The Cupcake Tower

Cupcake Tower

My bestest friend’s daughter received first communion this past weekend and my friend asked me to make cupcakes for the party afterwards.

I immediately said sure. No problem. How many do you want?

She goes, “How about 50. Yeah, at least 50.”

50? Ummm… okay. Thinking in the back of my mind… How am I going to transport 50 cupcakes and still keep them as fresh as possible because I’ll have to make them the night before? And what am I going to carry them all in and put them on? Now, that may not sound like a lot to you guys, but it is when you’ve never done that many for someone else before and especially for a whole bunch of people you’ll have to look in the face if they don’t like them. I’m not a caterer, you know.… I tend to panic right before I bake. I’m weird like that

… and, then how to decorate them? What do you do for communion cupcakes anyway?


Luckily, I still had the invitation laying around, so I just used it for inspiration.

Fondant Cut Outs

And, after visiting several stores, I finally found a 4-tier Cupcake Tower from Wilton that would hold about 36 cupcakes. That was the biggest I could find, and seeing as how I waited until the last minute… I grabbed it.

I wanted each tier to alternate with the design, so I started planning and put my math skills to work.

12 + 8 + 1 = 21 (Excellent… Martha Stewart’s One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes makes about 22.) Check! These will be chocolate cupcakes with pink tinted vanilla buttercream frosting. YUM!

10 + 6 = 16 (Yay… Half of this moist yellow cake recipe makes about 18) Perfect! These will be vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. YUM! YUM!

Note: I doubled the buttercream recipe for each of these so I would have enough… especially for the swirly ones (made with the 1M tip).

But wait… that’s 37. Perfect for the cupcake tower, but I need 50. Not enough. (I got As in math, by the way.)

So I made another batch of cupcakes by halving this Easter cupcake recipe from a few weeks ago and a chocolate cream cheese frosting. I could have doubled one of the others, but I decided to make a third kind. That way I could have people choose their favorite chocolate one. I like feedback.

Fondant Cut Outs

The night before I made the cupcakes, I made these cute little toppers. I tinted some fondant pink and used my favorite set of double-sided graduated cutters to make the shapes. These were going on the vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. They’ll really pop on white.

Fondant Cut Outs

Then, I tinted some more of the fondant a dark brown. To get it this dark, use brown and then add some violet until you get the right shade.

For the crosses, I photocopied the invitation and scaled it down until it was a size that would fit inside of the pink shape when cut out.

Then, all you have to do is roll out the fondant and cut it in rectangular shapes that match the height and width of the cross. Mine are a little uneven, but no worries.

Fondant Cut Outs
Because, you can make adjustments when you finish up the crosses. And all you do for that is remove sections from each of the four corners with a cutter until you are left with the remaining cross shape. Her invitation had edges that varied in width, so I used this tiny triangle cutter to do the job. You can just as easily use a square cutter and end up with evenly shaped sides.

Then, use a tiny dab of water on the underside of the crosses and attach them to the pink fondant cutouts. Easy.

Now I had plenty of toppers, plenty of cupcakes and plenty of frosting. But not plenty of room to showcase them. Remember, the tower only holds 36 and I now had 50 some odd cupcakes.

What to do? What to do?

Ask Martha of course. She always has an answer.


I found this beautiful display in my Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine (Spring 2009). They’re made of graduated hat boxes and wrapped with designs printed on card stock. Cool, huh. I got really excited and even thought about ditching the whole cupcake tower thing. She has very detailed instructions here. But, after reading, I realized they were for mini cupcakes. Nooooooo! And even though I got A’s in math, I didn’t feel like figuring out all the conversions to adjust. Yuck-o-rama.

So, I took her lead and went looking for hat boxes… in any size I could find. Which wasn’t many. I found big and round and that’s about it. So instead of stacking mine, I made two separate displays.

Communion Cupcakes

I think they came out super cute. If you look closely, the design is the same as the background in the invitation, above.

I copied the ornamental design and repeated the pattern on an 11X17 document and printed it out on heavyweight paper.

Then, I cut the paper horizontally in half in a wavy line that went in between two rows of the ornamental pattern. Does that make sense? Hope so.

