Quick and Easy Cupcake Decorating

Celebrations are the perfect time to serve cupcakes.  They’re portable, individual servings of dessert that are enjoyed by young and old alike.  Cupcakes are easy to bake and decorate, quickly.  You know I’m a HUGE fan of homemade, made-from-scratch desserts that showcase the best ingredients and beautiful serving ideas.  Our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations will certainly include some; but like you, my time is at a premium, this time of year and their are occasions and events where I will need a quick dessert to contribute to the festivities. Quick and Easy Cupcake Decorating is a skill that will serve you well and get delicious, decorated desserts onto your holiday table with very little time invested.

decorated cupcakes

Fast and easy cupcake decorations will satisfy the sweet tooth of all your guests and get you out the door quickly to a holiday celebration.  Even without sprinkles, this icing technique makes beautiful cupcakes.

Cupcakes can be mixed up and baked in 30 minutes or less, using a cake mix.  They cool much more quickly than large cakes, so within 20 or 30 minutes, they are ready to be frosted.  Decorating them, simply, with canned icing, piped on with a simple swirl technique and then sprinkled with colored sugar or candy sprinkles will net you an easy-to-make, decorated dessert that will delight kids (and grown-ups) wherever you share them.  Fast, easy and I promise, (even if not homemade), they’ll be a hit on any dessert table.  I’ve even solved the problem of transporting and then serving them, without mussing up your pretty decorations!

cupcake decorating

I used a large decorator tip in a disposable plastic bag, but you can create the same gorgeous swirl-topped cupcakes, by putting icing in a plastic sandwich bag and snipping off the corner. Start at the outside edge of the cupcake and pipe icing around the circumference of the cupcake. As you reach the spot where you began, just keep going, but move inside the ring you just created and continue in this fashion, until your reach the center of the cupcake and the entire surface has been covered. At this point, you can choose to leave them plain, or add sprinkles or colored sugar for color and texture.  Simple, but pretty!

The UPTake Cupcake Pan/Carrier, from Chicago Metallic, is a truly ingenious invention.  The day it arrived, I have to admit I was skeptical, looking at the bottomless cups in the tin.  It only took a couple minutes of reading the package to understand the true genius behind the design.  If you’ve ever had to transport cupcakes to a party or event, you know the options available all have their drawbacks.  You can arrange them on a flat tray, but it’s easy for them to slide around and smudge the frosting and decorations, in transit, plus covering them without messing up your creativity is another challenge.  Plastic cupcake carriers are better, since they have tall lids to prevent crushing and marring your decorative handiwork, but the cupcakes are still able to slide and bump into each other while “traveling”.  The best option for carrying cupcakes, and keeping them separated, is to place them back in the tin in which they were baked; but trying to remove a beautifully decorated cupcake from a typical baking tin, again, mars the icing and decorations.  The same challenge also presents, as with flat trays or cookie sheets – covering the cupcakes with foil or plastic wrap, the covering will come in contact with the icing and spoil the decorative elements.

Chicago Metallic cupcake pan

This uniquely designed cupcake pan has bottomless cups. No worries, though. Your paper liners will hold the batter and the holes in the bottom of the tin, make this unique UPTake Cupcake Baker/Carrier/Server one of my favorite kitchen tools!


uptake lid

The UPTake lid is designed to snap snugly onto the cupcake tin, leaving lots of “head room” for icing and decorations. It’s ingenious design also makes removing the cupcakes, without messing up the frosting, a cinch!

The UpTake is the true solution to not only the transportation of your cupcake creations, but also to easily removing them from storage without damaging their beauty.  The tall, plastic lid snaps snugly into place, atop the muffin tin, providing stability and separation of the cupcakes, plus a cover that doesn’t come in contact with the icing and decor.  Then, when you need to remove the yummy desserts from the tin, without smudging the icing, simply remove the lid and place it “peg-side” up on the counter.  Now, you see the reason for the bottomless cups on the tin.  Set the tin atop the lid, lining up the pegs with the holes in the bottom of your pan.  Your elegant and tasty cupcakes will immediately be elevated above the top of the cupcake pan, so you can remove them without touching the frosting.  Love!  Love!  Love!  I need to add two or three more to my kitchen!

decorated cupcakes in tin

This is a super, simple way to transport cupcakes safely, with the special lid included with the UPTake, but look at it closely. You and I both know that removing them from the pan is going to mess up the frosting and decorations. This is where the fabulous design of the UPTake lid, sets this cupcake carrier apart from any other you have ever seen.  Check out the simple solution, below.


on lid

Because of the bottomless cups in the UPTake tin, the pegs built into the carrier’s lid fit easily through the bottom of the pan and lift the cupcakes up to be removed without a mess. Yay!


If it seems like I’m excited, it’s because I am.  This is an excellent solution to a long-term problem and I anticipate using it over and over, again.  The UPTake will be a staple in the Busy-at-Home kitchen.  I’m sure once you’ve tried it out, you’ll find it as indispensable as I have.


Here’s a closeup to show you how easy it will be to lift the cupcakes from the tin.



My cupcakes are decorated and snug inside the UPTake carrier, ready to be transported to a holiday celebration.

GIVEAWAY:  One Busy-at-Home reader will have the great good fortune of winning a Chicago Metallic UPTake for their own kitchen!  Entry in the drawing will be super simple.  Visit the Chicago Metallic website and look through all the fabulous tools they offer for your kitchen.  Leave a comment on this post, telling me which product you would most love to try and leave the link to it in your comment.  Once your comment is submitted, you MUST use the Rafflecopter form, below, to register your entry and unlock additional, optional entries.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a Chicago Metallic UPTake to test and review in my own kitchen and to gather data for this post.  No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required.  As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the vies and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the products.


  1. Debi H. says

    I think I would most like to try the Chicago Metallic UPtake™ Bake and Serve Cupcake Set but also like that they have non coated baking sheets… the Commercial II™ Traditional Uncoated Large Jelly Roll Pan.

  2. Leslie Kiley says

    I have always wanted the Chicago Metallic Slice Solutions Brownie Pan with Lid. So wonderful to take with to events!

  3. Christine Bailey says

    I would like to try the uptake cupcake baker, it looks awesome. I’m always making cupcakes for the boys school, so it would be very handy to have.

  4. sharon cowles says

    My dad worked for Chicago Metalic for over 3o yrs until he passed away …had no idea what they made… just remember it was a huge place when we visited for the annual Christmas party..great company to work for…he always had good to say about the company… now I realize this company is big….
    Here is what I like the best…The Uno deep dish pizza set… I love Uno;s pizza

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