April 23, 2014
{Cupcake Decorating} Basic Icing/Frosting Piping Techniques: How to frost cupcakes with piping tips

{Cupcake Decorating} Basic Icing/Frosting Piping Techniques: How to frost cupcakes with piping tips

I am sure everyone loves it:
Standing in front of a cupcake shop and almost pressing your nose flat against the window because all you see are these beautiful frosted cupcakes and you ask yourself:
Can I do that too? Of course you can!

All you need is a piping bag, frosting and great piping tips of your choice and a little practice.

Decorating cupcakes with piping tips is not that hard at all!

If you are completely new to decorating cupcakes, I will show you a couple of must have piping tips/nozzles and how their designs look frosted on a cupcake.
I personally love large decorating tips, definitely prefer them over smaller ones.

Remember: You can never ever have too many decorating tips!

What I usually recommend is to first practice piping on a board first, to get the hang of it.

This is a great basic but oh so wonderful piping tip: A Large Round Decorating Tip.

Use a pastry bag, fitted with a large round tip to pipe, beginning in the center, swirl the tip and release as you pull up to form a peak and soft top. It depends on what you prefer on “how high” you want to pipe.

The star tip is used very often as well.

Starting in the center, swirl around with even pressure and leave a cute peaky top at the top again.
This decorating tip is awesome to create an “ice cream” look.

My absolute favourite of them all cannot be missed here!

I got this tip from a special friend (wink, wink sweetie) and I fell in love with it right when I first used it. It’s an Ateco tip (no. 848) which creates wonderful swirls!

As you can see in the photo:
Depends on how much frosting you pipe and with how much pressure: It changes the look from very bold and thick, to a rather “slimmer” look. Just pipe as you like it best.
I usually pipe huge swirls (because I am in LOVE with huge swirls) when I use the cupcakes as home decor. Yes, you heard it. I do not eat my cuppies all the time, a lot of them I place all around the house :-)
Imagine you decorate your house for Easter. All these lovely pastel color shades…
What’s better than adding cupcakes to the scene? Absolutely stunning and beautiful. If you use a lot of icing sugar in the frosting, it hardens really well and you can keep the cupcake for months!
It gets as hard as a stone, I tell you. But the look, won’t change.

You can use a different piping technique with Ateco’s 848 tip and create this cute design, same tip, different look:

Say hello to the Wilton Decorating Drop Flower Tip (1F)

It is pretty cute! When you frost it like I did, it leaves a little hole on the very top.
I would suggest to place a cute candy heart etc. on top to hide the hole.

Now here comes a classic!
Star tip (Wilton 1M).
You can make a classic swirl or create a beautiful rose on top of your cupcake. I absolutely love those, they look so real and they are so easy to make:

Start in the center and slowly, but with even pressure, move your decorating tip in a circular pattern around your center.

I adore Wilton’s 6B Star Tip.

Again, you have the option to frost a classic swirl, like I’ve mentioned above (Ateco tip 848) – absolutely cute!
Or just pipe in the center of the cupcake and as you go up, with even pressure, leave a cute peak at the top.
Just like with the large round tip I introduced at the beginning.

You will create such swirls etc. if your frosting has the right consistency. Make sure it does not become too soft and runny.
If your frosting is too runny and soft, just add in a little bit more icing sugar and mix again. If it ends up being way too thick, you can add a little milk to it.

Here’s a little overview for you guys, feel free to save it.

What are your personal favourite piping tips?
Do you have a certain technique that you absolutely love?
Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comment section.

Now let’s get it started!
Pipe it, ladies and gents!

Many blessings,

About niner bakes

Hi I'm niner - I blog about decorated cake pops, cupcakes, other yummy treats and about my passion of all things crafty/diy (printables etc.). Thanks for stopping by! Blessings, niner


  1. Niner, you are a decorating genius, thank you for sharing your insights. Now I really have to get the jumbo tips :) Big Hugs!

  2. This is AWESOME Niner! I’ve already pinned it and will be coming back here for ideas when I frost my cupcakes. xoxo

  3. Where do you purchase your larger cupcake tips…the Aetco, etc.? You do beautiful work.

  4. Such a great ideas..thank you for sharing niner!

  5. Liebe Niner,
    genau so etwas habe ich scho lange im web gesucht! Und bei der Präsentation der verschiedenen Spritztüllen hast du dich einmal mehr selbst übertroffen. Danke für diesen Post und die wunderschönen Photos!
    Lieben Gruß


    • Hi there Sabrina,
      ich hab mich sehr über deinen Besuch und den Kommentar deinerseits gefreut, da geht mir das Herz auf, wenn jemand zu schätzen weiß was man so tut :)
      Ganz lieben Gruß an Dich und happy belated Easter =)

  6. This blog is awesome!! Very helpful!! Great job! :)

  7. Hi, just beginning with cupcakes, now I know what tips to start with. Thanks so much for the information. Need ideas for decorating cupcakes for a retirement party. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Peggy, thanks for your feedback, so awesome I could help you!
      What about beach cupcakes? Retirement means = relaxation
      Blue frosting for the water, cookie crumbs for the sand/beach, and store bought party umbrellas can be sticked in as well. If you want, you can also buy round candy that looks like a beachball?
      I am sure your cuppies will look cute. Have a good weekend!