Then, I trimmed off the outer edges since my printer won’t bleed the image to the edge of the paper and taped two of the pieces together to wrap around the hat box.

If I was Martha Stewart, I would have figured out precise measurements and made sure the patterns matched up at the meeting points, but I’m not and no one noticed that they were off by a hair.

Heck, no one even noticed that I used the pattern from the invitation. Bummer. I think I was more proud about that than the cupcakes.

Communion Cupcakes

And, ooooh, the cupcakes. They were so good. Especially these with the chocolate cream cheese frosting. But so were the other chocolate cupcakes with the pink buttercream… the cake was more chocolatey. It’s a draw, I guess. Notice the second set of fondant toppers I made… smaller and cuter.


Check this one out. After covered in frosting I put these giant chocolate sprinkles on.


A big thanks to my new friend Liz in Greece who sent them to me. I think they’re actually made in Belgium, though. Look how shiny and big they are compared to the normal chocolate sprinkles I usually find. They taste great, they come in a big box and they even have a handy pourable spout. I love ’em!

Communion Cupcakes

And, so did she. The sprinkle ones were her favorite. She was so sweet. She almost made me tear up when she said they were the very best things I ever made for her.… then she said… except the Halloween Cake Pops … and except the Easter Basket Cupcakes. Cute. I’m just glad I made her smile.

Now… who wants a Cupcake Tower? I know. I know. I usually don’t do two giveaways in a row, but I actually liked this thing a lot!
Cupcake Tower
It’s simple and easy to use.

Cupcake Tower

It stays nested for storage and it even tilts slightly to give a better view of the cupcakes. And best of all, it was only $20 bucks! Score!

I liked it so much, I want someone else to enjoy it with me.

So, I’m gonna give away three of them.

Enter for a chance to win:
A Cupcake Tower
  • Just leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite cupcake flavor combination. I’m curious.
  • Leave your comment with a way for me to contact you if you win (either a blog link or email)
  • Deadline to enter is Tuesday, May 19th at 5:00 p.m. WINNERS BELOW (recorded by the comment time stamp)
  • Three winners will be chosen at random* and announced sometime Tuesday evening on this post.

* One winner will be chosen at random, using’s integer generator.

Good Luck!

Oh my gosh, all the flavors you guys listed are making me crave some cupcakes. I’d take any flavor as long as I can have one right now… even coconut. And, by the way, I’m glad to see so many of you love red velvet as much as I do. And cream cheese frosting. Yum! Okay, let’s see who won from the 3,986 entries.

A big cupcake tower congrats to:
Commenter # 1879 – James-n-Amber
Commenter # 390 – Jessica
Commenter # 1796 – Camille

Leave a Reply to jennifer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

4,024 comments on “The Cupcake Tower”

  1. Key Lime with Coconut Meringue! It’s delicious!

  2. Lemon with Lemon Buttercream! YUM!

    irina.sagarbarria at gmail dot com

  3. Those are beautiful! I love chocolate and cherry. I don’t get many cupcakes these days though, seeing as i haven’t gotten that adventurous with the GF baking!

  4. I’ve made some that have a coconut cake and a lime/coconut frosting. Soooo good!

  5. Red Velvet with Cream chees frosting! Now I want one! Your cupcakes were sooo gorgeous! Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. I’m not a huge cake (or cupcake) fan, but I had a moist lemon cupcake with a lemon cream cheese frosting that made even me, the non-believer, sit up and beg.

  7. Anything Chocolate, but my favorite is Chocolate with Cream Cheese so yummy. Why must we pick one…….I think I love them all.

  8. I literally JUST finished baking a huge batch of Martha’s chocolate mint cupcakes… they are just unbearably delicious!
    AND, they would look great on that cupcake tower! :)
    a.j_griffith [at] yahoo [dot] com

  9. I love anything chocolate~

  10. You Rock! These are awesome.

  11. Plain vanilla with vanilla butter cream! I know boring! But hey really there is nothing boring about cupcakes! My fav recipe is Magnolia’s in NYC.

  12. and my fav would be chocolate with any kind of icing =)

  13. Chocolate cake, minimum amount of chocolate frosting, and colored sprinkles on half of the top. :O)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. I love any combination. I love spice cake and cream cheese, yum!

