Rose Cupcakes + Video Tutorial

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Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique!

Ready for another fun frosting technique?  These beautiful Rose Cupcakes are easier to make than you might think!  They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day and ten times better than a spray of real roses!

Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique!

Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique!

To make these Rose Cupcakes, you will need the following supplies.  You can find them at a cake supply store or through my affiliate in the links below:

Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique!

First you will need to color your frosting.  When I’m making frosting in monochromatic colors, I start with the lightest shade (just a drop of Mauve and a couple drops of Soft Pink) and color the whole batch of frosting.  After frosting two or three cupcakes in the lightest pink, I place all the frosting back in the mixing bowl, add more color for my next shade, and continue on.

Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique!

Piping the rose design onto the cupcakes is pretty easy.  It’s the same technique you would use if you were making buttercream or royal icing roses to decorate a cake – typically, you would pipe the roses onto a flower nail and then transfer the rose onto the cake.  Here, we’re just going to form a rose as the whole top of the cupcake.  You’ll start by piping a base dot in the center of the cupcake using Tip 1A.  Not too tall, but this gives you a nice base to pipe your rose petals around.  Switch to Tip 124 and hold the wider part of the tip along the base of the cupcake with the narrower portion at the top.  Turn you cupcake with one hand while piping a petal around the center dot with the other hand.  Continue turning and piping petals, building out from the center evenly until you’ve covered the entire cupcake top.  The video below will show you these steps in action:

What do you think?  Totally doable, right?  Impress your favorite Valentine with these gorgeous roses this year!

Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique!

Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique! +video tutorial!!

Make these beautiful Rose Cupcakes with just two piping tips and this easy technique!

Watercolor Cupcakes

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These Watercolor Cupcakes are fun for art parties/events!

It has been drab and dreary this winter in Sacramento.  I needed to add some COLOR to my life.  I created a fun, little get together coloring party and made these funky Watercolor Cupcakes to go with it!  They are so simple to make – and really, just a cupcake topper – so you can pair them up with any flavor cupcake and frosting!  Time to get artsy!

These Watercolor Cupcakes are fun for art parties/events!

These Watercolor Cupcakes are fun for art parties/events!

There is no specific template for painting these watercolor fondant toppers, it’s just a fun way to get creative.  To make the toppers, you will need fondant – a little goes a long way.  You also need gel paste food coloring and an alcohol for “watering down” your gel paste food coloring.  Vodka works great because it evaporates quickly, is clear, and leaves no flavor behind, but you can also use almond extract or a clear extract.  The idea is that you want to turn your food coloring into watercolors, but have the liquid evaporate away so the fondant dries.

  • Working on parchment paper, roll a small ball of fondant into a flat circle approximately 1/16″ thick.
  • Use a round cookie cutter, jar lid, or cup to “cut” fondant circles to desired size (compare the cutting tool to the top of the cupcake to find the right size).
  • Mix one drop of gel paste food coloring into 1 tsp. alcohol or extract.  Use small styrofoam cups or something similar. Repeat with a variety of colors.  The “electric” food colors from AmeriColor turned out best for me.  Electric Blue, Electric Purple, Electric Green, Super Red, and Teal.
  • With a cake decorating brush (here’s the one I use – affil.), paint squiggles, swirls, dots, lines, or splatters of paint onto the fondant toppers.  Allow to dry overnight. Blend subsequent colors minimally and vary your designs for more visual interest.
  • Frost cupcakes and immediately place watercolor fondant circles on top.

These Watercolor Cupcakes are fun for art parties/events!

These Watercolor Cupcakes are fun for art parties/events!

These were a lot of fun to make once I got the hang of it.  My girls also had fun painting up a pile of fondant circles!  It’s a good activity for anyone!

Join the Adult Coloring Book trend - host a "coloring" crafter noon.

And they make perfect party snacks for an artsy/craftsy event like this little coloring party I’m talking about today over at The Creative Spark.  Enjoy!

These Watercolor Cupcakes are fun for art parties/events!

Yarn Pom Pom Garland

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Use Yarn Pom Pom garland to decorate for a hot cocoa bar or party!

I really enjoy clean, fresh decor heading into the new year.  I’m a homebody and the cold weather definitely provides even more justification to stay tucked in at home.  Our house lacks some of the natural light that I adore, particularly in the winter, so I’m finding that decorating with whites and metallics adds warmth and brightness to the rooms.  After knitting a little scarf for one of the girls, I had a fluff of leftover yarn and so I sat down with the kiddos to make some fun yarn pom poms.  Do you make these?  They’re easy and look cute – plus the cats like them, so be advised.

Making pom pom garland from yarn is a fun and easy way to add a little winter charm to your decor!

