Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kitchen Goddess: Tropical Beach-Themed Cupcake Stand

It's official. My tiny caterpillar is weaving her cocoon and becoming a pupa. Pupa Piper. And Pupa Piper pulled up her party pants and partied down on her 1st birthday. Partied on down to cupcake town.  Here are the step-by-step instructions on how I made her islandy cupcake stand!

~Items You Will Need~
Cupcake stand - I used the stand that holds up to 100 cupcakes which you can buy right here:

Sandy colored ribbon of your choice
Double-sided tape
Gorilla Glue
Decorative sand (A friend of mine later told me that brown sugar can be used as a substitute)
Paper squares (cut out)
Invisible tape
Faux flowers
Straight pins
Wire cutters
Variety of shells - One very large, a few medium sized, and plenty that are small.
Baked cupcakes
Frosting in colors of the ocean

This is what it looks like after you set it up. Pretty basic. Now you can get creative.
I decided on a beach theme because Piper could not be on her home island of St. Thomas. If she can't be there, I'm bringin' the beach here, baby!

First, I chose to line the edges of each tier with sandy, glittery, sheer ribbon. I bought two rolls of it as I was afraid one would not be enough, and was glad I did.  Using double-sided tape to secure the ribbon, proved to not be quite sticky enough to really cling permanently to the porous cardboard and sheer ribbon. It stuck for an hour or so but began to drop off.  I reinforced it in random areas with Gorilla Glue which worked wonderfully.
Because sand would be sprinkled onto the tiers, I thought that covering the apparent slits with paper and taping them down might be a good idea.

Then it was time to mix the sand.  Hobby Lobby had many different colors, but none that actually looked like sand. Therefore, I had to buy two colors and mix them until I reached the desired color.  Using a white cup helped me to clearly see the exact color.

You will then sprinkle the mixed sand onto the tiers of the cupcake stand. I needed to take the stand apart in order to do this. You also don't need as much sand sprinkled toward the center as no one can see that far to the inside. Focus mostly on the outsides.  Sprinkle and stack, sprinkle and stack, etc. I did use the sand generously on the very top tier because that was what I chose to be the focal point of the stand.

Next you will need to add your tropical flowers and seashells. I hand selected from Hobby Lobby the faux flowers and driftwood to suit those seen in the Caribbean, but different beaches contain different specimens. For a Northwest type of beach theme, you may want to consider smooth rocks and white driftwood.  For a Northeast type of beach theme, you may find dune grasses like Sandwort or Beach Pea to be pretty.  With the wire clippers, snap off fragments/stems of the long branches and decide where you would like them to be placed. Some will need a straight pin to be secured, others will lay nicely on their own. NOTE:  I found that using a thimble made the job even harder. Unfortunately I couldn't figure out a way other than INJURING the tips of my fingers to push in the straight pins. Distribute your seashells as you see fit as well.
Rather than creating a cake to put on the top tier, I chose to make it the focus. The large seashell was used to house Piper's cupcake and a starfish was used as the backdrop. The medium shells laid beside it with flora laying on top as well as two of the larger and prettier seashells.
Finally, add your cupcakes that have been frosted with colors of the ocean and VOILA!  You have a beautiful finished product, ready to be admired and EATEN....especially by a certain special birthday girl turning THE BIG 0-1! Happy birthday, Piper Jaimes! Mama loves you sooooooo much!


  1. OMG! If this is what you did for her first birthday, what will the future birthday cakes look like?!

  2. An island friend of mine just suggested sushi, lobster rolls, conch, etc...NOW IT'S ON!!! Think of how artistic you could get with making a SUSHI STAND! Trim the tiers with long strips of seaweed, dollops of wasabi here and there, little dishes of soy sauce, lobster tail hanging off the corners instead of flowers. And let's not forget how artistic we can be with chopsticks! OH MY GOSH. Now I'm really hungry.

  3. You did such a great job with this. :) Ur awesome. xoxo