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5 Cupcake Icing Techniques

Learn how to ice a cupcake from professional pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse in this Howcast cake decorating video.


Hi, I'm Katie, and today I'm going to show you some simple icing techniques for cupcakes. I have a few types of frosting here. I have just a white butter cream, a yellow butter cream, and a purple butter cream. You can use any type you like whether it's chocolate, store bought, homemade or whipped cream, but the technique is the same.

So what I'm starting with is, you can see I'm using a disposable piping bag, and I have a tip. In this one I have a large star tip. Here I have no tip at all, and I'll show you why, and here I have just a small round. With each tip we're going to get a very different result.

So to start out I'm just going to trim the end off my purple frosting. When you look at these cupcakes you can see when I put them in the oven the batter only came up about three quarters of the way, so we get that really nice dome shape that we're looking for, so now when I go to ice them I'm kind of at the perfect level just to finish them off.

But so just this one kind of simple way, you can just push your frosting and lift up, and you get a really adorable little kiss. I think that's my favorite, actually. Really cute thing to do, I'll do one more. You just push, push, push, push, push. You'll notice I'm not swirling it around. I'm just lifting up, and I get a really beautiful spike.

Now for something like a small round tip I have my yellow frosting. You could either start in the middle, or I even start from the outside, and I'm just going to kind of go in a circular motion and just make a really fun, almost like a bee hive. Really simple, again, if you want to start in the middle you could do that as well. Just work your way around, and you could even build it a little higher this way. Really cute.

Okay. So that's a few techniques. Now I'm moving into my star tip. This is a really large star tip. You can use one that's a little bit smaller, but to make something called a rosette I just start in the middle and swirl around, and then lift off and you have a really cute little swirl. I want to do just a regular star. I'll just same way, I'll just push, push, push, push, push, lift up. Really cute.Now if you want to get a little more fun, a fun thing you can do if you're into kind of spikes and things like that.

Watch your sleeve when you're decorating, so you can just kind of spike all over, and you can see how easy that is. Just make sure your frosting is nice and cold. As you can see mine is sort of starting to drip just slightly. If you feel like that's happening either pop these in the fridge right away so it'll start to set up, or pop your bag in the fridge so the icing will firm up just slightly and you'll be able to work with it a little easier.

To finish these off take candies, take anything you like. Just sort of give them a little "zhouzh" of love here, and they're ready to go, some fun little decorations. Any candy you like is really fun. A few more sprinkles there, and that's it. Some really easy and beautiful cupcake designs.

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