This cupcake tree is perfect for a baby shower or baby birthday. Guests will be in awe that the ducky cupcake toppers are cute and edible too!
You will need about 30-32 cupcakes to fill the cupcake tower. The three tier cupcake stand will fit approximately 28-40 cupcakes depending on how far your frosting and decorations extend beyond the cupcake. For the photo I fit 28 cupcakes on the stand.
To make the cupcakes you will need the following –
~Ducky Suckers (follow this link for directions and materials needed to make the Ducky suckers)
~Pastel Fluted Baking Cups (if you want all of the baking cups to be the same color (as shown in the picture) you will need two packages of these baking cups because they are an assortment and contain 20 each of the three colors shown.
~One batch of Buttercream Icing or other firm frosting or icing recipe (you need a frosting that will hold its shape). You will need about 9 cups.
Step 1 – Use your favorite recipe or a box mix to make the cupcakes. You will need a recipe that makes at least 30 cupcakes to fill the tree. If you are using box cake mix you will need two boxes. Use a ¼ cup scoop to fill each baking cup. These fluted baking cups are slightly shallower than a regular baking cup so they take a bit less batter. Bake as directed.
Step 2 – Cool the cupcakes fully. If you don’t wait for the cupcakes to cool completely, the frosting will melt off of the cupcakes. If you haven’t already made your icing you may want to do this at this time. Color your icing with orange gel paste to get the desired shade.
Step 3 –Set up your 3 tier cupcake stand. This way you will have a place to put your decorated cupcakes. If you are traveling you will want to set the stand up once you get to your location and place the cupcakes on at that time.
Step 4 – Prepare your pastry bag for decorating. Drop tip 1M (this is a large tip and does not work with a coupler) into the bottom of your decorating bag and fill the bag with frosting. Take one cupcake in your hand and begin piping blossoms all over the cupcake. Hold the tip close to the surface of the cupcake. Squeeze the bag firmly to make sure that the frosting will adhere to the cupcake. Stop squeezing and pull the tip away from the cupcake to form a blossom. Continue doing this until the cupcake is completely covered. I find that it is easiest to work from the center outward. Repeat this process to decorate all of the remaining cupcakes.
Step 5 – Place the Ducky Suckers on the cupcakes. Simply stick the lollipop stick into the center of the cupcake so that the ducky is resting atop the frosting. Remember – Ducky Lollipop sticks must be cut down by an inch to an inch and a half so that they will be the right height for the cupcakes.
Step 6 – Place cupcakes on the three tier cupcake stand. When loading, be careful to place cupcakes on either side to balance the stand. Do not place all of the cupcake on one side as the stand may tip. Also remember this when unloading the stand. Slide cupcakes into the nooks in the center of the stand. Continue placing until all cupcakes are on the stand.
It is best to place the cupcakes on the stand once the stand is in its final position. This is because moving the fully loaded stand is difficult. If you have to move the stand lift from the legs not from the bottom tier as the bottom tier will rise up and smash your cupcakes.
Step 7 – Add a decorative border such as an eyelet ribbon to the sides of the tiers or leave as is for a beautiful display.
2 lb Bag Powdered/Confectioners’ Sugar
1 ½ tsp Clear Vanilla Extract (You can use regular vanilla if you don’t need the frosting to be white)
½ tsp Salt
1-1/3 Cups Boiling Water
1 ½ Sticks Unsalted Butter (12 oz) Cut into ½” cubes
3 Cups Shortening
Sift the powdered sugar and place in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Put whisk attachment on mixer. Add boiling water, vanilla, and salt. Mix until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm not hot. Add remaining ingredients and mix on high speed for about ten minutes.