Cupcake Decorating


4-H'ers will have the opportunity to: develop cake decorating skills, promote creativity, contribute to family celebrations, encourage the use of the above skills in all phases of business.

State Fair Entries:


Exhibit Guidelines:

All Divisions:

  1. All cupcakes must be standard size and round, except for the Advanced Level which may be any size or shape.
  2. Cupcakes will be judged for taste, creativity, decorating skills, appearance, and following the rules.
  3. You may not use more advanced techniques than your grade level.
  4. All decorations on the cupcake must be edible.
  5. No wired, cardboard, or other tiered cupcake stand may be used. Cupcakes must be displayed on a flat board.
  6. The board may be any shape and you may decorate the board to showcase your theme.
  7. You may attach your cupcakes to the board with icing, rolled up tape, or any other method.
  8. An extra cupcake must be brought that is not part of your display for the judge to taste.
  9. This project has open judging.


BEGINNER: Grades 3-5

Exhibit 6 individual decorated cupcakes, all decorated alike, using only icing.

  1. Cupcakes must be displayed on a flat surface no larger than 13” x 13”, such as a 9”x13” cardboard, 12” circle, or 12” square.
  2. Beginners use a cake mix with no extra ingredients and decorator icing.
  3. Bring an extra cupcake (not attached to the board), decorated the same way, for the judge to taste.


Exhibit 12 to 18 cupcakes decorated in a theme.

  1. Cupcakes must be displayed on a flat surface no larger than 24” X 24”.
  2. In addition to the icing, other edible items may be used in your decorations, such as candies, cookies, marshmallows, sprinkles, etc.
  3. Intermediate level uses a cake mix, but changes it in some way to go along with the theme, such as an autumn theme – add pumpkin, or school theme – add applesauce.
  4. Make your own decorator’s icing.
  5. Bring a 5” X 8” card telling how you changed the cake mix and your icing recipe.

ADVANCED: Grades 9-12

Exhibit 18 or more cupcakes decorated in a theme.

  1. Cupcakes may be displayed individually or together to make a shape to go with the theme.
  2. Cupcakes must be displayed on a board no larger than 30” X 30”. The cupcakes may be stacked for a 3D display using candy sticks or other edible items.
  3. Fondant, gum paste, color flow, and other advanced icings may be used.
  4. Use a recipe from scratch for both your cupcakes and icing. No cake mixes allowed.
  5. Bring a copy of both recipes with you for judging.