Baking and decorating luxury cupcakes at home has soared in popularity in recent years. People have realised how fun and satisfying it is to make something that looks amazing, for much less than the cost of what a bakery would charge. The UK is following the American trend for themed and seasonal cupcakes. No longer just the domain of children’s birthday parties, cupcakes are perfect for any type of celebration, whether for a wedding or just because you feel like a treat. Fortunately for cupcake aficionados, it’s easy to find a great choice of cake decorations and cake stands.
The most simple cupcake decoration is plain icing. Buttercream spread on with a pallet knife is quick and easy; and spooning on glace icing gives a smooth, even finish. Add detail with a cake topper either made from icing, or printed on edible rice paper. Sprinkles come in a rainbow of colours, shapes and sizes; as well as glitter and pearlescent effects. Try red heart sprinkles on a red velvet cupcake for Valentine’s Day; or gold dragees for a 50th wedding anniversary.
You can also get edible metallic liquid and spray paint for stenciling or painting designs. Paste is better than liquid when choosing food colouring. It is much more vibrant and doesn’t affect the consistency of your icing. Stores like Lakeland sell a great range of cake decorations, from sparkles to toppers, filigree
butterflies, and all types of decorations on toothpicks. And don’t forget the cases! Gone are the days when white paper was the only choice. Cake cases and wraps come in all colours and styles, from lace to brown ones designed to look like terracotta plant pots.
You will need something sturdy and stylish on which to display your finished cupcakes. Most cake decorating shops sell disposable cake stands, either tiered or as a single platform, to hold around a dozen smaller cakes. Made from sturdy decorated cardboard, they are inexpensive and will last several uses if you are careful. For something more lasting try John Lewis. Their vast range includes elegant two-tier white porcelain; ditsy Cath Kidston florals; Alessi Anna Gong’s innovative folding cake stand; and Emma Bridgewater’s distinctive British designs. Alternatively, you can also try Lakeland as they have all you need for all your baking purposes.