What's an easy, kid-friendly way to decorate cupcakes?
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I love to use a variety of toppings to decorate my cupcakes. If my kids are helping me decorate, I love to put a variety of toppings in small bowls, paper cupcake liners, or even a cupcake pan. Some of the toppings I like to use are crushed cookies, chocolate chips (or any kind of chip), candy, sprinkles, mini marshmallows, and crushed ice cream cones. I also like to put out some healthy options such as nuts, fruit (small berries or chopped fruit works great!), chopped graham crackers, pretzels, or even goldfish crackers. Resealable plastic bags full of different colors of frosting are also fun and easy. Just clip the corner of the bag to use to decorate and just throw it out when you're done so cleanup is a breeze!
I also like to make tall topped cupcakes such as my Green Velvet Dipped Cupcakes. You can use any cupcake recipe. Top the cupcake with frosting, then dip in melted chocolate or candy coating. While the chocolate or candy coating is still warm, decorate with your favorite toppings mentioned above.
We love to bake GLUTEN-FREE cupcakes and then decorate them with butter cream icing which my daughter sieves the icing sugar (snow sugar) and then i mix in the butter and add a little color and then my daughter mixes again until all the color is incorporated. Then out come the butter knives and we ice away. We love adding decorations either made out of fondant - which my daughter thinks is edible play dough or pretty sparkly sugar, or other store bought edible pearls etc.
Gluten-free cupcake recipe at http://www.bettybake.co.za/2010/09/cupcakes-with-hint-of-lemon.html
I love to make homemade buttercream frosting that the kids can spread on themselves with a small spatula. You can fill cupcake tins or individual silicone cupcake liners with different toppings(sprinkles, gummies, etc) and they can go crazy with their imaginations! I made these adorable Carnival Clown Cupcakes for my daughter's spelling carnival at school. They were pretty simple and the kids had a blast "painting the cones"!
Since so many kids today have dietary restrictions, either because of food allergies, intolerances or life-style choices, that we bake cupcakes and make frostings that are safe for everyone (allergen-free, gluten-free and vegan). That way we have yummy cupcakes and no one has to feel left out!
Sometimes the easiest way to decorate a cupcake is to top it either with safe frosting or powdered sugar and then add a decorated flag or little toy.