  8. Wahnsinn so toll. Ich verehre dich.:-):-) Hut ab klasse Arbeit. Wo bestellst du die hell weissen Melts? LG Sandra

  9. Love your cup cakes I am doing a cupcake wedding cake and want the top to look like a rose to which I will attach w sweet butterfly. What tip do you suggest and any nips on the technic would be helpful. Tank so much. Ann

  10. what frosting recipe did you use. The colors are great! thanks!

  11. Love your blog! I was wondering if you had a link the recipe you use to frost the cupcakes looks yummy :)

  12. Hallöchen. Erstmal muss ich groß loben. Sehr schöne Seite und danke, dass du mit uns so viele Infos teilst. Nicht jeder (Hobby-) Bäcker verrät seine Geheimnisse ;) . Sag mal, passen alle Tüllen auf eine normale Standartspritztüte? Welche bevorzugst du lieber? Die Einmal zu benutzen und wegschmeissen oder die auswaschbaren? Kannst du da etwas empfehlen? LG Sumama

  13. tkx for sharing us ur experience,

  14. Hi! i really love your blog :) they are really amazing. The pictures, the way you design it is very wonderful. I wonder what apps you use. Mind to share it with us? thank you :)

    • Hi Intan, thanks so much for your lovely comment. For all my photo editing I use Photoshop, since day one, this is my number one tool =)
      Have a great Thursday and thanks for stopping by!

  15. Love this tutorial! I was curious how you get the colors (pink and orange) to swirl together in such a beautiful way?

  16. Hallo Niner,

    ich liebe deinen Blog und hole mir hier immer wieder Tipps und Anregungen. Eine Frage hätte ich aber. Wie kriegst du die Muffins für die Cupcakes so flach? Meine haben immer einen Hügel nach dem backen. Anschneiden oder beim backen was drauf legen?

    Danke im voraus für deine Hilfe.

    Beste Grüße

    • Liebe Suzee, danke für deinen tollen Kommentar, das freut mich wirklich sehr!
      Was wichtig ist: Die Cupcake Formen nicht zu voll machen, und ggf. weniger Backpulver verwenden, dann bist du auf der richtigen Seite.
      Ich benutze meine Rezepte ganz normal und fülle die Förmchen eben nicht so voll, 3/4 oder sogar ein bischen weniger.
      Hoffe es klappt bei dir.
      Alles Liebe,

  17. I love this post, it’s so useful !! is the recipe for this frosting somewhere on this blog? I’ve been searching and searching for the perfect recipe and my cupcakes just wouldn’t look like these :-(

    Greetings from Chile!!

  18. Thanks for this. Love the layout and demonstration of different tips. I’ll be sharing this link on my blog! Great work!! x

  19. Thanks soooo soooo much for this….it is EXACTLY what I needed as I am a beginning baker/decorator and this saves me lots of time experimenting when you showed me what I needed to see. XOXOXOXOXO

  20. Hi. What’s the tip brand and number for the large round tip? Thank you.

  21. Hi, may I know what size of the cupcakes you used on the picture?

  22. Hi Niner, I am baking cupcakes for my hubby’s work party today. And wanted some ideas on different piping techniques, I am so glad I found your website. Thank you so for sharing your ideas on using different nozzles for different pattern. I will definitely be coming back for more ideas and tips in future.

  23. May I know what is the tip number for the rose frosting?

  24. Sorry, vielleicht wurde das ja schon gefragt. Du verwendeset also einfach die Tüllen mit den Einweg-Spritzbeutel (von Contacto hast du geschrieben) brauche ich da auch einen Adapter oder so was dazu? Kann ich auch die handelsüblichen Einwegspritzbeutel verwenden, oder gehen die Wilton Tüllen nur mit den Contacto Beutel?
    Danke im voraus,

  25. Hi ninner am so in love with ur site its so beautifully coulored. I love the outlined u make on the different types of nozzles. Thanks for doing the tutorial. Love love it.

  26. amazing!! so helpful! Plis I looove the colots in herr! Great pictures too! Totally saving this! Thank you God bless you! :)

  27. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas!!! :) I love everything in your blogs! You’re works are inspirations to me and I know to others as well. Keep it up! God bless. :)

  28. Wahnsinn!!!’ Ich stand im Laden und wusste nicht welche Tülle kaufen… Undsa bist Du mir eingefallen – mit dem BESTEN BACK-BLOG den es gibt… Mit so viel liebe gemacht ….. Gratuliere! Es ist der hammer!!!

