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Be prepared to be wowed in this post!  My friend, Katie, makes cupcakes look so good that I think she should write a book about her cupcake creations….seriously!  She is the kind of girl who gives everything when she tackles a project, she goes all out!   Below you will find her thoughts and tips about her baking and decorating.

Cupcake Creations (in general)
- I get many of ideas and creative juices flowing from other people.  This hobby started with inspiration from a book called “Hello, Cupcake” and its sequel “What’s New Cupcake?”
- I use Deluxe Moist White cake mix for all these examples – can’t seem to beat it.  After cooled I freeze them, which makes it easy to do these “big” projects in smaller steps.  When I’m ready to icing, I do not let the cupcakes defrost but rather put the icing right on, which seals in the moisture, making it extra good (a tip I learned from my sister-in-law’s mom)
- The icing is off the Domino’s confectioner sugar box – the split between vanilla and almond extract makes it the best I’ve ever tasted (learned from my mom!)
- Almost all the techniques used to decorate the cupcakes are VERY simple…they just take time
- The base is a big piece of cardboard with wrapping paper or fabric that matches the theme.

Star Wars Scene
- The Millenium Falcon (big space ship) has cupcakes double-stacked for a 3-D effect.  The silver “sheen” is cake dust you can “paint” on dry with a small brush (wait until the icing dries)
- How did I design it?  Found pictures on the internet and just tried to replicate it as best I could
- Note: graham crackers with icing make a lot of the upper level shape; mini Oreos are used
- The little Tie Fighters’ wings are sugar cookies cut in a hexagon shape
- You may not be able to tell from the picture, but the cardboard base was covered with black wrapping paper; I taped small boxes also wrapped in black paper to the base; draped a sheer fabric with rhinestones over it all to simulate “space”.  Some of the Tie Fighters were placed on top of the boxes to give the 3-D effect of battle in space

Fire Truck
- Cupcakes are great for large parties – it’s so easy to just pull off a cupcake, rather than cutting a cake
- I usually design my creations off of the theme for the party – hence the napkin next to the cupcakes
- Some decorations that may not be obvious:  the wheels are done in black icing and rolled in a plate of black sprinkles; the window and “Happy Birthday” sign are made up of graham crackers cut with a small pairing knife (very carefully, so as not to break them); the ladder is made of pirouettes rolled in corn syrup and then rolled in yellow sprinkles

Easter Scene
- This is another approach to cupcake creations – an “Easter” scene of chicks, bunnies, etc.
- The cross is made out of melting chocolate (you can get them from a craft store, like Michael’s) – melt in a plastic baggie in the microwave (per instructions on the bag), snip a corner, and squeeze onto wax paper in the shape you want.  I used a toothpick to swirl the yellow into the brown chocolate.  This takes a bit more technique, but a tip is to let the chocolate cool off a bit, so it more “slowly” comes out
- The “fuzzy” feathers on the chicks are coconut with yellow food coloring (put both in a plastic baggie and massage until coconut is evenly colored).  I icing the cupcake and then roll in the coconut.
- The heads of the chicks/bunnies are mini cupcakes; the eyes are mini chocolate chips; ears on bunnies are marshmallows; noses/beaks are pieces of molded Starbursts

Little Girl’s Bear Birthday
- You can also focus on individual cupcakes – each one has a unique “presence”
- I got the bears idea from “What’s New Cupcake”, using donut holes for the heads and caramels for the arms/feet
- The little presents were these new Little Debbie strawberry cake thingys that I cut in half and piped a bow on

I told you she was THAT GOOD!!  Thank you Katie for sharing your pictures and “how to’s”.

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