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How to ice cupcakes

Learn how to decorate your cupcakes with our easy step-by-step cupcake icing videos...
(345 ratings)

Watch how to decorate and ice cupcakes with this simple guide. From buttercream swirls to professional piping, add these icing techniques to your cake decorating skills.

Whether you want a simple swirl, an ice cream-style finish or even a fancy iced rose, follow our simple video to make your cakes look professional.

Our step-by-step video guides will make piping and decorating your cupcakes so much easier. Once you've mastered the basic piping technique, the plain swirl with a plain piping tip, you can move onto other techniques and piping nozzles too.

Piping a plain swirl with a plain piping tip


  1. Twist the icing bag and grip between your thumb and index finger. Place the other hand at the bottom of the bag and use this to guide the tip.
  2. Applying pressure with your hand at the top of the bag, start at the outside edge piping round the edge of the paper in a spiral towards the centre, pushing the tip into the icing as you pipe.
  3. When you reach the top, pull up quickly to finish the swirl.
  4. Decorate with sprinkles or sugar flowers.


Ruffle icing using a flower tip


  1. Twist the icing bag and grip between your thumb and index finger and place the other hand at the bottom of the bag and use this to guide the tip.
  2. Begin piping in the centre of the cupcakes. Lift upwards slowly so the ruffles fall on top of each other then gently pull away.
  3. Decorate with sprinkles or sugar flowers.


Piping an ice cream type swirl scalloped piping tip


  1. Twist the icing bag and grip between your thumb and index finger. Place the other hand at the bottom of the bag and use this to guide the tip.
  2. Applying pressure with your hand at the top of the bag, pipe a star shape in the centre of the cupcake.
  3. Now, pipe round the star keeping an even pressure as you squeeze. Keep piping in a spiral until the star is completely covered. When you reach the end push down slightly and pull up quickly to finish.
  4. Decorate with sprinkles or sugar flowers.


Other piping techniques to try



Bakery-style swirl using a palette knife

  1. Beat the icing until you have a soft spreadable consistency.
  2. Put a blob in the centre of your cake and pat down to get a nice round shape and so the icing reaches the edge of the cake.
  3. Push the pallet knife into the icing on the top and turn the cake to create a crater. Then turn the cake in the opposite direction and flick up.
  4. Decorate with sprinkles or sugar flowers.


Cupcake roses using a flower tip

  1. Twist the icing bag and grip between your thumb and index finger. Place the other hand at the bottom of the bag and use this to guide the tip.
  2. Starting in the middle of the cake let the icing fall onto the cake. Then pipe over this icing in a spiral action, over piping what you already piped by about a millimetre or two. When you reach the end of your swirl and
    you have covered the cake release and gently pull.
  3. Sometimes the join is quite neat, however if it isn't you can use a sugar flower or leaf to cover it.

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