Pom poms and garlands are a popular decor item right now and they’re so simple to make.  For this particular pom garland, I used this fluffy, creamy Angel Hair yarn in white.  You can use any yarn, really, but the thicker and/or fuzzy yarns will make a more plush pom pom.  (This yarn also made an incredible little scarf – I’ll try to share that soon!)

Making pom pom garland from yarn is a fun and easy way to add a little winter charm to your decor!

  1. To make the pom pom, simply wrap the yarn around and around your fingers, as shown.  For a larger ball, I wrapped the yarn 50 times around three fingers.  You can wrap more times or fewer and/or alter the number of fingers that you’re wrapping around to get different sizes.
  2. Once you’ve wrapped, cut a 10″ length of yarn and wrap it horizontally around the whole wrapped packet of yarn.  If you have wrapped around three fingers, adjusting to two fingers now will give you a little working space to get the yarn tie wrapped around and spaced in the center.
  3. Pull the yarn tie tightly and make a knot.  This tie is what holds the pom pom together, so the tighter the knot, the better.
  4. Carefully slide your scissors inside the loops on the top half of the wrapped yarn and snip.  Then, snip through the loops on the other half.
  5. Fluff the pom pom and trim any yarn pieces that stick out unevenly.
  6. Be gentle with the pom pom as pulling on one of the threads will easily pull it all the way out of the pom.

Making pom pom garland from yarn is a fun and easy way to add a little winter charm to your decor!

Repeat to make a pile of fluffy little snowballs.

Making pom pom garland from yarn is a fun and easy way to add a little winter charm to your decor!

To turn the pom poms into a garland, take a length of yarn and thread the end through a yarn needle.  Gently weave the needle through the center of each pom pom and space to your liking along the string of yarn!

Use Pom Pom garland to decorate for a hot cocoa bar or party!

Doesn’t the garland look cheery accompanying this little hot cocoa bar?  I used this perfectly sized apothecary jar for my hot cocoa mix and this wider apothecary jar for the mini marshmallows.

Use Yarn Pom Pom garland to decorate for a hot cocoa bar or party!

Snow sparkle marshmallows!

Make quick and easy treats to round out the table using these tips for candy dipping!  My family goes crazy for candy dipped stuff!

Use Yarn Pom Pom garland to decorate for a hot cocoa bar or party!

And there you have it!  Sparkling decor for a party or every day!

You might also enjoy:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - the BEST recipe for a buttery, chewy, brown sugar sweet cookie!

This recipe for the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookies might be just what you need!

Learn simple applique techniques to make this cute heart pillow!

Or find the free template and tutorial to make this darling heart pillow!

**This tutorial was first published at The Creative Spark.**

Valentine Pretzel Chips

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Valentine Pretzel Chips - the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can make this treat in minutes!

Cute treats don’t get any easier than these fun Valentine Pretzel Chips.  My family love a good sweet and salty combination and I love making a treat that can be ready to eat in minutes!

Valentine Pretzel Chips - the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can make this treat in minutes!

Valentine Pretzel Chips - the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can make this treat in minutes!

I put together a little video to show you how easy it is to make candy pretzels.  I keep making different variations of these because my family gobbles them right up!  Play the video below and then go grab your supplies to make your own!

Valentine Pretzel Chips
1 bag of candy melts (the peppermint flavor is especially good!) or melting chocolate
1-2 bags of pretzel chips (you might want to buy them in bulk.)
Valentine sprinkles
bowl and microwave for melting, cookie sheet or parchment paper
Ziploc baggy or disposable candy bag

Instructions:

  1. Spread a single layer of pretzel chips on a cooling rack or sheet of parchment paper. Leave very little spacing between each pretzel.
  2. Place candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until candy melts are completely smooth.  Do not overheat and do not get any moisture in the bowl or the candy will seize up.
  3. Transfer melted candy to a plastic baggy (or disposable piping bag).  Clip a very small corner from the baggy – the size of the hole you snip will determine the thickness of the candy streams as you cover your pretzels.
  4. Squeeze the candy in a stream over the pretzel chips, weaving back and forth to cover the tray of chips.
  5. Immediately shake sprinkles over the top.
  6. Transfer the pretzel chips to the refrigerator to cool quickly.  They’ll be ready in about 5 minutes.
  7. When the candy has hardened, break apart any pretzel chips that have stuck together from the continuous candy stream.  Serve!

Valentine Pretzel Chips - the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can make this treat in minutes!

Valentine Pretzel Chips - the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can make this treat in minutes!

Valentine Pretzel Chips - the perfect combination of sweet and salty, you can make this treat in minutes!

Cake Decorating Party

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Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

I’m not going to lie.  I called my mom in for this one.  Moving, starting a new school, remodeling…not so conducive to throwing a pulled together party for your ten-year-old.  But she loves baking and art and cake.  And she wanted a cake decorating party to invite allllll her new friends.  Fifteen girls to be exact.  So I committed to it and I called my mom.  She came down two days before the party and helped me stack, fill, and frost 17 three-layer cakes. She’s amazing and I love her.

