How to Frost Beautiful Cupcakes




Introduction: How to Frost Beautiful Cupcakes

By: Emily Long, Ella Melker, and Christine Kraus

Looking to decorate a festive dessert? Our instructions will help you use piping tips to frost darling winter cupcakes. We make it simple, with lots of pictures and a video, so anyone can create these professional-looking cupcakes.

This recipe yields 12 decorated cupcakes. Give yourself 30-45 minutes to complete the recipe.

Caution: This frosting recipe calls for food dye coloring which may cause food intolerance or allergic reactions. Skip Dye Your Frosting step and use plain frosting to avoid unwanted reactions.

  • 12 cupcakes of any flavor (you can buy pre-made ones, use a mix, or bake them from scratch)
  • White frosting (we recommend a 16 oz Betty Crocker cream cheese or butter cream frosting)
  • Large piping tips (Go to step 3 for recommended tips)
  • 1 Piping bag
  • Blue food coloring
  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Stand mixer or hand mixer (or you can use a spatula)
  • Kitchen Utensils: rubber spatulas, spoons, and measuring cups
  • Various decorating candies: chocolates, gumdrops, sprinkles, or other delicious toppings

Step 1: Get Ready!

Gather up your cupcakes and make sure they are completely cool. If you have purchased pre-made cupcakes, you can skip this step.

Step 2: Dye Your Frosting

If you want to be more creative and add some contrast to the colors of your frosting, use only half of the can of your frosting for this step. Keep the second half as it is to make white frosting.

  1. Using the rubber spatula, scoop your frosting into the bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
  2. Add about ten drops of your blue food coloring.
  3. To make the color of your frosting more vibrant, add more food coloring ten drops at a time.
  4. Set the mixer on a low speed.
  5. You can also mix with a rubber spatula.
  6. Lick your spatula clean (this is optional, of course!)

Step 3: Piping Tip Options

There are many frosting options. Each tip will create a different look, which we show you below. It is best to use a large tip instead of a small one (unless you want intricate details).

Round Tip: This tip is good for making a smooth swirl, or a nice smooth dollop. We recommend using a Wilton No. 12 Round Tip (see image 1).

Open Star Tip: This tip will make a ruffled swirl, adding a bit of texture to your frosting. We recommend a Wilton No. 21 Open Star Trip (see image 2).

French Tip: This tip will be similar to what the round tip will look like, but it has a bit more texture to it. We recommend a Wilton No. 32 French Tip (see image 3).

Step 4: Get Your Piping Bag Ready

  1. Take one piping bag.
  2. Place a piping tip of your choice on the bottom of the bag.
  3. Cut the tip off the piping bag.When cutting the tip of the bag, make sure only about 1/3 of the piping tip is sticking outside of the bag.
  4. Scoop the frosting from the mixer bowl.
  5. Place the frosting onto the bottom of the bag. Make sure the frosting is resting on the bottom. Flatten in down towards the tip to avoid air bubbles.

Step 5: Learn How to Frost Cupcakes (Video)

Watch this video to see how to create beautiful swirls, ruffles, dollops, and flowers or scroll down to learn from the pictures and description.

Step 6: Frosting Designs - Swirl (Round, Open Star, French)

Basic swirl

  1. Choose a tip based on the look you want to achieve.Each of the tips can make a basic swirl.
  2. Create a straight line coming from the center of the cupcake to the outer edge. Start in the center and begin to squeeze the frosting out. Keep squeezing while moving the tip to the outside of the cupcake.
  3. Create many layers of interlocking circles. Draw a circle on the outside of the cupcake and begin to swirl inwards. Lift up with each circle until you reach the center to add height to the frosting. You can also overlap your circles slightly to add some depth to the frosting.

Step 7: Frosting Designs - Ruffle (French Tip)


  1. Use the French Tip.
  2. Squeeze into the center of the cupcake. Lift up slowly but don’t move your bag around. Keep it in the center to create a lovely ruffled mound.

Step 8: Frosting Designs - Dollop (Round Tip)


  1. Use the Round Tip.
  2. Squeeze into the center of the cupcake.
  3. Keep squeezing into the center of the cupcake to form a smooth mound. Lift up slowly but don’t move your bag around.

Step 9: Frosting Designs - Flower (Open Star Tip)


  1. Use the Open Star Tip.
  2. Start in the center of the cupcake and squeeze a line to the outer edge of the cupcake.
  3. Add more of these lines until you cover the top of the cupcake completely.
  4. Place three or four more lines on top of the first layer of frosting.

Step 10: Decorate Your Cupcakes

It’s time to put the decorative candies on your cupcakes!
Lightly place chocolate snowflakes, gumdrops, or other candies on top of the frosting. You could also sprinkle loose toppings like graded chocolate, cookie crumbs, or colored sugar.

To make your cupcake look exactly like the pictures above, we used

  • Ghirardelli® White Melting Wafers, and
  • Cake Mate® Decorating Decors-Blue Crystals.

Step 11: You're Finished!

Take a look at these darling cupcakes you made! Don’t forget to share them with your friends and family!

Sweet Tooth Contest

Participated in the
Sweet Tooth Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Laser Challenge

      Laser Challenge
    • Paint Challenge

      Paint Challenge
    • Unusual Uses Contest

      Unusual Uses Contest


    Thanks. I was looking for a good instruction to do different icings, without needing too many tools.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm glad our instructions were helpful. I hope you had fun decorating your cupcakes:)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Please tell me you're entering this beautiful piece of work in the Sweet Tooth Contest!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    We just did it! Thanks for your suggestion and a nice comment. I wouldn't had thought of that.