Mom Life: Grocery Store Cupcake ‘Hack’

Many of you may have seen on Instagram that Brynn just turned one! I’ve been spending most of the past week reminiscing about being pregnant and meeting her for the first time (here is her birth story and some of her first pictures). Am I think only one who gets sentimental and teary every year during her kids’ birthday weeks?!

It also means birthday party! One of my favorite things is decorating the kids’ birthday cakes based on the theme they choose (or I get to choose if they’re too young). For Brynn, I selected a summery ‘Pink Lemonade’ theme. I made her a small pink and yellow smash cake, but needed something for the rest of the guests.

I knew we had a busy day with a few other obligations for the older three kids, so I decided to give some store-bought cupcakes an ‘upgrade’. I love to make cakes on my own when I can, but sometimes a shortcut makes life a lot easier, which is the name of the game around here these days. 

I wanted to share these quick few steps to ‘hacking’ plain grocery store cupcakes into something more customized. This is a great way to take some of the stress out of planning a kids’ birthday party.


I found some simple pink cupcakes at the grocery store to start with.

hello kitty grocery store cupcakes

Step 1: Remove the plastic ring decor.

I pulled off the Hello Kitty decorative rings. I had the cupcakes in the fridge, so this left a small mark, but I think it could have been smoothed out once the frosting warmed to room temperature. I knew I was covering it, so I didn’t worry about it.

Remove decorative ring

Step 2: Add decorative paper cups.

To give a more custom look, I added cute yellow and white decorative paper cups from the baking aisle. There are also cute options online to match any theme you could think upThey won’t fit snug, but the goal is to add color.
Add yellow paper cups

Step 3: Add candy or theme detail.

Next, I added a lemon candy slice to each cupcake. This covers flaws in the icing from removing the rings and also adds the detail to pull in the theme. Think of any fun candy or cookie shape or even a small toy.

add lemon candy IMG_1201

Step 4: Add finishing touch.

To complete the decorations I cut pink and yellow paper straws (which can be found in most stores and online these days) into thirds and stuck them into the icing. There are so many colors and patterns for these popular paper straws now, it is so easy to match the colors for your theme. Other ideas could be toothpick flags or drink umbrellas.

add paper strawAfter:

In less than 10 minutes, I ‘hacked’ the grocery store cupcakes to fit our theme. They also doubled as the centerpiece decor for the party, where they were a hit!


Pink Lemonade Party Details

pink lemonade first birthday party

smash cake 1 pink lemonade party

I’d say she liked it!

brynn cake

Grocery Store Cupcake 'Hack- (1)

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