How to frost cupcakes

4th February 2019

One question I often get asked is how do I create the perfect swirl on cupcakes and the best recipe for buttercream frosting.

It’s taken me years to perfect the most beautiful swirl! When I first started making cupcakes, I was inspired by the pretty swirls created by the likes of Magnolia Bakery and Hummingbird Bakery, I purchased their recipe books and practiced using a pallet knife, but they often ended up messier than I wanted!

I moved on to using piping bags with various nozzles to create piled high swirls to pretty roses. Finding the right nozzles to create these has been a long journey but I finally have a collection of nozzles that I use regularly, some have been included in Cake Bag!

In this months Cake Bag, there were 2 nozzles from Jem; a fine tooth star and a leaf nozzle. There are many different style swirls you can create using all these with my go to buttercream recipe!

The recipe I use is:

– 250g unsalted block butter, at room temperature
– 500g icing sugar
– 1-2 tbsp boiling water
– 1 tsp Flavouring of choice
– Gel Food colouring

You can use extracts such as vanilla, lemon, almond, orange and peppermint. Melted chocolate – I would use 75g melted dark chocolate with the above recipe. Freshly grated zest and juice of 1 orange or lemon.

If you want to increase or decrease the quantity of buttercream you want to make, just remember to use 2:1 ratio of icing sugar to butter.

I also add boiling water to the mix to soften the buttercream. This makes it easier for piping smooth, beautiful swirls!

Here are examples of different styles you can create using various nozzles

Some nozzles can create similar style swirls but you can see subtle differences between 1st (Small Star) Middle (Medium star) and last (Large star).

My Favourite to create buttercream roses is the middle one – Medium Star. I have a few of these so I can create various colour swirls on one bake so if there’s a go-to style that you love, it’s always good to have multiple amounts of that one nozzle.

The second nozzle is the fine tooth star that was included in January’s Magical Unicorn edition. Great for creating tall, pretty frosting or small patterns! (fab for unicorn hair on cupcakes and large cakes).

The 4th one along is a round nozzle. These are fab for creating tall, smooth swirls (great for poop emoji cupcakes!!) and also for creating a flatter, smooth frosting.

Remember, practice – practice – practice! You can use a work surface to hone your piping skills or even use dummy cupcakes! These are great if you don’t want to spend too much time baking loads of cupcakes whilst learning to pipe different styles (though I’m sure nobody would complain about eating them!)

We hope this helps you see the different results you can achieve!

Don’t forget to share your cakes and bakes with us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter using the #cakebagcreations tag! You never know…you may be featured in a future edition of the Cake Bag mini mag included inside the bags!

You can also share your creations with us on our “Subscribers Corner” Facebook Group! Why not head on over and join us in sharing ideas and what you’ve made using the contents of your Cake Bags?

Happy Baking!
Thirzah – Cakey Goodness xoxo