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TIP OF THE DAY: Ideas For Decorating Cupcakes

Sorry if our three posts on the topic makes this seems like National Cupcake Day (which is December 15th; October 18th is National Chocolate Cupcake Day).

Despite the predictions of certain experts that cupcakes are on the way out—to be replaced by pie shops—we think that cupcakes will be around for some time. Heck, there wasn’t even enough interest in pies to keep the great show, Pushing Daisies, on the air.

So this tip focuses on how easy it is for you to put stellar cupcakes on the table. You don’t even have to bake. Just focus your talent on decorating cupcakes you’ve acquired. (If you’re having a party, convince someone else to bake the cupcakes for you to decorate and share the kudos).

Then, all you need is a concept. Think of what you can do with:

  • Colored sugars are more sophisticated, but sprinkles do the trick.
  • Crushed hard candies are an easy option. We love peppermints on chocolate cupcakes, butterscotch on vanilla cupcakes and coffee candy on just about anything.

    Simple but elegant: A non-pareil and a
    light dusting of cocoa powder. Chocolate from
    Guittard. Photo by Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.

  • Other candy store favorites, from gummies to malted milk balls. Sprinkle malted milk on the icing before planting the malted milk ball.
  • Colorful jelly beans and gumdrops can be used for edging or to make a flower design.
  • Chocolate in its various incarnations is always a hit. You can shave or grate dark, milk and/or white chocolate; use chocolate curls; or take the easy road with chocolate chips (we use them in multiple flavors and colors, including siblings butterscotch, mint and PB chips). Or, make a statement by adding a piece of chocolate—a Hershey’s Kiss, a non-pareil, a square or broken wedge from a chocolate bar, a miniature PB cup, etc.—to the top of the cupcake.
  • Coconut: Shredded or flaked, coconut is delish. You can tint it to any color by shaking it in a sealed plastic bag with a few drops of food color. Spread it on a plate to dry.
  • Fresh berries create an elegant touch; dip them in chocolate for an indulgent touch.
  • Dusting & More: Even if you’ve got nothing else in the house, dust the cupcakes with cocoa powder, cinnamon and/or confectioners’ sugar, using a fine mesh sieve. See what else is in the pantry: marshmallows? Cookie pieces? Fresh flowers (that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides)? You’ve got it covered.
    See more cupcake decorating ideas with beautiful photos.

    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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