Starting this project I was excited because I have never used Bella Cupcake Couture Cupcake Wraps, or any cupcake wraps for that matter, and when I saw the Bella Cupcake Couture Lu Lu Black and White Cupcake Wraps, I was inspired and knew just what to make. I love the elegant pattern on these wraps and black is an unexpected color that is not usually associated with cupcakes so I thought it would be fun to make something different.
Starting out, I anticipated this to be an easy project. Just bake and frost some cupcakes and place them in the wraps right? Wrong. I started out by baking standard sized cupcakes and when the cupcakes came out of the oven and cooled I quickly realized that they were going to be too small for the Bella Cupcake Couture Wraps. Looking down into the wrap, the top of the standard size cupcake was a good 1/2″ below the edge of the cupcake wrap, and the cupcake had at least 1/4″ of breathing room all around it. I knew that even if I mounded on giant swirls of frosting, the cupcake would still look sunken and inset from the wrap.
My options were to place the cupcakes on some sort of stilts to raise them up so that the top of the cupcake would be level with the edge of the wrap, to go ahead and frost the cupcakes using as much frosting as possible so that the problem wouldn’t be as noticeable or to bake new larger cupcakes. The stilt idea seemed clunky and complicated and I knew I wouldn’t get the results I wanted by frosting the cupcakes I already had made, so I baked new cupcakes. The next size up that I had in baking cups was a 1-7/8″ wall by 2-1/4″ diameter base baking cup. This is the size in between standard and giant (Texas sized), and if you don’t fill it too full you can use a standard size muffin baking pan.
Just for reference, a standard size baking cup has 1-3/8″ walls (sides) and a 2″ diameter bottom. Note: 1-3/8″ walls and 2″ diameter bottom measurements must be approximations because although these are the dimensions that are called out on the packaging, when I measure the baking cup it seems closer to 1-1/2″ wall and 1-7/8″ diameter base. These are the most common size and the kind that people generally use. They come in a variety of different colors and patterns, and you should be able to find some variety of these size at your local grocery store.
Using the new larger baking cups I baked some new cupcakes. These larger cupcake liners stuck up way above the edges of my cupcake pan. I filled each cup with 1/2 cup of batter (next time I would use 1/3 cup because this was too much) and baked them for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F. When these cupcakes emerged from the oven I could tell that they were much much bigger, but the question now was… are they too big? Unfortunately the answer was yes. Bigger than the standard size cupcakes but too big for the cupcake wraps, these cupcakes would not do. Now I was determined that I would make a cupcake that was not too big, not too small, but just right.
Because I didn’t have any other in between size baking cups, I had to create my own by cutting approximately 3/8″ off of the entire rim of the larger baking cups. They originally had a 2″ wall (the packaging again read 1-7/8″ wall, but when measured was closer to 2″) so this brought them down to a 1-5/8″ wall. This may not seem like a big difference being that the standard baking cup was only 1/4″ shorter, but because of the differing base diameters, the overall size was quite different. I continued to cut the baking liners three at a time until I had 12. I placed them in the standard size muffin pan and filled them with approximately a level scoop (I use a 56 mm scoop) and a half of batter (this is approximately 1/4 cup), and baked them for about 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F. After letting the cupcakes cool on a wire rack, I dropped one into the wrap and found that to my relief and delight these cupcakes were the perfect size.
Now the fun part! Decorating the cupcakes. My idea for decorating was simple… Pipe frosting on the cupcakes using a large decorating tip and then sprinkle with black sugar pearls and place in cupcake wraps. This part of the project went pretty much according to plan.
I wanted a vibrant contrast color that wouldn’t fade in the background or be drowned out by the black, so I chose electric pink. I put approximately 5-6 cups of buttercream icing in the bowl of a six quart Kitchen Aid mixer and using the whisk attachment I mixed in almost a whole bottle of electric pink gel paste to get this shocking pink. Hint: The frosting will become darker as it sets. If you want to make sure that your frosting is the color you are hoping for, color it the night or day before you want to use it and color it just a shade lighter than you want. By the next day, your frosting will have developed to its final shade.
I used a 14″ pastry bag and Ateco tip 825 to pipe frosting on the cupcakes. Start piping from the outside edge of the cupcake and end up with your swirl ending in the center.
Next use your fingers to sprinkle black sugar pearls onto the cupcakes.
Now gently place the cupcakes in the Bella Cupcake wraps. I found that the best way to do this is to hold the cupcake directly over the assembled wrap with one hand. Bring your other hand under the wrap and up through the opening in the bottom of the wrap to grap the cupcake and gently guide it down into place.
Now you can add additional decorations to your cupcakes such as the chocolate skull toppers we added here, or place them on a pedestal for an elegant display.
Recap – To do this project at home you will need the following:
~Bella Cupcake Couture Lu Lu Black and White Cupcake Wraps (1 pkg-12wraps)
~12 Large Baking Cups (1-7/8″ wall and 2-1/4″ diameter base)
~14″ Pastry Bag/Decorating Bag
~Ateco Tip/Tube 825
~12 Chocolate Skull Toppers
All dressed up in Bella Cupcake Couture Wraps, these cupcakes make a wonderful centerpiece for any celebration. I love that these cupcakes are very versatile and can look elegant and chic or a bit edgy and punk when you add the skulls.