How to make this delightful — and easy! — cupcake bouquet
Make this sweet conversation starter and finally use those icing tips you never try out too
The only thing better than a cupcake is a cupcake conversation starter. Who at your picnic or party is not going to fawn over your sweet bouquet? And if that weren’t enough, with this recipe, you’ll walk away with pastry pro Arlene Lott’s tricks for using some of those icing tips you’ve never tried out — until now.
Watch the video to see it all come together, before trying out the recipe below.
This delightful cupcake treat makes for a far more interesting presentation than simply laying them out on a tray.
*My Vanilla Cupcake with American Buttercream recipe can be found here. Or, if you’re using a cake mix, add an extra ½ cup of flour to the mix and to get the desired, denser result.
**The best way to check how many cupcakes you'll need for your project is to put together the base and the foam and then hold some empty cupcake liners up to the shape; as many as will fit around that is likely the amount you will need.
Make ahead: The cupcakes, either plain or even decorated, can be made ahead and frozen. Use straight from the freezer and continue with either decorating or assembling.
For the base:
- Flower pot or vessel, ideally opaque to mask the structure
- Beans or stones to weight down and stabilize the pot
- Styrofoam ball or floral foam, to fit snugly in the pot
- Green tissue paper sheets
- Greens from the florist or a garden
For decorating the cupcakes:
- Cupcakes*, full-size, about 20** for an 8-inch pot (see headnote for recipe)
- American buttercream* (see headnote for recipe)
- Assorted gel food colours to tint the frosting
- Sandwich bags
- Large piping bags
- Piping tips: large star tip, rose tip, curvy tip, leaf tip
- Icing tips: open star tip (Wilton 1M), rose petal tip (Wilton #104), curved petal tip (Wilton #97), leaf tip (Wilton #352)
- Handful sprinkles
For the base:
Pour beans into the pot to stabilize it. Wrap the ball in tissue paper and place it into the flower pot — squeeze it in place so it is firmly nestled.
For decorating the cupcakes:
Make as many colours of frosting and as many flower patterns as you’d like for your bouquet. This American Buttercream Frosting recipe is perfect for this bouquet, but whatever frosting you use for this, make sure it’s thick enough to keep its shape and stay on the cupcakes, since they're not going to be perfectly upright when you present them.
To make two-tone pink swirl roses:
Use the open star tip (Wilton 1M). Take a couple of sandwich bags and put a different coloured icing into each one. Snip off one corner of each bag, and place the bags together inside a large piping bag with your icing tip in place inside. Twist the top of the bag to secure the bags and tip, and begin to ice the cupcakes. As you swirl around the cupcake, you will get a blending of the two colours.
To make the yellow roses:
Use the rose petal tip (Wilton #104). Pipe a small blob in the middle of the cupcake to make a bud. Then pipe a series of arches around the bud, overlapping halfway between each arch from the row before.
To make the anemones:
Use the curved petal tip (Wilton #97). Start by pressing the tip to the outer edge of the top of cupcake, then make a ruffle in the shape of a half a heart. Repeat all the way around, layering the shape until you reach the centre. Finish the centre with some sprinkles.
To make the sunflowers:
Use the leaf tip (Wilton #352). Start from the outside edge of the top of the cupcake and work your way inward. Press one of the pointy ends of the tip to the surface of the cupcake, squeeze the bag and pull out somewhat quickly while releasing the pressure to make the spiky petals.
For assembling the bouquet:
Using 2 toothpicks per cupcake, placed slightly apart. Start at the top and place two toothpicks firmly into the foam, leaving enough out to spear the cupcakes in place; then place a cupcake gently but securely onto the toothpicks. Keep going all the way around until you have covered your dome. As you get lower on the sphere, be sure to angle your toothpicks more vertically so the cupcakes won’t fall off.
When you’ve finished securing the cupcakes to the dome, place the arrangement in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow the icing to firm up again. Then gently nestle the greenery into place around the cupcakes, securing with toothpicks as needed.
Yield: Makes one bouquet