Cake Decorating Blog

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

How to make a sweet & stunning cupcake bouquet


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

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It’s so creative I love it.

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 🙂

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. 😉


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!! 🙂

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! 🙂


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 :((


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

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: 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!


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

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!


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

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!


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..

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.


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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