Bella Cupcake Couture

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to Decorate a Cupcake

With all these cute wrappers to dress your cupcakes in, we decided it would be a great idea to share tips with you to unleash your inner cupcake designer! So, here we go!

Step 1: Bake cupcakes!

You can be as creative as you want at this point: use a box mix or bake your own recipe! After you take the cupcakes out of the oven, let them cool for about 30 mins. Fortunately cupcakes cool much faster than cakes so you don’t have to drool over them for too long!

Step 2: Gather Supplies!

While the cupcakes are cooling, organize any supplies that you have to decorate. Baking supply stores have many different frosting tips to help you create the cupcake of your dreams! As well as frosting tips, you will also need the following: disposable (or non) pastry bags, couplers, sprinkles, accents (like our white chocolate butterflies below), frosting spatulas, food coloring, and paper towels.

Step 3: Prep Frosting Bags!

Depending on the size of your tips, you may need to use a coupler. The coupler helps hold the tip in place while you frost. Place the coupler in the bag and push it to the very end. Use scissors to cut just above the threads of the coupler. Place the tip on top and twist the second part of the coupler over to secure. You can use a featherweight, disposable, or parchment bag. For this tutorial, we decided to use disposable.

After the bags have been prepped with the tips, you can fill the bags with your tinted frosting. In order to accomplish this without creating a mess, fold the edges of the bag under and place over your hand – see below. Then use the frosting spatula to place frosting in bag. (Note: be sure not to load your bag too full – never let it get more than half full otherwise it will make frosting more challenging and messy).

After you have filled the bag, twist the top to ensure that the frosting won’t come out!

Step 4: Decorate cupcakes!

Using different frosting tips will create different effects. For this project, we decided to stick to 4 different designs (3 of each to make 1 dozen cupcakes). Always decorate your cupcakes from the outside in and work around the cupcake. Tip: Before frosting your cupcake, practice your technique on wax paper. That way you can know how much pressure to use.

The cupcakes above were made with a star tip and with a rose tip. Make sure to take your time and go slowly. If you make a mistake you can just lick – errr – wipe off the frosting and try again!

In order to make the “swirl look” (above on left), hold the frosting bag upright and completely vertical. Move your hand in a circular motion starting on the outside of the cupcake and working your way in.

In order to make the “flower” cupcake (above on right), hold your frosting bag horizontally at a 90 degree angle. Start with the tip facing you and move it 180 degrees to make one petal at a time.

Step 5: Add accents!

Now for the finishing touches! Add sprinkles, edible pearls, shimmer dust, or melting chocolate creations! We made butterflies out of white and purple melting chocolate chips.

The best part about cupcake decorating is that you can never go wrong – your creativity is endless! Not to mention that you get to eat and enjoy them afterwards!


  1. ADORABLE! I made ones like the ones with the hearts for a wedding this past weekend. Love it!

  2. these are gorgeous! i want to be able to do this for my baking blog! i have new tips on the way, cant wait to try these now! thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the tips! I love the flower cupcake and the butterfly is so pretty!

  4. thanks for the step by step - I am so making the swirls for Easter brunch... I need practice with the flowers tho! you guys ROCK!!!

  5. So happy to hear you all like! It is our pleasure to provide insight to making your cupcakes even more adorable. ;)

  6. This is very helpful. It will definitely take some practice. I hope to start baking more. I will be working on cheesecakes, cupcakes & cookies :)