With these basic items and tips courtesy of the Betty Crocker website (www.bettycrocker.com), you can bake and decorate a batch of beautiful cupcakes in a snap.
CUPCAKE MAKING TIPS
* Betty Crocker boxed cake mixes in a variety of flavors
* Ready-to-spread frostings
* Decorating icing, assorted colors
* Decorating gels, assorted colors
* Food colors (liquid, gel or paste). Try paste food color for more vivid color frosting
* Assorted colored sugars and edible glitters
* Assorted candy sprinkles
* Cupcake pans (mini and regular)
* Paper baking cups, available in a variety of colors and prints. Find them in supermarkets, party, craft or specialty cake decorating stores.
* Resealable food-storage plastic bags for piping icings and glazes.
Tip: Baking Pans
A box of cake mix makes 24 to 30 cupcakes in regularsize cupcake pan. There also are pans that have mini, large and jumbo cups. If you have only one pan and a recipe calls for more cupcakes than your pan will make, just cover and refrigerate the rest of the batter while baking the first batch. Cool the pan about 15 minutes, then bake the rest of the batter, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the bake time.
An easy way to fill baking cups is to use an ice cream scoop. Use one that measures out 1/3 cup batter when filling regular-size cups. Use one that measures out 2 tablespoons batter when filling mini cups.
* Carefully dip tops of cupcake into the frosting, give a slight twist and remove. Finish off with a swirl of a knife if needed.
* Dip frosted cupcakes into bowls of nuts, colored sugar, sprinkles or other decors for easy decorating.
1. Cool cupcakes completely before covering to keep tops from becoming sticky (about 30 minutes).
2. Loosely cover cupcakes that will be frosted later so the tops stay dry. If covered tightly, they become sticky and difficult to frost.
3. Store cupcakes with a creamy-type frosting loosely covered with foil, plastic wrap or waxed paper, or under a cake safe or inverted bowl
4. Refrigerate cupcakes with whipped-cream toppings or cream fillings.
5. Frost cupcakes with fluffy frosting on the day they are to be served.
6. Freeze cupcakes two to three months, tightly wrapped.
7. To keep frosting on frosted cupcakes from sticking, freeze cupcakes uncovered 1 hour, then insert a toothpick in the top of the cupcake, and tightly wrap.
8. Thaw cupcakes in the refrigerator or on the countertop.
9. When thawi ng on the countertop, loosen or remove wrapping to prevent condensation.
10. Decorating gel, hard candies and colored sugars do not freeze well because they tend to run during thawing.