Back-to-School Cupcakes Recipe
Back-to-School Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Back-to-School Cupcakes Recipe

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There's no better way to ring in the school year than with this adorable school bus. The cake-like formation is an impressive presentation, while the individual cupcakes make for easy serving—perfect for classroom treats! —Taste of Home Food Styling Team
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour
MAKES:22 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour
MAKES: 22 servings


  • 22 cupcakes of your choice
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
  • Yellow, black and red paste food coloring
  • Chocolate wafers, miniature cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies and vanilla wafers
  • Other paste food coloring of your choice
  • Coarse sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 0 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate (0g sugars, 0g fiber), 0g protein


  1. On a covered cake board, place a row of five cupcakes for top of bus. Arrange six cupcakes each in the second and third rows. Follow with a row of five cupcakes.
  2. Tint 2-1/2 cups vanilla frosting yellow; carefully spread over cupcakes. Spread vanilla frosting over cupcakes as desired for windows. Place a chocolate wafer on each tire; attach a miniature sandwich cookie hubcap with frosting.
  3. Tint a small amount of vanilla frosting black and a small amount red; set aside. Pipe outlines and desired details onto bus with black frosting.
  4. Place a vanilla wafer in each window. Tint remaining frosting as desired. Pipe faces on vanilla wafers; pipe hair, hats and shirts as desired.
  5. Spread red frosting onto cupcakes for stop sign and taillights. Fill in headlights with coarse sugar. Yield: 22 cupcakes.
Originally published as Back to School Cupcakes in Taste of Home's Cupcake of the Week Newsletter 2009

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Reviewed Sep. 5, 2011

"Very easy to make and I made my own frosting using powdered sugar, 2% milk and natural butter. I used the lowfat chocolate wafers for the wheels. The kids loved them. To all of you naysayers out there, get a life. If you don't like it, you don't have to make it. Submit one of your own!"

Reviewed Aug. 27, 2011

"These are very cute! I am a school teacher and I would love to receive these during our school year."

Reviewed Aug. 27, 2011

"Super cute! (And to the reviewer who was upset about the recipe starting the kids school year off by feeding them artificial colorong and sugar and trans fats, you can always make your own healthier version of the cupcakes and frosting and just use the pattern as an idea. No need to get all upset about it. Its just cupcakes! )"

Reviewed Aug. 26, 2011

"How cute"

Reviewed Aug. 22, 2011

"I think this is a really fun way to get kids geared up for back to school! I plan on making this with the kids.....they'll love it!"

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