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Cupcakes 27 Ways -- For Every Occasion!

Because we all need a sweet treat.

assorted cupcakes with icing
Photography by: Con Poulos

It's not hard to find a cupcake that's pretty enough for a pageant. Walk into any bakery and chances are you'll encounter an array of squat little cakes peeking out underneath picture-perfect mounds of frosting, nary a sprinkle out of place. Alas, this is too often where the allure -- not to mention the baker's attention -- ends. Few cupcakes are able to back up their outer beauty with taste and texture, too often they're dry and boring.

 

Perhaps it's time to rethink cupcakes, to consider them tiny, irresistible versions of your favorite full-size cakes, in all their varied appeal. The stunning creations here taste as superb as they look, and their recipes and designs can be mixed and matched to satisfy any craving. In fact, you'll find there's a cupcake for every age and occasion -- and every day in between.

peanut butter jelly cupcakes
Photography by: Con Poulos

Everyday


Most people think they need an excuse to make cupcakes. Not true. After trying these simple yet surprising batters -- in flavors as familiar and fetching as banana, pound cake, and even peanut butter -- the only rationale anyone will really need is, well, just because.

 

Get the recipes:

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Jelly

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate-Chip Frosting

Pistachio Cupcakes with Raspberries

Ginger and Molasses Cupcakes with Whipped Cream

Brown-Sugar Pound Cupcakes with Brown-Butter Glaze

Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

 

mla104618_0209_coconut.jpg

Special Occasion

 

You're not the only one who likes to dress up for parties. When you need a dessert that brings equal measures of whimsy and elegance to an event, whether a shower or an anniversary party, these stunning beauties deliver -- and are even poised for their close-ups.

 

Get the Coconut Cupcakes with Seven-Minute Frosting and Coconut Flakes Recipe
assorted-cupcake-toppings-mla104524
Photography by: Con Poulos

From top row, left to right:

Chocolate Faux-Bois Cupcakes

Piped Shells-and-Pearls Cupcakes

Edible-Flowers Cupcakes

Mini Cheesecakes with Apricot Jam

Chocolate-Mint Cupcakes

Orange-Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

valentine's cupcakes
Photography by: Con Poulos

Holiday

 

For Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter, or just about any other holiday, these decadent cupcakes, from chocolate to strawberry, are anything but predictable in both appearance and underlying appeal. They're perfect for an office party for 20, a quiet dinner for two, or for a shower.

 

Get the recipes:

Brownie Heart Cupcakes

Handwritten Valentine Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Piped Rose Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

boston cream pie cupcakes
Photography by: Con Poulos

Birthday

 

Why top your party favors with the typical icing and sprinkles when you could turn them into bumblebees and monkeys and sunflowers, oh my! No matter what flavor frosting or cake, or what ages the recipients, these inspired creations will be such a hit, you'll need to make enough for seconds. Actually, make that thirds.

 

Get the Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes Recipe
assorted-cupcakes-toppings-mla104524
Photography by: Con Poulos

From top row, left to right:

Gumdrop Cupcakes

Mouse Cupcakes

Starfish Cupcakes

Sunflower Cupcakes

Meringue Flower Cupcakes

Monkey Cupcakes

Hedgehog Cupcakes

Candy-Bow-Tie Cupcakes

Flower-and-Bee Cupcakes

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