{entertaining with style} How to Make Easy & Adorable Ballerina Cupcakes

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I love having two boys and I really enjoy planning mustache bashes and creating train cakes for them! But, as you might suspect, there isn't a whole lot of pink and ruffly happening at our house. And that's why, when my sister asked if I could find a way to make cupcakes into ballerinas, I jumped this girly challenge! 

Ballerina Cupcakes

As soon as I heard ballerina cupcakes, I immediately envisioned turning an upside down cupcake liner into a tutu - but how to make that work was another issue. At the end of the day, it was actually very easy, although I think I would do a couple of steps in reverse order if I made the ballerina cupcakes again. Fortunately, you get to learn from my mistakes!

I'll walk you through my simple process, and I'll point out what I would do different next time.

Let's start with the supplies:

Ballerina Cupcakes

  • Cupcake Mix - I chose strawberry for it's nice pink color.
  • Frosting - The photo shows two kinds of frosting {because I was making up the plan as I went along}, but I actually only ended up using the pink canned Betty Crocker cake icing, which conveniently came with it's own frosting tips (no need for a cake decorating bag).
  • Cupcake Liners or Baking Cups - I wanted pink tutus, and was surprised that pink baking cups were hard to find the day I needed them. After trips to three stores, I purchased a combo pack of black and pink baking cups at Michaels.
  • Gift Tags  - I created the leotards from a package of cute pink gift tags. These were ideal because they were the weight of tag board and had a slick surface on the front that didn't absorb the frosting - but any other heavy weight paper world work as well.
  • Lollipop Sticks - You only need one lollipop stick for each cupcakes, but you'll likely have to buy a larger package. Fortunately they are very inexpensive. I bought a bag of 50 at Michaels.
  • Washi Tape - The washi tape will be on the back side of the cupcakes, so it doesn't even have to match, but I chose a cute pink pattern from my collection.
  • Flowers - The flowers are the optional item here, but I really do think that they made a cute addition! I bought this package of pink ombre paper flowers in the cake decorating section of Michaels.
  • Toothpicks - You will need one toothpick per cupcake.
STEP ONE: Bake Cupcakes

Begin by baking your cupcakes and allowing them to cool on a cooling rack. Once cool, I proceeded to frost them - although if I made them again, I wouldn't frost them until after I had added the tutus!

Ballerina Cupcakes

STEP 2: CREATE THE LEOTARDS

While the cupcakes were in the oven baking, I sketched out a leotard on the back of one of the cute pink gift tags. I erased and redrew it numerous times until I was happy with the shape.

Ballerina Cupcakes

Once I got the shape about right, I cut the leotard out of the gift tag, and then used it as a template to trace and cut one for each cupcake.

Ballerina Cupcakes

After cutting out all of the leotard shapes, I attached a lollipop stick to the back of each with a short piece of washi tape. I then used scissors to cut down the length of the lollipop sticks so that each only protruded about 1 inch below the bottom of the leotard.

Ballerina Cupcakes

STEP 3: PREPARE & ATTACH THE TUTUS

As the cupcakes continued to bake, I prepared the tutus. I simply cut a slit down one side of each cupcake liner and then cut off the round bottom, leaving me with a long, ruffly strip. You'll need two cupcake liner strips per cupcake.

Ballerina Cupcakes

After the cupcakes were cool and frosted, I began to attach the tutus. I quickly discovered, however, that it would have been much easier and less messy to attach the tutus first, and then frost the cupcakes. Lesson learned!

Ballerina Cupcakes

To attach the tutus, turn each cupcake liner strip upside - by which I mean that the edge where you cut off the round bottom will be wrapped around the top of the cupcake. As you can see in the photo above, because the cupcakes are bigger at the top than at the bottom, one upside down cupcake liner won't wrap all the way around, so you'll need to overlap two ruffly cupcake liner strips to create the appearance of one complete tutu.

Ballerina Cupcakes

After overlapping two cupcake liners, I then used toothpicks to hold the tutus in place. For each cupcake, I snapped one toothpick in half and used each pointy end to puncture through the two layers of tutu and into the cupcake. Did this in two places on opposite sides of the cupcakes, leaving just a small bit visibly sticking out so that they are easy to see and remove before eating. {If you are serving these to kids, be sure to remove the toothpicks for them!}

Ballerina Cupcakes

STEP 4: FINISH ASSEMBLING THE BALLERINAS

I was impressed by how tutu-like those upside down cupcake liners really looked, and I was now ready to finish assembling my ballerinas. This simply meant placing a leotard in the top of each cupcake and adding a flower.

Ballerina Cupcakes

In order to leave room for the flowers, I placed the leotards toward the back of the cupcakes, rather than right in the center. I then sat a flower in front of each leotard, positioned to one side, as if it were sitting on the ballerina's hip.

Ballerina Cupcakes

I stood back to see how it looked, and was thrilled to see that my simple plan for creating ballerina cupcakes was actually working! After assembling the remaining cupcakes, I had a whole ballet class worth of pretty, pink ballerinas!

Ballerina Cupcakes

Ballerina Cupcakes

These were so fun to create, and were really super quick to put together! I was able to make a dozen ballerina cupcakes in just about an hour, including baking time.

Ballerina Cupcakes

Ballerina Cupcakes

If you have a little ballerina in your life, be sure to pin the image below so that you'll be able to quickly pull up these simple instructions the next time a birthday rolls around. Or, why wait for a birthday? Any day is a good day for cupcakes in my opinion! :)

Easy & Adorable Ballerina Cupcakes


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