Make Giant Cupcakes with the Big Top Cupcake Pan

by Theresa on December 22, 2009 · 50 comments

The Big Top Cupcake kit just might put some fun back into baking again.  If you or your kids love cupcakes, you may have been eyeing the Big Top Cupcake infomercial. Not sure why they need so many names but on QVC they have changed the name to the "Colossal Cupcake". Is it as easy to assemble as they mention on the infomercials?  You know how those infomercials are notorious for making things appear bigger, easier and better than they really are.

Infomercial Claims

  • The set is a silicone non-stick mold which includes a top mold, bottom mold, and removable insert.
  • The removable insert creates a well for your favorite filling such as pudding, ice cream, whipped cream, fresh fruit or mousse.
  • Simply bake, assemble, decorate and enjoy.
  • Fully assembled the giant cupcake measures approximately 6-1/2"Diam x 7"H which is 25 times bigger than a regular cupcake.

Good Points

  1. You'll enjoy creating different cupcake flavors and themes for different occasions and kids love em!
  2. Baked cupcake comes out from the pan nice and clean.
  3. Freezer and dishwasher safe, heat-resistant to 500F

Bad Points

  1. It's not as easy to bake and put it together as they show in the infomercial. This is the fault of the instructions. They aren't professional and don't explain how much cake batter to use and how much to fill up the pans. (please see hints below)
  2. Some ladies have reported the cupcake collapsing after they cut into it.
  3. Decorating is also tedious especially if you're trying to decorate it as nice as shown in the pictures shown here.
  4. The cupcake isn't as big as it looks in the infomercial due to the fancy camera tricks.

Baking Hints for Giant Cupcakes

  1. Use only 1 box of cake mix. As you can see in the video, 2 boxes ends up being far too much batter.
  2. Spray the mold with oil before pouring the batter in.
  3. Use a cookie sheet to place the pans on when baking.
  4. These pans are deep, so that makes for long cooking times. The directions say 30 - 35 minutes for the top and 45 - 50 minutes for the base. In actuality it takes more than an hour to fully cook the cake. Cook it at 325 to 350 depending on your oven.

(These are the instructions from the QVC site)

Using the pan without the filling Insert

  • The batter mix will measure approximately 4 cups. Pour 2-3/4 of the batter into the bottom mold and the remaining 1-1/4 into the top mold.
  • Bake for 50-55 minutes. The top mold may bake more quickly than the bottom mold. Cooking time depends on your oven and the altitude of where you live. Just keep checking if it's done by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean it's time to remove from the oven.

Using the pan with the filling Insert

  • The batter mix will measure approximately 4 cups. Pour 2 cups of the batter into the bottom mold and the remaining 2 cups into the top mold.
  • Place the insert inside the bottom mold and make sure the insert overlaps the sides of the mold. Bake 45-50 minutes. Again, the top mold may bake more quickly than the bottom so do the toothpick method to make sure it's done.
  • If the cake in the bottom part of the mold rises over the edge, simply trim the edges off and fill the bottom with slightly less batter next use. (note that different climates/altitudes affect baking results)
  • Once out the oven, place in the freezer for 8-10 minutes or on the counter for 15 minutes.
  • For a more stable cupcake they recommend that you trim the top and bottom halves with a serrated knife. Also use frosting between the two layers.
  • Before you add ice cream or fruit, freeze the bottom cupcake for 30-40 minutes.
  • You might find that homemade icing is firmer and easier to work with than the store bought kind. The hardest part is decorating it. Frost it fast than put it in the fridge to harden up since it will drip. Then  take it out and add final touches.
More big top cupcake ideas

More big top cupcake ideas

A Few Recipe Ideas
Chocolate Lovers Cake – Chocolate cake mix with chocolate mousse filling and chocolate icing Strawberry Short Cake - White cake mix with strawberry glaze filling and whip cream icing
Carrot Cake - Carrot cake mix with cream cheese icing
Boston Cream Cake - Chocolate cake with pudding filling and chocolate icing

You can find these $20 pans at Walmart for sure because I saw them there over Christmas. You may be able to find them at Walgreens now, bigtopcupcake.com and eBay.


