Kids Cupcake Decorating Instructions

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Kids and cupcakes go together. Decorating these cute confections offers finger-licking fun for a rainy afternoon or gives mom an inexpensive way to host a preschool party. Kids love to decorate cupcakes any day of the week, but the activity is more fun when shared with friends. For toddlers and preschoolers, try a mom-and-tot cupcake-decorating party.

Do-Ahead Tasks

Bake the cupcakes ahead of time and make or buy canned frosting. Opt for light colors, yellow or white cake, and vanilla frosting. Stock up on disposable icing bags, available at hobby stores or in the cake-decorating department of some super stores. Use large icing bags for the base vanilla icing and fill smaller bags with colored icing. Cover the worktable with a paper tablecloth and secure it with tape to the underside of the table.


Although creativity is the goal when decorating cupcakes, preschoolers will enjoy the activity more with a little structure. The base icing goes on first, and the least-messy method is to squeeze the soft icing out of the bag in a circular pattern, starting at the outside and making continuous circles until reaching the middle of the cupcake. If more smoothness is desired, the kids can use plastic knives to spread the icing.

Colored Icing Details

Pass around the disposable bags filled with colored icing for drawing shapes or writing names. Twist the open end of each bag and use a rubber band around the excess bag to keep icing from oozing out the wrong end. Fit the colored icing bags with relatively small, No.2, round tips to keep the icing from coming out too quickly.

Variety is The Key to a Cool Cupcake

Sugar and spice and everything nice -- that’s what a cupcake-decorating event is meant to be. Offer plenty of colorful and tasty toppings, such as cake sprinkles, cookie crumbles, candy glitter and fruit-flavored cereal loops. If the event is a birthday party, choose a favorite childhood character, and match topping colors, paper plates and cups to the theme. Most cake recipes make enough cupcakes for each child to decorate two or three.

Keeping it Clean

Purchase inexpensive paper aprons and chef’s hats to make budding culinary artists feel like the pros. Expect some mess; it’s part of the creative process. Keep damp washcloths handy to wipe down fleeing culinary artists before they can grab the cat or jump on the sofa.