Apple Cupcake Tree Shows Teachers the ♥

More than 130 local teachers turned out for the End of Year Celebration last May, filling the garden patio at Jalisco’s Restaurant in Watsonville for a record turnout. This year’s celebration had a few extra special perks to show teachers the ♥, including the DIY Easy & Inexpensive Cupcake Stand I created loaded down with cupcakes resembling apples.

“The party was a HIT!” said Mamiche Young, a kindergarten teacher. “We teachers from Freedom had a ball!”

Highlights of the evening also included exciting new menu items like mini ceviche, scintillating refreshments, retired teacher appearances, a beautiful Mariachi dance performance, and a Teacher Appreciation Raffle with more than 50 generous prizes donated by local businesses supporting unionized teachers.

“The prizes were great because they showed a real connection with the community,” said Rhea DeHart, retired PVUSD educator and former PVFT President. “It was the best party we’ve ever had!”

Filled with sand from local beach

Warm summer temperatures and a Mexican beach theme helped everyone relax and celebrate the close of another school year.

Decor (mostly donated or crafted) included exquisite shells in painted turquoise bowls of sand adorning each table while colorful, delicately cut papel-picado (paper cutout) streamers flitted gently in the wind.

The homemade chocolate volcano bottom cupcakes were especially popular and luckily we had just enough! The trick behind these yummy creations was easy ― just adding a few basic ingredients to a mix to spice it up. I like to try out different substitutions. This time I added vanilla extract and quality chocolate chips. I also substituted part of the oil for melted butter.

Completed tree ready for cupcakes!

For the lifts between the levels, I got thick plastic piping cut into pieces and wrapped it with chocolate brown satin ribbon secured with hot glue. The final pieces were then hot-glued into place.

A huge thank you those who helped frost and decorate the cupcakes with me on that Friday long ago last May. Please accept my apologies for the delay in posting the final product.

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