Set Up a Cupcake Bar With These Sweet Ideas


Cupcakes make the perfect centerpiece for a party, whether it's for children or adults with a sweet tooth. Everyone loves a cupcake! For a fun and unique entertaining option, you can create your own cupcake bar and allow guests to take over decorating duties. It allows for interaction, creativity, and is an all around fun activity with a sweet end goal: eating them!

(Image: Jennifer Farley -

Things You'll Need

  • Cupcakes (either store-bought or homemade)
  • Assorted frosting (either store-bought or homemade)
  • Gel icing for drawing (assorted colors)
  • Piping bags and tips
  • Cupcake liners for serving
  • Bowls for serving
  • Lollipops or other toppers on sticks
  • Assorted candy decorations (sprinkles, colorful sugars, confetti, gems)
  • Mini cookies
  • Mini candies (M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Jelly Beans)
  • Baking sweets (chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, mini marshmallows)
(Image: Jennifer Farley -


You can bake cupcakes from scratch, but there's nothing wrong with purchasing pre-made cupcakes. If you want to give guests the option of frosting their own cupcakes, simply scrape off the frosting. Or, if you contact a local bakery, they might be able to provide cupcakes without frosting.


  • Get a more in-depth look at the best cupcake tools and equipment here (both for baking and decorating).

Frostings and Buttercreams

(Image: Jennifer Farley -

If guests will be frosting their own cupcakes, it's nice to offer a variety of colors and/or flavors. These can be purchased from the store, or prepared from scratch. A bit of food coloring can turn a big divided batch of vanilla frosting into a rainbow of options. You can either use piping bags and tips, or simply leave the frosting in bowls with spatulas for a more simple frosting method.


  • Unsure whether to offer frosted or unfrosted cupcakes? Why not offer some of each?

Candy Decors

There are endless candy decor options for cupcakes available at local supermarkets and craft stores. Cupcake liners are an easy and whimsical way to present the treats to guests.

(Image: Jennifer Farley -

Gel Icing

It's a good idea to keep a few different colored gel icings around for anyone who wants to write or draw on the cupcakes. Total creative freedom!

(Image: Jennifer Farley -

Stick Toppers

There are plenty of options for cupcake toppings on sticks, from lollipops to stick umbrellas or creative candles. Craft stores have an especially wide variety.

(Image: Jennifer Farley -


Mini cookies make a delicious cupcake topping, and they add a wonderful crunch.

(Image: Jennifer Farley -


Colorful shell candies and jelly beans make beautiful cupcake toppers. For an Easter themed party, mini chocolate eggs are a perfect option. Mini candy bars are also a good option.

(Image: Jennifer Farley -

Baking Sweets

If you visit the baking aisle of your local grocery store, it's a treasure trove of creative cupcake toppers. Chocolate chips (especially minis), peanut butter chips, toffee, mini marshmallows, nuts, and so forth.

(Image: Jennifer Farley -
(Image: Jennifer Farley -
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