Cupcake decorating part 1

Cupcakes decorated with gum paste flowers

Over the last few days I have been preparing at little cupcake decorating guide to show you a little more on how I make my cupcakes. What cupcake tools I like to use, favourite cupcake recipes, how I build up a buttercream dome, so that I can decorate my cupcakes with rolled fondant and how I pipe my buttercream swirls.

So let us begin with my favourite cupcake tools.

Cupcake pans:

I mostly use a regular standard sized cupcake (muffin) pan and a mini cupcake (muffin) pan to bake my cupcakes in. When I bake cupcakes I only have 1 pan in the oven at a time, except with the mini pans where I can can bake 24 in one go.

Cupcake pans 1

Cupcake paper cases:

One thing that I dont like when I bake cupcakes is the paper cases that look greasy and translucent after baking. A lot of paper cases does that. So I was happy when I found a brand that makes greaseproof paper cases and that even keeps the color after baking. I think that it is the best cupcake paper case ever! They are also a little higher than the paper cases you usually buy (50mm base x 35mm wall (2″ x 1 3/8″). They come in pretty rainbow colors, polka dots and other patterns.

Cupcake paper cases

Note: The mini cupcake paper cases are just some regular ones, and not the greaseproof ones.

You can get the “wonder” paper cases here:

Of course if you cant get your hands on the paper cases you can always wrap your cupcakes in stylish cupcake wraps to cover up any “blemishes”.

Pastry tips & more:

To make those large swirls on my cupcakes I use large pastry tips. Many use the Wilton 1M tip, but I like those really large tips that is best used with a disposal piping bag. I got my pastry tips from a professional bakery supply store here in Denmark. But after browsing online for such large pastry tips, Ateco should be the brand to look for if you want really large pastry tips.

Cupcake tools

Now I have not tried the large pastry tips from Ateco yet, but I would really love to try them out one day. You should try and look for these large pastry tips below next time you are out shopping for cake supplies:

Open star:
# 827
# 828
# 829

Closed star:
# 847
# 848
# 849

French/fine star:
# 867
# 868
# 869

# 807
# 808
# 809

Another little tool that I like to use is my small offset spatular, that I use when I am making buttercream domes for rolled fondant covered cupcakes. But more about that in another post 🙂

If you like to read the other parts about my cupcake decorating, you can find them here:

Cupcake decorating part 2
Cupcake decorating part 3
Cupcake decorating part 4

Happy Caking



  1. Hi Louise,thaks for your sharing. Ihave learnt much from your website.
    For the cupcake, I have an problem with the paper cases. After baking the cupcakes, the paper cases always detached from the cupcakes. When I finished baking, I took the mould from the oven. And I usued to take the cupcakes from the mould after few minutes to the rack for cooling. Would you mind to tell me what should I do to slove my problem?

  2. These are really pretty cupcakes. How do you decorate them with the blue and white (I can’t see them on your website)? Are they dipped or poured fondant?

    • It’s fondant covered cupcakes. You can see how to in the Cupcake Decorating part 2 or 3 I think? The white is just a royal icing swirl. and then there are a gum past flower on top (this can also be found in my tutorials)

  3. Hi Louise, I am wondering if you can provide me the exact measurements of the cupcake wrappers that are slightly taller than the standard cups. I live in the US and went on the sites you provided, but none sold “wonder brand” liners. I even contacted one of the suppliers personally. I mostly use wilton, but I would like a taller cupcake but not jumbo. Thanks

  4. Louise, I know you posted the tutorial for the pink flowers on top of the cupcakes before (you even mentioned where to get the veiner and the cutter), but I’m looking at the topics in your tutorial section now and can no longer seem to find it 🙁 . Could you direct me to the correct link? Thank you and I just love your work.

  5. Very, very much a beginner at this. Was wondering if there’s a certain way used to keep the paper from sticking to the cakes? I have lightly coated the paper with nonstick spray before once, which mostly worked, but if there’s a better way, I would like to know. 🙂

  6. Hi Louise, I am a beginner cupcake baker and have found your blog so useful. There are so many great things to go away and try but i first want to make sure i have the right equipment. I have clicked on the UK link for the cupcake liners, however, that store is closing down and no longer have the product for sale. Do you know of any other UK websites that sell the grease proof liners? I have looked at many sites but am not sure exactly which ones you use. Many thanks.

  7. Hi Louise!

    Thanks a million for this wonderful site! I have enjoyed many hours reading your posts.

