Making a pull-apart cupcake cake is a great method for creating charming, unique cakes. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, wedding or other occasion, these cakes are simple to make and offer many options for creativity. Kids will enjoy helping you construct these cakes as well–almost as much as they will enjoy eating them!
Single Layer Pull-Apart Cupcake Cakes
While some pull-apart cupcake cakes are intended to call attention to the fact that they are made from cupcakes, others are designed so that it is not immediately apparent that they are cupcake cakes. In this instance, cupcakes are usually arranged in a single layer close together. You can arrange the cupcakes to form a circle, square, rectangle or any other shape that appeals to you. Frosting is applied over all the cupcakes, binding them together so that they almost look like a regular cake, creating an even surface for decorating. This surface can be decorated in much the same way any cake would be decorated; however, it will be much easier to serve than regular cake. Because the cupcakes are so easy to move around and rearrange, it is also possible to create more unusual shapes with ease, such as guitars, butterflies and dinosaurs. In this case, after arranging your cupcakes into the desired configuration and applying your base frosting layer, simply frost the cake to resemble the animal, person or object they are intended to mimic.
Layered Pull-Apart Cupcake Cakes
Creating layer cakes with cupcakes is far less complicated than constructing them with sheet cakes. Build an initial layer of cupcakes, and then add smaller layers atop it, finishing the cake with a single cupcake. This design works best if your layers are circular. (The end result will resemble an upside-down cone.) In this scenario, it is also recommended that you frost your cupcakes first before putting them into layers. This may be accomplished either by frosting them plainly and then piping flowers or other decorations onto them after layering, or by decorating them completely before composing the layers. Applying candies to your cupcakes in interesting patterns can help give them a festive look.
Flower-Themed Pull-Apart Cupcake Cakes
Another single layer option for pull-apart cupcake cakes is to create “bouquets” or “flower sprays” with the cupcakes. After decorating the cupcakes to look like flowers (either with frosting, candy applications or the use of real, edible flowers), arrange the cupcakes in a bouquet or spray shape. Frosting or long, thin candies such as licorice can be used to make the “stems.” This sort of cupcake cake is ideally suited to Easter or spring-themed celebrations, as well as to weddings.
Name-Themed Pull-Apart Cupcake Cakes
A fun option for a child’s birthday party cake is to allow the children at the birthday party to decorate the cupcakes themselves. After supplying decorating supplies, such as candies, sprinkles, chocolate chips and nuts, allow the children to each decorate a cupcake, writing their names upon it when finished with frosting. Assemble the individual cupcakes together into a single cake. Afterward, each child can eat the cupcake he or she has personally customized.
Snake or Caterpillar-Themed Pull-Apart Cupcake Cakes
Individually decorated cupcakes can be arranged into interesting shapes. Parenting.com suggests forming cupcakes into a line, so that they resemble a snake. This idea can also be used to make rainbows, caterpillars, butterflies and other fun cake shapes.
Better Homes & Gardens suggests decorating cupcakes to look like the squares in a Tic Tac Toe game. After decorating the cupcakes with “x” and “o” lettering, use long pirouette cookies to form the game board grid and arrange the cupcakes within the grid for a winning combination. You can also create cupcake cakes that resemble icecream cones, by forming a “cone” with either triangularly cut sheet cake or long cookies or candies bound together with frosting. Make an ice cream “scoop” using a circle of white-frosted cupcakes at the base of the “cone.”
References and ResourcesBetter Homes & Gardens: 24 Creative Birthday Cakes and Cupcakes for Kids
Food Network.com: Cupcake Layer Cake
ResourcesParenting.com: How to Make a Snake Cake
Cake Channel.com: Cupcake Wedding Cake Ideas
How to Make Cupcake Cakes