Recipes & Instructions

Recipes, Instructions, and Other resources for the cupcakes I've made.

Karen Tack & Alan Richardson's "Hello, Cupcake"(2008)
Flamingo, Shark, TV Dinner, Sunflower, Snowmen, Eggs, Butterfly, Popcorn, Spaghetti & Meatballs, French Fries

Karen Tack & Alan Richardson's "What's New Cupcake"(2010)
Shuttle Cocks, Walrus, Ham Sandwiches (Faux Foot Long), Floats, Cockroaches, Goldfish, Robot, Cherry Pie, Bee Hive (Busy Bee).

Karen Tack & Alan Richardson's article in the October/November 2010 issue of "Taste of Home"
Monster & Turkey Dinner


Zebra Cake Cupcakes

  • White Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury)
  • Black Food Coloring
  • 2 decorating bags
  • 2 round or star tips with couplers (I tried 3, 7, & 27...they all seemed to work fine)
  • Pink Frosting (and other decorations as you see fit)
  • White cupcake liners
  1. Mix white cake mix according to boxed directions.  (For the actual cake directions, they recommended Duncan Hines as it is more runny.  I found that this technique worked fine with Pillsbury using the egg white recipe).  
  2. Split the batter in half.
  3. Color one half of the batter black, leave the other half white.
  4. Line cupcake pan with white liners.
  5. Fill one decorating bag (with tip) with the black batter, and the other bag (with tip) with the white batter.
  6. Place small amount of white frosting in the bottom of the cupcake liner (about the size of a nickle).
  7. Push the tip of the black batter bag in the middle of the white batter circle you just piped (make sure tip touches the bottom of the pan and that you aren't just distributing the batter on top of the last one).  Squeeze the bag and pull up gently to add approximately the same volume of black batter.
  8. Push the tip of the white batter bag into the middle of the black batter circle you just created, making sure the tip touches the bottom of the pan.  If you can't see the black circle you just created, it's ok, just put it in the middle.  This seemed to happen more frequently as you add layers.  Squeeze the bag and gently pull up (at the same time) to add the same volume of batter you have been distributing.
  9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 until your cupcake liner is about 2/3 full (or desired height).  For the last addition, make sure it is only half the amount you have been using (as it will be one stripe instead of turning into 2 stripes).
  10. Bake as directed on package.
  11. Decorate as you see fit.
When/if I do these again, I will try to remember to take step by step pictures and add them here.  These take a little practice to get the appropriate volume each time to get thin/thick stripes (which ever you like better).  I imagine you can do these in any colors (sports teams, etc).  Enjoy!

Giant Cupcake

  • Giant cupcake pan/mold (sold many places.  I used a silicone mold from Christmas Tree shop)
  • 1 bag of melting wafers/chocolate (A.C. Moore, Michael's, etc)
  • Wilton's Snow White Butter Cream Icing
  • Gel food coloring (I use Wilton's)
  • Ribbon
  • Tip 2D for the flowers (it's a big star tip)
  • Tip 352 for small leaves
  • Tip 27 or other star tip for dots/flowers
  • Decorating bags & couplers/ or ziplock bags


  1. Bake cake in pan (well greased) according to manufacturers directions
  2. Heat up the entire bag of melting chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
  3. In the clean and try cupcake base mold, paint the inside with a layer of chocolate.  Place in freezer until it is hardened.  Continue with layers until most of the chocolate has been used.  I did not need to grease my mold. The mold can be folded back off of the chocolate fairly easily with the silicone mode.
  4. Trim the base of the cake to fit inside of the chocolate.  
  5. Frost the bottom layer, and place the top layer on top.
  6. Cut the ribbon to size and place the ribbon around the top of the chocolate.  I used some tape to secure the end, however a bow could be tied instead.
  7. Using the snow white butter cream frosting and the 2D tip, do swirls to simulate flowers.
  8. Using the other two tips, create leaves and flowers.
  9. With the leftover chocolate, pipe out butterfly wings, body, and antennae to place on the top. 
  10. Add any additional decorations as seen fit.

