When the kids and I found out cousin Luke was having his 2nd birthday party last week, we were so excited! Luke is the little brother to Hannah, my boys’ best bud.

Hannah was one of the first people to ever receive baked goods from me!

Last year for her birthday, I made her some cupcakes.

She tells me that if I ever want to bring her cupcakes again that would be ok with her. 😉

So I asked Hannah what was Luke’s favorite book? And she said, “Ladybug, Ladybug!”

I have no idea if that’s an actual book or not, but I loved the concept of ladybugs!


The buttercream is tinted a soft shade of green. Also, I thought the tip I was using was a bit too girly, so I changed it up just a bit.




It was a wonderful afternoon and I can’t wait for next year!

I used this recipe for the buttercream, and right now, it’s my favorite. It spreads wonderfully and crusts perfectly and tastes pretty darn good.

I just wanted to take a moment and share some thoughts with you. Is that ok?

I love cupcakes. I love crazy, beautiful, swirly, extravagant, embellished, ornate and intricate cupcakes.

But as I was making cupcakes for Luke, it occurred to me.

I really wanted to go back to basics.


Ididn’thave the courage to give Luke these cupcakes (Really, I was scared of a two-year-old? Lame-o.) because Ididn’tthink anyone would like them.

I thought they would think Ididn’tput time or effort into them.


But I did. I would even go so far as to say that icing a cupcake by hand takes more time and care and love then using a standard decorator tip.


To me, there is something so comforting, so simple yet so charming, about a cupcake frosted by hand.

I want to encourage all the aspiring bakers out there to not forget this ofter under-utilized method of decorating. That probably sounds silly coming from me, but it is true.

I have a true appreciation for the straightforward, uncomplicated, classic, delicious cupcake.

How about you, what is your preference?

Share with your friends!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Love them! Amanda do you make all of photos we see yourself?
    maybe I missed something in a previous post about photography.
    Beautiful pictures.
    OH! I must share my news……..my daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on July 16th, both are doing GREAT.
    My first grandbaby….Aubryn Nicole 5lbs 7ozs. She was tiny but ohhhhhh so perfect!

  2. if the cupcake and icing are delicious, I don’t cake how it is decorated! LOL!! I love me some cupcakes!!! I think you did a woonderful job on the lady bug cupcakes!! I think you could make some awesome cookies decorated like lady bugs!

  3. So cute! You always amaze me. Sorry if it seems like I repeat myself, but truly you do AMAZE me with your baking skills. You are so very talented. Not anyone could dp what you do. Noahs party is in a month– sure wish you could make some cupcakes for his party!

  4. Personally, I like the cupcakes that have been decorated with tips because they don’t look as messy. They look cleaner. I like cleaner and not as messy. That’s just me though.

  5. I actually love cupcakes frosted by hand as well. I think they are beautiful and there is a ‘rustic’ look to them.

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