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves! This party turned out SUPER awesome.  Ten-year-olds are old enough to decorate their own cake and still young enough to go easy on themselves and just have fun.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I wanted them to be able to both express themselves creatively and take home a finished product that they were proud of.  It appeared that this was a new experience for each one of them and they ALL spent a LONG time making their creation.

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!Sound like something your tween would love?  You can do it – here are the details of what what we did.  I prepped for the party by baking a million and one 6-inch cake layers in a variety of flavors.  I baked the cakes over the course of about a week and a half.  After each layer was cooled, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and stored it in the freezer.  I went into quite a bit of detail about baking ahead of time, you can read here, if you’re interested.  I visited my local cake supply store and purchased raspberry filling and three large tubs of pre-made “mock whip” frosting – which is basically a shortening-based standard frosting.  It can be refrigerated, frozen, and holds up fine for basic piping.  I’m going to estimate that it took me about 15 pounds of frosting (the tubs are 6.5 lbs each) to frost and fill 17 cakes + color and fill all the piping bags for party decorating.

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!I also purchased the white cake boxes and the gold or silver “scalloped cake rounds” for the base of the cakes.  You might be able to get these in bulk from an online supplier – here are the gold scalloped rounds through my affiliate, for example, but you can purchase them individually from your cake supply store and they can help you choose the correct size if you’re not sure exactly what you need.  We used 8-inch rounds to go inside 8-inch cake boxes to safely hold 6-inch round cakes.  You want the cake smaller than the round and the round the same size as the box, so it doesn’t slop around in there.

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

As I mentioned, my mom and I stacked, filled, and frosted the cakes in the two days before the party.  I don’t have a ton of freezer space so we had to store the cakes, inside their boxes, on a shelving unit in the cold garage.  For the purposes of frosting the cakes, however, we did crumb coat them and pop them in and out of the freezer so that the crumb coating could harden and we could then frost.  Now, the garage storage plan would have worked out perfectly if the weather had stayed in the 30-40 degree F range.  But the day before the party started warming up unexpectedly and the by party time, the cakes had softened more than would be ideal  A couple of them cracked a bit and the frosting was too soft to touch up without a big disaster.  We had extra cakes, so it worked out fine and I was able to pop the individual problem cakes into the freezer and fix them up, but I would definitely recommend utilizing freezer or refrigerator space to store your cakes if you can (especially if you have the number of guests at a more reasonable number – like, say, 6).  I would also recommend doing this the day before the party or the morning of the party if your party is late in the day.  I hosted a different adult dinner party the day before this cake party, which is why I needed to prep all the cakes two days before.

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!  The morning of the party, I colored the frosting in deep red, mauve, yellow, and green.  I filled 12 in. disposable decorating bags with the colors + white.  There were three of each color available, divided between two workspaces.  I put leaf tips on all the green and then varied the remaining colors between just a few basic tips – an open star, an open round, a small round.

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

I pre-made flowers using royal icing about a week before the party.  I wanted the girls to be able to just pop on some flowers if they wanted to supplement their own creations or if they weren’t super into it.  I also purchased a few pre-made leaves from the cake supply store.  You can purchase royal icing or gum paste flowers in all sorts of gorgeous detail, but they can get expensive, especially if you need enough for a large group.  I really loved the pop of color and festivity that the pre-made flowers added to the tables.  If you look closely, you may notice that the yellow and orange flowers have a gold shimmer.  A quick blast of this amazing “gold mist” edible spray paint (aff.) turned these pretty flowers into spectacular flowers.  They were a party favorite….cause everyone loves shimmer!

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

When all the party guests had arrived, I gathered them around for a quick demonstration.  I showed them the basics of how to put together a pastry bag with piping tip and coupler and fill with frosting.  Then, I showed them how to hold the bag and squeeze from the top while using their other hand to support the bag closer to the tip.  Using an extra cake, I demonstrated how to use some of the different tips that they had available.  They were really into the demonstration.  Fifteen kids watching intently and asking questions about how to make different patterns – I was impressed.  I also showed them a couple examples of finished cakes (that I had done for this cake decorating post) and that seemed to be really exciting.  My demonstration was about 15 minutes.  That’s it.  Then I set them loose.

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

They were INTO IT!!  Each girl had a large sheet of parchment paper at their station to practice on and this worked out really well.  I think everyone did some amount of practicing.  And then they just went to town.  All of the cakes were different and they were all awesome.  I was shocked, actually, at how detailed they were and how much time they all spent working on their cakes.  Their creative efforts were so inspiring to watch!

