From simple to deluxe, here are five decorating techniques to make your cupcakes wow-worthy.

Swirly Cupcakes

  • No safety considerations
  • Intermediate
  • 45 minutes
  • 12 cupcakes

Prepare Ingredients

2 cups
vanilla frosting
Food coloring
cupcakes, baked and cooled

Gather Equipment

medium bowls
Small rubber spatula
Pastry bag
½-inch large open star decorating tip
Drinking glass
Small plate
2 cups
vanilla frosting
Food coloring

Divide vanilla frosting between 2 medium bowls. Add few drops of food coloring to each bowl and stir with small rubber spatula to combine. Clean spatula after stirring each bowl. (Or you can leave one of the bowls white—froster’s choice!)


Prepare pastry bag following steps below:

Use scissors to cut 2 inches off bottom corner of pastry bag.

Fold top of pastry bag out and halfway down.

Insert star decorating tip through bag so tip is peeking out of snipped bag corner.


Fill pastry bag with 2 different colors of frosting, one on each side of bag:

Stand bag upright in drinking glass (with tip touching bottom of glass). Use rubber spatula to transfer 1 color to 1 side of bag. Clean rubber spatula.

Use clean rubber spatula to transfer second color to opposite side of bag. (Don’t worry if colors start to blend; it will look fine once you start piping!)

Twist top of bag nice and tight to push frosting down toward tip. There should be no air between frosting and top of bag.


With 1 hand, squeeze pastry bag above twist to steadily push frosting out of bag. Pipe small amount of frosting onto small plate until you can clearly see both colors of frosting.

cupcakes, baked and cooled

Pipe your swirl! Starting at outside edge of cupcake and working toward center, pipe frosting into spiral shape. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.