Cupcakes decorated with dainty ruffles are impressive for any occasion, whether you just want something pretty under your cake bell at home or want to serve them at a tea party or baby shower. The ruffles wrap around the cupcake in layers, resembling the ruffled layers of a petticoat. You can alternate frosting colors with each layer to create a ruffle rainbow. For a more subtle color variation, use different shades of the same color to create a gradient effect. Start with a dark color and mix white frosting after each layer to make it lighter.
Things You'll Need
- Decorating bag
- Petal decorating tip
- Decoration (optional)
Fit a decorating bag with a petal tip, the size of which determines the width of the ruffles. Petal tips are flattened at the end instead of perfectly round. The end is angled and the opening of the tip is wider on the longer side of the angle.
Fill the decorating bag with medium-consistency frosting in your choice of color. A medium consistency will bend easily to form the ruffles, but is firm enough to hold the shape. To make two-toned ruffles, add two colors in the bag side-by-side and they'll come out the tip together. Squeeze a few practice lines onto a cutting board or plate to work out any air bubbles in the tip, ensuring the frosting comes out in a steady stream.
Position the decorating tip on the cupcake so the wide opening -- and longer side of the angle -- touches the cupcake and the narrow opening faces toward the outside edge of the cupcake. Start at the outside edge of the cupcake if you want to make rings of ruffles to follow the cupcake shape. Start at the top on the left side with the narrow end facing up if you want to make straight rows of ruffles across the cupcake.
Squeeze the bag gently so the frosting comes out the tip slowly -- you can increase speed as you get used to the technique. Move the tip up and down with a subtle flick of the wrist to create a wavy ribbon of frosting. Stop the stream of frosting when you need to turn the cupcake. Use the tip to push the end of the frosting ribbon down when you stop the stream. Turn the cupcake and start squeezing the frosting directly on top of the end where you left off. When you get to the end of the line or circle, push the end down with the tip so the two ends line up to look like one continuous ruffle.
Reposition the decorating tip so the narrow end overlaps the first ruffle by one-half. This means moving toward the center for round ruffles or farther down the cupcake for straight rows of ruffles. Move your hand subtly up and down to create the ruffle effect while working your way around the cupcake. Repeat this until you reach the center and the top of the cupcake is completely covered, which could take only three layers or more, depending on the sizes of the decorating tip and cupcake.
Tips & Warnings
- The center of the cupcake often appears flat when compared to the ruffled edges, so you might wish to top the cupcake with a decoration to provide some height at the center. Try decorations such as a piece of candy, a toothpick flag or a candle. You could also use a star or rosette tip in the decorating bag and pipe a swirled star or rosette shape at the center.
- It helps to practice new cake decorating techniques beforehand. Bake a few extra cupcakes to use for testing, or simply make ruffles on a saucer before moving to cupcakes.
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