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DIY Cupcake Icing Tutorial Makes You the Next Cake Boss

Glorious Treats

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So many of us have gone into a bakery or your local grocery store to pick up the cute little bakers cupcakes and thought "I wish I could do that!". UPDATE: You can! And here are some simple tips and tricks any new baker needs to know to get that professional bakers look right at home!

These tips and tricks are so easy and are especially forgiving, which trust me, is key to any new Cake Boss in the making. Here I am going to walk you through the perfect cupcake from start to finish. With an easy vanilla batter recipe, to the perfect buttercream icing, this tutorial will give you everything you need to be successful!

Want to try some muli-colored icing? CLICK HERE for a link to my favorite 3 color piping nozzle.

Want some kid friendly inspiration? Check out POOP EMOJI cupcakes HERE!  

Round Tip

This tip is amazing for American Style Cupcakes. A very classic look and comes in an array of sizes depending on the look you are going for. This tip is also used for those cute little Macarons. Can be used as a single pressure burst or to create a round tower like topping of icing.

Open Star Tip

This tip comes in an array of sizes as well. Can be used to create little star 'bursts' on the top of a cake or cupcake or used in an inward, circular motion, to create decorative height a top of your cupcake.

Closed Star Tip

Ahh the infamous closed star tip. This lovely piping tip, again comes in an array of sizes. This tip is also responsible for the beautiful buttercream roses we often see on many fabulous cakes and cupcakes. It can also be used to create a tower of icing with gently defined edges when working from the outside upward.

To make the beautiful buttercream roses, in contrast to the icing tower, start in the center of the cupcake and work your way outward until the entire top of the cupcake is covered. If icing a cake, simply work your way outward until your desired size rose is achieved. The creates a flat layer of icing as oppose to a tower.

French Star Tip

The French star tip is extremely versatile. You can create up to 4 looks with this single tip and AGAIN comes in a variety of sizes. From the traditional tower to tiny spiked petal flowers, this tip give you a ton of options to create so many looks! Use single small bursts to create those little spiked petal flowers or a large tower called the Fat Frilly. This technique is a little variation from the standard, circular tower build, and is SUPER easy! Start by applying pressure in the center of the cupcake raising the tip just slightly, repeating this pressure up and down allowing the icing to pour outward until the desired height is achieved.

Simple & Perfectly Moist Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large bowl and gently mix together.
  3. Add in milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs and combine with dry ingredients.
  4. Lastly add in water and slowly combine until fully blended.
  5. Fill each cupcake liner approximately about half way, as this will allow the cupcakes to rise to the perfect level.
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes, checking with a toothpick, ensuring it comes out clean.
  7. Allow to fully cool prior to icing.

* NOTE: Cooking time for a 9 inch cake mold, allow an extra 10 minutes for baking. Total of 25 minute cook time.

The Perfect Buttercream Icing

  • 1 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Gel food coloring if desired


  1. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the butter for approximately 5 minutes until butter becomes fluffy and almost white in color. This step is very important as creates the base for your icing. NOTE: butter must be room temperature to ensure the perfect consistency. Too cold will not whip correctly and too warm it will not hold its shape.
  2. Slowly add in your icing sugar continually mixing until fully combined. Once fully combined, keep mixing to whip for another 5 minutes. The consistency will be very thick and heavy at this point.
  3. Add in the milk and vanilla and continue to mix. Your icing should now be a stiff but creamy texture that will hold shape. If using gel color, add in at this point and blend thoroughly.