In Papas Cupcakeria you make cupcakes for a variety of customers. You can select from two existing characters, or make your own with a wide variety of character customization options. The better and faster you make the cupcakes, the higher your score will be. A higher score means a bigger tip in addition to your weekly pay. You can use your pay to buy clothing and accessories for your character or furniture to decorate the cupcake store. You can also unlock new customers as you play.
As you play the game, it will become more challenging as you have to serve multiple customers at the same time. Since time is a factor when making cupcakes, the longer it takes, the lower your score will be. There are also customers known as "closers" that are much pickier than the others. Even getting their order mostly right can result in a bad score.
At the end of each day, you will get a score. If your score is high enough you will rank up. You'll also get two lucky tickets that let you play a mini-game. Completing the mini-game will reward you with either money or a piece of clothing or furniture for your store. You will also get a parade some days after work that becomes more elaborate the more competent you become.
The store decorations also have a gameplay mechanic and are scored by points and freshness. Points are awarded for grouping decorations of a similar theme. Freshness is gained by changing your decorations regularly and contributing to your overall score. The higher your score, the fewer customers will care when they wait for you to make their order which helps you to get a higher score.