Birthday cupcake cakes are a fun way to make a child or adult's birthday party a little bit more fun. They are often easier to create and decorate than a typical tiered or sculpted cake, too. Try this fun cake design for the next birthday party in your household.
Pull-Apart Cupcake Cakes
An easy way to decorate a cupcake cake is to make it into a larger design, with each cupcake being one part of a larger image. Arrange the cupcakes into the shape you desire and then decorate with buttercream frosting as if all the cupcakes were one large cake. Taping the bottom of the cupcake wrapper to the cake board (or using some edible royal icing adhesive if your cupcakes are unwrapped) will help you decorate all the cupcakes at the same time.
Homemade Pull-Apart Shapes
Because cupcakes are round themselves, it is easiest to stick with shapes that have a rounded look to them. Try making a cupcake cake using the following designs:
- Sports: Simply arrange the cupcakes in a circle to create a volleyball, basketball or soccer ball. Make an oval shape to signify a football.
- Ladybug: Skip the typical ladybug birthday cake and make one using cupcakes. Use mini cupcake pans to form the small head shape and regular cupcakes to form the body. Frost all the larger cupcakes in red and the smaller ones in black; intersperse the black ones in the red body to make the spots.
- Clown: Creating a clown head using cupcakes is a fun way to spice up a circus-themed birthday party. Form a circle of cupcakes to be the face, and then decorate individual cupcakes in bright colors for multi-colored clown "hair" that circles the face. Remember to frost the middle cupcake in the clown face with red icing, to represent the nose.
Pull-Apart Cupcake Pans
Purchasing pull-apart cupcake pans is an easy and fun way to create a cake for a birthday party. These pans have separate compartments for the batter. Follow the instructions provided for each section of the cupcake cake, and then put it together. After the candles are blown out, everyone can grab the section of the cake they want-no cake cutting required. Pull-apart cake pans are available from discount stores, party supply stores, craft shops and kitchen/baking stores. Find them in a variety of designs and shapes, including vehicles, flowers, frogs and more.
Birthday Cupcake Cake Designs
Not every birthday cupcake cake design has to look like a sheet cake. Instead, try another creative way of making a birthday cake using a cupcake theme.
Decorate a full-sized cake to look like a cupcake. You can purchase a pan that will bake your cake to look like a giant cupcake, or you can carve one yourself using stacked round cakes as a starting point.
Make the bottom half of the cupcake look like a wrapper by using fondant icing and fondant tools that make a patterned impression. Color your fondant in a pretty pastel or a bright primary color for added novelty.
Decorate the top half of the giant cupcake with the frosting of your choice. You can add gum paste flowers, edible sugars, sprinkles and other candies for a fun twist.
Purchase a cupcake pan that makes shaped cupcakes. These pans are similar to Wilton pans or Disney character cake pans but are on a much smaller, cupcake-sized scale. Look for pans with miniature cars, trucks, trains, butterflies and even dinosaurs. Skip complicated decorations with the shaped cupcakes and instead, use a piping bag and tip to outline the main details using buttercream frosting in the colors of your choice. Another simple way to decorate is to use a poured chocolate ganache or a sugar glaze over the top of the shaped cupcakes.
Birthday Cupcake Toppers
Instead of decorating the birthday cupcake cake yourself, purchase toppers that are appropriate for the celebration. This is a simple decorating technique that requires few skills. Common toppers include:
- Picks that have "Happy Birthday" written on a pendant at the top
- Themed picks or children's plastic rings with a character on them
- Candles or sparklers
- Stars or hearts
- Number toppers (to represent the person's age)
- Individual letters to spell out "Happy Birthday" or the person's name