  15. Good old classic chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Comes out amazing every time. :)

  16. I’m a big fan of vanilla with chocolate frosting, but I also like chocolate with cream cheese frosting. I guess it’s a chocolate and vanilla thing.

  17. carrot and cardamom with a citrus glaze, mmmmmm!

  18. HMM, I love anything with chocolate in it. But if we were to go with my favorite thing that I’ve baked so would be thin mints and chocolate.

  19. I love chocolate with German chocolate frosting. You can never have too much chocolate. :)

  20. This is a tough decision. I will choose red velvet with cream cheese frosting… since that is what my sister made for dessert and they were delightful! But pretty much ALL cupcakes are yummy!

  21. chocolate with chocolate fudge icing!! I love my chocolate!! Beautiful cupcakes by the way!!

  22. Devils food cupcakes, filled with marshmallow fluff inside and topped with dark chocolate raspberry buttercream.

  23. Chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream!

  24. Ginger cupcakes with stem ginger pieces, topped with lime icing, and grated lime, oooh, makes my mouth water!

  25. Oh, those look delicious! I’m baking cupcakes for a friend’s wedding in a few months and those cupcake trees would be PERFECT. So, in that spirit, I think I may have to go for an orange creamsicle cupcake: orange sponge cake with a cream cheese frosting. Yum!

    slyfoxesq[at] :)

  26. Anything chocolate, I’m easy!

    Your cupcakes and hat boxes are absolutely gorgeous.

  27. I do love me some chocolate, but my favorite cupcakes are red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Both made from scratch. Yummm.

  28. i love strawberry and vanilla together!

  29. Red velvet with cream cheese frosting! Soooo good!

    Those cupcakes are adorable!

  30. Either chocolate cupcakes with mint buttercream frosting (I made them last week and they were heavenly…) or chocolate bacon cupcakes with peanut butter frosting!

  31. my favorite combination would be dark chocolate cupcake with salted caramel filling…and dark chocolate ganache on top would make it perfect! yummy!! =9


  32. chocolate and chocolate. yummy yummy. Strawberry with a cream cheese frosting is a close second!


  33. I love chocolate and cream cheese cupcakes. Yummy!

  34. I really should not have read anyone else’s comments…as if I wasn’t already craving cupcakes after your yummy post! I’d have to say it’s a toss up between chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and vanilla cupcakes with pina colada buttercream.

  35. My Sister in Law makes a to die for chocolate cupcake with citrus cream cheese frosting! It is fabulous! Yum!
    my email is

  36. Pumpkin with cream cheese frosting!

  37. White cake with vanilla, the grocery store variety. I know I’m weird, but they are an obsession.

    Insomnia here…thanks for something fun to read at 3am.

  38. chocolate with buttercream frosting

  39. Dark chocolate with pumpkin spice icing

  40. Milk Chocolate with strawberry icing!

  41. You are officially the cutest ever! I haven’t made them yet, but I saw them on another site which would be chocolate cupcakes with pumpkin frosting!

  42. I LOVE your blog miss bakerella! I found you when searching ‘bakerella’ on google. I was going to use that name myself for a bakestand/blog and wanted to check no one had it- but you got in first! :)

    You’ve done an amazing job on the cupcakes, I too panic before baking! Its reasurring to know you do as well!.

    hmm really hard to pick my favourite but chocolate coconut with chocolate cream cheese icing is pretty amazing!

  43. Chocolate raspberry!

    I’m sure you have it already, but the cupcake transporter from Costco is SO spiffy!
    It’s big and rectangular…holding probably 24 cupcakes each…but the tray pops up for easy access/display upon arrival.
    Very nifty!!

  44. I am soooo traditional but will be honest….. chocolate with cream cheese frosting! I can’t get enough! Also there is another cupcake stand called “The CupCake Tree” that will hold up to 250 cupcakes depending on the one you buy!! It is very very cool! But most likely only good for one use! Not too expensive though!! Check it out online if you ever need to showcase that many works of art!!