    I am living in Norway at the moment, and I was wondering if you know of any Scandinavian site that sells these greaseproof cupcake liners? Preferably Norwegian (to avoid paying customs duty) but also Danish or Swedish?

    Thank you!

  8. Hi Louise, I appreciate your tip on cupcake liners. Is there a difference between grease proof and glassine? I bought some grease proof liners but they didn’t hold there color. They were chocolate cupcakes and being so dark, I’m sure that made a difference. I’ve also read that you can double up on the liners. 

  9. Everything in this blog looks very good and professional.
    I don’t have really a comment, it’s more a question. Can i use any kind of paper to bake my cup cakes?

  10. Hi Loiuse,
    I am trying to find the tall white liners on the Australian link you have provided (Goodluck Decorations), although the list on the website is quite extensive. Do you happen to know which ones the 50mm base x 35mm wall would be?

    Thanks for your help with this 🙂

  11. Hi

    These ‘wonder’ cases – I really want to buy some as for my wedding i would like large cupcakes which keep the pink and cream colour of the paper case. however, slightly larger ones do not fit the standard patty tins and fold in on one edge.What would you suggest to prevent this? use a muffin pan or is that too big? Also, how tall are the wonder cases? Love your site – so helpful! Emily

  12. Hi. I would to ask, I baked cupcakes but it seemed so soft and somehow uncooked. How can I make it perfect? Can I insert it back into the oven and bake for a minute or two?

  13. hi, i was looking all over for this wonderful tips thanks, and you were the only one who has it thank you so much, i was wondering if you can give me some advice since i want to do white chocolate cupcakes, i know is a difficult ingredient i read that you have to prepare first the chocolate but i dont’t know, have you done it before? i look forward for an answer
    thanks again

  14. Sibel: Ohh I wish that I knew the science chemistry behind baking. Now and then some of my cc also have minor cracks but as they often get frosting on top I dont mind. It could have something to do with your oven, but I cant say what exactly. I only bake cc around 170-175 C and no fan used.

  15. Hi Louise,
    Thank you for sharing, i have a question. whenever i make a cupcake, the top never comes out of the oven smooth. it always cracks & puffing up. I fill the cups only 2/3, can you advise what else i do wrong? 🙂

  16. I am having trouble finding the tall white liners on the link you provided (Bake It Pretty). I see the colored ones – did I just miss them or did I misread where to buy them?? HELP!
    Thank you!

  17. Kirsten: Yes, thank you. Great blog btw 😉

    Shira: I have just posted the part 2 of cupcake decorating and there are more info on how much I fill my cases and recipes.

  18. hi louise,

    I mean how much u fill the cup cake case with the batter. It is good 2 tell us what recipe u use also. Cox i had problem getting the cup cake rise 2 the edge of the case (plain wo icing or any decoration) which i always see a nicely done on cook book.


  19. love the cupcake tips! I feel like great tools are so necessary… also, love the greasefree cupcake liner referral!
    we linked to your DIY cakestand today… didn’t know if you’d see it if I commented there. 🙂
    love your site!

  20. Jeannie: I dont know what bettercream is, sorry.

    Mary: Yes Ateco have pastry bags aswell and so does Wilton. I would say that if you are looking for pastry bags for large tips (I never use couplers for large tips) I would look for 16″ bags.

    OATC: My regular pan is 2″ bottom size and the mini pan are 2 x 3/4″ deep (wilton’s) I have both dark pans (nonstick) and aluminum I like them both. So no special refrences.

    Juno: I know that this issue have been up over at the Cupcake takes the cake blog.

    Tiffany Nash: Yeah I know, I have it but have not tried it yet will in one of the future post on cupcakes.

    Shira: Do you mean how I fill the paper cases with batter or after with frosting? Part 2 will be all about my fave recipes ect.

  21. Hi Louise,

    Wow, I love this post especially you spoke about the paper casing… I faced this problem and trying very hard to hunt for 1st a higher paper case and 2nd grease proved and slightly higher then usual. No luck in finding them in Singapore yet.

    Can u also tell us (best with picture) in the coming post that how can u fill the cupcake right to the edge of it when it is done? Looking forward your next post!


  22. Ofeila,

    I use a pound cake recipe when making cupcakes and they turn out wonderfully. With a thin layer of dark choc ganache on top they are divine. My recipe is based on a recipe for a Jam Swirl Buttercake published in the Australian magazine ‘Super Food Ideas’ is as follows:

    250gr softened unsalted butter
    220gr caster sugar
    3 eggs (60-70gr)
    vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
    250gr sifted plain flour (try to find one with a protein content of around 8% if you can)
    3 teaspoons of baking powder
    120mls buttermilk (the original recipe says 3 tablespoons/60ml of ordinary milk but this tastes better and the sourness of the buttermilk helps to counteract the super sweetness if you are going to cover the cake with both a layer of buttercream and fondant later).

