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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Smith/News Tribune The owners of Smallcakes on Jefferson City's east end gave a tutorial on how to decorate cupcakes, small cakes and cookie cakes for Valentines Day. There are endless possiblilities on how to decorate cupcakes or any cake for that matter.

With Valentine's Day just a couple of weeks away, it may be time to break out the old baking supplies and put together a more tangible (and edible) expression of love.

The crew at Smallcakes Cupcakery — Lisa Altamam, Bethany Sisk and Racheal Sisk — let us take a peek into their kitchen to provide a few tips and tricks to help you make the most beautiful and delicious Valentine around.

First off, keep it simple.

There's no need to over-complicate things or take on a project that would make even the most experienced bakers nervous. Try the cupcake recipe outlined with this article. If that seems like too much, try a simple cookie decorated with frosting and topped with sprinkles or candy, or even a cookie cake, which is not a difficult endeavor. (Simply take your cookie dough and fit into a cake pan, pressing down and evenly on the dough. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 or 325 degrees. For dark or nonstick pans, use the lower temperature.)

Even the most basic recipe can be made eye-pleasing with the right application of frosting and toppings.

When it comes to frosting your confection, the Smallcakes crew advises using pastry or piping bags for a smooth application. If you don't want to invest in bags you may not use very often, Altamam said Walmart sells bags with tips attached at very affordable prices. Another option is to simply use a plastic freezer bag and snip a corner to the desired opening, making your own disposable piping bag.

"Slower is better," Bethany Sisk said as she topped a chocolate cupcake. Take your time to frost your confection to ensure a smooth application. She advises taking any kind of candy, from festive candy hearts to mini chocolate bars, and adding it to your frosted confection to step up its look.

Remember, practice makes perfect. One of the benefits of making cookies or cupcakes is you can have a few attempts to get it right and figure out how best to accomplish what you're looking for.

And if all else fails, head over to Smallcakes on Eastland Drive and pick up a pre-made delight for you and your sweetheart.

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