Do you ever walk into a professional cupcake shop and think, “Why do my cupcakes never look this good?”
Us, too. Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne of Georgetown Cupcake, which has half a dozen outposts in America, are here to guide us. The sisters—who were inspired by their grandmother—traded in careers in fashion and venture capital to follow their passion for baking. You can get their cupcake mixes here, but they have plenty of crack tips for frosting and decorating them, too.
One thing we love about cupcakes is their sheer versatility. Few other desserts can be served in such diverse settings—from backyard BBQs to baby showers to formal wedding—and every event in between. There is also something intrinsically personal about cupcakes. They are little edible pieces of art that speak to your personality. Cupcakes evoke feelings of celebration, happiness and joy.
1. Get Georgetown Cupcake’s Signature Swirl
People can often recognize a Georgetown Cupcake from the look of our frosting—our classic signature swirl. It’s simple but elegant, and it’s easy to master this frosting technique with some practice. To frost cupcakes with this look, use a large plain round piping tip. Holding the piping bag about a ¼-inch above the surface of the cupcake, start in the center of the cupcake, and squeeze frosting in a circular motion with even pressure, ending in the center with a burst of pressure. The key to mastering this swirl is to frost with confidence. Move the piping tip quickly and don’t hesitate while frosting. This will result in a smooth, beautiful swirl.
2. Make Beautiful Frosting Flowers
Next to the classic plain round piping tip, we love using 10-slit rose piping tips for decorating cupcakes. This piping tip makes frosting beautiful rose cupcakes a breeze! Using this piping tip, hold the piping bag a ¼ inch above the surface of the cupcake and squeeze and pull up in a short burst to create a small rose. Repeat this motion to cover the entire surface of the cupcake with beautiful roses.
3. Use Rubber Stamps for Personalized Cupcakes
One elegant and easy way to personalize cupcakes with monograms, initials and other designs is by stamping fondant with rubber stamps. Roll out a piece of fondant to approximately ¼-inch thick, and using a clean rubber stamp, stamp your desired monogram or design on the fondant. Cut out using a small round cookie cutter. For an extra special touch, using a pastry brush, apply a thin layer of pearlized white edible luster dust. This is a quick and easy way to give your cupcakes an elegant, personal touch.
4. Use Sugars, Confetti, Sprinkles and Nonpareils
There are many times when we are decorating cupcakes where we just can’t find the exact topping to achieve the look we have in mind. So, we’ve found that creating our own custom blends of toppings—mixing different crystal sugars, sanding sugars, retro confetti, rainbow sprinkles, and nonpareils—is the perfect solution. We love to mix and match toppings in different proportions to include different colors and textures to add a beautiful and unique touch to our cupcakes.
To make the perfect custom blend for your event, choose from your available selection of cupcake toppings, and blend together a unique combination in various types, colors, and proportions to coordinate with your color and design scheme. Some of our favorite combinations? We love to mix different colors of sanding sugars with edible confetti for party celebrations. We also love mixing gold sanding sugar with clear sanding sugar in a 1-to-4 ratio to decorate cupcakes with baby pink buttercream to give them a “rose gold” look.
5. Try Fondant Embellishments
At Georgetown Cupcake, we love to decorate our cupcakes with seasonal fondant decorations—flowers, hearts, leaves, snowflakes, and so much more! We especially love making fondant flowers and succulents. To make fondant succulents, roll out fondant to ¼-inch thick, and cut out a variety of flower and star shapes using different mini flower and star cookie cutters.
Then, gently layer and bend the flat flowers and stars to create curved petals. Place the fondant succulents in small shallow glass mixing bowls to harden. Garnish the cupcakes with the fondant succulents and crushed Oreo cookie crumbs (to resemble soil) and graham cracker crumbs (to resemble sand). Fondant embellishments are an easy way to elevate the look of your cupcakes and tie them into your event theme.