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.
(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.