  45. I would love to have a tier for display. I think I’ll eat any flavor LoL Love chocolate and vanilla (either frosting or the cake itself) and buttercream with blueberries – I only tried the cake version of that but it’s still nice for a cupcake, yes? YUM!

    Bakerella, would just like to thank you for the cake balls. I loved making them and eating them too :-)I’m happy enough to make a post about it LoL

  46. My favorite is Score Cake, which is made with yellow cake mix with pudding in it and a box of chocolate pudding, with a cool whip-ish icing. I usually hate whipped icings, but this one is soooo good. Score Cake is amazing, and using cupcakes instead of a regular cake somehow makes it even better.

  47. I’m not entering because I live too far away (New Zealand), but I wanted to say what an incredible friend you are!

  48. I think I’m a chocolate chocolate kind of girl. It’s hard to beat that.

  49. They look great! And it was also fun to read something dutch on your blog, ‘chocoladehagelslag’, translated to english that is chocolate hail! Though, in Belgium we (mostly children) do like to call it ‘muizenstrontjes’ which is a cute -not dirty- dialect word for mice feces. And they’re always that big and shiny here.
    But now, my favorite cupcake: i’ll have to say, at the moment I love tiramisucakes with mascaponecream topping the most.

  50. good ol’ white cake with strawberry frosting ;)

    for_sandri AT yahoo DOT com

  51. spiced apple with fudge penuche frosting, there’s a vegan recipe for this in Veganomicon and it is AMAZING, absolutely love it, the apple and fudge go so well together!

  52. I like strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting.

    mledorman at gmail dot com

  53. I love so many cupcake combos. My newest favorite is one my hubby made :Vanilla – Almond cupcake with chocolate frosting.

  54. Awwww…Sweetgirl’s comment would have made me happy too! lol
    My favorite flavor is one that I had recently at Trophy – the margarita flavor!! YUMMMOLA!

    Fresh lime cupcakes topped with Tequila Lime Buttercream and finished with candied lime and salt

  55. My absolute favorite cupcake combo is yellow poppyseed and my mom’s homemade vanilla frosting. So much Crisco and homogenized milk. So decadent.

    trademybikeforashoppingcart at hotmail dot com

  56. About the Chocolate sprinkles: we Belgians put it on our sandwich :-) Thick layer of margarine, sprinkles, yummie!

    About the cupcakes: chocolate with chocolate frosting and chocolate decoration?

    Did I just say chocolate?

  57. Chocolate cupcake with a heart made with Nutella ! :)


  58. I hope I win, it’ll be a nice gift for my gf on her bday (may 20), since she loves baking brownies and cup cakes… lol… i like cupcakes with vanilla and chocolate…

  59. I love chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Yum! I am definitely a chocolate girl.

  60. coconut with cream cheese icing or vanilla with chocolate chip icing

    you are such a sweetheart to do these giveaways

  61. I made some yellow cupcakes with vanilla butter cream frosting, which I rolled in coconut. It became my instant favorite!

    Your cupcakes are gorgeous! :)

  62. After my most recent batch…blueberry and lemon, with cream cheese frosting, oh yummy!

    The tower of cupcakes is stunning!

  63. Classic mint chocolate chip on a chocolate cupcake. Mmmm

    Your cupcakes look so fab too! Thanks for all the how-to’s!

    thatsagoodmeatball at yahoo dot com

  64. lemon with lemon cream cheese frosting! MMMMMMM

  65. Ha! Another post I was going to comment on anyway, and it ended up being a giveaway! Don’t enter me, because right now I’m living in Indonesia and don’t want to figure out how I would get a cupcake tower out here :-)

    But I just wanted to say – here in Indonesia there is a STRONG Dutch influence, and everyone LOVES their chocolate sprinkles here! They look just like the ones you posted in the picture – dark, chocolatey, and shiny. I’ve been influenced, and almost every morning I have a cup of tea and a piece of buttered toast covered in chocolate sprinkles! Yum!

  66. it’ll b great 2 have cuppies tower 4 party dinner’s with the family..its an excuse 2 bake basically..hehehhehe..anyway luv da cuppiesssss..can i have one cuppies delivered 2 malaysia?

