Recently, I happily volunteered to make cupcakes for a bridal shower for a beautiful young bride-to-be at our church. Soon after, my friend who was in charge of the shower preparations, found some ideas on Pinterest for cupcake bouquets and a cupcake wedding dress (photo of my version at the bottom of the post with instructions). She asked if I could make something similar with my cupcakes for the shower.
This is the time where I tell you that this particular friend of mine is very crafty. She is awesomely talented in many things craft-related.
I am not. Crafts are not my gift. I totally own this about myself.
I prefer to stay in the kitchen and leave the crafts to my friend. This cupcake bouquet and cupcake dress project was completely out of my comfort zone, because it required me to be crafty. It mixes craftiness with food. Gah.
Cupcakes? No problem.
Pretty frosting? You bet.
Cute cupcake papers and sprinkles? Sure thing.
Foam balls used for floral arrangements? Huh?
Glass vases? You’re losing me here.
Toothpicks and little pieces of tissue paper folded just so? Nope. I’m out.
Although it scared me to death, I looked at the photos and the tutorials, and decided that I might be able to do this crazy thing… all because I like to make my friends happy. And because I want this sweet young lady’s bridal shower to be special and memorable.
So, I decided to do a trial run of a cupcake bouquet the week before the shower to make sure I could actually pull it off – to learn what to do and what not to do. These are the results of that trial run. And now I’m going to teach you how to do it, too – because if I can, you can!
What You Need:
-14 cupcakes (more or less depending on how much of the foam ball surface you have to work with after you place it into your vase/pot)
-buttercream frosting (you’ll need it to stiffen when cold)
-large star tip
-5 inch foam ball (the kind used for floral arrangements)
-1 sturdy glass vase or flower pot (you will want to foam ball to fit tightly on top and not move)
-1 sheet of tissue paper
Step One: Bake and cool your cupcakes. Frost your cupcakes using the rose technique. If using sprinkles, you’ll want to add them now (optional). Refrigerate the cupcakes until the frosting is very firm.
Step Two: Place the foam ball firmly into the top of your vase or pot. (If you are concerned that your vase/pot might tip over, it might be wise to weight it down with something on the inside, as the bouquets are top-heavy). Place two toothpicks onto the very top center of the foam ball.
Step Three: Place your first cupcake snugly onto the toothpicks, directly into the center of the cupcake. Next, make a circle of 6 cupcakes around the center cupcake, using two toothpicks to secure each cupcake in the center, placing the toothpicks at a 45 degree angle (as you can see from the holes in my foam ball, this requires some trial and error to get the spacing right. Place two toothpicks, put a cupcake on it, then place the next two toothpicks, followed by a cupcake, and so on). Finally, make a circle of the last 7 (or however many more will fit) cupcakes around the bottom of the foam ball. Be sure, again, to angle your toothpicks upward, as the cupcakes on the bottom of the bouquet will naturally tilt downward quite a bit and you don’t want them to fall off.
Step Four: Cut the tissue paper sheet in 1-inch wide strips. Fold the strips accordion style. Place the tissue paper carefully into the gaps between the cupcakes.
Helpful Hints: Make a few extra frosted cupcakes and keep them on hand as replacements in case some of your cupcakes fall or the frosting gets damaged during assembly. Also, best to keep cupcakes far away from tea light candles and other sources of heat (which causes the frosting on the cupcakes to melt and fall off). But if this does happen, just replace with your extra cupcakes. If assembling the bouquets in advance, it’s best to assemble them on site and keep them cold.
We’re done. And we have one very beautiful show-stopper of a cupcake bouquet to show for it.
You can customize the colors of the cake, frosting, tissue paper, and pot/vase entirely to suit the occasion. Have fun!
Thank you to 52 Kitchen Adventures for the inspiration and helpful tutorial!
* * *
For those of you interested in the Cupcake Bridal Gown, here is an iPhone photo of the one I did for the shower.
What you need – 32 cupcakes frosted using the rose technique with white buttercream (I also used the same sprinkles I used on the bouquets) arranged just like so, a sturdy foam poster board, a ribbon waistband, a little bling for embellishment. It’s even easier to do than the bouquets and was a big hit at the shower.
This post was updated on January 13, 2014 to include the cupcake bridal gown photo and instructions.