All Occasion Cakes

How to Make a Blooming Cupcake Bouquet in 5 Steps

A cupcake bouquet is a sweet and stunning alternative to a traditional floral arrangement — doing double duty as centerpiece and dessert. Make the base in advance and customize the floral colors to match the theme of your next baby shower, bridal shower or birthday bash.

Cupcake Bouquet

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How to make a sweet & stunning cupcake bouquet

Supplies:

  • Vase or flower pot
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper cups
  • Scissors
  • Sticky putty (poster putty)
  • Hot glue gun (or other glue)
  • Cupcakes (here’s an easy recipe) baked in green liners
  • Extra green cupcake liners
  • American buttercream (tinted in whatever colors you’d like your flowers to be)
  • Piping bags
  • Large star tip

Step 1: Build the base

Taking the time to build a solid bouquet base will save you from frustration and heartbreak when transporting your cupcake bouquet.

Cupcake Bouquet Supplies

Place a styrofoam ball into a flower pot or wide-mouth vase. The styrofoam ball should be the same diameter as the opening of the vase or a tiny bit smaller. Anchor the ball to the vase with a little bit of sticky putty or hot glue if you plan on reusing your cupcake bouquet base. I used a 6-inch round ball for my bouquet base. 

Step 2: Attach the paper cups

The extra steps to cut and glue paper cups to the styrofoam ball may seem like a pain, but toothpicks alone will not do the job! The weight of the frosting will cause the toothpicks to tear through the cake base and cupcake wrapper.

Cutting the Paper CupsCut off the bottom of a paper cup, leaving the sides about 1″ tall. Repeat with enough cups for all of your cupcakes.

Add a drop of hot glue onto the bottom of one of the cut cups. Glue the cup to the styrofoam ball so that the edge sits on the edge of the vase.

Gluing Cups to the Styrofoam Base

 

Push a tooth pick through the bottom of the cup into the styrofoam ball. Leave about 1/2″ of toothpick sticking up. Insert two more toothpicks to create a triangular shape.

Repeat with more cups and toothpicks all the way around the bottom edge. Then fill in the top of the ball. Use three toothpicks in the cups on the side of the ball and two toothpicks in the cups on top of the ball. Place the cups as close to each other as possible, but don’t worry if there are some gaps. We’ll fill them in later.

Finished Cupcake Bouquet Base

Step 3: Add the cupcakes

Place cupcakes into the cups. Make sure all of the toothpicks in the cup pierce through the cupcake paper.

Placing Cupcakes into the CupsPlacing Cupcakes into the Cups

Step 4: Fill in the empty spaces

Turn a cupcake liner inside out. Gather the sides together, creating a little ruffle. Use the ruffle to fill in the gaps between the paper cups. Anchor the ruffle with a toothpick if needed. Repeat until all of the gaps are filled.

Making a Cupcake Liner RuffleFilling in the Gaps with Cupcake LinersPreparing to Pipe the Flowers

Step 5: Pipe the cupcakes

Fill pipings bag fitted with a large star tips with your tinted buttercreams. I used solid pink and yellow for my flowers, but this is where you can really get creative! Mix colors in your piping bag to create flowers with variegated petals, or create a monochromatic arrangement with flowers all done in the same shade. 

For my cupcake bouquet, I used a mix of hydrangeas and rosettes.

To pipe hydrangeas

Hold the piping bag vertically about 1/4″ from the surface of a cupcake. Apply pressure and allow the buttercream to billow out of the tip, creating a single, small blossom. Release pressure when all of the petals of the blossom are touching. Repeat and overlap blossoms until the entire surface of the cupcake is covered.

Piping Hydrangeas | Erin Gardner | CraftsyPiping Hydrangeas | Erin Gardner | CraftsyPiping Hydrangeas | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

To pipe rosettes

Hold the piping bag vertically over the center of the cupcake less than 1/4″ away from the surface. Apply pressure to the bag until the frosting makes contact with the cupcake. Continue applying pressure while moving the tip in a circular motion around the center. Begin to decrease pressure as the circle you’re piping comes to a close. Release pressure entirely and pull the tip down and away from the swirl to finish.

Piping Rosettes | Erin Gardner | CraftsyPiping RosettesPiping Rosettes | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Include a mix of the two types of flowers in different colors for a varied, eye-catching bouquet.

Once you’re done piping, pop your bouquet into the fridge for at least 20 minutes, so that everything sets up firm. If you’re bringing your bouquet to a friend or client, keep it in the fridge until it’s time to transport it. This will ensure that everything stays put while you’re moving it around. 

 

Piped Hydrangeas and Rosettes | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

Create Dazzling Buttercream Bouquets!

buttercream bouquets craftsy class

Use surprisingly simple piping techniques to create amazing buttercream arrangements. Find out how with lifetime access and hours of close-up instruction in this online video class.Enroll Now »

45 Comments

Eneida

It’s so creative I love it.