Hibiscus & Tropical Flower Cupcakes
  • Royal Icing
  • Gel food color (I used wilton)
  • Jolly Ranchers (watermelon & cherry- one will make centers for 3 hibiscus)
  • Non-stick spray
  • Wilton lily nail (2.5 inch used)
  • Aluminium foil
  • Waxed paper
  • Large & Small Coupler for decorating tips
  • Decorating tips: 406 (very large- requires large coupler.  Looks like a very large rose tip), 1 (very small circular hole- fits small coupler), 1F (Large, fits large coupler, star shape: for tropical flower center, and I used it to ice the cupcakes).
  • Green Chocolate melting wafers (A.C. Moore, Michael's, etc)
  • Waxed paper
  • Ziplock back with small corner cut, or decorating bag with size 2 decorating tip.
1.   Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.  In a 350 degree oven, heat two jolly ranchers at a time for about 3 minutes, just until they begin to pool. 
2.   Remove and immediate take a butter knife and cut each jolly rancher into three pieces.  I found using a fork was useful in cutting.  Pick up the melted jolly rancher and pull until it is elongated.  BE CAREFUL, THEY ARE HOT!  Slightly bend.  Cool on wax paper.  This takes a little finesse, but once you get the hang of it, it isn’t so bad.
3.   Cut aluminum foil to fit lily nail.  I found that I could get 3 pieces per width of aluminum foil. 
4.   Prepare the royal icing.  Keep some white to use with small tip.  Color the rest as desired. 
5.   Using tip 406 (with the large coupler), create the petunia design in the Lily nail lined with Aluminum foil.
6.   While still in the nail, place one of the jolly rangers into the center.  Take the white royal icing and create dots on the jolly rancher.
7.   Remove aluminum foil from lily nail and let dry at least 24 hours.  Repeat for more flowers.
8.   Melt the green chocolate wafers.  Place in a zip lock or piping bag fit with tip 2.  Onto wax paper, draw the outline of a leaf.  Allow to set in refrigerator for at least 5 minutes, until set. 
9.   Frost cupcakes with butter cream (I piped it on using the large star tip (1F) since I already had it fit to a bag).
10.               Carefully unwrap the hibiscus flowers.  They are VERY delicate, and many will break.  I make 10 extra, and glad I did!  I found that unwrapping them using a sideways pull worked better than pulling the foil down.
11.               Place on frosted cupcake with a single leaf behind it.
12.               The broken hibiscus flowers were used as the petals in the orange flowers.  Taking 6 (not 5) of the petals, I arranged them on the frosted cupcake.  Using the large star tip (1F), I created a center with butter cream frosting.

These were very time consuming, and frustrating at times.  I noticed that the cherry jolly rangers did better than the watermelon.  The watermelon flavor was used with the orange hibiscus, and seems to get really sticky while the flower was trying.  All of the orange flowers did not dry enough to remove them (humidity) although they were made at the same time as the pink ones.  Something went awry with the orange ones, but I’m not 100% sure what happened.  All of the decorations can be made in advance, which was convenient.

Rose Cupcakes
  • Vases (I found mine at the Dollar Tree)
  • Stones (white were from Dollar Tree's craft section)
  • White Crinkled paper (Dollar tree, but you can make your own with a shredder)
  • Ribbon
  • Green Floral Foam (Dollar tree)
  • White lollipop sticks (Candy making section of Wegmans or craft store)
  • 9 Mini cupcakes in foil wrappers (per arrangement)
  • Wilton's Snow White Butter Cream Icing 
  • Food Coloring (Wilton works quite well)
  • Decorating Tips 12 & 104 (to make the roses)

1.   Bake your cupcakes.  Make them as dense as possible (so they will withstand being on a stick better).  I recommend baking them in foil, as the ones in paper didn't hold up as well in the arrangement.
2.   With the Snow White icing, create the traditional Wilton Rose right onto the cupcake (don't use the flower nail- the icing needs to adhere to the cupcake).
3.   Allow the cupcakes to set up at least 24 hours.
4.   Place stones and paper in vase (because the arrangement is top heavy).
5.   Cut foam to fit opening.  Using the ribbon, tie a bow around the vase.
6.   Place lollipop sticks into the foam in a semi-upright position.  The bottom layer can accommodate 6, the center should have 3.
7.   Take a sharp item (knife, paper clip edge, etc) to poke through the cupcake foil.
8.   Place cupcake onto the Lollipop stick.
If transporting, it may be best to assemble on site, as the cupcakes can be affected by bumps in the road!

Beef on Weck Cupcakes
  • Mini cupcakes (a light color- white, yellow, etc)
  • Butter cream frosting or other white/light color frosting
  • Brown sprinkles (jimmies)
  • White sparkling sugar (I used Wilton from Wegmans or craft store.  These are large sugar granules).
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Tootsie Rolls (3 per mini cupcake)
  • Tooth picks
1.   Slightly overfill your cupcake tins (to create a domed cupcake).  Bake mini cupcakes (per your recipe)  Allow to cool completely.
2.   Unwrap the tootsie rolls.  Heat them for a few seconds (only a few at a time) in the microwave to soften.
3.   Using a rolling pin or heavy cylindrical object, roll out the tootsie rolls.
4.   Cut off top of cupcake right where the cupcake meets the top of the baking paper.
5.   Put a thin coat of frosting over the bottom of the cupcake (the muffin bottom, if you will.  This will help from the bottom portion of the cupcake getting stale too quickly).
6.   Fold the tootise rolls as if it were deli meat, and arrange on the "bun".  I recommend 3 tootsie rolls per mini cupcake.
7.   Pipe frosting on top of the "roast beef" to simulate horse radish.
8.   Place top of cupcake back onto the "horse radish".
9.   Mix a few tablespoons of milk with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar.  Brush this mixture over the cupcake top.  (This will allow for the next step to stick).
10.               Sprinkle some of the sparking sugar & brown sprinkles on top of the cupcake.
11.               Insert toothpick through cupcake.