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How to Frost the Perfect Cupcakes

Learn how to frost cupcakes with this simple step-by-step tutorial. You’ll become a piping pro in no time with these easy cupcake frosting tips!

Piping frosting on cupcakes and cakes may seem intimidating, but it’s not at all! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll end up with amazing desserts that look like they came from a local bakery. These tips and tricks below are an easy guide for decorating cupcakes for beginners.

piping classic buttercream on a chocolate cupcake

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Last week I shared one of my favorite buttercream frosting and chocolate cupcake recipes and got quite a few e-mails and questions on what tips I used and how I frosted the cupcakes. So today I thought I would show you a quick and easy way to frost cupcakes using my favorite 1M tip.

I learned this trick at a cake decorating class I took a few years ago and never realized just how easy it was. You just need a few simple tools to get started, then you’ll be frosting pretty cupcakes in no time!

piping frosting onto a chocolate cupcake

Supplies needed

whisk attachment for electric mixer with buttercream on top

Decorating cupcakes for beginners

To get started, you’ll need to choose which frosting and cupcake recipe you want to use. Below are a few delicious recipes you can practice with. :) My all-time favorite combination is my chocolate cupcake recipe with classic buttercream frosting.

Frosting

Cupcakes

step by step collage showing how to frost cupcakes How to frost cupcakes

Scroll down for the printable tutorial.

  1. Cut off the tip of the bag and place the frosting tip and the base of the coupler inside. Screw on the top of the coupler on the outside of the bag.
  2. Fill the bag with frosting about half way and place a rubberband on top to hold the bag in place.
  3. Hold the tip above the middle of the cupcake and squeeze out the icing to form a star.
  4. Raise tip slightly and form a tight circle around the star.
  5. After completing the first circle, move the tip back toward the center and go around to make a second circle around the inside edge of the first circle.
  6. Slowly pull the tip away at the center of the cupcake.

perfectly frosted chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting

More helpful tips

  • Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely! You don’t want your frosting to melt when piping it on top.
  • If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a large freezer bag. Simply cut the corner off one of the ends and then add your tip/coupler.
  • I also like to use a 2A frosting tip. It’s easy to pipe with and holds a smooth shape with no ridges (see picture below).
  • Before piping, make sure your frosting is thick enough to hold a point.
  • If piping with cream cheese frosting, add 1-2 extra cups of powdered sugar so that it will hold it’s shape. Also, make sure not to soften the butter or cream cheese too much.
  • If adding fruit to your buttercream, use freeze dried fruit instead of fresh (it stiffens up better). Simply pulse the freeze dried fruit in a blender before adding to your frosting.

piping a chocolate cupcake with a piping tip

best chocolate cupcake recipe

How to Frost Cupcakes

5 from 3 votes
Learn how to frost cupcakes with this simple step-by-step tutorial. You'll become a piping pro in no time with these easy cupcake frosting tips! 
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins

Instructions

  • Cut off the tip of the bag and place the frosting tip and the base of the coupler inside. Screw on the top of the coupler on the outside of the bag.
  • Fill the bag with frosting about half way and place a rubberband on top to hold the bag in place.
  • Hold the tip above the middle of the cupcake and squeeze out the icing to form a star.
  • Raise tip slightly and form a tight circle around the star.
  • After completing the first circle, move the tip back toward the center and go around to make a second circle around the inside edge of the first circle.
  • Slowly pull the tip away at the center of the cupcake.

Notes

  • Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely! You don't want your frosting to melt when piping it on top. 
  • If you don't have a piping bag, you can use a large freezer bag. Simply cut the corner off one of the ends and then add your tip/coupler. 
  • I also like to use a 2A frosting tip. It's easy to pipe with and holds a smooth shape with no ridges (see picture below).
  • Before piping, make sure your frosting is thick enough to hold a point.
  • If piping with cream cheese frosting, add 1-2 extra cups of powdered sugar so that it will hold it's shape. Also, make sure not to soften the butter or cream cheese too much.
  • If adding fruit to your buttercream, use freeze dried fruit instead of fresh (it stiffens up better). Simply pulse the freeze dried fruit in a blender before adding to your frosting.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

chocolate cupcake with classic buttercream on a cupcake stand

There you have it… a simple and easy way to frost the perfect cupcakes! And… now I want cupcakes for breakfast. ;)

Have you tried this method? What’s your favorite way to frost cupcakes?

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