I know it’s only been a few days since Crumbs shut down, but man. If you’re anything like us here at Bustle, the abruptness of the move has left you with a giant, cupcake-shaped hole in your life. That’s probably why we’ve been spending so much of our spare time dreaming up new cupcake flavors and mourning the loss of both what was and what will never be.
But hey, guess what? Just because Crumbs is gone doesn’t mean the world has suddenly become devoid of delicious, cupcake-y goodness. Besides, y’know, visiting the myriad other bakeries that specialize in wacky and amazing cake-based creations, you can also step inside your own kitchen and get to work yourself. Sure, they may not be as huge as Crumb’s cupcake monsters; they also might not look as pretty unless you happen to be an incredibly skilled food fanatic yourself. But these 10 cupcake hacks are sure to bring a little sugary brightness to your day — and even better, the majority of them can be easily accomplished by the most novice of bakers. Who needs Crumbs when you’ve got treats like these on hand? It’s time to get baking!
1. DIY Filled Cupcakes
Fun fact: Filling cupcakes with all sorts of deliciousness isn’t actually that hard. You don’t even need any fancy equipment or pastry bags or anything to do it. All they require is that you take a few minutes to carve out a little hole in the top of each cake once you’ve baked them and spoon in the filling of your choice before frosting them. Whether you stuff them with marshmallows like Today's Mama or fill them with strawberries a la Sally's Baking Addition, why not give these treats a shot?
2. The Greatest 2-Ingredient Cupcakes Ever
If I told you that boxed cake mix plus soda equals some of the most delectable treats you’ll ever consume, would you believe me? Because it’s the truth. According to this handy tutorial from Business Insider, moist, fluffy cupcakes can be yours in just a few easy steps. The secret is apparently to match your colors — that is, chocolate cake works best with colas like Coke and Pepsi, while yellow and white cake work best with clear beverages like Sprite and Sierra Mist.
3. The Correct Method of Cupcake Consumption
News flash: You’ve been eating cupcakes wrong your entire life. Here’s how to do it the right way.
4. Campfire Orange Cupcakes
Little did you know that a hollowed-out orange is the perfect receptacle in which to bake cupcakes when you’re roughing it in the wilderness (because obviously cupcakes are essential for any camping experience). Just fill the orange with cake batter, stick the top back on, wrap the whole in aluminum foil, and pop it on the fire for about 20 minutes. Voila!
5. Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Remember these tasty treats from your childhood? There’s just something so delightful about food that masquerades as other food. Blahnik Baker has an excellent recipe for a homemade Funfetti version, but boxed mix works just as well if you’re not a from-scratch kind of person. Don’t forget the frosting!
6. Heart-Shaped Cupcakes
You can get silicone cupcake molds in all sorts of shapes these days, but if you don’t have any of them in your kitchen, you can still make some heart-shaped treats if you get a little creative. Try putting a marble in each section of the baking tray a la A Little Mummy Magic, and you’ll have perfectly lovable cupcakes when they come out of the oven.
7. Mug Cake
Sometimes, you don’t need a whole batch of cupcakes — you just need one. The beauty of mug cakes is that they usually only involve a handful of ingredients, they cook in the microwave, and they make just the right amount for one person. How Sweet It Is has a five-minute chocolate fudge 'smores mug cake that is absolutely to die for, so, y'know... go make it. Now.,
8. Frost Like the Pros
If you need a few lessons in presentation (like, um, me), this handy-dandy chart from I Heart Naptime should help you master the fine art of frosting. Now if someone could just teach me how to make my hand steadier…
9. Bake Shapes Into Your Cupcakes
This one is probably best attempted by the advanced cupcake baker, but the results are absolutely stunning. What’s more adorable than a cupcake with a cute little heart hidden inside? Nothing, that’s what. Except maybe this:
Awwww! Try Made With Love By Me’s recipe for some step-by-step
10. Hi Hat Cupcakes
Another one for the advanced bakers in the crowd: Hi Hat Cupcakes. Basically, they’re chocolate cupcakes with a merengue-y, marshmallow-y frosting which are then dipped, top down, into a vat of melted chocolate. The results look kind of like a dipped ice cream cone, except it’s cake all the way. I’m pretty sure any attempts I might make with these would end in disaster, but Bakerella pulled ‘em off with aplomb using Martha Stewart’s recipe. Bravo!