You know what you’ll want every time you get a holiday party invite over the next few weeks? Adorable homemade cupcakes. You know what’s a pain in the ass to bake fresh every time? Adorable homemade cupcakes. But there is a solution! And after you’ve done the prep work, treats-on-demand will only take about 10 minutes to assemble a dozen cupcakes.
You will need:
- Sprinkles, sugar snowflakes, crushed peppermints, or whatever else delights your eyeballs
- Your favorite cupcake recipe (maybe the ever-reliable One Bowl Chocolate Cake?)
- Neutral-enough-to-go-anywhere cupcake wrappers
- Frosting recipe (more on this in Step 2)
- Piping bags and an icing tip (I like 1M or 2D)
Step 1: Make and Store Cupcakes
Bake and freeze. Hear me out! I always used to bake cupcakes fresh as close to serving as possible, but after a few conversations with professional bakers I learned that cakes not only do fine after freezing, they actually come out better. Many bakers bake their cakes ahead of time specifically to give themselves time to freeze them before serving, because that’s how awesome freezing is for taste and texture.*
So! This weekend, make and freeze a ton of cupcakes. When your cupcakes come out of the oven, put them on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Wrap them in plastic wrap (I wrap several together at a time), burrito in aluminum foil, slip into a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer.
Step 2: Make and Store FrostingI think Wilton Buttercream is the way to go for an Emergency Homemade Cupcake Kit. It’s super fast, nearly foolproof, and it will last a couple weeks in the fridge (according to BakeLikeAPro, at least–reviews on the Wilton website give it up to 8 weeks especially if you sub water for the milk) so a batch or two will get you through the holiday season.
Step 3: Showtime!
Take your cupcakes out of the freezer and unwrap. Slap some buttercream into a piping bag and frost those bad boys. Toss on some sprinkles and decorations.
BAM! You’re party-ready!
The cupcakes will thaw by the time you get wherever you’re going (under 20 minutes at room temperature). They will be magnificent and everyone will be impressed at your ability to pull a dozen cupcakes out of your ass.
Tell me! If you had to eat the same cake/frosting combination all season long, what would it be? (Obviously you don't have to eat the same combo all season - make a few different batches for your emergency kits! I'm just curious!)