This time last year I confessed to you that I don’t always have time to make gifts for my own family. I shared with you my ideas for personalizing store-bought gifts. Lately my crafty & creative dreams have become more far-fetched as I see page after page of seemingly simple ideas on Pinterest. How many of you have been sucked into this fantasy land where anything seems possible? Pinterest is great eye-candy but this mum has to keep it real! This year I share a busy-mum tip: decorate a store-bought cake for Christmas.

Cupcakes for christmas

Assemble your tools and ingredients


A few days ago I started a new board filled with inspiring Japanese ‘Christmas‘ cakes. You may not know that baking is not a huge pastime in Japan. Most homes have tiny, cramped kitchens and lack an oven. Modern homes are equipped with a small microwave/convection oven which works for baking but has certain limitations. What’s a sweet-tooth to do? Decorate! That’s right, buy a store-made sponge cake, cupcakes or a Swiss roll and decorate your heart out.

My Little Guy and I were inspired by the wonderful Christmas tree cupcakes I have pinned on my cake board. Would you like to give them a go?

Kids love to help

Buy a dozen plain cupcakes

Start with some plain store-bought cupcakes. I made our cupcakes but I love baking and hate going to the supermarket (last month I told you I have my groceries delivered).

Make or buy some frosting

To make, mix three to five cups of powdered confectioner’s sugar with two tablespoons of softened butter, and a small amount of boiling water. Keep adding the water gradually, all the while mixing with a spoon until you have a incorporated all the butter and sugar to a stiff frosting. Add a few drops of vanilla or any flavor you like, essence. We used peppermint! Then carefully add the green food coloring. Mine was a bit yellow resulting in a lime green that may not be very appetizing but they tasted great! Go easy on the color.

Assemble your decorations, we used hundreds and thousands, and silver cachous. Tiny stars would be great if you can find them, mini m&m candies. Anything colorful and small works.

Prepare to decorate

Carefully spoon the frosting into a pastry bag, if you have one, or a clean Ziploc bag. Seal the top with a rubber band.

Work one cupcake at a time. If using a Ziploc baggie, snip one small corner off. Firmly squeeze the frosting through the nozzle attachment or through the snipped corner in a circular pattern, starting from the outside edge.  Try to finish with a raised center, the objective is for it look like a tiny Christmas tree. Quickly decorate the ‘tree’ while the frosting is damp. Kids love to help with this part! Keep frosting and decorating until you a tiny cute forest of Christmas trees.

Cupcakes at Mee a Bee

Start from the outside and work your way toward the center


More inspiration

If you want more amazing but really quite simple cake decorating ideas from Japan take a look at my board on Pinterest. I love the Santa face!

Have you tried recreating something you saw on Pinterest? How did it work out? Share the good, the bad and the ugly here!

  • http://whisketeers.com/ Alice

    I love to bake, but I’ve never made any cupcakes with a frosting. But looking at these – they look so pretty! I love green! Although I’d probably make blue ones, since I love blue color even more. I end up on Pinterest every now and then, maybe I should check it out more often.