Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cupcake Decorating Part 1: tools

My recent, though really lifetime, obsession is cupcakes. There is nothing quite as versatile, adorable, and perfect as a cupcake. They make me so happy!

Icing trials

I've been posting quite a few pictures lately of my creations and have gotten a few questions on my techniques. I'll do 2 posts - one on tools and one on techniques.

I am by no means an expert, I have merely spent countless hours running cupcake trials in my kitchen. 

Tools that I use to acheive awesome looking icing:

1. Piping bags: These are available in many sizes. I use a 16" (large) reusable bag. You can just as easily use disposable bags (easier clean-up) or a smaller size. The 16" holds enough icing to top 24 cupcakes without having to refill the bag (annoying).

2.1 Piping tips: There are 2 general sizes of tips available - small and large. The smaller ones are good for doing small details like writing letters while the large ones are good for getting big, pillowy swirls on top of your cupcakes. I generally use three which can be referred to in layman's terms as 'round', 'open star', and 'french'. The classic cupcake swirl can be created with the open star (Wilton 1M) tip

2.2 Couplers: these are handy little plastic pieces that make it easy to change tips on your piping bag without having to stick your hand into all that icing. If you scroll about halfway down this post you'll see instructions on how to use one.

3. Colour: I use gel colour, not the liquid drops from the grocery store. Gel colour produces a much more vibrant colour and doesn't alter the consistency of your icing. A tiny bit goes a VERY long way. It can also produce a giant, stained, mess so use caution. They also come in a much wider variety of colours. I buy mine at Bulk Barn. There are starter kits with smaller jars that are a great way to test out a few colours. 

4. Palette knife/offset spatula: don't ever use a butter knife to ice cupcakes again. A palatte knife provides a straight edge and is easier to use compared to a knife. Much easier to ice cakes with, too and gives a nice smooth finish.

5. Sprinkles: They provide a nice, whimsical finish to an already cute cupcake. I use festive sprinkles for holidays, multi coloured, and coarse coloured sugar for a sparkly finish. They aren't necessary but they do provided an added cute-factor. Try sprinkling them on top or rolling your cupcake in sprinkles on a small plate. 

Stay tuned for a 'techniques' post, coming soon!

1 comment:

  1. Some excellent ideas here I don’t have a news blog as such but there are some great tips that I plan to use.
    paper core pipe