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Big Top Cupcake is getting mixed reviews. The majority of negative reviews is because the instructions aren't clear. Although if you can tweak them a bit to make them work for you, you'll enjoy this pan. If you're looking for more clever kitchen gadgets, here's a review of the Lid Punch which helps you open your jars easier.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 J.R. January 5, 2010

I just received the big top cupcake deluxe (pans, and 3-d cookies). I haven’t used it however I was dissapointed to find NO INSTRUCTIONS in the box and it is SO much smaller than expected. I was planning on using this for my son’s party at school now I might have to make two ?!

Disaapointed in California

2 Cathleen January 9, 2010

Yes, the Big Top is smaller than the one on TV! However, as a cake decorator, I was glad. Molds with limited air exposure during baking tend to overcook on the outside and undercook on the inside, unless the inner mold has a funnel or half-funnel. The advice above is spot on, for your baking. I do have a few tips to add:
Use a good serrated long knife to even out the
“top” of the bottom cooked cake and the “bottom” of the top cooked cake. Thes surfaces like to expand up in the middle while cooking. If the insert is used, you will still need to slice the cooked surfaces which will meet with that knife. You don’t want the cakes to slide and they will not cook perfectly flat, unfortunately.
Before icing/frosting, get the cakes as cold as possible, even freeze them, before any fillings or icing is used. This prevents the sliding between your layers from icing getting warm and liquifying. Using a pastry bag (or the plastic bag with the corner snipped) for frosting the botton sides is by far easier than using the knife-balancing-a-dab-of-frosting method. After covering the bottom with top-to-bottom stripes of frosting (or bottom-to-top, if you find this easier), leave the striping if you have covered the cake well, or then use a knife to now spread the frosting as you like. (I loved alternating the stripe colors, via plastic bag. Gives it the carnival theme if you use white and another color.)
Frosting the top is easiest. Use the bags or a knife to apply frosting.

In answer to your “how many cakes to I need?” question: 1 of these cakes will serve 8-10. It is like a regular 2 layer cake.

3 Theresa January 9, 2010

Thanks Cathleen! That’s sooo helpful. I’m wondering, how in the world could this company forget to put the instructions in the box…

4 Mia January 12, 2010

I didn’t get instructions with mine, either. It’s been very frustrating to get just basic cooking instructions. This site has been the most informative so far.

5 Jonneal and Stacy January 21, 2010

Me and my neice are getting ready to make one right now, our last one didnt come out so good, so thanks for the clarification! :) we’re putting strawberry pudding in ours.

6 Theresa January 24, 2010

Mmmm sounds very yummy. Have fun!

7 stephanie February 25, 2010

i bought mine through LTD and it did not come with any instruction and the top and the bottom are attached, not to mention its silicone. the first time a used it i struggled, it was wobbly and the top would not stay straight. then when i finaly got the cake in the oven the sides were done before the center. these tips were very helpful and maybe this next attempt will be more successful!

8 Bethany March 3, 2010

The actual size of the big top cupcake you receive is definitely a lot smaller than they make it look on TV. Mine came with instruction, but they did not do a good job at all in explaining clearly and my first cake did not come out well. Im waiting now for my next one to bake. I wish I found these instructions before I put in the cake mix, but unfortunately I was just looking for cooking time, hopefully it will be better now!

9 Kristie March 10, 2010

My daughter and I are going to make a one of these next weekend for her dads birthday the hints have been helpful thanks. Does anyone have a heath bar cake recipe with filling they would like to share.

10 Ashley March 17, 2010

Can anyone tell me how many boxes of cake mix your really supposed to use? The “instructions” say two boxes of w.e, but mine is overflowing in my oven as i type. So i’m assuming it’s probably supposed to just be one, but i’d like to make sure. Maybe i just did something wrong.

And i’m not sure i understand the funnel, half-funnel thing. Can someone explain this to me please.

11 Theresa March 20, 2010

Ooh darn, Thanks for pointing this out Ashley. Sorry I forgot to add that important piece of info! One box of cake mix only. The instructions say you can use 2 boxes but this ends up being too much cake mix.