    Preheat oven to 160 c

    Place softened butter in small bowl of mixer(if you have one)and beat on a slow speed for several minutes. Then start to add sugar slowly, taking care not to choke the butter. Then continue beating for at least five minutes or more until the sugar has almost dissolved. I find I get a much better result using a slower mixer speed for longer, rather than the fast creaming speed most mixers have. Then add the vanilla extract, then the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. At this stage you might need to transfer the mix to a larger bowl. I will have normally sifted the flour a couple of times, and will use a very fine sieve to sift the flour into the mix. Either fold in flour by hand, or use your mixer on the very lowest setting. Add the flour in several batches alternating with the buttermilk (make sure your buttermilk is at room temperature).

    Spoon mixture into cases and bake for around 20-25 minutes.

    The original recipe is for a loaf pan, and I have used it also in a 8″ round pan. The baking time for these is around 55 minutes.

    If you would like to make the original jam swirl cake get a couple of tablespoons of sour cherry jam and spread over the top, then swirl through with a knife. To ensure that the jam does not sink to the bottom stick with the original 60mls of milk in the recipe.


    I’ve brought one of those cupcake nails, but like you have yet to try it out.

  23. Thanks for the link to the website. I’ve been looking everywhere for those cupcake liners. Thank you so much. Oh, and I love your posts.

  24. I just may have to get some of those liners now! FYI Wilton has a new Decorating Nail Set that includes “a recessed platform for finishing a standard cupcake with a perfectly-swirled top.” I got it but haven’t tried it out yet. More fun ahead…

  25. Hi Louise, Thank you for your helpful tips. I would like to know if you have any problems with cupcakes separating from their liners at any time? I have tried all types; greased n non, played with time, ingredients and positioning but sometimes a couple would separate either after cooling or the next day. Thanks in advance. Can’t wait for your next post. 🙂

  26. Thank you for sharing the info. What is the diameter of the cupcake and mini muffin pans you use? I am just about to buy a set. Also would you recommend the dark pans as most of the ones I see at the shops are dark and nonstick coated. Perhaps you could recommned a brand of cupcake pans/trays. I had a Prestige branded one (dark and nonstick) and it has gone rusty! I just love your site!

  27. Thanks for the links for the cupcake wrappers! What a help. I love your site and you work is BEAUTIFUL. Your very inspiring!

  28. I logged on this morning intending to send you an email asking how you get your cupcakes to “puff” up so much in the middle and now I know its all frosting! Cool I love frosting. I have had the same issue with the papers I’m so very excited to order the items you have suggested. Thanks for taking all the time to give us information and share your passion. I love your site. Linda

  29. Hi all! I’d like to know if you have a pound cake recipe for cupcakes? They had them at a party I went to last week and they were fantastic. The hostess said someone bought them and did not have the recipe. These were the best because they were dense enough to hold the heavy icing but at the same time buttery and sweet. If any one of you “cupcakers friends” knows about it, please let me know!

  30. I keep ripping, or tearing the pastry bags — is there a particular brand I should purchase? Does Ateco also make quality pastry bags? Thanks!

  31. I agree, the confeta liners are the best! and I love that they are a little higher, it´s so elegant!
    I have that same yellow large pastry tip and I love it! I´d like to buy some more, but unfortunatley I do not remember where I bought it!!! lol!

    I hope you are having a great week Louise!

  32. Thanks for the tips on decorating cupcakes. I currently used the 1M for decorating my cupcakes, but now that I know there are other tips, I plan to purchase them. I can’t wait to see how you make the buttercream domes for rolled fondant.

  33. Thanks for all this information,loving it !!
    Question : have You ever used bettercream icing on your cupcakes and if so how does it hold up …again bettercream not buttercream.

  34. Your cupcakes are always so beautiful. If I had one in front of me, I would have the hardest time trying to decide whether to eat it or try to figure a way to showcase it forever!

  35. Thanks for the tips. I was actually about to try my hand at some fondant covered cupcakes and was wondering how to get the butter cream rounded underneath without it being too much. Thanks again!!!

  36. Thanks for sharing all your tools and tips 🙂 I usually used the Wilton 1M, but Wilton is the easiest tips to find in my area!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.