There a so many options to choose from when making frosting for either your cakes, cupcakes, pastries or cookies. Matching the right frosting with the right type of dessert is important.  It can take your dessert from good to extraordinary!! The million dollar question is… which one to use. 

I know piping and decorating cupcakes used to terrify me.  I just looked at the piping bag and the tip and froze the first time I tried doing it.  I made a colossal mess as well.  However, I soon realized the decorating cupcakes with piping tips is not that hard at all! 

Even if you are brand new to decorating cupcakes, This article will show you a couple of basic piping tips/nozzles and how their designs look frosted on a cupcake.

You will need a few supplies to get started: 

1) Good thick buttercream frosting.  

2) Decorator piping tips  

3) Piping bags are a must! Reusable or disposable - your choice, because either will work.

There are 4 basic tips you would use on cup cakes. You can use a round tip, star tip, French tip, or a closed star tip.   The more “closed” your star, the more definition the lines of your swirls will become.  Stick with Large or Jumbo sized tips for cupcake decorations.  The smaller tips do not work well.

Once your bag is fitted with a tip, you’ll need to fill it up with frosting.  I know your saying, "That's the easy part!"  but this step can easily turn into one that involves cursing and the throwing of icing.  Don’t just hold the bag open and try to dump frosting in there.  For easy filling, roll the bag down as far as you possibly can.  Either hold it in your hand or place the tip of the bag in a tall drinking glass with the bag hanging over the sides.  Spoon your frosting into the bag directly into the tip then gently press down before you add the next scoop of frosting.  You want to lightly pack the frosting in the bag to get rid of air bubbles.  Slowly bring the edges of the bag up as needed to hold the frosting in.  When it’s filled with enough frosting, twist the top of the bag closed. Do not over fill, it makes dispensing the frosting more difficult.

Now, to get whats called the "ice cream cone" effect you would use a pastry bag fitted with your preferred tip. Begin on the outer ring and swirl the tip around the cupcake to the edges working you way to the center and up. Then release as you pull up to form a peak and soft top. Stop when you feel the peak is high enough.

Since there are different sizes and different shapes of tips to use,  even by using the same technique you can have a multitude of different designs. You have the option to frost a classic swirl, like I’ve mentioned above or just start in the center of the cupcake and as you go straight up, with even pressure, which will leave a cute peak at the top.

Now go get practicing!!