{Valentine’s Day} Host a Cupcake Decorating Party

Who doesn’t love a GREAT cupcake?  Cupcakes are so HOT right now.  Cupcake shops are popping up all over the Capital Region (Albany-Schenectady-Troy-Saratoga Springs), cupcake shows and showdowns all over the Food Network and yes one of our biggest sellers this year for Halloween was a Cupcake costume. (I am in the Halloween Retail business)

Some local favorites for our family:

1) Perreca’s cupcakes they are HUGE and we spilt them into FOURTHS! They come Chocolate Crème, Vanilla Crème, Double Brewed Espresso all with homemade Butter Cream Frosting and Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting.

2) Bettie’s Cakes, a Cupcakery Cafe in Saratoga, their store in the food court of Colonie Center and their traveling doubledecker bus is a huge hit in our house.  A quick stop in the Saratoga store during an afternoon of shopping for one of their mini cupcakes are a great treat and don’t ruin an appetite.  The ambiance is fantastic too, the girls love sitting up on the bar stools!

{Bettie’s Cakes, Mistletoe Cupcake, December 2010}

I think for most kids cupcakes are all about the frosting and the sprinkles.  Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to host a Cupcake Decorating Party for your kids and their friends.  I love having little spontaneous parties for the kids that don’t involve birthdays, presents and goodie bags.  This also teaches your kids the idea of entertaining and opening your home up to others.  Get out the good china silver and ENJOY!

I came across tin foil heart cupcake liners (sorry no photo).  I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but they were $1.00 for 24 at Ocean State Job Lots and thought that was a bargain.  We are having a family Valentine’s party this weekend and these will be perfect.  There will be lots of children ranging from 3-13.  I am planning the kid’s activities and I can tell you right now decorating cupcakes is going to be the highlight.  Now Moms,  you have to let your guard down for this one and just let them dig in, lick their fingers and know that they will be consuming enormous amounts of sugar.

The one reason I like these new-to-me foil cupcake liners is that you can really layer on the toppings and they look bigger than using paper liners. But if you don’t have a heart-shaped baking pan or these foil “things”; I came across a great Instructables video showing how to make your own heart shaped cupcakes.  Looks pretty easy.

{Elmo Cupcakes, Malta NY, January 2011}

A Special Tip for the younger ones:
I give them their own bowl of frosting and toppings and then when it is gone it is gone. They can lick their fingers wild and double dip as much as they want.   At least this limits their sugar consumption somewhat and also gives everyone else enough toppings to create their own cupcake masterpiece. I can just see the look for horror on my older girls face if their 3-year-old sister ate all the candy hearts before they were able to use them.

{Ruthy’s Baked Goods, Chelsea Market, August 2010}

To keep order during this activity one must be prepared.  Do not think that you can just wing this or disaster will certainly happen.  I can’t stress this enough: plan AHEAD of time.

1) Decide how many cupcakes each child can decorate. One cupcake is plenty but maybe you want them to decorate one to eat at the party and one to bring home.

2) Use cupcake tins to place your “toppings” in.  Use an assortment of sprinkles, red hots, candy hearts, etc.  For the older kids, they love using piping bags.  If you don’t have enough piping bags for each child Ziploc bags do the trick and it is easy clean up.  Just fill up the bag with some frosting and make a small snip on the corner and you have a great disposable piping bag.

3) Now for the cake.  I really would like to try and make a Natural Red Velvet Cake.  My husband was shocked when I told him that red velvet cake is chocolate cake mix with red dye in it.  So I have been looking for some recipes.  I have found these to try- but- if you have tried and tested a fabulous natural red velvet cake recipe please send me it!  I need one quick!

Smitten Kitchen

Dying For Chocolate

Cooking Ninja

Suite 101

I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend with some fun and a lot of sugar!


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