Sunday, September 12, 2010

USC Gamecocks Cupcake Tower

In a search to find a particular cupcake tower, I came across the blog Annie's Eats.  If you get the chance, take a look at her blog.  Her crafts and recipes are amazing.  She had a tutorial on creating your own cupcake tower.  She made it look easy, and it was definitely cheaper than purchasing one, so I thought I would give it a try.  

My husband's birthday is coming up next week, and I thought this would be the perfect way to display his favorite red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  

I would like to say thank you for the tutorial as I would have never thought to make one myself.  I thought of having my husband make one out of wood but not myself out of regular materials.
It turned out FABULOUSLY, but it wasn't smooth sailing all the way!

I'm not very crafty, so I was a little worried.  C'mon! Glue gun, tiers, craft paper, me...disaster waiting to happen.  Ha!  But then I thought, surely, it would be fine.  It looked so easy.  Well, maybe it will time!  Hahahaha!  

I knew that I wanted to gear the colors toward Gamecock colors.  I thought I would do the 3 tiers and dividers in black, the ribbon in garnet/red.  I had to make sure that it was on the masculine side.  Well, as masculine as a cupcake tower can be.  

I wanted to make a 3-tiered tower.  I used 14, 12 and 10 inch cake circles.  I had my smokin' hot pink glue gun, and I was ready to go!  
I had my cake circles and dividers covered.  I had glued my 2nd tier to the divider.  I was off to a good start.  
UNTIL it was time to stack my 3rd pillar.  That's when I saw it.  I had glued my 10 inch cake circle where the 12 inch should have been glued (no pic)!  I could not believe it.  So, I did what any normal person would do...
...I tore that sucker apart and regrouped for a new game plan!  God's vision of that cupcake tower was different than mine, and need I say, His was much better than mine, as always!  :)

Now, as far as timing goes, I was starting to get into a little bit of a time crunch.  I'll have to back up here a little.  I began this project 2 days prior, a Wednesday evening.  On work nights, I'm like a little kid, I have a bed time.  If I don't get to bed at a decent hour,'s not good.  So when my bed time started to near, I started wrapping up and getting to a good stopping point.  So I picked back up on the project yesterday morning (Saturday).  Other than having to take my doggie to the groomer and pick him up, it was perfect; my son spent the night out and my husband and daughter went to the Gamecocks game, so I had the house to myself to finish up.  Plus, I thought I would have it done before they got home.  His birthday isn't until Thursday, but he'll be working and we're going camping Friday, so I was trying to get it done this weekend.  Then there was this detour.  

So, I figured I had at least an hour before I had to get my pooch from the groomer, so I ran up to Palmetto Moon to see what kind of Gamecock stuff they still had in stock.  They have a ribbon that would have been perfect, but it was sold out.  That orange team had plenty of stuff in stock, though!  haha!  
I bought this wrapping paper.  Did it defeat the purpose of making this for cost-efficient reasons?  Kinda.  But, by this point, I was on a mission. It was still much cheaper than buying a cupcake tower, but not as much as it was before.  

When I finally got all of the new materials that I needed, got the pooch and got home, I started over.  Again, by this point, I was in a time crunch, so I only took a couple of pictures of the making of this tower.  I'll spare you the details and get to the good ones.  See below for cupcake tower fabulousness!

This is the base of the tower.  Styrofoam covered in construction paper.  
I didn't think about how much more I would have to pay attention with a pattern!  That was a job, for sure!

I hope you guys love this as much as I do.  I was so, so happy with the outcome!  
And I'm not sure if you can tell, but those chocolate footballs in the cupcakes on the top tier, I made those.  That's right.  I painted the white chocolate threads in a mold and put some dark chocolate candy over it.  I inserted toothpicks while the chocolate was still melty so that they could be cupcake toppers when they dried.  I topped other cupcakes with red and black M&Ms and left some plain.  Oh, and they all have a cream cheese filling, too.  
To get an idea of it's size, I placed 20 cupcakes on the tower, just for presentation.  I could've fit more, but there was no need to. 

Sturdiness?  Yes, it was good.  I will say that next time I will probably put more glue on whatever paper I surface the cake circles with, if the paper thickness allows it.   Also, I will use a wider base.  But styrofoam is not cheap, and I couldn't find a piece that fit well without overtaking the lower tier.

I realize that these are not going to be storage-friendly, but I will NOT be throwing this away until I have to.  Let's hope that that's not because it toppled over with cupcakes on it!  


  1. I am sooo impressed!!! I would NEVER have thought of making a cupcake tower!!!!I think I'm super fancy if I cover a cooky sheet with tin foil!!! -Kim

  2. Kim, thank you, thank you, thank you! I still can't believe it turned out that well! And I'm with you, my fanciness needs to improve...but I'm on the right track! hahahaha

  3. Shonda, you never cease to amaze me with your ideas. I bet Whilden loved the theme. Mommy

  4. Hi Shonda, This looks awesome! I've always wanted to try baking a Southern Red Velvet cake- what do they taste like?


  5. Ingrid, it's delicious...especially if you like CHOCOLATE, and I know you do! haha! I never knew, until a couple of years ago when I began baking, that red velvet IS basically a red chocolate cake, just not as chocolatey. :) It's my husband's favorite, as long as it has homemade cream cheese frosting on it. I'm not even kidding when I say that I made them for him for no less than 4 weekends straight!