How to make stunning homemade cupcakes by using my must-have cupcake tools and equipment!
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As a busy baker I absolutely love my craft! I love taking simple recipes for cakes, cookies, and cupcakes and turning them into gorgeous edible creations that come with that “WOW!” factor! One of my top favorite baked sweets to experiment with is cupcakes.
Cupcakes can be made in every flavor combination and for any kind of event imaginable. And I love to do just that! For my homemade cupcakes, I love to go all out with fabulous frostings, decorative sprinkles/toppings, and cute cupcake toppers! I like to customize my cupcake creations to party themes or incorporate holiday flavors to make unique sweets.
I know you might be thinking that it already sounds complicated and time-consuming. But mastering cupcake baking is actually very simple! Especially if you have the right tools and equipment. As soon as you figure it out, you will never ever buy cupcakes from the store again! 😉
In fact, I like to make everything from quick and easy cupcake recipes to very elaborate and fancy -or what my daughter likes to call “pinky fancy;)”- cupcakes! It really all comes down to using the right cupcake equipment and tools to achieve different styles or effects. And luckily, most cupcake equipment can be reused for other kinds of recipes like cakes, cookies, and homemade candies.
To help you navigate which tools and utensils would be most helpful in your cupcake creations, I have composed a list of everything from my must-have cupcake equipment to my favorite cupcake tips, and the best packaging to use for traveling with them. Here are my go-to Cupcake Tools and Equipment!
There’s never a bad time to make delicious cupcakes and it’s not difficult to do! All it takes is using the right cupcake tools and equipment, and knowing the right cupcake tips to make the process happen smoothly.
When to Make Cupcakes
Let’s start with when to make cupcakes. The answer is simple: anytime! There’s never a wrong time to make cupcakes. In fact, they make both special events and everyday life way more exciting and fun! Here are a few of my favorite occasions to make cupcakes.
When I Like to Make Cupcakes:
- When I go to visit my friends
- For get-togethers or holiday parties with my friends or family
- For potlucks or cookouts.
- Teacher’s Appreciation Day
- Celebrating kid’s birthday parties
- Important kid’s sports events or celebrations
- Office celebrations
- Wedding or engagement parties
- I really like to send cupcakes as a “thank you”, “get well”, or “I’m sorry” instead of a card.
- Pretty much, I just like to make cupcakes for everything in my life!
Must-Have Cupcake Equipment
Now let’s talk about cupcake equipment and materials! If you don’t like to bake often then I understand sticking to just the basics to stay on budget. However, if you want to experiment with making cupcakes even semi-often then investing in the right tools can immensely help you step up your cupcake game and make the whole process way easier!
Here are my must-have cupcake tools and equipment:
- Glass mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Blending whisk
- Hand mixer
- Kitchen Stand Mixer. I would highly recommend one of these if you’re planning to make frosting totally from scratch.
- Cake Spatula
- Cake Scraper
- Apple corer– This is to scoop out the middle of cupcakes to add a filling like in my Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes.
- Wilton’s Candy Melt Pot – for making glazes, candies, and chocolate cupcake toppings.
- Metal 12-cup cupcake pan. I don’t like using silicone pans for cupcakes since they don’t hold shape very well.
- Mini Cupcake Pan. This one is perfect for serving bite-size cupcakes for kid’s birthday parties or large gatherings!
- Foil cupcake liners. I much prefer these over the paper ones since the paper will absorb moisture and can tear apart during baking.
- You even can use mini foil liners with plastic lid domes – These are perfect for mess-free kids school celebrations, bake sales, or birthday parties!
- Piping bags and piping bag ties
- I also like to use a wide variety of jumbo metal piping tips to achieve different effects and swirls with my frosting.
Tips for Quick Cupcakes
Now as a busy parent I know there will probably be times when you need to make a batch of cupcakes fast and don’t have time to make a recipe from scratch. I know in those times that you might want to reach for those store-bought cupcakes to make it easy, but you don’t have to!
You can still create a little homemade magic, even in a time crunch! All it takes is a box of cake mix, canned frosting, and the right cupcake toppers. Here’s what to use to make homemade cupcakes in a flash, using premade ingredients.