    Liebe Grûsse aus der Schweiz

  29. This is brilliant, keep posting (:

  30. I got curious when you said that the closed star tip (Ateco 848) is your favourite piping tip. So i got myself one and i could hardly believe how easy it is to create gorgeous, professional-looking swirls with it. Thank you Niner and more power to your highly-informative blog. Gott segne dich.

    • Hi there Ronald,
      this is sweet, thank you so much for your lovely feedback. I think so too, as long as your frosting is not that thin, you can create the most beautiful swirls in no time :)
      Glad you like the piping tip.
      Many blessings to you as well, Ronald.
      niner =)

  31. I love the big round one. I want a piping bag so bad!

  32. Thanks!!!!, now I have an wide idea how can i decorate my cup cakes!!

  33. Hi there,
    May I know what the size of the cupcakes yu are using, are they regular or mini size? Thanks!

  34. Danke für die Klasse Anleitung. Ich bin noch ein Neuling, was die Tüllen-Bedienung betrifft, habe aber anscheinend durch einen Set-Kauf schon ein recht gutes Repertoire an Tüllen zuhause. Am Freitag mache ich Christmas Cupcakes, da probier ich das gleich mal aus. ;)


  35. your ideas are awesome you’ve taught my 16 year old daughter Nafissa alot.She says she loves you and thanx 4 sharing your skills

  36. Hi Niner!
    This is my first time on your website and I love it! I am a very young baker and recently got a simple Betty Crocker piping kit that I am enjoying experimenting with, and I was looking here to see if I can get more out of it. I love, love, LOVE the look of the larger tips and I hope to get some soon. For the rose look do you simply just start from the center and slowly work your way out? I will continue searching and using your website, thanks!

  37. Liebe Niner,

    durch Zufall bin ich auf Deine Seite gestoßen und bin total begeistert. Deinen Bericht über die Spritztüllen fand ich klasse und habe mir sofort die 1M von Wilton gekauft und ausprobiert. Für den ersten Versuch fand ich sie schon richtig klasse. Jetzt habe ich mich jedoch auch in die Wilton 1F verliebt. Leider bekomme ich die hier nirgends. Hast Du evtl. einen Tipp für mich, wie und wo ich an diese Spritztülle rankommen könnte?
    Liebe Grüße. Silvia

    • Hi Silvia, ganz lieben Dank, ich freue mich, dass es dir hier gut gefällt :)
      Ich kann dir nicht mehr sagen, wo ich die Tülle her habe, ich bestelle auch viel in den USA und England, dort gibt es sie sofort.
      Schau mal hier, hier und hier.
      Hoffe es lässt sich was finden :)
      Alles Liebe und geniess deinen Tag,

  38. This is so cool I like the one thtmakes your icing look like a rose what a epic idea
    I <3 you!

  39. What is the full tip number of your Ateco Large Star tip? The #9 one?

  40. nyc, i need updates on classes pls

  41. Hallo habe gestern einen film bei you tube gesehen wie die spritztechnik geht zum cup cakes dekorieren kann mir da jemand helfen ich finde es nicht mehr mfg geli

  42. Hallo liebe Niner,
    Ich habe mich gefragt wie lange die cupcakes als home Decor halten ?
    Ich glaube nicht für immer oder ?!

  43. Hi there!
    LOVE the blog so much great info! just a quick question the Large round tip and the Large star what tips are they Ateco or Wilton?

  44. Hi! Ich bin gestern erst auf deine Seite gestoßen bin so dermaßen begeistert! Die vielen Tipps und Tricks inspirieren mich und helfen sehr weiter, ich begebe mich am Wochenende sofort wieder ans backen.
    Bisher habe ich das amateurhaft gemacht für Freunde und Verwandte, und habe kaum Erfahrung mit Cake Pops.
    Es wäre ganz ganz toll, wenn du einen Beitrag dazu machst, was man so als Grundausstattung braucht, quasi ein Starter-Kit. Ähnlich wie diese grandiose Beschreibung der Tüllen (super, dass du gleich auf Amazon verwiesen hast!)
    Denn bevor ich jetzt großartig herum experimentiere und an Werkzeug aus schlechter Qualität gerate, würde ich direkt die Hilfsmittel nutzen, die du auch benutzt. Dabei kann ich mir dann wenigstens sicher sein, dass die etwas taugen.
    Vielen Dank für deinen Blog! Weiter so!

    Liebe Grüße

  45. Can I pls suggest the amount I buttercream frosting I would need to frost about 125 mini cupcakes, just plain covering using an angled knife ?
    Also what consistency and how soon can I make these. Need it for my party s table centerpieces.
    Thanks in advance.

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