Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Backpack Cupcakes for a Bella Cupcake Couture- Back to School Blog Party

Once again the fabulous Bella Cupcake Couture has come up with a fun challenge for us mad cupcake bakers. 

This time, Carrie sent several  bloggers an email outlining a Back to School Challenge. All 13 participants were sent blank cupcake wrappers  with the mandate to have a child decorate them and also asked us to conduct a short interview with the decorator. We were also sent pretty striped straws we could use however we wish. There is a great giveaway at the end of this post. Below are the other Back to School bloggers. Take some time to check out their posts. You will be amazed by their creativity.

I was a cheerleader and back to school to me always meant, not only catching up with my friends but cheerleading practice on indian summer days.

Emily and Ashley, the girls who helped me out with this challenge (I have no children of my own)  were lovely 7th graders, both cheerleaders.

It was a lucky coincidence I included a package of pompoms when I brought over art supplies and they went right for them. That and the glitter, of course. Girls after my own heart.

My whole life I have been a backpack freak. My closets are full of them. I have backpacks for every occasion, even intricate sequin ones for formal affairs.  I have backpacks for rainforest trekking, dive boat living, European train traveling, and biking to the grocery store.  Some woven by tribal women from far flung places like Kenya and Thailand.  My everyday version is a pink lamé number from American Eagle. I also have this bag in red lamé. Of course I do. It fits everything I need, laptop, sunglasses, lunch, makeup bag, etc. for my big commute to work in the building next door to my apartment.

All the back to school items have now flooded the stores and I find myself lingering over the backpack selection. The colors, the styles, the prices. Always scoping out a potential purchase. Not that I need another one, I probably need a support group more. So making these little fondant versions for cupcake toppers was a way to channel my backpack coveting.

The girls did a great job on the wrappers. While they were creating, I interviewed them.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor?

Emily- Funfetti with whipped frosting.

Ashley: Vanilla and Red Velvet with vanilla frosting

What has been your favorite moment from this summer?

Emily - I went to horse camp and rode a brown and white horse named Varsity. We had a horse show and I got to braid his mane.

Ashley - I went to Cape May with my family and  swam and walked on the boardwalk.

What are you looking forward to when you are going back to school?

Emily - Seeing my friends and riding horses.

Ashley - Seeing my friends.

What extra curricular activities are you involved in?

Emily - Cheerleading.

Ashley - Cheerleading.

I took my cupcake inspiration for the girls and made Funfetti cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. I cut up the pretty straws and had them do double duty of supporting the fondant backpacks in the buttercream and as further decoration.

So now for the giveaway! Here are the great prizes:

Thanks to our amazing Prize Pack sponsors for their generous donations! Please, visit their websites to see more of their fabulous products!

Bella Cupcake Couture
The Smart Baker
India Tree
Mesa de Vida
Pretty Party Details
Lucks Food Decorating Company

To enter to WIN this Prize Pack, simply fill out the entry form below. Contest opens August 27, 2013 at 7am PST and closes September 2, 2013 at Midngight PST. One winner will be chosen and announced within 48 hours of the contest ending. Winner will be contacted via email by carrie@bellacupcakecouture.com and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. If they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. This contest is open to residents worldwide. a Rafflecopter giveaway http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NzA4YjU1MjY0MjA2Y2M2ZjBhOTE5ZDIwMTgzNmI1OjA=/

Backpack Funfetti Cupcakes with 
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

For the funfetti Cupcakes:

  • 2+1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup multi colored sprinkles

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place liners in two cupcake pans.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Beat butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add sugar until combined.
  • Add eggs one at a time.
  • Add flour mixture and milk/vanilla extract alternating a bit at a time.
  • Place a disposable pastry bag (or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off) in a large drinking glass. 
  • Fill the bag with batter and fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and  let cool completely before frosting.

For the Vanilla Buttercream:


  • Two sticks (1/2 pound) butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups confectionary/powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • Cream together the butter, 2 cups of the sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Add the rest of the sugar one cup at a time.
  • Add the cream and blend throughly.
  • You can add more cream a little at a time if the buttercream seems too thick.
  • Place a disposable pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice in a large water glass and fold the edge over.
  • Load the buttercream into the bay with a rubber spatula.
  • Clip the end or seal with a rubber band and swirl on top of the cupcakes
For the fondant backpacks:

I used homemade fondant (recipe below). 

  • Shape a solid lump of fondant into a triangle with rounded edges.
  • Roll out different colors of fondant, use a paring knife to cut strips to fashion the backpack straps.
  • Extra small cutters in different shapes can be used to create the pockets and designs or you can cut them out freehand.
  • Wet the shapes and straps with water and smooth them onto the body of the backpack to adhere them.

For Homemade Marshmallow Fondant:

  • 1  bag  (14 oz) marshmallows (minis melt easier but you can use regular sized ones as well.)
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 pound of powdered sugar
  • Crisco or shortening
  • plastic wrap or cling film
  • Gel or paste food coloring
  • Cover the inside of a heat safe bowl, a wooden spoon, your mixer's bowl and the dough hook attachment with Crisco or shortening.
  • Place marshmallows and water in the bowl.
  • Microwave the marshmallows for 30 seconds at a time stirring the mixture in between with the wooden spoon.
  • When the mixture is the consistency of Marshmallow Fluff, transfer it to your mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until the fondant is formed..
  • Cover your work surface with powdered sugar and cover your hands with Crisco or shortening.
  • Dump the fondant on the sugared surface and knead the fondant adding more powdered sugar if needed to make it less sticky.
  • Separate the fondant into different parts and color as desired by adding a few drops of gel colors at a time and kneading it in until the color is evenly distributed and you get the color you want. 
  • Wrap each piece in plastic wrap until you use it.
  • Wrap leftover fondant tightly in plastic cling film and store in a zip lock bag.


  1. I am in love with the sparkles!! I was a cheerleader too, and oh man those indian summer days were HORRID. These are so pretty!

  2. You and your two talented assistants did an awesome job on the cupcakes and wrappers! What a great idea to enlist their help and to interview them for this post. Enjoyed it all very much.

  3. Absolutely adorable!! Amazing designs by the artists too! :) I can't wait to share your backpack idea, so cute!

  4. I've heard of shoe addictions but backpacks are a first for me. Love it!! Makes me want to run out and buy one. The backpacks and glittery cupcake wrappers turned out so cute! thanks so much for participating.

  5. How fun!! I love how you broke out all the crafts and came up with seriously inspired wrappers and cupcakes. I keep threatening to make homemade fondant...on my long to-craft list!

  6. So creative! Love the homemade funfetti recipe and those fondant back to school toppers are so cute!

  7. I love how crafty these are! Maybe when my kids get older they will stay focused longer lol! Really awesome designs!

  8. These look as if they were a lot of fun to create, and really yummie too.

  9. What a super fun idea? I love the backpacks!

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