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Cupcake Decorating Tips

Cupcake decorating tips

What’s nicer than a perfectly decorated cupcake? Eating a perfectly decorated cupcake of course! Take the stress out of decorating your cupcake with our Cupcake Decorating Tips to become an icing queen. Videos included. We will show you how to choose your tools, use them and then create stunning cupcakes with them.

How to Choose and Use Decorating Bags:


Featherweight Bags are reusable, made of flexible, coated polyester. They are strong, lightweight and dishwasher safe, in sizes from 8 in. to 18 in.

Disposable Bags are made to use and toss—no fuss, no muss. Made of strong, flexible plastic, they’re easy to handle. Available in 12, 24, 50 and 100 count boxes.

Parchment Triangles are easy to fold into a convenient “throw-away” bag. Made of grease-resistant vegetable parchment paper, available in 12 in. and 15 in. sizes.

The Coupler, and How It Works

Using a two-part device called a coupler lets you interchange several decorating tips without changing the bag.

The two parts of the coupler are the base and the ring. The base fits inside the bag, then you put the decorating tip of your choice over the portion of the coupler that sticks out of the bag. When you screw the ring on, you’ve locked the decorating tip onto the coupler and bag.

Step 1: Marking the Bag

Remove ring from coupler base. Drop the coupler base, narrow end first, into the bag and push it down as far as you can.

For Featherweight Bags: Using a pen or pencil, mark the spot on the outside where the bottom screw thread (closest to tip) is outlined against the bag material.
For Disposable Bags: Mark a spot on the outside that is 1/4 inch BELOW the bottom screw thread.

Step 2: Cutting the Bag

Push the coupler base up into the bag so that you can cut an opening at the mark.

Step 3: Position Coupler Base and Tip

Push the coupler base down through the opening. One thread should be showing. Place a decorating tip over the part of the base extending from the bag.

Step 4: Lock Tip in Place

Put the ring over the tip and twist it on, locking the tip in place.

Filling the decorating bag

Step 1: Holding the bag

While holding the bag with one hand, fold down the top with the other hand to form a generous cuff over your hand as shown.

Step 2: Filling the bag

With an angled spatula, fill the bag with approximately 1/2 cup of icing.

Note: It is important not to overfill the bag; otherwise, excess icing may squeeze out the wrong end.

Step 3: Pull spatula out

Remove icing from the spatula by squeezing the bag with your thumb and fingers against the spatula and pulling spatula out.

Step 4: Close the bag

Close the bag by unfolding the cuff and twisting the bag closed. This forces the icing down into the bag.

“Burping” the bag: Make sure you release any air trapped in bag by squeezing some of the icing out of the tip into the bowl. This is called “burping” the bag.

Holding The Bag

The angle of the bag to the work surface is only half the story of the bag position. The other half is direction in which the back of the bag is pointed. Correct bag direction is easiest to learn when you think of the back of the bag as the hour hand of a clock. When you hold the bag with the tip in the center of the clock, you can sweep out a circle with the back end of the bag. Pretend the circle you formed in the air is a clock face. The hours on the clock face correspond to the direction you point the back end of the bag.


How To Color Icing:


Color is as basic to your decorating as the icing and the cake. Choosing appropriate colors for your cake will help you capture just the mood you want for the occasion.

When planning your cake, think about color. Gather inspiration from the theme of your celebration. The icing colors you choose will carry that theme and personalize your decorating. Look around, notice everyday objects – from a garden in bloom, to the clothes people wear. Which colors appeal to you? Use your favorite colors in your decorating. Don’t be afraid to try something different. Have fun using rich, bright colors or different color combinations. Begin by making a monochromatic cake, decorated all in white or in a single, pale color. Try using color decorations in contrast to an all-white cake background. Decorate using all pastels or all primary colors. Experimenting with color will help you decide which colors work to make your cake designs spectacular.

Mixing Color In Icing

Begin with white icing and use concentrated icing color which will not affect your icing consistency. Using standard food colors can thin down your icing and affect your ability to pipe certain decorations. If you are tinting icing dark brown or black, begin with chocolate icing – your icing will not have the aftertaste that large amounts of these icing colors may produce. If you are tinting a large area red, use No-Taste Red.

Dip a toothpick into the color, then swirl it into the icing. Add color a little at a time until you achieve the shade you desire. Always use a new toothpick each time you add color; you want to avoid getting icing into your jar of color to make it last longer. Blend the icing well with a spatula.

Consider the type of icing you are using when mixing color. Icing colors intensify or darken in buttercream icing about 1-2 hours after mixing. Royal icing requires more color than buttercream icing to achieve the same color intensity.

Always mix enough of any one icing color for your entire cake. For example, if you are going to decorate a cake with pink flowers and borders, color enough icing for both. It is difficult to duplicate an exact shade of any color, an important fact if you want to keep color consistent on the cake.

Bag Striping Effects

You can easily pipe two-tone decorations just by adding a different color inside the bag before you put in your tinted icing. This way, you can pipe flowers with natural light and dark tones or a rainbow-colored clown suit to brighten up the party.

brush striping

Produces more intense multiple colors because it is done with straight icing color brushed into the bag. Apply one or more stripes of icing color with a decorating brush, then fill the bag with white or pastel-colored icing. As the icing is squeezed past the color, decorations will come out striped.

spatula striping

Produces two-tone and realistic pastel tones in flowers and figure piping. It is done with pastel-colored icing, striped inside the decorating bag with a spatula. After striping, fill the bag with white icing or another shade of the same color as the striping. Squeeze out decorations with soft contrasts.

And now onto the decorating:

Decorating Tips:


 Cupcake decorating tips

Basic 1M Swirl:



step 1

Hold tip 1M approximately ½ in. above cupcake top at a 90° angle to cupcake surface. Squeeze out icing to form a star.

step 2

Without releasing pressure, raise tip slightly as you drop a line of icing around the star in a tight, complete rotation.

step 3

After completing the first rotation, move tip toward center and up and around to make a second spiral around the inside edge of the first spiral.

step 4

Release pressure to end spiral at center of cupcake.


Vintage Rose Tutorial:

Find our Cupcake recipe here: Basic Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

And the frosting here: Cupcake Frosting

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