One topic that I often receive questions on, is how to frost cupcakes. I’ve been wanting to post on this topic for some time, but wanted to do a nice complete post, something that would be a nice reference for you to come back to. I hope this post will be a good resource for you. I remember when I first started decorating cupcakes I too was very interested in (and intimidated by) creating a beautiful swirl on cupcakes. After doing it only a few time I found that filling a piping bag and adding a nice swirl of frosting on cupcakes is actually much easier and quicker than spreading frosting!
A few tips to get you started…
In order for the frosting to have enough body (be thick enough) to hold up, you need a good frosting to start with. Make sure not to add to much liquid, or allow your ingredients to be too warm. I would not recommend using canned (pre-made) frosting to pipe on cupcakes, it’s usually not firm enough to hold up. I have heard of people adding powdered sugar to canned frosting to thicken it… but if you are going to do that, it’s just as easy to make it yourself.
I’ve posted recipes for American Buttercream, and Cream Cheese Frosting, the two frostings I use most of the time. Swiss Meringue Buttercream (explained beautifully by Rosie of Sweetapolita) also makes a beautiful frosting for piping.
(Left to Right) Large round tip, Open star (Wilton 1M), Closed star (Wilton 2D), French tip
To frost cupcakes, you’ll want to use a large (sometimes called jumbo) decorating tip. The four most common shapes (openings) are shown above. The Wilton 1M and 2D are often available at craft stores, the others you may have to buy on-line. I like to use a coupler to hold my tips in place, for these large tips you’ll need a large coupler as well. Large tips can also be used without a coupler, by simply setting the tip inside the bag, then filling with frosting.
And for a grand finale… my first ever video! Simple and to the point, but I think it’s sometimes helpful to just see something done from start to finish. Enjoy!
P.S. No, my counters are not dirty, yes the grout is brown… that is the color of the grout. My kitchen (and counters) are original to my house, which was built in 1958. They’re old.
Have fun experimenting with different tips and frostings. Use concentrated gel coloring to color your frosting (like Americolor or Wilton). Add some sprinkles, and you’ve got a beautiful and delicious treat!
Several other posts you may find helpful as you learn to make beautiful cupcakes…
How to Bake Cupcakes (tips to help you bake beautiful and delicious cupcakes)
Cupcake Liners (answers to common questions, and my favorite liners)