So, how do you create that pretty swirl of frosting on top of a cupcake? To get the best results, you need a piping bag and set of cool nozzles to create various styles. Of course, dolloping a blob of frosting on top of the cake and swirling it around with the back of a teaspoon or a small knife will work; but it won’t look as professional.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag, then twist the top and hold it with your writing hand. When ready to ice, squeeze the bag with your other hand.
For cupcakes, hold the bag vertically and pipe a ring of icing around the edge of the cupcake. Pipe a small spiral overlapping the ring, stop pressure when the bag is in the centre of the swirl, then push the bag down and draw up sharply to finish.
For rosettes, hold the bag in the same way, pipe a little dollop in one place, push the bag down and draw up sharply to finish.
If the peak is too high or wispy, you can dab your finger in water and press it down a little.
For writing icing, sieve icing sugar into a bowl and gradually beat or whisk in a few drops of water until you have a thick, smooth paste.
To write or draw lines, hold the bag at a 45 degree angle, a little away from the surface, squeeze the icing out with a constant pressure, and let the line of icing fall naturally into place as you guide it. Try not to pull the piping bag before the icing has met the surface, as you'll get an uneven thickness.
To make dots, hold the bag vertically with the nozzle close to the surface, squeeze a little icing out to make a dot the desired size, then to finish, stop squeezing, push down and then draw up sharply.
Tip: Don’t overfill the piping bag, or the frosting will spurt out all over the place. Plus the bag should always be squeezed from the top (never the middle!) to ensure that the frosting flows through nicely.
Buy your piping bags and nozzles here