Cake decoration basics – Lesson 3

Cupcake decoration

The third lesson was on decorating cupcakes with buttercream icing. If cupcake is the name of the game, I can play all day! It always brings a big smile as the kid inside me yearns for the ‘yum’ in the cups. If I have one last wish to make, I would definitely order a cupcake and savour every bit!

Well, when I baked some for the class, they did not rise over the top of the paper cups, which dampened my enthusiasm. However, they were light and fluffy and I was told to trim off the excess paper, if necessary, to carry on with the decoration.

A quick cupcake recipe

  • 1½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla and beat on medium for a minute and spoon them into the cups. Bake them for 15-18 minutes at 375° F.

1 cupcake making

In the class, before decorating our cupcakes we practiced some design techniques.

Drop flower – Using tip 2D, touch the surface and squeeze to make a flower, then pull away.


Swirled flower – Turn your hand 1/4 turn so the back of the hand is away from you and holding the icing bag with the same tip, lightly touch the surface. Squeeze the icing and bring your hand to normal position, then stop and lift away. This gives a swirled flower. Place a dot for the flower center.

1 swri1 swrill

Rosette – With tip 18 squeeze icing to form a star. Then raise tip slightly and pipe a line on top of the star in a tight circle. Pull tip away in the circular motion so the tail merges with the shape.

1 rosette

Shell – Use tip 21  squeeze above the surface and let the icing fan out. Slowly relax pressure and pull the bag towards you to form a point. To make a shell border start the second shell below the first leaving a small gap. The fanned end should cover the end of the first shell.

1 shell

Pompom flowers – Use tips 12, 16, and 18. With tip 12 create a flattened dot center. Make a cluster of pull out stars in the center with tip 16. Pipe a row of pull out stars at the bottom using tip 18 and then another row inside to complete the flower.

1 flower

Leaves – Use tip 352 to make leaves with green colour. With the pointed tip touching the surface, squeeze out icing to build the base, relax and pull away to form the end.

Move in and out as you squeeze to make a ruffled leaf.

Slowly raise vertically to build and end the leaf to create a stand up leaf.

1 lef

Shaggy mums – Use tip 233 which has many small holes to form shaggy petals. Pipe one circle of petals and another inside and fill the center with more shaggy petals. Most participants didn’t like the outcome. I thought it was cool though! It could be used to make grassy backgrounds, decorate Halloween cupcakes or to create Muppets from Sesame Street.

1 shaggy mum

Icing a cupcake – Fill an icing bag with medium consistency icing and with 1M tip squeeze the icing starting from the outer end and move around the edge to cover the entire cupcake and finish in the center.

1 cupcakesSome cupcakes I tried icing while participating in the class.


I will surly make more of them and invite a large crowd to enjoy. A cupcake shared with a friend is a bliss indeed!


About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
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6 Responses to Cake decoration basics – Lesson 3

  1. eclecticlamb says:

    I am enjoying reading this series! Such impressive decorations for your cupcakes!


  2. Balvinder says:

    It was fun learning, cupcake decorating. My daughter also learnt some of the steps when I would practice at home and she loved doing shaggy mum.


  3. afracooking says:

    Your decorations look amazing! I always find he idea of working with icing a little daunting! But your step for step instructions make them seem do-able….. This might be just enough to give me the confidence to try!


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