How to Get Started with Cupcake Decorating
If you are new to cupcake decorating, knowing where to begin can be a huge burden. I know when I began my journey, I looked at every piece of information I could find just try to understand what I would need start decorating cupcakes. I wasn't interested in creating crazy elaborate designs, I just wanted to learn how to make something simple and beautiful. To help you avoid the hassle I went through, here's a simple list of "must have" items and skills to help you get started.
Basic Cupcake Frostings, Fondant and Recipes:
Butter Cream Frosting
Whether it's grandma's recipe, one that your mother used or a personal favorite, you will need an excellent vanilla cupcake frosting
recipe to use for your cupcake decorating ideas.
Fondant is the heavier cousin of gumpaste and is used for decorations as well as covering cakes. You'll see it used for many of the decorations on this site. For ease of execution, you may want to use the store bought variety. However, if you are concerned about taste or flavor, you will need a very reliable fondant recipe in your decorator tool kit.
Red velvet, black bottom, strawberry — these are great recipes to have, but the cupcake flavor you will probably use the most is your vanilla cupcake recipe. The second most popular flavor you'll use is your chocolate cupcake recipe. If you don't have your own recipe, you can check out the recipes on this site or start with a favorite cake mix brand.
Basic Skills You Need:
Piping Frosting into Swirls
You will need to get comfortable icing cupcakes in a swirl. It's actually much easier at first than icing with a spatula. And in the beginning, you want to find as many opportunities for success as possible. It requires keeping even pressure on the icing bag and moving the icing around in a swirl on top of the cupcake. That's it!
Rolling and Cutting
Many of the cupcake decorations you see on this site and on other sites use fondant. Luckily, it's a very easy material to work with since many of the applications just involve rolling and cutting. If you've made rolled sugar cookies before, you can work with fondant. It's the same procedure, rolling the dough out onto a flat surface and cutting with metal shapes or cut-outs.
Basic Tools You Need:
Disposible bags are fine, but you can also purchase the more durable type. In a pinch, you can also use zip lock bags (the ones made for the freezer are the best ones to use).
Wilton 1M Star Tube
An amazingly versatile tool, you'll be using the 1M Star Tip over and over again. Definitely worth the purchase price!
Small Flat Spatula
Even though most of the time your cupcake decorating will require frosting your cupcakes with an icing bag and tip, having a good quality flat spatula is an essential tool. You'd be surprised how many occasions arise when you need to apply icing the old fashioned way.
Recommended Product to Get Started Quick:
Wilton's 12-piece Cupcake Decorating Set
In all honesty, you've got more tubes in this kit than you will probably use, but it's great for getting you up and running fast. The set comes with icing bags and the Wilton 1M star tip which has become one of our indispensible tools. While you probably won't make filled cupcakes all the time, rest assured you can try it anytime you like since this kit comes with a long-tipped #230 bismark tube. You'll also find the Wilton #22 star tip and #12 round tip in this kit. These two come in handy for icing mini-cupcakes, but work well for piping borders on your regular sized cupcakes. You'll also find some disposible icing bags included which is a nice bonus! We use this kit over and over again for the cupcakes you see on this site.
What's Missing from the "Kit": Icing Coupler. Icing bags can be used without a coupler. You will need to trim the disposable bags with a pair of scissors to allow the tube to fit through the opening at the end.
Suggested Item to Purchase along with this "Kit": Extra Disposible Bags. You definitely have enough in the kit to start you off with a project or two and you can certainly reuse your bags (even if they are "disposible"). But you don't want to be caught short in the middle of your cupcake project if you run out.
Quick-Start Cupcake Decorating Items:
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