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It is NO SECRET that I am a cupcake connoisseur.  I love to make them.  I love to buy them.  I love to eat them.  Yes. Yes. I realize they are not health food or even REAL food.  Surely I am allowed to have this one vice? no?

In all seriousness, I do limit my cupcake intake. All things in moderation. And for the most part, my addiction is mild. I get a “hankering every month or two and lucky for me there is always someone needing me to bake them some birthday cupcakes around here. :)

Cupcakes are by far one of my favorite things to bake besides fresh, homemade baked bread.  I love their small size {I mean, if I’m going to have a dessert vice at least I’m not eating a whole cake!}.  But I also love that they are almost limitless when it comes to deciding how to decorate them. Your only limited to your creativity. And. you don’t have to be an artist or even a professional cake decorator to make a cupcake look pretty snazzy.

The trick to my cupcakes looking like they came from a fancy bakery isn’t in my personal skill {what-so-ever} but in the tip that I use to pipe the frosting. I use a GIANT tip and it literally allows me to squeeze and plop frosting and it looks ever so polished!

Speaking of frosting, I get asked all the time if I make my own cake and frosting.  I get the best compliments about how delicious and moist my cupcakes are. Want to know my secret? I used BOXED cake mix. I ALWAYS look for a mix that says extra moist and I love the ones with pudding in them.  These cake mixes aren’t always the best when baking a cake – especially a layered one, since the moist cake tends to split and make a mess from the weight. But, that’s yet another reason why cupcakes are so fabulous! They can be super moist AND look good!

I think my homemade frosting {which couldn’t be more simple} is what makes that boxed cake seem like so much more. I always use a pound of powdered sugar and 2 sticks of REAL, salted butter. Yep. salted. I also add about 1-2 tsp of almond extract if I’m going to be making a regular buttercream frosting. This is different than a lot of people since traditionally you’d choose vanilla. But, this is oh so much more rich and delicious. Its a trick my grandma taught me.

The best part about my tips and tricks? You can pick everything you need up at Walmart and ANYONE can make cupcakes that look like they came from a fancy bakery. No exotic ingredients.  No difficult steps. Just a few sly moves that will make you look good!