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Taking it to the Sweet: A Cupcake Street Art Installation

Taking it to the Sweet
Sometimes life sucks. We're talking about the little things that can wear on you in a big way: long commutes; waiting in line; dealing with rude people; being broke.

It was with these stressors in mind that we dreamed up an installation project small in scope but big in touchy-feeliness: we made a batch of fake cupcakes with uplifting phrases attached, and placed them throughout our neighborhood. 
Told you it was touchy-feely.
Here's what we did:
First, we made up a batch of faux cupcakes using plaster of paris. (Cakespy Note: If doing it again we might not use the silicone baking cups though, because they have a built-in fill line which showed up in our finished cakes.)
Fake CakesFake Cakes
Making Fake FrostingFake Cakes

Then we attached little flags to each, with cute sayings.Sweet Sentiments

Then came the fun part: we let 'em loose around town. Here are some of the highlights:


Park Bench cake
A park bench got a whole lot sweeter with a cupcake that said "You're super sweet";

People Like You. Really.
On top of a "No Parking" sign, a cupcake declared "People like you. Really";

Remain Calm.
Atop some foliage, stressed passersby are reminded to "Remain Calm";

Eat More Cake!
Perched atop a hydrant, one cupcake urges you to "Eat More Cake";

On someone's garden patio, there's a reminder to "Relax!";

Have a very sweet day!
At a bus stop, weary travelers are told to "Have a very sweet day!";

Stay Cute!
Smokers may want to be cool, but this cupcake urges them to "Stay Cute!";

You Deserve a treat.
On an entryway, one cupcake reminds that "You deserve a treat";

The Economy is gonna be OK.
And finally, an ATM got a whimsical upgrade with a cupcake bearing the saying "The economy will be OK".

But on to the big question: Why?

Well, it's not too complicated. You know that we're strange little darlings, we spies. We liked the idea that the novelty of finding such an unusual art object in an unexpected spot might give viewer pause. Perhaps coming across one of these little cupcakes it made them smile, or maybe it annoyed them as a piece of rubbish. Maybe it made them scratch their head and wonder why. But in any instance, the ultimate goal was a repreive--a momentary escape from everyday worries, and a small reminder that yes, life can be strange--but sometimes sweet.
What happened to the cupcakes? Beats us, though if you live in Seattle, you might just find a sweet surprise where you least expect it.


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Reader Comments (76)

brilliant - everyone needs a pep-me-up now and then. i esp love the atm one ;)

January 23 | Unregistered Commenterilda

Man. All your blog posts make me wish I live in Seattle. Love all the cupcake sentiments that you put around your city. I just know you made someone (or 2) smile when they saw it. Isn't that the best compliment?

January 24 | Unregistered CommenterCB

What a great way to spread the joy. I LOVE it.

So glad I stumbled over your way... will definitely be back!

January 24 | Unregistered CommenterLo

That is such an awesome idea! So uplifting, I love it!

January 24 | Unregistered Commentercookincarrie

What a wonderful gesture! Making people smile is no small thing. Thank you for making the world a better place!

January 25 | Unregistered CommenterLunaCafe

Oh, this is amazing! I kind of wish I'd thought of it ^__^. I'm pretty sure you are the new official coolest person in the world, no?

January 25 | Unregistered CommenterIndigo

Y'all up in Seattle have WAY to much fun. ;-)

January 25 | Unregistered CommenterCookie Jill

Wow, I can barely keep up with all of your sweet comments!! Thank you so much for the support and for loving the idea, everyone. I think we'll be leaving more of them out and about in the city--it was just too fun, and we've even heard back from some of the people who found them, so know for sure that they brightened days! Yay!

January 26 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

This is a fantastic idea. I hope you put the Cakespy URL on the back of the flag?

January 26 | Unregistered Commenterbruleeblog

cupcakes for peace! What a cute idea, I love the little flags :)!

January 26 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

Hey, count me in for the NYC stunt! :)
Love this!

January 27 | Unregistered CommenterCeliacChick

Guerrilla cupcaking! How fun. Coming to you from Oh Amanda.

January 27 | Unregistered CommenterDamselfly

Finding something this cute would totally cheer me up on a bad day...or a good one come to think of it!
We have something similar in the uk, The Great Cake Escape, although I'd prefer to find a fake cake I think - you never know whats happened to a real one out on the mean streets!

January 28 | Unregistered CommenterI heart cupcakes

that is an amazing idea...the thought of someone finding the cup cake and keeping them! amazing

January 29 | Unregistered CommenterBlackmagpie

I so totally love this idea. Outlaw cupcakes!

January 30 | Unregistered Commenterpastry studio

In love.

January 30 | Unregistered Commenterchou

ohhh how wonderful! i'm going to steal this and do it in my own little city, okay? it's making me so happy! now i have to figure out how to use plaster of paris....

January 31 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie Fish

Love it to bits! Plugged you on the blog, scroll all the way down cause epic post is epic:


February 1 | Unregistered CommenterRie

How did I miss this last month? I heart this. I really could use a cheerful cupcake sighting too.

February 1 | Unregistered CommenterWendyB

I want to do this in my hometown of Bergen, Norway, if you cakespies don't mind? :]

February 13 | Unregistered CommenterEplefe


I LOVE your site and especially love this street art idea. Love it so much that I made a dozen of them yesterday and in celebration of Valentine's Day we're going to place them randomly around Berkeley, CA tomorrow.

Care to share what you used for color? I used professional food coloring and when the plaster dried it left things looking a little blotchy. I posted an image and link to your site at


February 13 | Unregistered Commenteranita

I just found you from Wendy B. I know that if I had come across one of your cupcakes I'd be smiling all day! Such a happy act!

February 14 | Unregistered CommenterLizzi

Once again, thank you to everyone who commented! To the people who have expressed an interest in doing this in their own towns--by all means! Bring it on!! Send pictures! I will be posting a tutorial later this week in case anyone wants to know exactly how I made them. Let's make the world sweeter!

February 25 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

these are adorable. i love surprise, subtle public art. and omg, i never knew those silicone liners had a fill line! who knew?!

March 2 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

reading about this project made my day. thank you!

March 8 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
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