Index of Cupcake Decorations
Cupcake Decorations vary widely from simple sprinkles to elaborately designed gum paste or sugar paste creations. If you're just getting started with cupcake decorating, it can be overwhelming to decide on the right decorations to use or make. For the experienced decorator, keeping some of the terms straight can also be a challenge. This page provides descriptions for some of the most common decorations you'll be using to decorate cupcakes.
Sugar and Sprinkle Cupcake Decorations
Just about everyone has used sprinkles to decorate cupcakes. You can easily find them in the local grocery store and they don't require any special skills to use. They only issue with sprinkles is the vast number and variety. Who can keep all the terminology straight? We've put together a small index of the most popular cupcake sprinkles to help you.
Colored sugar is one of the most common cupcake sprinkles you will find. They come in a variety of colors and sugar grain sizes. Some frugal home cupcake decorators will color granulated sugar to make their own colored sugar. However, the commercially available decorating sugars are often courser in texture with some specially made to "sparkle."
Candy Jimmies are another contender for "most common cupcake sprinkles" you will find at the store. This elongated candy decoration also comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Manufacturers will sometimes mix jimmies with other punched candy designs to create a seasonal candy sprinkle.
Sugar Pearls are beautiful additions to any cupcake. The versatility is endless and the pearlized sugar pearls add a feeling of elegance and glamour to your cupcake creations. Pearls come in a variety of colors from white to black and can be used as a sprinkle, flower stamens or even eyes for your icing for fondant creations.
Edible Glitter adds a transparent sparkle to your decorations. Made from gelatin, these irregularly shaped sprinkles provide a dash of color. You can use them to punch up a monochromatic color scheme, add some sparkle to holiday cupcakes and use it to create "stenciled" designs.
Candy Cupcake Decorations
Molded Candy decorations are relatively simple to make, even for first-timers. You can pick up the candy and candy molds relatively inexpensively at a local craft store. You can also experiment with a bag of chocolate chips, too. After the melted candy has a chance to harden in the molds, it can be easily removed.
Piped Candy decorations take a little more patience, but are relatively easy to make. Melted candy chips are piped from a pastry bag into any design of your choice. Some artists pick abstract patterns, but you can also pipe deliberate shapes like leaves or even spider webs.
Frosting or Icing Decorations
Piped Frosting decorations are at the heart of cupcake decorating. Whether it's the pretty icing swirl that all other decorations rest on or the tiny dots or shells added for embellishment piped frosting is a key element in every cupcake design.
Frosting or Icing Flower decoration techniques are wide and varied. If you are looking for something simple try drop flowers which are piped with a specially made icing tube and just take a simple squeeze from an icing bag to make. If you are looking for a challenge, try the old-fashioned butter cream rose piped with a petal tip. Flowers can be made with butter cream or royal icing, depending on your needs.
Fondant Cupcake Decorations
Fondant Cut Out decorations are the simplest to make. If you've made sugar cookies before, than you have more than enough experience to handle fondant cut outs. The commercially available fondant is the easiest to handle and responds well to rolling and cutting without being too sticky. All you need to make cut-outs is fondant and fondant or cookie cutters. Fondant decorations work best if you leave them to harden, usually overnight.
Molded Fondant decorations are made with fondant molds or candy molds. The fondant is pressed into the shape and removed. Lettering or alphabets are common fondant molds, but you can find other patterns.
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