How to decorate a cupcake


While I certainly agree that any mish-mash of frosting and cake can have tasty merits, there’s no doubt that presentation is a big part of what makes cupcakes so popular.

If your cupcakes struggle with ugly duckling syndrome you may need an intervention since, unlike the fabled “duckling” that grew into an elegant swan, ugly cupcakes won’t transform into graceful three-tiered wedding cakes. They’ll just get stale and need to be thrown out.

The good news is that the path to pretty cupcakes is easily navigated! Recently I stumbled across this article that outlines cupcake decorating basics very well. And for those of you looking for advanced inspiration that will take your cupcakes from fair to fabulous, I can recommend Hello Cupcake! — a terrifically imaginative book that features dozens of clever ideas for cupcake makeovers.

Do you have any cupcake decorating tips you’d like to share?


10 Responses to How to decorate a cupcake

  1. Rosa says:

    Thanks for the interesting link!



  2. Takeaway says:

    I sometimes slice the top off the muffin, then comes the icing, then the top goes on top of that, then some icing sugar..

  3. Confession time. I haven’t made cupcakes in years. But now that I know how to make them pretty… well, I just might have to give it a go.

  4. Cheryl says:

    I love making cupcakes but do it far less often than I (or my children) would like. Also, I don’t have very steady hands when I hold a pastry bag, so I usually slop on the frosting with an offset spatula. Happily, no one ever complains, but I’d never get the beautiful swirls you’ve achieved. Sigh.

  5. Hélène says:

    Cupcakes seems to be the thing right now. I love making them. Sometimes I make mold chocolates and will put one chocolate on each cupcakes. Everyone loves it.

  6. Cakespy says:

    Ooh, thanks for pointing out that article! It’s a good one. I think that an easy way to gussy them up is with cute toppers–be they edible, or non edible (the type that Natalie of Bake and Destroy sells in her Etsy shop, for instance). It’s a really easy way to make a nice presentation without having to own all sorts of decorating tips, etc.

  7. bethny says:

    I love making cupcakes and other sweets. The best part is decorating them 🙂

  8. Cheryl A says:

    We decorated our wedding cupcakes (7 years ago!) with coloured sanding sugar. Very simple.
    My only tip is to not overice your cupcakes. As much as I love icing I really hate a pile of buttercream bigger than the cake portion. Somehow lessons of proportion and balance got lost in the cupcake trend.

  9. danamccauley says:

    C.A: You’re right. It’s funny, isn’t it that we love cupcakes because they offer us single serve portions but we also love to over dress them with frosting and garnishes.

  10. As a UK-based amateur cake decorator, I found your blog on google and read a few of your other cake decorating posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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