Easy cupcakes to impress kids without spending much time in the kitchen

September 13, 2012 in activities

Today’s post is all about giving you star mom power, without sacrificing much time. I’ll give you two cupcake ideas, that will impress kids, cost little money or time. In fact, your 8-year-old, if she knows how to bake from a box, can do these herself. 

Do you ever promise to do something for your kids and then wish you hadn’t? I like to be creative, but not in a time-consuming repeat-over-40 times way. Last spring I promised to make Bird soccer cupcakes to take to school (yes, at her school you can still bring homemade baked goods). I did it, even made enough for the soccer team, but it took over 6 hours. While the end results were awesome, I didn’t want to sacrifice that much time on consumable food again. 

Bug’s birthday followed a month later. She wanted cupcakes with equal wow-power. I couldn’t give up so much time again. We found two cupcake designs, with high wow-factors that took very little decorating time. Even better, Bug and Bird were able to decorate several themselves without sacrificing quality. Since school is in full swing in every city (well, not Chicago…). And birthday girls and sports teams LOVE wow-factor cupcakes. And moms LOVE to serve them but don’t have the time, let me share. 

For both cupcakes, I used Betty Crocker, butter recipe yellow. Because, well, they are cupcakes, and need to taste good and butter makes all baked goods better. For added wow-factor, find cute cupcake wrappers, my girls were excited about shiny foil. (I didn’t show them the more expensive and fancier wrappers in Wilton sections at Michaels.)

easy impressive cupcakes

Adorable monkey cupcake. Super cute. I found this image on Clyde’s Cupcakes (the original site had a few other cute pictures if you want a monkey-themed party) and just imitated it. I made a nice chocolate butter cream frosting, used squeezable gel tubes for the eyes and mouth. The nose is a vanilla wafer and the ears mini vanilla wafers (I found snack size ones at Kroeger). Simple. Bake cupcakes. Decorating took enough for a class took less than 15-minutes working with my Bug. 

Fish Cupcakes. This year was Bug’s turn to have a friend party for her birthday. She wanted to go swimming. Easy (I didn’t even need to clean the house). But she wanted fish cupcakes. Hmm. Thank goodness for the Internet. The design I found was from Family Fun magazine

easy cupcakes

It was spring so pastel M&Ms were easy to find. I wanted pastel because matching the color of the frosting to the M&M would be easier. The mouth is an M&M cut in half (yes we bought the pastel and the regular M&Ms). The tail is a gum drop fruit slice, easy to find in a generic brand at most gas stations and drug stores. I bet you can’t guess which fish I did and which ones my daughter did? 

Happy decorating. 

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam September 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Ok, these are ADORABLE. I wish my kids were younger… May have to make them anyway! (and haul some over to the niece and nephew.) You will kill me for saying this, but I think I like the ones that were faster even a little better than the soccer ones (although they are great too.)


Jenni C's September 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

i have my daughters birthday coming up in October, and i love the inspiration here….thanks so much..


Sandy Adams September 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

They are all super cute!


Tricia September 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Love the vanilla wafers for monkey ears and nose! So clever!


carlabruns September 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

So cute! I’m going to make some monkey cupcakes.

Happy Saturday Sharefest!


Jennifer {Studio JRU} September 17, 2012 at 12:00 am

Oh my goodness… these are all so adorable!! What fun ways to dress up cupcakes. I can just imagine how much the kids loved them! So happy you shared these! 🙂


Robin Norgren September 17, 2012 at 2:58 am

the monkey cupcakes rock!


Stacie September 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

You are so talented. Love the soccer ones. I would try to make basketballs for my boys. Stopping by from SITS.


pruningprincesses September 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Thanks Stacie. The soccer ones were crazy. Way too much time. Basketballs on oreo cookies might be easier.


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