Sweet swirls of icing atop cupcakes do not require an expert’s hand to create. With a plastic bag, frosting and some practice, you can make this same look on your own cupcakes. A pastry bag with a shaped piping tip from a craft or cake-decorating store adds dimension to the piped icing, but it is not necessary to make a basic swirl. Use a buttercream icing with a stiff consistency for best results.

Things You'll Need

Fill the plastic bag with the buttercream icing, and squeeze the bag above the icing to push the icing into one of the bottom corners. Twist the top of the bag over the frosting inside the bag to seal it.

Snip off the tip of the bag at a 45-degree angle with a pair of scissors.

Place a cupcake onto a flat surface low enough for you to control the piping bag directly above the cupcake.

Hold the tip of the piping bag with one hand to steady it while applying pressure to the frosting in the bag with your other hand.

Squeeze out the icing continuously while moving the bag. Start the tip on the edge of the top of the cupcake. Move the bag around the edge of the cupcake and into the center of the cupcake to make a single swirl. Release the pressure on the bag as you lift the tip away from the cupcake.

Apply a second, smaller swirl on top of the first in the center of the cupcake, if desired.