Tutorial: Two Easy Techniques for Making Fancy Swirled Cupcake Icing

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Chocolate cupcakes with peppermint swirl icing look amazing, and complicated, but they're really easy to make!  Today, I'm going to show you two different ways to get the look.

As you can see, both styles are two toned and beautifully swirled together, but they look completely different.  Both are super easy--I promise!--so the technique you choose will depend mostly on which style you prefer.

Materials for the First Style of Peppermint Swirled Cupcake Icing:

This style of swirled cupcake icing is more of a candy cane twist, with both colors staying separate, but intertwining.  

The key to making cupcakes with this technique is using two different sizes of disposable icing bags.  I used one 18" bag, and two 12" bags here.  

Cut the end off the large disposable icing bag, and drop the large star decorating tip inside.  Fill one 12" bag with white icing, one with red icing.

Cut the ends off of the smaller bags full of red and white icing, and stick both smaller bags inside the larger bag.

Start squeezing the icing on the cupcake, starting at the outside edge of the cupcake and working your way toward the center of the cupcake.

And that's it!  A gorgeous cupcake, without any fancy cake decorating techniques necessary.  If you're strapped for time, or if you have a lot of cupcakes to make, these techniques are great for making impressive looking cupcakes very quickly.

Materials for the Second Style of Peppermint Swirl Cupcake Icing:

  • buttercream icing
  • disposable icing bags
  • food safe, clean paint brush
  • red gel food coloring
  • large, open star decorating tip

This style of peppermint swirl cupcake looks a lot more intricate and complicated, but if anything, it's easier than the first technique.

Take a clean, dedicated paint brush (I have my own stash that the girls aren't allowed to use for art projects, and are just for cake decorating and food purposes).  Paint the inside of the disposable icing bag with a few stripes of red gel food coloring.

It's ok that it's messy and very imperfect.  In fact, at this point, my icing bag looked like someone had had a terrible, bloody accident in the kitchen while making cupcakes.  It'll look pretty in the end, I promise!

Just like with the first technique, start squeezing the icing out of the bag and on to the cupcake, starting at the outside edge and working your way in to the center.  What looked like a bloody mess in the icing tube comes out looking like this, with beautiful striations and stripes of color on the white icing.

Which is your favorite style?

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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