Monday, May 30, 2011


 Hand Painted Sake Cups upcycled from vintage Coor's lab apothecary crucibles

The other day I was hand painting these little sake cups and my stepson walked in and remarked that they were cool. This is always a good thing, since he's a young teen and I imagine he has a much better grip on what's cool than I do. Since his 13th birthday was coming up this weekend, I decided to make him cupcakes that were decorated in a similar style.

 I imaged hand painting the cupcakes with icing. Comic book sound effects on the tops of the treats with colored sugar and black icing. Each one being a little yummy work of art.... then I remembered that I don't really have time or patience for that kind of silliness, so I came up with this solution instead.

It was a much quicker solution to making cupcakes look cool. I hand designed cupcake toppers and wrappers, cut and punched them all out and threw them onto the delicious vehicles of cream cheese and chocolate. KAPOW! Decorated, yummy treats in under an hour. 

I thought I'd share the cupcake toppers and wrappers as a PDF for anybody that wanted to do this themselves. There are two versions of the cupcake toppers, in case you wanted to get really fancy and color them yourself. (personal use only please.)

Supplies to make cupcake decorations
You will need:
paper for your printer (I used heavy cardstock, but regular printer paper works)
1" hole punch
clear tape
clear glue stick
colored toothpicks
decorative hole punch for starburst design

Print out the desired cupcake toppers. Color if needed. Punch them out. Punch out paper for backing. I used plain white paper to back the words and starburst design, but after I was done, I realized it would look even cooler if I had used a micro dot patterned card stock. But the plain white paper worked too.

Apply the glue stick to the insides of both circles, put a toothpick in between and press together. Let dry. 

Color and cut out the cupcake wrappers, tape the ends together with clear tape. Be careful not to overlap the ends too much or your cupcake won't fit inside. The larger opening is the top where the cupcakes get dropped in. Insert the finished cupcake toppers and you're done!

Finished decorations before adding to the cupcakes

Here's the recipe for the yummy cupcakes I made to be dressed up with the wrappers and toppers. I chose a chocolate cupcake with a creme cheese filling because I thought it added a nice KAPOW to the dessert. I'm sure you will agree. Remember, I was on a time limit here, so to make it super easy, I used a boxed cake mix and creme cheese frosting out of a can. If you feel like Donna Reed, you could go the old school route and make everything by scratch.

So I found this recipe for self filling cupcakes at, and changed a few things.

Following the directions from the recipe above, I used a Devil's Food Cake Mix for the base. The changes I made were as follows:
-do NOT mix the chocolate chips in with the cream cheese filling. 
-When it comes time to add the cream cheese filling, use1 Tablespoon instead of 1 teaspoon. -Before covering with batter, place a bunch of chocolate chips on top of the cream cheese. This makes for a creamy filling that also keeps the chewy chocolate chips still intact.
The cupcakes end up looking pretty full, but that's good because it all settles in baking.

Cover cupcakes with a bit of batter, you don't need to hide everything.

While baking the cream cheese filling and chocolate chips should sink down to the middle of the cupcake while being enveloped by the rest of the batter. So when they are finished, they look like a regular cupcake. 

finished cupcakes with a hidden surprise of YUM!

Just ice them, decorate, and you're ready to blow people's minds with your amazing crafty culinary skills. The boy was impressed, so was my man. I was happy that I was able to accomplish baking a delicious, pretty treat. 

Happy Birthday C!

Cupcakes without wrappers. Still yummy.