Frost this…..cupcake. Cool inspirational frosting ideas that are a simple enough way to breakup mundane vanilla (and chocolate) cupcake displays.
As many of you know I’ve been selling a plethora of cupcakes at our local farmers market. Presentation is always key, so I’ve been trying to perfect my swirl, of which I finally think I got down thanks to Georgetown Cupcakes! What do you think?
But the real fun came for me when I was looking for something special for Independence Day (Fourth of July). I searched around for ideas to really wow the crowd, and some things included pop rocks for a bang while others showcased lots of colors. What finally struck my fancy was this concept of tie-dyed cupcakes- lots of COLOR!
There were lots of ideas out there when it came to frosting for color. One was to use separate pastry bags, inserted into a large pastry bag. Below you’ll see how this first concept of two-toned frosting was achieved.
(NOTE: Excuse the grainy frosting below- using liquid food coloring is NOT the way to go. Gel food coloring is my go to recommendation as it helps from separation of your icing which occurs with liquid food coloring- as seen in the grainy-ness of the teal and hot pink cupcakes below. But hopefully this is a showcase that everyone has to learn from your mistakes and it’s better I share mine with you so you don’t make the same ones!)
Two-toned frosting and piping in this way keeps the colors of your frosting very clearly defined. You could ultimately do this with more colors.
I started with two 12″ pastry bags. I snipped about an 1 1/2″ off of the tips. From there I filled each bag with about a 3/4 of a cup of frosting and flattened the bags without mashing them too much. Overfilling these bags will be detrimental once you start piping and make a rather large mess.
I started by preparing a 16″ piping bag, by snipping about two inches off the bottom and inserting a large piping tip. From there, the two flattened bags were then inserted into the larger bag.
The “end” piping bag ended up keeping the colors very much separated.
This process is time consuming because if you’re making more than six cupcakes, you’ll have to refill the bags, clean out the tip of the large bag, and start over. The real win comes when you do a second round of cupcakes- they’ll look relatively the same as the first round. But not a bad technique to have in your arsenal!
The next process I tried was a bit more rogue if you will and provided greater variety in the end. It was more similar to the tie-dyed cupcakes as done by Mel’s Kitchen, but with a lot more variations in each individual cupcake. You can read Mel’s post on how she did hers, it’s actually pretty simple. For “my technique” I went with the semi-easy and lazy-man’s approach. But look how pretty!
To do this, you started with any size pastry bag fitted with a large tip. I tuck the bag into the tip and then place it over a large cup for easy filing and extra stability when it comes to more colors of frosting.
The next step is taking your various colors and lining them on the sides of the cup with a smaller spatula.
From there I added my base color, which was white in this case. After my first round I realized less is more in terms of my red and blue, I almost had too much of these and not enough white. The beauty of working with what you end up with is the opportunity to learn for next time. Here’s the completed bag once I removed all the excess air and twisted down the top of the bag to compact the frosting.
Hopefully this blog post provided you with some fun ways to incorporate color into your next batch of cupcakes. Simply start with any icing and add in some gel food coloring depending on your color(s) desired. From there pick the concept you want to go with and have fun! Make sure to share 🙂