  67. Mine is the oldtime favourite of basic pure vanilla cuppies! There are delish with almost ANY type of toppings!

  68. Chocolate with something banana-y.

  69. My favorite are Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting:

  70. So I am a huge sucker for Funfetti cupcakes with Rainbow chip frosting. My question is, do you have a made from scratch recipe for either of these?

  71. Strawberry w/ cream cheese icing

  72. Lemon with chocolate frosting, or vice versa.

  73. I LOVE lemon cupcakes with raspberry frosting!

  74. I love chocolate with any frosting, as long as it has lots of it!

  75. i love these cupcakes! They’re adorable!

    My favourites still have to be red velvet with cream cheese frosting. Can’t get enough of them!

  76. I have two favorites, one being lemon cake with a lemon frosting, but the winner has to be a double chocholate cupcake with peanut butter frosting- Yum!

  77. I like to keep it simple: yellow cake with vanilla frosting. An awesome design makes it taste even better!

    Thanks for the chance to win something!

  78. I prefer marble cupcakes with a white frosting!

  79. isn’t martha the best? i love those one-bowl chocolate cupcakes from the cupcake issue of living as well..

    my favorite combo is devil’s food with chocolate fudge frosting. yum.

  80. From a box…cherry chip with cream cheese frosting.
    I also love lemon with cream cheese frosting….delicious!

  81. First of all the photos look fantastic, the cupcakes delish and beautiful, and I love the chic decorations going on as well….. And I hope to win… “wink”… Thanks for the generosity!!!

  82. My favorite way to make cupcakes is to use rainbow color ice cream cones, with vanilla cake (added sprinkles make it fun) Rainbow chip frosting. I love the cupcakes from a cone…Yummy!! Plus they are fun to decorate for the kiddo!!

  83. Red Velvet with creamy vanilla frosting. Yummmmmm…..

  84. Devil’s food cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. I’m predictable like that. :)

  85. wow! i love lemon cupcakes with buttercream frosting. or a really whipped vanilla icing. love lemon cupcakes, the only kind there should be as far as i’m concerned!

  86. Yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting; the best!

  87. red velvet cake with creamy cheese is the best

  88. I guess I’m kind of boring, but I love red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

  89. red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. yumyum.

  90. I love a Black Forest cupcake – chocolate & cherry combo – yum! Especially when the cupcake has a bit of cherry reduction in the middle!! Yummy!!
    I have a sad confession to make…I have never tried a cupcake with cream cheese frosting!!! (Isn't that horrible?!? One day….) :)

  91. Beautiful! I love strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. :-) Granted, I need to try more kinds of cupcakes (part of why I’ve started reading your blog – yum!) But for now, that’s my favorite combo! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

    mel {at} melandmatt {dot} net

  92. I’m boring! I like chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing! Your cupcakes were beautiful!


  93. you’re not going to believe this but i can’t actually eat what i bake. like ever. i’m hypoglycemic and one bite will literally make me pass out and sleep. but i do so love to bake sooo….

    based on my guinea pigs assessment the current fav. is strawberry cupcakes with dark chocolate cream cheese frosting.

  94. That’s so cool.

    I love chocolate on chocolate.

    My birthday is next month. I wish someone in my life would make me a batch of delicious cupcakies. x

  95. red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. mmmmm!

  96. My all time favourite combo is a lemon cupcake, with a raspberry frosting! The colours look cool and it’s really summery and sweet! I would love a cupcake tower, things like that in the UK are so expensive! :) xxxx

  97. I’m an anything white or yellow. Chocolate just not my favorite flavor, BUT I love anything homemade and not store bought. Too many lazy people out there that won’t make a cupcake. They are so easy and fast too. SO if I’m at a party and there are homemade chocolate cupcakes I’d eat one.

  98. Chocolate with chocolate icing! Boring, but to me it’s the best!

  99. Peanut Butter with a squirt of jelly in the center and cream cheese icing!

    Your cupcakes are beautiful, btw!

  100. Hmmmm, I’m a purist. I’d say either red velvet with cream cheese icing (I really balked at the whole cream cheese thing at first) or just yellow cake with chocolate.

Leave a Comment »