The funnel Cathleen is referring to are those two piece cake pans with the funnel inside that you’d use to bake up an angel food cake. Those kind of pans will cook the cake more evenly than the Big Top Cupcake pan because the oven heat travels through the funnel in the middle.

12 Bleu May 18, 2010

I either didn’t receive the filling insert or I lost it in a move..

Is there a place where I can order it?

Thanks.

13 Amanda May 22, 2010

Has anyone tried to Fondant the bottom of this cake?

14 Carlee May 23, 2010

2 box mixes clarification:

if you use 2 boxes..you will fill it 2/3rds of the way full. (instead of half way) When making this earlier today…chocolate on the bottom…funfetti on the top… I had 23 regular sized cupcakes from using 2 boxes.

Unfortunately..I still baked mine wrong..my oven runs hot so I turned the heat down to 325 and the tippy top of the cone was wet and so was the bottom of the cupcake part. (50 mins of baking)

I read after that..to use the “bundt” cake recommendations on the box mix. I will try that again tonight and report back..just encase.

For the top sliding issues…take a small glob of canned frosting (if you using canned) and put some powdered sugar in the frosting..to thicken it and trace the rim of the cupcake (the lip of it..if you are using the filling insert) allow close to 15-20 for the frosting to set..before you start icing the swirly top of the cupcake…it will act as glue and stabilize the pieces.

15 Beth June 2, 2010

I got my daughter the Big Top for her birthday in November, we made one a month later and it collapsed, Ill try it again soon, but I was really disappointed. Also mine did NOT come with the filling insert does anyone know where to buy one?

16 Theresa June 3, 2010

Ah darn it! I wonder why they didn’t put the insert in the box. First the instructions and next the insert! Geeze…. I looked around online to see if you could buy them separately . I couldn’t find anything but I have the Big Top Cupcake customer service number… Phone: 866-518-2281

17 Krista June 26, 2010

OK, now I’m nervous!
I am borrowing one of these to make a couple of “girls” for a breast cancer fundraiser.
I bought 4 boxes of cake mix…. maybe I only need 2?? I’ll start with one and see what happens.
Anyone have any decorating ideas to make these look like a pair of breasts???

18 Theresa June 29, 2010

Krista, here’s a link I found regarding your breast cakes! They’re made in a regular cake pan though but maybe you can improvise if you’ve got the Giant Cupcake Pan. If that’s a little risque then here’s some more ideas on youtube.

Here’s a picture of one with the breast cancer awareness symbol.
You’d sure have to add a lot of icing though. That should be a lot of fun!

19 Andrea July 3, 2010

Okay im going to make some for my Family 4th of July party and I would like to know. Do I have to use on box of cake mix for BOTH the top and a bottom or one for each? please help.

20 DAWN July 5, 2010

Product did not come with instructions, HOWEVER… i love this product, made 1 for the fourth of july . oiled pans, placed on cookie sheet, baked at 350 for 1 hr. turned out great. once cooled down popped out of pans with ease, iced with icing bag, smoothed out and decorated. I would recommend this product, but i also would recommend proper directions ( product directions are not at all informative ).

21 Theresa July 7, 2010

I would use one box of cake mix in total Andrea. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner.

22 nervous... September 1, 2010

My boyfriend and I just bought one of the Big Top Cupcake things today to make a birthday cake for our 3 year old… He is such a perfectionist and I’m afraid it won’t satisfy him… We’re doing the strawberry shortcake one and putting a Strawberry shortcake doll on the top. Does anyone have any advice on frosting them seperately and then putting them together? I’m doing a test run with it tonight, and I’ll be back on to check. Thanks!

23 Melissa Sprayberry September 11, 2010

I just made my first one and it turned out good….but you do have to grease the cake pans first or it sticks……I love how mine turned out…

24 Jenny B September 30, 2010

Just made my big top for the first time….Wasn’t sure how long to cook it and at first I was worried becuase it looked really runny. Then it was done after 45 min. It ended up being far to long for the outside it turned out dry…GRRRRR put the frosting to connect the top and the bottom that worked and then I put the iciing in a ziploc bag that helped inthe icing process. came out cute just a bit dry can’t wait to try again and get the moisture right.

