that traces the outside edge of the cupcake. Without stopping or changing the amount of pressure, continue piping another “circle” closer to the middle of the cupcake. As you get to the center, continue squeezing and pipe another “circle” on top, so you can create the pretty little pile of icing. When you are done piping, slowly stop squeezing and lift the piping bag from the cupcake. In writing, this sounds extremely complicated, but it’s much easier when you actually have the cupcake in front of you, I promise! Remember, practice makes perfect!
The Simple Swirl Cupcake:
This is the method of icing that I used this summer at work. It’s much easier than the option above, but I think it’s just as pretty. Since it is easier, it has the potential to look at lot more clean and impressive. Just like the option above, the proper piping tip is a must! This cupcake is sort of the opposite from the “Over the Top Cupcake”, in that you start in the middle of the cupcake and work your way outwards. When you get to the outside, slowly stop squeezing but continue moving the pastry bag in the circular motion. That way, you won’t have it abrupt stopping point and it will look a little more professional.
The Filled Cupcake:
To fill a cupcake, you can buy this fancy little tool. Or, you can simply use a knife and cut a small circle out of the middle of the cupcake. Be careful not to cut all the way to the bottom of the cupcake, aim for about 3/4 of the way down. Scoop out the middle of the cupcake and fill with your favorite option. Some choices are: Nutella, Biscoff spread, jam, caramel, or icing.
Hope this gives you some ideas on how to easily liven up your cupcakes! Happy baking, and thanks for helping make the first year of University Foodie a great one!