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Cupcake cake easy as pie

By on August 12, 2008

cupcake cake
photo by Hurleyfamily
DEAR SARA: Do you know how to make a cupcake cake? I want to make one for my grandson’s birthday, and I’m wondering how hard it is. — Jayne, Pennsylvania

DEAR JAYNE: When you bake your cupcakes, make them all uniformly level. You don’t want your typical mounded cupcake. Once baked, if any are too rounded on top, cut them so they’re level. Next, you need to decide on a layout. To make it easy, you can start with a standard rectangle shape. Line up 12 cupcakes by having three rows of four cupcakes each. You “glue” them using frosting onto a piece of cardboard. This will keep them from shifting as you frost them. If you want the cake extra secure, you can glue them to one another using frosting as glue. You can attempt frosting as you would a regular cake, but it’s much easier and neater to use an icer tip. If buying an icer tip, you want a 2-inch kwik icer tube. The tip attaches to an 18-inch or larger decorating bag. You squeeze the icing on. It should take five or six even sweeps across your three rows for your cupcakes to be well covered. Then smooth the icing over so you don’t see the “seams.” Finally, decorate it as you would a regular sheet cake.

cupcake cake
photo by jrishel

DEAR SARA: I stepped off the curb onto our street. It was blacktopped about a week ago, and I thought it was dry, but clearly not. I spent the next half hour with an ice cube and a plastic knife, scraping tar off the bottom of my shoes. During this fun process, I managed to get little tiny dots of tar all over my green cotton shirt. How do I get them off? — Amy, Ohio

DEAR AMY: Try spraying your shirt with WD-40. Blot it with a paper towel and then launder as usual in the washer with detergent.

DEAR SARA: I see a lot of inverted gardens where the plants are suspended upside down from the bottom of a hanging container. They’re expensive to buy. How can I make one? — Jill, Indiana

DEAR JILL: To make a hanging garden, use containers such as two-liter plastic soda-pop bottles, two- to five-gallon plastic buckets with lids or hanging coco baskets. If you’re using the pop bottle, cut the bottom of the bottle with a craft knife. Place a small plant into the bottle (roots up, plant down) and gently push the plant through the small opening. Take the bottom half of the bottle that you cut off and cut holes into the bottom of it. Fill the bottle with soil, and place the bottom section that you cut off back on but upside down. Secure it with duct tape. Punch four holes into the bottle, and use rope to hang.

If you’re using a bucket, drill 1/2-inch to 2-inch holes (using a hole saw) in the bottom center of the bucket. Place newspaper in the bottom of the bucket to help secure your plant roots and so soil doesn’t fall out when you hang it. Cut a slit into the newspaper, push your plant through the newspaper slit and bucket hole, and fill with soil. Drill a hole into the lid, too. This is how the plant will get water. This is heavier than a two-liter bottle, so hanging it from a clothesline pole is ideal. Some people put newspaper on the top under the lid and then invert the bucket and plant their plant. They then let it grow for a bit (right side up) to be sure the plant establishes roots. If you’re using a coco basket, simply cut a slit into the bottom of the basket, and, like the other two methods, push your plant through the bottom and fill the container with soil.

coco basket
photo by mygothlaundry

bucket tomatoes
photo by kkimpel


  1. Diane Julian

    10/25/2011 at 10:21 pm

    I read about your article in the paper about cupcakes and balloon ribbon taped to a cup cake liner and to gather the ribbon to make it look like a dozen balloons. Where would I find these directions?

    Diane Julian

  2. Pingback: Cake Shop: Red Barn's Party in a Post

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