I’m all about making cupcakes from scratch, but sometimes the ease of a boxed mix is hard to pass up. If you’re short on time or concerned about your baking abilities, it’s still possible to make these cupcakes look homemade. Here are 5 tips for dressing them up:
- Use milk instead of water. Most boxed mixes call for water, but substitute it for whole milk to get a denser cake. My one complaint about boxed mixes is that the cupcakes are too light and airy, so this solves that problem and keeps them really moist!
- Bake them in cute paper cups. Instead of traditional cupcake liners I like to use paper baking cups. Just place them onto a baking sheet and fill about 2/3 of the way with the cupcake batter. Most of the time I find them at HomeGoods, Michaels or T.J.Maxx for only a few dollars. The pink and white polka dot style is perfect for the bridal or baby shower! I also found some cute red, white and blue ones which I used to make these funfetti cupcakes.
- Make your own buttercream. Skip the canned frosting and make your own buttercream. Below is my go-to recipe, which can be made with almond or vanilla extract depending on your flavor preference. It is much fluffier than the store-bought kind and you can’t beat the fresh taste.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes. To frost the cupcakes, transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with your favorite decorating tip. I typically use the open star, closed star or French tip when making cupcakes. Piping the buttercream is really simple and looks way fancier than just spreading it on top with a knife.
- Add a cupcake topper. I recently found these Mr. and Mrs. cupcake toppers in the dollar spot at Target. The blush and white is so pretty, plus the rose gold foil adds a fun touch. They would be perfect for a bridal shower or wedding! I also love the Meri Meri cupcake kits, which usually come with cupcake liners and toppers. I used the star kit in this almond cupcake post.