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How to Make Basketball Hoop Cupcakes

Today I’m going to show you how to make Basketball Cupcakes decorated with buttercream and a super cute basketball hoop cookie topper.

Cupcakes in brown liners decorated with buttercream and cookie pops.

updated post from 2014



To make the hoops I used mini peanut butter cups. Round cups are a little tricky to attach to the cookies. And so before I glued them onto the iced cookies I used a micro zester to shave one side of the mini cup flat, a few strokes of the zester and you are done, (steps 1-5).

Shaving off a side of a reese's chocolate cup.


To make cute basketball hoop toppers I used mini square cookies on a stick decorated with royal icing a mini Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups.

To make Basketball Hoop Cookie Toppers you need:

  • Mini Square Cookies on sticks – use 1.25 to 1.5-inch square cookie cutter and 4-inch lollipop sticks, or you can use pliers and cup sticks from large bamboo sticks. If you haven’t made cookie pops before, follow my step-by-step instructions on How To Make Cookie Pops.
  • Royal Icing – white icing (15-second consistency) to flood the cookie and red icing (piping consistency) to make a red border and a frame inside
  • Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups – use a zester to shave one side flat to make it fit better on the cookie.

First, flood the cookie with white icing (15 second consistency) and let the icing to dry for about 4-5 hours, (steps 1-4).

Small square cookie decorated with white royal icing.

With red icing (piping consistency) pipe an outer outline, (steps 1-2). Pipe some red icing on the shaved side of Reese’s mini peanut butter cup and glue it just above the bottom red outline, (steps 3-5).

Gluing reese's mini chocolates onto a cupcake.

Now finish the basketball cupcake topper with a smaller square frame, pipe it just above Reese’s mini cup candy. Allow icing to set for a couple of hours before decorating the cupcakes, (steps 1-5).

Piping a red outline above a basketball hoop.

You can prepare basketball hoop cookie toppers ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container.

Hand holding cookie pop.


Black and orange buttercream in piping bags fitted with star tips.

Bake the cupcakes and allow them to cool. Then, before you start piping basketball design with buttercream; create a guide on top of the cupcake using a toothpick. It’s really simple, gently scratch the surface of the cupcake with a toothpick (steps 1-3).

Bakes yellow cupcake, hand holding a toothpick creating as simple guide on top of a cupcake.

Start by decorating the basketball cupcake with black buttercream and a piping bag fitted with a star tip #14. First, pipe stars next to each other creating all of the lines, (steps 1-8).

Piping black buttercream on a cupcake with a star tip.

Now take orange-brown buttercream and a piping bag fitted with a Star Tip #16 and pipe stars next to each other into each section between the black lines, (steps 1-8).

Cupcake in a brown liner paper being decorated with a basketball pattern using buttercream.


To assemble these cute basketball cupcakes insert the decorated basketball hoop cookie pop into the cupcake.

Hand inserting a cookie pop into a cupcake decorated with buttercream to look like a basketball.

TIP: If you are transporting these DIY Basketball Cupcakes, it’s best to decorate them with cookie pops on location.

Cupcakes decorated with black and orange buttercream that look like basketballs with a cookie pop inserted in them, displayed on a green cloth.

Celebrating a win of your favorite basketball team just got a little sweeter. Use this cute and creative Basketball Cupcake idea for birthday parties, March Madness parties, and more.


Basketball cupcakes decorated with cookies on a stick.

This post was originally published on March 18, 2014. On February 4th, 2021 I updated this post with new text, step-by-step photos, and a video.

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