How to Make Bon Voyage Stenciled Cupcakes

This year, I've been to more farewell parties than I'd ever imagined. We've said goodbye to a few long time neighbors as they've moved away; some to a few streets away, others a few oceans away. I've celebrated with retiring co-workers, eager to start the next exciting chapter of their lives. I've waved bon voyage to newly wed friends off on their honeymoon and celebrated with friends whose kids were going off to college. And I've bid adieu to a very brave friend, who quit her job and decided to travel around the world in search of adventure. (Please send me postcards, so that I can live vicariously through you.)

So, yes, I've attended a load of moving away, bon-voyage, farewell, going away and office retirement parties. Always on the look out to make a party interesting and memorable, I created these 'bon voyage stenciled cupcakes' since everyone was embarking on some kind of adventure, taking them in a new direction.


Sugar stenciled cupcakes, bon voyage stenciled cupcakes, travel stenciled cupcakes, farewell cupcakes

I've got to say that my farewell themed cupcakes were a big hit at all the send off parties. Stenciled cupcakes are such an easy going away party food idea for a farewell dessert.
Sugar stenciled cupcakes with travel theme on postcards, bon voyage stenciled cupcakes with world, globe, flight path, airline, arrows,, travel stenciled cupcakes, farewell cupcakes
World Traveler, bon voyage stenciled cupcakes with arrows, an airplane flight path, a camera etc.
I just used a flexible plastic stencil that I folded over my cooled cupcakes, and then dusted the cupcakes first, with Hershey's cocoa and then with powdered sugar. 
World traveler plastic stencil to make themed bon voyage cupcakes, cocoa powder, a tea strainer with powdered sugar and cupcakes with travel designs
   These reusable, painting stencils are cheaply available online if you google 'kids drawing stencils'  and the selection is unending; from different shaped airplanes, to hot air balloons, emojis and word stencils.

Cupcake with powdered sugar stenciled design of a world or globe on postcards
The 'world' stenciled on a cupcake.

For my travel cupcakes, I purchased the World Traveler Stencil from Amazon. It's a flexible plastic stencil with small cut outs of different shaped arrows, an airplane flight path, the globe, a camera, a suitcase and other things applicable to any world traveler, going on a journey, a cruise, a vacation or a travel adventure.

Camera stenciled with cocoa powder on a yellow cupcake with a background of postcards
Picture of a camera stenciled on a cupcake


How to make Bon Voyage Stencil Cupcakes | A Farewell Dessert

What You Need:
  1. A reusable, flexible, plastic stencil
  2. Yellow cupcakes
  3. A fine mesh tea strainer
  4. Cocoa powder 
  5. Powdered sugar

How do you Stencil Cupcakes : Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Start with cool, room temperature yellow cupcakes.

Dust a layer of Hershey's Cocoa powder over the cupcake, using  a tea strainer.
Dusting a cup cake with cocoa powder using a tea strainer
Use a tea strainer to dust cupcake with cocoa powder.

Step 2: Smooth the cocoa powder out with the back of a spoon to create a smooth base.
Dusting a cup cake with cocoa powder using a tea strainer
Use the back of a teaspoon to smooth cocoa powder out.

Step 3: Bend a flexible, plastic stencil over the cupcake
Using a flexible, plastic stencil to stencil cupcakes with powdered sugar
Fold a flexible plastic stencil over the cupcake and then using a tea strainer, dust with powdered sugar.

Step 4: Dust a layer of white powdered sugar over the cupcake. 
An extra set of hands is helpful at this stage.
Since you might need both your hands to fold the stencil over the cupcake, if someone else can dust on the powdered sugar, that will make for a clean design. 

Carefully lift off the stencil.

Travel themed stenciled cupcakes with an airplane path or travel path, cupcake stenciled with a sugar arrow
White powdered sugar dusted over the cocoa powder base.


Kitchen Notes:

  • Be sure to use cool, room temperature cupcakes.
  • Be sure to use a flexible plastic stencil, not a hard plastic one. It needs to be flexible enough that you can bend it to curve around the top of the cupcake.
  • White powdered sugar will not show up well on yellow cupcakes. So, if you use yellow cupcakes, for best results start with a cocoa powder base before dusting on white powdered sugar.
  • If you are using chocolate cupcakes, a cocoa powder base is not required. Directly dust with powdered sugar.
  • After stenciling the cupcakes, do not cover them. Do not refrigerate them. This will result in condensation on the cupcakes, which will spoil the stencil pattern.
  • The stenciling should be done as close as possible (1-3 hours in advance) to serving time.

Related Recipes:

For other interesting cupcake ideas, check out my:
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Or click on the "Sweets and Dessert" label below to explore more.

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