25 Mary R October 11, 2010

I ordered the Big to Cupcake from their website.
I just called to order the insert and they are sending it to me for free.

26 Kathie M October 11, 2010

I bought the Wilton one … found cooking directions online for 325 degrees 50 minutes. Cake came out perfect, except I wasn’t sure how much to put in each section. The top of my cake was waaaaaay too big for the bottom. Will try again and measure next time. Is 1/2 and 1/2 the right measurement?

27 DAwn October 20, 2010

You can get these pans at the Dollar General for $8

28 Christe M October 29, 2010

I just bought one of the bigtop cupcake pans. It did not come with instructions. I am not sure what temperature the oven should be on and how long I should bake the cake for.

29 Rosanne November 12, 2010

I also bought the big-top cookie Bakeware and that doesn’t have instructions either.Where can I look up the instuctions?

30 Theresa November 15, 2010

I’m looking for something you ladies can print out but I can’t locate anything on the web. I can’t believe this company does not include instructions! Sheesh! I do have the video and instructions above taken from the QVC site (which is no longer selling the Big Top Cupcake)

31 Theresa November 15, 2010

Here’s Specer Brown’s experience baking with the Big Top Cupcake. Hope this helps.

My son had to have this for this birthday. I was skeptical but it truely does work. It was smaller than I anticipated, but if you mix up 2 boxes of cake mix and add two-thirds of the mix it makes a big difference. This leaves you enough mix for 12 regular size cupcakes. I found I had to turn the oven down from 350 to 325 and baked for approximatly 45 to 50 minutes so it didn’t brown too much. I have tried both Duncan Hines and Pillsbury mixes in it and Pillsbury works best. If you are planning on making these for bakes sales (which sell like hot cakes!) I would recommend buying 2 molds if you haved the chance. I made 4 in one night and it took me 5 hours in total between baking, cooling, and frosting. Best part about it is that it makes the best Mario Brothers Mushroom Cake around!

32 Kristen December 21, 2010

This is the best website I have found with instructions and hints.

33 Krejaton December 28, 2010

What a bucket of fun!
I got this for my daughters (13 & 11) for Christmas and we just finished making our first monster cupcake. The best advice I can give is this:

* Plenty of Pam sprayed inside to ease out the cakes
* Cook @ 325 for a bit longer (~45-50 min)
* use a chopstick to test the cakes (so you get to the center

While it certainly looks smaller that the gigantic cupcake they make it look like on the infomercial, remember that it still is an entire cake crammed into one cupcake. I would suggest for your first to not use the insert, just make it regular and get used to it before adding a step.

We had a great time making/watching/assembling/decorating it. My youngest was so excited about it all evening. I was worried if this would be worth it or not and if it would work or not…money well spent, even on the first cupcake.

34 Kathy December 28, 2010

My mom is trying to make this for my daughter and its not cooking right she used 2 boxes of cake mix like the directions say but its not cooking right please help

35 Theresa December 29, 2010

Great to hear! Thanks for your helpful advice…there’s so many others looking for baking instructions for this darn cupcake pan. :)

36 Penelope B. December 30, 2010

Just an idea for the filling:
1 box of instant vanilla pudding
1 bag of frozen raspberries
1 thing of cool whip
(I like it best with chocolate cake mix)
mix it together with a spoon dump it in and it is delicious
(You might not need it all to fill the Cupcake)

37 Theresa January 8, 2011

mmm sounds yummy! I love the idea of raspberries mixed with chocolate cake and vanilla pudding. :)

38 natasha January 13, 2011

a very good friend of mine got me the bigtop cupcake mold kit for my christmas gift i absolutly love it .. i love making cupcakes all the time anyways for school partys and for friends n family but now my husband asks me to make him a diferent flavor giant cupcake every week lol tonight i made him a strawberry cake with cream cheese and fresh strawberries blended in for the filling topped with strawberry mist icing with a fresh sliced strawberry on the tip top . even from the first time i used the mold i had no problems, as long as i lightly spray the mold and have the oven heated to 325 it comes out perfect everytime and there are fill lines ,also after letting the cake cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack i cool it in the fridge for 30 minutes with the filling cooling in the bottom cake . i cant wait for more types of molds to be created ! such fun ,
thanks for making this product from natasha in bakersfield ,ca

39 Jennifer January 15, 2011

Thanks for all the tip i was just about to make a giant cupcake with 2 boxes of mix the videos and tips really were helpful! Thanks for posting and sharing everything :) .

