Cupcake decorating part 4

Cupcake decorating swirls

This is the last part of my little “cupcake decorating school”. The final part is about how I pipe my swirls on my cupcakes. Not saying that this is the “right” way, but it is the way that works the best for me. There are many different types of swirls to pipe on cupcakes. Often the final result depend on which type of decorating tip you are using.

Please see Cupcake decorating part 1 where I write about the decorating tips.

If you are new on how to pipe swirls on cupcakes or simply just want to perfecting your swirl techniques. Practice is the only way to do it. With some cupcakes and a batch of buttercream you can pipe swirls, scrape off the buttercream and start over again (of course re-using the buttercream)

I have built up the swirl in three parts, to make it more easy to see and hopefully understand 😉 So here goes:

Step 1:
I have used a star tip with a 11mm opening and filled the pipingbag with Italian Meringue Buttercream. I always start at the center of the cupcake (holding the bag at a 90 degree angle). Move the pipingbag to the right and go anticlockwise. While piping its important that you make sure to lift the tip slightly or it will ruin the star pattern while you pipe. Pipe close to the cupcake paper edge.

Piping swirls on cupcakes 1

Piping swirls on cupcakes 2

Tip: You can make a more flat swirl by finishing at the center again. Going only 1 round.

Step 2:
After a whole round, pipe a new round on top of the first.

Piping swirls on cupcakes 3

Piping swirls on cupcakes 4

Step 3:
Pipe the final round and finish in the center again. Gently pull back the piping tip.

Piping swirls on cupcakes 6

The next photo shows the “built up” swirl to the left and the “real” swirl to the right, that is piped in one go.

Piping swirls on cupcakes 8

Use the same technique for the mini cupcakes, only piping two rounds. I have used a smaller star tip (9mm)

Mini cupcakes with swirls

Remember that practice makes perfect. I can sometimes pipe 10 bad swirls, before I am happy with the results 😉

For those who love the “Wilton roses”. Try this special cupcake flowernail as a helper to pipe the flowers on the cupcake.

If you like to read the other parts about my cupcake decorating, you can find them here:
Cupcake decorating part 1
Cupcake decorating part 2
Cupcake decorating part 3

You can also visit my section all about cupcakes.

Happy Caking



  1. says

    Hi Louise, I just found your site and love it to bits! I like to bake and take pictures very much myself and have just started my own blog. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a lot of inspirations here. congratz!

    And one question, what if I can’t consume my cupcakes in a day or two? How can I best keep them? Thanks! 🙂

  2. Ruby A. says

    Oh, I get it now, it’s 2 swirls, one built on top of the other, that’s how you get the height right?

  3. says

    Nadine from usa: You can use ganache under fondant. I would not use whipped cream. Have you tried to mix some buttercream with ganache? Its really nice. I mix it 50/50

  4. Nadine from usa says

    Dear louise,
    First, I have learned a lot from your page and your tutorial are very clear and neat. Can you substitute the buttercream with ganache or whipped cream? Somebody mentioned adding piping gel to stabilize it..any thoughts? I just don’t like buttercream at all.

  5. says

    Tammyt: First I would add a little Tylo powder to the gum paste before cutting out the flowers. This helps to firm up the flowers and hold the shape aswell. You cna make the flowers a couple of weeks before and let them dry in the cupboard. I would not put the flowers on the cupcakes before a couple of hours they are being served.

  6. Tammyt says

    Hi there,
    first of all I`d like to say your blog is beautiful and truly informative! I have a question regarding the gum paste flowers. I am getting married in July and will be making my own cupcakes (small wedding, 30 cupcakes needed). I was planning on doing the butter cream icing and adding gumpaste flowers. How do you keep them from sinking into the butter cream…

  7. alix paul says

    hi there.i wondered if you have seen or used a nozzle called french having trouble finding one,its suppose to give the best swirl.thanks

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