Yummy cupcakes from premade ingredients:
- Use cake box mix for the cupcakes. Can be any flavor!
- Use canned buttercream frosting, even for a glaze. Again, any flavor but it’s fun to mix n’ match the cake and frosting flavors.
- See how to turn this canned frosting into any kind of dessert topping in my full guide on Store-bought Buttercream Frosting Hacks!
- If desired, you can add special flavors -like strawberry, raspberry, eggnog, or peppermint- into plain vanilla cupcakes or frosting with extracts or homemade Fruit Compotes.
- My Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are a perfect example of how to make easy and quick fancy cupcakes using premade ingredients!
Cupcake Topper Tools
Now let’s talk about cupcake toppers. Let me start by saying that I personally don’t like to put non-edible decor on cupcakes or cakes. I really don’t want to take a chance of people trying to eat it, especially small kids.
Over my years of experimenting, I have found that it is incredibly easy to make my own edible cupcake toppers that can be customized to literally any theme or holiday! Again, it’s all about having the right tools!
Here are my go-to cupcake topper tools:
- My top favorite cupcake toppers are my homemade custom chocolate decorations with glitter dust!
- To make homemade cupcake toppers, all you need is a silicone mold, candy melts, and edible glitter dust.
- Some of my favorites are Chocolate Seashells, Chocolate Mermaid Tails, Mini Chocolate Bars with Sprinkles, and Chocolate Lips and Hearts.
- Wilton’s Candy Melting Pot – This is an absolute must-have to consistently make homemade chocolate toppers.
- Don’t have a chocolate mold? No problem! You can go without it. Here is how to make Heart-Shaped Chocolates without A Mold!
- Sprinkles! My daughter and I can never get enough of these! Plus with the wide variety of Occasionally I will use non-edible cupcake toppers, like in my adorable Mardi Gras Cupcakes, but I really prefer to make edible ones.
Best Packaging for Homemade Cupcakes
Once you get the cupcake-making down and you’re ready to share them with friends, family, and loved ones, it’s time to think about packaging. After spending all that time perfecting your cupcake creations you do not want to squish them all together in one big baking dish, cover them with foil, and hope for the best.
Your cupcakes will be messed up before you even leave the driveway! You need boxes or containers with individual slots to keep the cupcakes from bumping into each other and messing up the frosting or decorations. Here are my go-to containers for traveling with cupcakes.
Before frosting, the cupcakes are put the unfrosted cupcakes into the container first, then frost and decorate them. This will save you from messing up the cupcake decorations when transferring them to the to-go container.
- “Made with Love” Stickers
- I specifically like to use white paper boxes with clear windows:
For larger group occasions:
- 24-pack mini cupcake containers. These can stack on top of each other for easy travel!
- 12-pack box with clear window
- 12-cup plastic container with lid. These can stack on top of each other for easy travel!
More Cupcakes Recipes
Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting
Store-bought buttercream frosting hacks
Chocolate ganache frosting
White Chocolate Ganache
Cue the Cupcakes
Ready to try out some of these cupcake tools and tricks? I’ve got plenty of cupcake recipes for you to try out! Doesn’t matter what time of year it is or which holiday is coming up next, these cupcakes will be there to help you celebrate! Here are some of my own favorite cupcake recipes:
- Red Velvet Cupcakes with Ganache Frosting
- Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes
- S’mores Cupcakes
- Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
- Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
- Gingerbread Cupcakes
- Peppermint Cupcakes
- Unicorn Rainbow Cupcakes
- Mardi Gras Cupcakes
A Helping Hand Around the Kitchen
On the hunt for more tips and tricks to help you become a master chef and baker? I’ve got you covered with more helpful guides, comparisons, and how-to’s to help you around the kitchen:
- Pre-cut vs. Rolled Parchment Paper
- When to Use Parchment Paper vs. A Silicone Mat
- Silicone vs. Metal Baking Pans
- How to Grease A Pan
- How to Test Yeast
- How to Clean Enamel Cast Iron Cookware
- How to Assemble a Charcuterie Board
- How to Keep Strawberries Fresh
- How to Grow Sprouts in a Jar
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