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Sharon Phelps

Thanks for sharing, I watched a different tutorial for this a few days ago and they did not use paper cups. I thought that might be a problem when transporting. Paper cups are a great idea 🙂

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Erin Gardner

Thanks so much! I have seen all of those other tutorials as well. Trust me! I know from experience that toothpicks alone don’t work. 😉

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Tina

I wish I had seen this before I made my bouquet yesterday. I watched several tutorials and they only used toothpicks and all of them said it worked great! I made mine for my hairstylist as a little birthday gift and did it the way the tutorials showed. It turned out fine but I did lose one cupcake by the time I got it to her. I will be doing it this way next time!! Thank you so much for the easy step by step! I’m a hands on and visual learner so this was great!! By the way, I used the same colors you did for the icing and used a small hot pink metal bucket to put them in!!! I love that white pot you used!! Again thank you for all the info!! 🙂

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Erin Gardner

I had a similar thing happen to me! That’s what lead me to the cup solution. I’ve seen other tutorials that use plastic cups, but paper are so much easier to cut and don’t have any sharp edges. Glad this was helpful for you! 🙂

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Tiffany

Did you have any issues with the icing sliding off?? I made a bouquet of minis and left if overnight. When I woke up, the icing slid off of all the cupcakes that were sideways :((

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Angie

I would like to know this, too! What icing/frosting do you use to prevent it from slipping off?

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Erin Gardner

Hi Ladies! I haven’t had any trouble with the icing sliding off. I use a pretty sturdy crusting American Buttercream. This one is great: http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/07/crusting-buttercream/ I also put the arrangement in the fridge when I’m done piping, so that it all firms up a little. I think I’ll see if I can add that info to the post, because I can see where that would be helpful. Thanks for the great questions!

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DarleneSimpson

Hope I can make this flower arrangement
Also where do you get lacy looking mold for a cake

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Erin Gardner

Hi! I didn’t use any lace molds here. Just regular cupcake liners and a star tip. If you’re looking for just a lace mold in general, not related to this project, then you might try looking in the Craftsy supply shop. Thanks!

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J T

Lacy looking mold for a cake = the base (vase). That is an actual flower pot, not a cake mold. 🙂

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Erin Gardner

Ooooh! Yes, the flower pot. 🙂 That one is vintage. I collect old pink milk glass pieces from flea markets and sometimes online. You can find similar things on Etsy. If you’re looking to buy something brand new, try your local craft store or Home Goods. Thanks!

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Meg

What size paper cups are those? I only see 9 ounce in my grocery store, and they look too small! 12 ounce seems to only come in foam cups..

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Erin Gardner

Hi Meg! I used standard 9oz cups. The cupcakes fit nice and snug! I think they’d slip out if you used anything larger.

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Donna

I did one of these and it turned out beautiful, however the frosting slid off some of the 1st row cupcakes. I tried chilling the frosted cupcake and reattaching before I delivered but it still slid off. I really want to do another boquete but need to finds resolution quick

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Vicki Johnson

May I throw a suggestion in here ? If you use a crusting butter cream, then ad about a tablespoon of powdered meringue to it, it seems to give it more body…… it helps if it is humid outside also .

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Stacy Anderson

How do you package these? Love all your tips! Thinking of offering these for Valentine orders but want to have the kinks worked out. 😕

Thank you

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Erin G.

I would pack them up just like a vase of flowers. If you go to a local florist they might sell you some of their boxes, or google it. They have a hole cut out in the center where you sit the vase. You could also make something similar with a bakery box, I would think. Make the box, close the lid, and tape it shut. Cut a hole in the top of the box the same size as the vase and set the vase into the box. Mike want to play around with it a little before you offer them for sale, but I think that would work. Thanks!

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Erin G

*Might not Mike 🙂

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Rebecca

What size styrofoam ball is this? Also is the flower pot the same size? And how many cupcakes did it fit?

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Erin Gardner

Hi! That’s a great question. I did this project months ago, so I don’t have the exact answer for you. I can tell you that I chose a ball that fit snuggly into the opening. I think it was either an 8″ or 10″ ball and it held about 16 cupcakes. Thanks!

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Chelsey

How big of a Styrofoam ball would I need to fit 24 cupcakes on it? I want to make this for my daughter to take to school for her birthday!

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Erin Gardner

Hmm, I think you might have trouble finding a styrofoam ball large enough to hold that many cupcakes. You might have better luck making two arrangements with a dozen cupcakes on each. The ball I used was either 8″ or 10″ in diameter and held about 16 cupcakes. Sorry for the approximations! I don’t remember exactly since I did this project months ago. Thanks!

Reply
Anon

After all the oohs and ahhs from the recipients of the bouquet, what suggestions do we provide for actually removing the cupcakes without destroying the frosting of the cupcake you want and those around it? Provide small tongs?

