Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a shoe problem. At last count, I was up to seventy-five pairs, not counting flip-flops (which are their own addiction). That’s after I pared down the collection to make room in my closet. I know that some of you are amazed at anyone owning seventy-five pairs of shoes, but I’d like to point out that Imelda Marcos had about 2700 pairs. I envy her sometimes. But, I only have two feet to wear them on and only so much storage space, so I managed to pare down and I’ve managed to not buy any new shoes for a while.
Enter my birthday. It’s kind of a birthday tradition for me to treat myself to a pair of shoes, usually of the high-heel, strappy, impractical variety. I’ve declared a moratorium on buying more stuff I don’t need, so I decided this year, I’d skip the shoe sale and bake some cupcakes instead. So last Monday, for my birthday, I baked and frosted and decorated twenty-four cupcakes, which gave me twelve pairs of adorable new shoes that I didn’t have to make space in the closet for. I think this was more fun.
I’m not going to lie, these cupcakes take time, and effort. I spent a few hours assembling all of these, but I’m glad I did. Friends and family loved them, and spreading joy to friends and family is something my actual shoes rarely manages to accomplish. These would be perfect for a shower, bachelorette party, or birthday and I already have requests to make them again for such occasions. The sky is the limit with decorations- browse the candy or cake decorating areas of a store and see what inspires you. My only word of caution is that the cupcake wrapper itself is part of the design, so spend a little extra and use grease-proof or glassine cupcake wrappers. I ordered mine from Bake It Pretty, and Sur La Table also has a nice selection. You can either frost the graham cracker “arches” with the buttercream frosting, or you can dip the graham cracker in melted chocolate that matches the “shoe.” I chose to frost them so that I didn’t have six different colors of chocolate hanging around the house. I’d say either method is equally labor-intensive, so do what you prefer.
- 24 cupcakes, using your favorite recipe (I used Annie’s Eats vanilla cupcakes), baked in decorative wrappers
- 1 recipe buttercream frosting
- assorted food coloring, in colors of your choice
- assorted candy, sprinkles, and toppings that coordinate with the cupcake wrappers
- 12 stick-shaped cookies (such as Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies)
- 12 graham crackers
- melting chocolate (any color is fine, unless you want to dip the graham crackers in it)
- For the pink cupcakes, I added red food coloring to some shredded coconut in a plastic bag and squished the bag until the color was evenly distributed. I then dipped the frosted cupcake into it.
- For the black/ leopard cupcakes, I frosted them black, and then used toothpicks to secure black licorice around the edges.
- For the yellow cupcakes, I frosted them yellow, then sprinkled multi-colored nonpareils on top.
- For the teal cupcakes, I frosted them teal and used a piping bag and tip to pipe the design on.
- For the white cupcakes, I frosted them white and then pressed flower-shaped gummy candy onto them.
- For the purple cupcakes, I frosted them purple and pressed M&M’s candy into the frosting.