Keep your eyes open for tiny toys and interesting candy and cookie shapes for your cupcake creations and experiment with piped icing, candy, and thin licorice to create whimsical faces and critters. Try these simple embellishments:
Pirate: sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over white frosting and decorate with gold covered chocolate coins.
Princess: pink frosting strewn with edible glitter and rose petals.
Baby shower: draw a baby face on each cupcake with icing, or simply pile up the frosting and stand a frosted animal cracker on top.
Bridal shower: top cupcakes with sugared edible flowers or candied fruit.
Birthday: ice one letter on each cupcake and arrange them to read "Happy Birthday (child's name)" on a large serving tray. No slicing required!
Sunflowers: chocolate or yellow frosting with candy corn trimmed with a halo of orange candy corn "petals."
Valentine's Day: red velvet cake with an inner core of chocolate and frosted with more chocolate. Top with candy hearts, kisses, or X's and O's.
Saint Patrick's Day: green, green, and more green; but know the kids will end up with green-tinted hands and faces. Ok, you've been warned.
April Fool's Day: miniature dirt cakes. Sprinkle chocolate frosting with crushed chocolate cookies and have a candy worm slithering out of the center.
Easter: white cake and pastel frosting; top with coconut flakes and a marshmallow Peep or tiny candy eggs. Thin licorice can form an Easter basket handle.
Bunnies: white cake and frosting. Cut marshmallows in half diagonally to form ears (frost the insides pink). Two more marshmallows make cheeks and a mini marshmallow cut in half makes bunny teeth. Use tiny candies for eyes; finish with a pink jelly bean nose.
Fourth of July: white frosting topped with a pattern of fresh strawberries or raspberries and blueberries. Finish with a flag toothpick waving gaily on top.
Halloween: ice with chocolate frosting and make spider legs with licorice and give them red cinnamon candies for eyes.
Christmas: top with marshmallow snowmen, candy canes, or gingerbread figures.
Check out our cupcake gallery for recipes and view creative cupcakes, decorated by home cooks like you.