Have you ever wondered how bakeries make those perfect pretty swirls on top their cupcakes? Or how the swirls look so unique and different from each other? Well the test kitchen has baked up a big batch of cupcakes and set out to find our favorite swirls. See our picks for our favorite pastry tips below!
Here’s how the swirl looks when using the open star tip:
We found that the large open star tip makes the classic cupcake swirl. It almost looks like the top to an ice cream cone! If you’re feeling adventurous, the smaller open star tips can be used to create delicate star and shell borders on cakes and confections.
Here’s our swirl effect when using the open round tip:
This is a great tip to use for a smooth and elegant swirl. We also use an open round tip for border dots and decorations.
Now for a fun swirl! The large flower drop tip:
This fun tip makes a flowery and whimsical swirl on top of a cupcake, almost like a flower petal. The smaller tips are used to make different flowers borders and intricate blooms on cakes.
We love the effect that the closed star tip makes on the swirls:
This tip has more tins than the open star tip, and the tins arch in towards the center. It creates a more sophisticated swirl with deeper and exaggerated grooves and ridges. The smaller tips can be used for intricate rosette borders.
Now that you know which pastry tips to use, here are some more tips on making that perfect swirl!
The “Classic Cupcake Swirl” starts with a nice steady even pressure. Pipe from 12 o’clock all the way around to 11 o’clock before you go up a tier and pipe again all the way around. After a few turns you’ll create a tiered tower of frosting. Pull up once you reach the top for that pretty finishing touch. The bigger the tip, the easier it is for a beginner.
You’ll need a trustworthy cupcake and frosting recipe. We adore our friend Cheryl’s old-fashioned cupcake recipe from Back in the Day bakery. We found that cream cheese icings, while easy and delicious, are not great for piping. We preferred a basic butter cream.
Be sure to completely cool your cupcakes before frosting. If not, the residual heat will melt the frosting.
Pick out some cute cupcake liners to bake the cupcakes in. They add that little something extra.
We found that we liked to use gel food coloring in the frosting for the most vibrant colors. Luckily they’re now available in most groceries stores.
You’ll need a piping bag. You can either buy them at your craft store or you can use a large plastic zip top bag if in a pinch by cutting a small hole in the corner of the bag.
To fill the pastry bag, place your tip inside the pastry bag and drop through to the opening and secure. Place the pastry bag inside a tall glass to hold it steady. Fold down the bag over the glass then spoon in your frosting. Unfold the bag and twist the top and press the frosting firmly down to the tip. This ensures that no air bubbles will be trapped and ruin your swirl.
Now get going and start frostings! Decorating is so much fun that eating the sweet treats is just icing on the cupcakes.
So tell us, which swirl is your favorite?Read More From Baking Basics.
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Inspired by her early days of selling lunches as The Bag Lady, Paula Deen will host a Box Lunch to End Hunger, presented by The Bag Lady Foundation, Springer Mountain Farms, and Hoffman Media. This grab-and-go lunch event will be held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Tuesday, September 16 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. For a $15 donation at the door (no advanced tickets), guests will receive a box lunch prepared by Edgar’s Bakery featuring Springer Mountain Farms chicken and Golden Flake potato chips, and have the opportunity to meet Paula Deen. Grab these delicious boxed lunches and take them back to your office or share with a friend or neighbor. One hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, which serves 12 counties in our area. For the price of one lunch, 135 meals or 65 pounds of food can be distributed to the food insecure in our area.
“Since September is Hunger Action Month, the timing of this event couldn’t be more perfect,” says Brian Hart Hoffman, Chief Creative Officer at Hoffman Media. “Paula Deen’s dedication to helping those in need and positively impacting people’s lives every day makes this event ideal for getting our community involved in the fight to end hunger in Central Alabama.”
Each guest will be entered into a raffle to win front-row seats to the Paula Deen Live! show at the Alabama Theatre the same evening.
Sponsors for Paula Deen’s Box Lunch to End Hunger include Golden Flake and Edgar’s Bakery.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are located at 2612 Lane Park Road Birmingham, AL 35223.
Come see Paula’s live show at the Times Union Center for Performing Arts in Jacksonville, FL and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
Tickets available from Ticketmaster here!
Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.
Join Paula at DuBois Furniture in Waco, TX for a book signing and meet and greet from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.