Cupcake Video Tutorial-The Basics!

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In this video, you will learn the basics of how to make beautiful cupcakes!

We'll show you how to create swirls of frosting with various tips, simple flowers, how to stripe the bag, how to create an "icing plug" for multi-toned piping, how to inject your cupcakes with fillings, and more! 

Cupcake Decorating Basics


Materials for Cupcake Decorating

We used our Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe- our Classic Vanilla Buttercream  is a great choice also!

In the video, I am using the following piping tips:
Wilton2D or 1M for the ridged swirl or buttercream rose swirls
Wilton 21 for a smaller ridged swirl/design
Ateco 808- huge round tip (for smooth swirls or a quick way to frost your cupcake before smoothing)
Wilton 12- Medium sized round tip (same use as above)

104 petal/ruffle tip

Viva Paper Towel (the smoothing technique that we demonstrated used this brand of paper towel which has no quilting or impressions). 

For even more on the Viva Paper Towel Method of Smoothing (especially for decorating cakes rather than cupcakes) check out our free video: Viva Paper Towel Method of Smoothing

Favorite Cupcake Recipes

We have several great cupcake recipes on our site! Some of our favorites are chocolate cupcakes, lemon cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes and Oreo cupcakes! But there are so many more that we would love to share with you

Enjoy the Video!

Thanks for stopping by! We hope that you enjoy this cake decorating tutorial and find some techniques you'd like to try! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below! 

If you are looking for more videos on buttercream piping techniques, check out our videos on How to Pipe with a Star Tip, How to Pipe with Ruffle & Petal Tips, and How to Pipe with Round Piping Tips!

Cupcake Basics Tutorial


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  1. Help! I made cupcakes with the doctored white cake recipe and baked at 325 for 20 minutes and they have a pretty large dome. Should I use less batter? They each had 2 tablespoons in them (24) cupcakes. Or lower my oven temp? My ovens are pretty hot. Or should I use a totally different recipe?

  2. Hi Casie, Since you think your oven runs hot, I think it would be a good idea to buy an inexpensive oven thermometer to check how close it is to the temperature you set. Baking at a lower temperature typically will give you a much lower dome. You are not using too much batter at 2 Tablespoons. Our cupcake liners are filled 1/2 to 2/3's full. Even if the cupcakes dome, you can level off with a knife to the height you want. It is hidden by frosting. Scratch recipes almost always bake with a much lower dome than doctored cakes recipes.

  3. Hey I want to give a heads up on the Viva Paper Towels. If you use a Viva Paper Towel with a design, it doesn't work well for smoothing. I recently experienced this. The towels have to be the regular plain white towels. :)

  4. Hi Beth, that is good to know! We've always just used white but I would have assumed that designs would be okay. Thanks for the head's up!

  5. You’re welcome. I don’t want anyone else to have to re-ice a cake like i did. Haha. I guess they make it differently.

  6. I did have one question. I know that you smooth out the cupcakes for the first two, but you did not smooth out icing for the remainder that you decorated. Are you saying that you can do either or? Normally for all of the designs that you did would you have smoothed out the icing before decorating? Thank you

  7. Hi Kate! Yes, I don't always smooth the frosting, you can skip this step altogether if your design has a swirl of buttercream or ruffles for example, or other piped or textured buttercream design.

    I made this tutorial many years ago when the paint roller method was a popular choice for smoothing-- I don't use this method anymore, it isn't wrong but I just find the Viva paper towel method simpler. Or, you can also glide over chilled buttercream with a hot spatula to smooth (I this "hot knife method" on my cake tiers when I need a smooth finish.)

    I hope this helps!