The sweetest day of the year, National Cupcake Day, is quickly approaching and your cupcake game better be strong. Gigi Butler, founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes, shares her top five cupcake decorating tips below. An expert in creating cupcakes that stand out from the crowd, she’s built a brand on cupcakes, one that now boasts more than 100 stores in 24 states.
The Higher the Icing, the Better
Growing up in Oklahoma, Gigi always heard the saying, “The higher the hair, the closer to God.” The same saying works for cupcakes.
Icing is always easier to apply through a piping bag. Fill the bag half way and tightly wind the top so no excess comes through. Hold the bag straight up with one hand towards the bottom and one at the top, and begin to ice your cake. Gigi’s Cupcakes is best known for its Gigi’s swirl. It’s the brand’s signature attribute and creates quite a spectacular treat for customers.
Color Is Everything
The best cupcakes are ones that not only taste good, but also look beautiful because we all eat with our eyes first. Use color to make cupcakes bright, fun, and festive no matter the occasion.
Gel colors from brands like Wilton are great to use at home. They create deeper colors than you may achieve with the food color drops. Make one large batch of plain icing, divide into smaller bowls, and then insert the color. This allows for multiple colors at one time.
It’s All About the Bling
The variety of sprinkles, decorettes, and edible glitter you can find at the store is amazing. Not only can you find these items in any color, but in any shape, too. Pick an occasion, and there will be a shape or decorette to fit. For the holidays, edible glitter is fantastic. It is very versatile and provides a gleaming shimmer and shine to any cupcake.
Don’t limit yourself to only sprinkling the tops of cupcakes either! Rimming cupcakes with sprinkles creates an eye-catching surprise due to the unexpected sprinkle placement.
Use a Filling
Surprise guests by filling your cupcakes. Try a marshmallow crème, Bavarian crème, or even a pudding. It keeps the cake moist and rich, and also adds an additional flavor layer to your treat. If you don’t have professional tools, simply use the handle of a wooden spoon and create a hole through the top and into the middle of the cupcake. Try to get as far down into the cake as you can, without going all the way through. Squeeze your filling slowly into the cake by putting whatever filling you choose in a Ziploc bag, cutting off the corner, and using it as a piping bag. When you are finished filling the cake, make sure to wipe any excess off of the top before applying frosting.
Bake a Special Topper
It’ll really look like you gave your cupcakes some extra love if you finish with a freshly baked topper. For example, on Gigi’s Cupcakes’ Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, we bake mini chocolate chip cookies to finish off the treat.
Prepare the cookie dough, and either shape into small rounds for baking, or roll out and use a small cookie cutter to press out the shape. Bake and cool before placing on top of your frosting. Your guests will feel extra special seeing the lengths you took to make their dessert perfect.