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

Aren’t these amazing?  Ten-year-olds!!  (And a couple 7- and 6-year olds!)  The girls spent a good 45 min. + working on their cakes.  We boxed them each up to take home with them.  They also took home a little favor bag with a pastry bag, coupler set, and piping tip so they could do some more cake decorating at home!

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

The birthday girl wanted cream puffs for the singing and blowing out candles part of the party, so we squeezed that in, too.  Always room for cream puffs, right?

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

I hope you find inspiration for your next party here.  I think this would be so much fun to do with a group of adults, too or an older group of girls.  So satisfying to have someone prepare a cake for you to just play on!!!

Cake Decorating Party - the perfect, unique party for tweens to have fun and express themselves!

Simple and Stunning Cake Decorating Techniques

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Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!Happy New Year!  My kids are back in school, the holiday decorations are packed away, and my house is in complete disarray as we have turned our attention back to finishing the floor installation project.  Remodeling gets exhausting, I tell ya!  But we just keep going back for more!  Anyhow, I have a few projects and posts that I didn’t want to get buried in the holiday jumble, so I’m looking forward to finally sharing these with you.  If this is your year to develop your cake-decorating skills, I have a few simple tips to get you started!  Grab a cake and some basic supplies and learn these four simple cake decorating techniques! Surprise someone this Valentine’s Day with your awesome new skills!

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Technique #1:  The Rose Cake

Supplies:
6-inch cake pan
Wilton Decorator Icing (3-4 Cups)
18″ decorating bags, large coupler set, and piping Tip #1M
Wilton “Rose Petal” icing color
cake mix/ingredients

Bake cake in 6-inch pans and level the top off of each layer.  One batch of batter will make two 3-inch layers.  Tint several cups of icing to desired shade of color.  Slice the tops of the cake layers off with a bread knife and stack them, filling between each layer with an even coat of icing.  Spread a thin layer of icing, typically called a crumb coating, over the entire cake and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before continuing.  This will allow the icing to firm up so that the crumbs do not get dragged into the icing when you continue to decorate your cake.

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Fit a large piping bag with a large coupler set and Tip #1M. Fill with remaining tinted icing.  (You can coat your cake with another thin layer of icing before piping the roses if you’d like.  Since my cake was light in color, I did not.)  Cover the cake by piping swirled roses over the entire thing. These are simple to make.  Hold the piping bag and position the tip where you would like the center of the first rose.  Squeeze the icing while swirling the tip in a counter-clockwise direction until you have formed approximately a 2 or 3-inch rose.  You can make these any size, really, they should just be uniform across the cake.

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Continue piping roses over the entire cake.  Fill in any gaps with small swirls – they’ll blend right in.  You can find more detailed information and tips for making a Swirled Rose Cake, here.

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!Technique #2:  The Pulled Dot Cake

Supplies:
Wilton Easy Layers Cake Pan Set (or 6-inch cake pans)
1 recipe of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (or other icing suitable for cake decorating)
18″ decorating bags, large coupler set, and piping Tip #1A
cake mix/ingredients

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!Bake, level, stack, and fill your cakes as described above for The Rose Cake.

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!This cake takes a little time, but it’s also quite simple.  Starting at the base of the cake, pipe a nickel sized dot using Tip #1A.  Use a small icing spatula to drag the dot to the right.  Pipe a second dot over the “tail” of the dragged dot.  Drag the spatula again over this dot.  Continue to pipe and drag subsequent dots in horizontal lines over the entire cake.  Work in circles around the top of the cake.

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!Technique #3:  Cupcakes with a Decorative Shell Border

Supplies:
cupcakes
Wilton Decorator Icing (3-4 Cups)
Wilton “Rose Petal” icing color
18″ decorating bags, large coupler set, and piping Tip #4B
Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques #JoAnnGoesPinkFit your piping bag with the large coupler set and Tip #4B.  Squeeze a small amount of icing onto the top of the cupcake and spread evenly.  Working around the top edge/side of the cupcake, pipe a shell border.  You will want to work on the side of the cupcake versus the top of the cupcake for the best result.  Lightly squeeze the icing to form a bead, then drag your piping bag to the right while releasing pressure on the bag to form a tail.  Overlap your next bead on the tail of the previous one.  Continue around the border of the cupcake.

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Technique #4:  Cupcakes with Piped Peaks

Supplies:
cupcakes
Wilton Decorator Icing (3-4 Cups)
Wilton “Rose Petal” icing color
18″ decorating bags, large coupler set, and piping Tip #4B

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

This technique is especially easy and lots of fun.  It gives a unique look to your goodies.  Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cupcake.  Then, use piping tip #4B to cover the treat with piped peaks.  Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the cake.  Squeeze a small amount of frosting, then release and lift straight up to create a peak.  Continue to cover the cupcake.

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Four simple but stunning cake decorating techniques!

Learn these simple techniques for cake decorating!