Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Night Treat/Tutorial: Frosting Swirl Cupcakes

Tonight's Friday Night Treat is focused on this frosting recipe. I am going to show you how to use it in a fun way!

I am actually not a huge fan of cake (I know, I don't love cake or chocolate)...but when cake is in the form of a cupcake, it is totally different. I can't really explain why, but I think it has to do with the ratio of cake to frosting, the fun cupcake liners, and the circle shape that are just so much more appetizing than a square slice of cake. And, you don't have to use utensils or plates. That is genius all by itself.

I love to look around at cupcakes (I have a Pinterest board devoted mostly to cupcakes - although a few cakes have snuck their way in). You can get very complex and spend hours decorating a set of cupcakes, or you can go a simple route. Today, I want to show you a simple cupcake design that anyone can make. It looks great, and it is so fast!

I just made a simple chocolate cupcake (from a box mix) paired with my frosting recipe. In order to make a chocolate buttercream frosting, I melted 3 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate and mixed that in towards the end of the mixing time.

The frosting swirl cupcake uses a large tip - Wilton 1M. You can find Wilton tips for sale in sets at places like Wal-Mart, or sold individually at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. A large tip like this will cost around $2. Place your tip in a decorating bag (or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut out), and load it about 2/3 full of frosting, twisting the top closed. I like to squeeze the bag and make sure the frosting is coming out nice and even before I get near a cupcake.

Placing my decorating tip close to the cupcake, but not touching it, I start on one edge and swirl my way around. When I get to the point I started, I continue with the same string of frosting making an inside row. I like to finish in the center of the cupcake, squeezing out a star shape. To do this, you make sure your bag is completely vertical. Squeeze a little frosting, stop squeezing, and lift up your tip. For these cupcakes, I chose to use a white pearl sprinkle. Another one of my favorite sprinkles lately is a large sugar granule. It gives the cupcake a nice sparkle.

The great thing about decorating cupcakes (or cake in general) is that if you make a mistake, you can just scrape off the frosting (trying not to scrape any cake crumbs), and try again. You also can make the cupcakes any color to match whatever party you are throwing (or whatever color you love). I commonly make at least some basic frosting swirl cupcakes when I am baking for a baby shower. They go great with a color theme, and it allows 'fancy' (also known as time-consuming) cupcakes to be showcased.

Here is a picture of a baby shower I baked for where 1/2 of the cupcakes were a swirl design:
All of the blue and purple cupcakes in this case were swirled.
The pink and the yellow cupcakes were a large flower design (which I will be showing you soon).

I hope this helps you!

Now for the important questions:
Is there anyone else who loves a good cupcake but doesn't love a slice of cake?
Is it only me?

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  1. Me! I loooove cupcakes, especially the mini ones. Not too big a fan of cakes. Hence I prefer to bake cupcakes than cakes. :)

    And thanks for your step by step tutorial! I love the classic swirl design.

  2. Love this! We have our Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party going on now and would love for you to share this!

  3. Beautiful! I pinned this so I can frost my next set of classroom cupcakes prettier.

  4. I love cupcakes too, I think it is because I hate to share so I don't have to share my cupcake, you have to share cake right;p And I love the swirl, the easiest but best thing ever.

  5. Thanks for showing this, I have such a hard time getting a good looking frosting top on my cupcake, I'll have to give this a try!

  6. Thanks for the great tutorial! I've tried and tried this, but after seeing your tutorial, I realize that the problem is that my tip isn't big enough. It still looks cute, but doesn't have that big poofy effect when you use a smaller tip. I'll have to get me a big one at Walmart!! Would you consider sharing this great post here?

  7. Hahaha I like how you put that you don't like cake or chocolate in small font. Great tutorial, I've been trying to learn how to decorate cupcakes so this was a informative read. I'm visiting from Positively Splendid!

  8. Love the cupcake display! I will be watching for the flower frosting tutorial!

  9. this is a great tutorial! come share on my linky party on's still open!! first time visiting your it!!

  10. Hi, nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!

    - The enrober