40 sharon February 4, 2011

hi i am making this tommor with this exact mould. as everyone else i had no instructions with my mould. but it did come with the insert.
now people are saying bake at 325…… is that gas mark 3/ 4 would you say?
also i am thinking of going to do one box of mix, how much gap do i leave from the top… somewhere it said 2 cups of mix for the bottom and 2 for the top… is that right?
ahhhhhh

41 Becka February 17, 2011

I got this for Christmas, but haven’t used it yet. Plan to use it this weekend for a friend’s birthday.
However… can anyone reccomend a recipe that produces the correct volume of cake mix, but DOESN’T involve using puke-in-a-box mixes?!?! I only bake from scratch, and I can’t find a recipe for the cake tin anywhere that doesn’t use the horrid box mix :(
Alternatively, how many “standard” cupcakes would a box mix make? Ie, if it makes 24, and you need two boxes (48 cupcakes) but only need 2 thirds of the mix, you’d need enough cake mix to make 32 standard cupcakes, right???

42 Theresa February 20, 2011

Good question Becka…. This pan seems to be almost too much trouble to bake with since the instructions are not accurate! I sometimes head over to allrecipes.com to get some good rated recipes. They have a feature where you can recalculate the recipe based on serving sizes. A standard cake mix is 18.25 ounces which makes about 18 STANDARD cupcakes. The box says it makes 20-24 but it doesn’t make that many. I hope I answered your question. :)

43 poonam March 9, 2011

Hi, i tried the giant cupcake for the first time, i bake eggless cakes as im a vegetarian and i use a boxed mix and use my own ingredients 2 substitute the egg. My cupcakes come out very nice and spongy but my giant came out very dry.
I greased the mould with melted butter and flour and the cake came out very easily. Also it took over an hour to cook as the centre of the cake was still wet. How runny is the mixture suppose to be? Also i cooked it at 180 degrees Celsius. This is what i usually cook my cakes at.

Hope someone can help. Thanx xx

44 Sheri March 15, 2011

I bought my big top cupcake in Australia, it had extremely limited instructions. It is tiny I expected it to be the size of a normal cake. I used my own cake recipe as I had to make an egg-less cake for my baby. I will need to make a double batch to make the cupcake a bit bigger and actually fill the entire pans. I hope this works as I want to have it as her 1st Birthday cake. I will make a second one use a cake mixture. These instructions have been very helpful. It might have ended up at the back of the cupboard otherwise.

45 kar en April 17, 2011

the recipe i used from the BIGTOP cup cake was enough to make another cake as well and it still overflowed

46 Karen April 17, 2011

First time of cooking the BIGTOP cupcake was a disaster as the recipe given was enough to make another cake besides even then it every where like an explosion.Next time i think i will only need half the quantities

47 Velina April 18, 2011

I need a bakery box to fit this GIANT cupcake!!!! Any ideas?

48 Emma June 26, 2011

what a nightmare! cooking this in a gas oven has been a challenge. ended up cooking them one at a time in the halogen because its easier to control the temp! they have been in for an hour and a half the top was completly stuck so im just hoping that the same won’t happen with the bottom.
also what are these cake mixes everyone has mentioned? are they boxed? I made my own batter does that affect the cooking? anyway I’m hoping the next time I attempt this it will be more successful. I’ll be cooking it on a low heat for a long hopefully that way it will cook evenly rather than end up dry on the outside and barely cooked in the middle!

49 Krista October 11, 2011

Just reading through your post because I’ve lost my directions to my Big Top Cupcake. I guess I got lucky…..my first time using the pan came out nearly perfect. I was in a hurry, and it didn’t have time to fully cool before I frosted it, so the frosting was drippy (plus I used store bought, which is unstable to start with). However, the cutting off the tops so they’d fit together worked out perfect, just had to use my turkey carving knife. I also have the giant donut pan, I love them both!! :)

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