Maybe its because it just seemed like fun…or maybe its because my body’s going through withdrawals after all the Christmas holiday treats! But whatever the reason, last week I decided to break out the aprons and bake some cupcakes!
Now I’m not a baker and most of the baked items that leave my oven began in a box, but I do enjoy pretty things! =) And last year, I discovered the joys of cupcake decorating. For me, it’s relaxing… therapeutic even! AND you end up with a beautiful array of unique and EDIBLE creations!
When I first tackled cupcake decorating, I just bought one of those small kits by Wilton that has some disposable icing bags and 3 or 4 tips in them. Most grocery stores or craft stores carry them. If you find you enjoy doing this, you can add more tips to your collection over time!
Now, I mentioned that I usually bake from a box…true! BUT I do make the buttercream frosting. I like the flavor AND the consistency is great for piping. So if you’re interested, I included some recipes at the end of this post.
So once you have your icing, tips, bags, and food colorings, you’re pretty much set to do some basic (but beautiful =)) cupcake decorating! If you want to get real fancy you can add little extras like sprinkles or sugar pearls (super pretty!).
I’m not going to give any step by step instructions on decorating, but I will give you an idea of what I did for this batch of cupcakes…
#2 I did all the pink rows first, starting with the middle row. Then I went back to fill in the red.
#3 I started with the outside ring of pink stars and then worked inward.
#4 Yada, yada…started with the outside. Did both white rings, then went back to fill in the red.
Basically, just experiment and have fun with it! And remember…they don’t have to be perfect to be pretty! Happy decorating! =)
P.S. Thank you to my hubby’s co-workers for taking some of the cupcakes off our hands! You’re wonderful!
A FEW RANDOM TIPS:
1. When cutting the opening in the bag for your icing tip, cut SMALL at first. It’s very easy to cut too big a hole and then your bag’s ruined! (Trust me…personal experience on this one…more times than I’d like to admit.)
2. If you want a very concentrated color for your icing (i.e. a true red), you’ll want to use a special icing GEL rather than your basic food coloring.
3. Regarding the kiddos…my girls love making and coloring the frosting. I help them pipe because it can be hard for them to squeeze, or I put some in a bowl so they can use a spreader to decorate some of the cupcakes. Either way is messy, but still super fun! =)
Buttercream Frosting Recipes
FoodNetwork.com: Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (doesn’t use shortening…haven’t used this one yet, but the reviews look great!)
AllRecipes.com: Rick’s Special Buttercream (This is the recipe used for this set of cupcakes minus a couple ounces of the cream. I also used 1 cup shortening with 1 cup unsalted butter rather than 2 cups shortening.)