Reply
Erin Gardner

Hi! It’s actually not much trouble at all. If you check out some of the images of the unfinished project, you’ll see that the cupcake wrapper sticks up beyond the edge of the paper cup. Guests can pull the cupcakes off by the wrapper on the sides. There’s actually a good amount of room between cupcakes for people to fit their fingers in to get them. The scrunched up cupcake wrappers are very easy to push aside.

Reply
Andrea

If I assemble the bouquet the night before, should I keep it in the fridge overnight? Would it dry out the cupcakes? Do you have another suggestion to make sure the cupcakes stay moist? Thanks!

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Erin Gardner

Hi! I think that would all depend on your cupcake recipe. When you frost the cupcakes make sure the icing reaches the edges of the cupcake wrapper. That will help “seal in” the cake and prevent it from being exposed to the air in the fridge. Hope this helps!

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katie buckner

Are these standard size cupcakes?

Reply
Erin Gardner

Yes! Cupcakes are baked in standard size wrappers. The bottoms fit snugly into the cups, which helps keep them secure.

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Carolyne

Excuse my ignorance but what are the toothpicks for? I want to give it a go for mothers day.

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Erin Gardner

Hi! If you read through steps 2 and 3 I walk through how to use the toothpicks in the project. They’re there to help hold the cups to the ball and the cupcakes to the cups. Thanks!

Reply
Melinda Archambault

This has been very helpful! Thank you for posting it. I’m taking 2 bouquets of mini cupcakes to a baby shower and there will be 50-70 people. The spacing with yours and adding the liner is brilliant as I was having a hard time with my cupcakes being too close and difficult to remove. (I’m not a baker and have done 2 practice runs:) the neighbours are loving my experiments as they are all getting the practice cupcakes. My question is…the shower is on Sunday so If i make the actual cupcake bouquet on Saturday, what is the best way to store them overnight? Should I refrigerate them or leave them covered and on the counter? Also I noticed if people don’t take them off in a way that keeps it balanced it may tip so I’m using a basket and am weighing it down with gifts for the baby i.e.: diaper creams, shampoo, anything with weight.

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Erin Gardner

Hi! I’m so glad the post was helpful! 🙂 Storing them would depend on what kind of frosting you’ve used. If it’s a meringue-based buttercream like Swiss or Italian, then I would store it in the fridge. American buttercream would be fine on the counter overnight. You could carefully drape plastic wrap over the top of the bouquet once the flowers are set. Or even flip a large Tupperware or storage tote over the whole thing to keep it safe. Great idea to add weight to the container! That will definitely help prevent them from tipping when people pull off cupcakes. Enjoy the shower!

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Hannah

I’m making these for Easter and Mother’s day and i’m having a hard time finding a cute Flower pot. Whered you get yours in the picture? I love it!

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Erin Gardner

Hi! It’s actually vintage and I’ve had it forever. It’s Jeannette pink milk glass if you want to search through Etsy or Ebay for one similar. Try stopping at your local florist! They will often times sell vessels even if you aren’t buying flowers.

Reply
Priscilla

Hi! I get the terracotta pots from Walmart cause they are heavy and a great price of maybe $2 and I paint them whatever colour goes with my theme or I wrap a silk ribbon around it and tie a bow 🙂

Reply
Priscilla

Love reading all these helpful tips and ideas thank you Erin 🙂 I have made about 8 cupcake bouquets now and each time I find a better way or something that works even better. I have yet to try the paper cups, so I will be doing this for sure. What I would like to use is a more dense recipe though. What recipe do you use for a vanilla cupcake? Sometimes I find once I ice the cupcake the whole cupcake top wants to pull away from the bottom of the cupcake from the weight.
Thanks

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Erin Gardner

Hi! So glad the tips are helpful! Maybe try using a pound cake? Or a denser yellow cake? Unfortunately I don’t have a specific recipe I can point you to online quite yet.

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Linda

May I make a suggestion regarding icing sliding off the cupcakes? Be sure your icing is not too thin. Be sure that your cupcakes are cooled down all the way. A warm cupcake will warm the icing making it difficult to work with. Love this cupcake bouquet.

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Amalfi

Thank you for the step by step process to make these. They are so cute! I think what might help me in the future is using the extra green liners as fillers to hold any extra weight from the cupcakes that are secured along the sides and it will look like cute greenery. Thanks!

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Tina

I’m not sure if this idea will help with the frosting sliding off or not but it’s worth a try. What if you did a light cover of frosting on the cupcakes before you pipe your flowers? I know this works for some applications but I’m not sure about this one. Just a thought! 🙂

Reply
Property For Sale

There’s certainly a lot to know about this subject. I really like all
of the points you’ve made.

Reply
Florine

Split the course into groups of three gamers each.

Reply

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