If you’ve read a few of my articles, you’ll recall that I began making cupcakes in my teens. Baking ingredients were almost tough to get by back then, and they were almost always costly.
Cupcakes, on the other hand, do not frost themselves. I had no choice but to learn to improvise. I ultimately mastered the technique of producing beautifully attractive cupcakes with or without all of the essential instruments after many attempts and mistakes.
Angie here, a self-taught baker with a side business. In this post, I’ll show you five ridiculously simple techniques to top cupcakes without a piping tip.
Before I begin, I should warn you that after reading this, you may never want to acquire piping tips again.
Lets get started!
- Method 1: DIY Tip
- Method 2: Dip and Dunk
- Method 3: Spatula / Palette Knife
- Method 4: Ice Cream Scoop
- Final Thoughts
Method 1: DIY Tip
I bet Wilton does not want you to know this.
We’ve all seen how lovely nicely piped cupcakes can be, but did you know you can easily reproduce similar, if not identical, piped designs by manufacturing your own piping tips?
Don’t worry, it’s much simpler than it seems. All you need is a piping bag and a pair of scissors or a very sharp knife.
Fill your bag halfway with icing. I like it in a glass. To get rid of any pockets of air trapped within, press all of your frosting close to the hole.
Simply fold your piping bag in half and cut straight across the tip for a flat nozzle. Depending on how thick you want your lines to be, you may cut as much or as little as you wish. This is useful if you are also pumping out words.
To get a rounded tip, use the same steps as previously, but instead of cutting straight, strive to produce a rounded cut. Round dots, pudgy lines, and patterns will result. If you make the opening larger, you may swirl it on top of the cupcakes to give them the traditional poop emoji appearance.
If you don’t have piping bags, you may accomplish the same results and even more using a Ziploc bag, especially a freezer-safe one.
You’ll need a sharp knife, a Ziploc bag, and some tape. To begin, wrap tape across one corner of your Ziploc bag. This will provide greater grip and support to the opening corner and keep it from tearing when pressed.A pair of scissors is required for this variant.
In addition to the previously stated ideas, you may cut your Ziploc bag into a star tip. You’ll need to make two incisions on the opening corner for this. Consider a V form.
When building a DIY piping tip, remember to start small and gradually increase. This is due to the fact that once the icing reaches the opening corner, it pushes the corner outward, causing it to expand.
Check out Jill’s video below for a more extensive video explanation on how to construct your own piping tips using a Ziploc bag!
Method 2: Dip and Dunk
This approach is quite simple, and it may be used with any of the other ways given! You may use ganache or candy melts for this procedure. A thin frosting or glaze may also be used, although it may be more difficult to manage how effectively it sets.
Whatever you choose to use, make sure it is smooth and liquid. Holding the bottom of the cupcake, turn it over and dip it into your preferred dip. When the surface is entirely coated, raise it up and allow the excess to fall back into the bowl before rotating it over.
You may also top your cupcake with icing before dunking it. This gives your cupcake more substance and makes it seem taller than if you glaze it right away.
So far, it’s been very easy, right? You can stop here, but you can also spice up your dipped cupcake by dipping it in a dry topping following the wet topping.
For a healthy alternative, I prefer to dip my in rainbow sprinkles, Fruity Pebbles, chopped almonds, or shredded coconut. This not only makes your cupcake seem larger and more vibrant, but it also adds depth to the texture of your cupcake.
Method 3: Spatula / Palette Knife
To appear professional, cupcakes do not necessarily need to be precisely piped. Magnolia Bakery is the epitome of this. This New York City bakery is most known for its banana puddings, but it also makes cupcakes with its trademark swirl.
The good news is that you can replicate the same swirl or your unique icing appearance using a spatula or a palette knife.
Grab a spoonful of frosting and dab it on your cupcake to create the magnolia bakery swirl. Pad the frosting along the edges until it is smooth. To make the swirl, twist your palette knife towards you while swirling the cupcake in the opposite way.
Follow this video to learn how to frost a cupcake with the characteristic magnolia bakery-style swirl!
If swirling is too difficult for you, produce a level top by equally spreading the buttercream over the cupcake and smoothing the top with a clean spatula or palette knife. If you want a firm base for your cake toppers, flat tops are ideal.
You must have a spoon someplace in the kitchen if you don’t have a spatula or a palette knife. You may not be able to produce a magnolia swirl with a spoon, but you can give it a rustic, handcrafted appearance.
Using your spoon, put a large dollop of icing on the cupcake. Spread the icing out by gently dabbing it with the back of your spoon. This will give your cupcake some peaks and troughs.
I prefer to use this approach for my meringue frosted cupcakes whether I have a piping tip or not. When burnt, the peaks and valleys formed brown at varying rates, giving it a mottled appearance.
Method 4: Ice Cream Scoop
The ice cream scoop is the last but not least. This is an obvious choice. All you need is an ice cream scoop to get started.
Take a large scoop of frosting, scrape the excess off with a spatula or the side of a bowl, and place your scoop of icing on top of your cupcake.
This approach uses a big quantity of icing to top your cupcakes, and it always looks like a real scoop of ice cream. That was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?
To add texture to your frosting, repeat procedure #2 by dipping your ice cream frosting into a sprinkle or any other dry topping for a fuller appearance and added crunch.
Did you know that ice cream scoops are also ideal for uniformly spreading cake batter? I strongly advise you to invest in one of these useful products to help you multitask.
I’ll address some often asked questions about icing cupcakes below.
How do you frost cupcakes with a knife?
Cupcake frosting with a knife is identical to frosting with a spatula or palette knife! Simply follow the steps in Method #3, or watch the video below for a step-by-step video guidance.
What is the easiest way to frost cupcakes?
Method #4, in my opinion, is the simplest way to frost a cupcake. It takes little talent and is also a very rapid method.
Can I frost cupcakes a day before?
Cupcakes may be frosted the day before. Just keep them in an airtight container, particularly if storing them in the fridge or freezer.
As previously said, tools may be really useful and produce amazing designs, but not everyone has access to them. It doesn’t mean you can’t continue baking; it simply means you have to be inventive.
I hope you found at least one of these techniques beneficial. If you have any further questions on how to frost a cupcake without a tip, please leave a comment and let me know! Or, if you have any even better suggestions for all of us, please share them with us!
How do you fill cupcakes without a tip?
Piping Bag w/o Tip
Piping bags are a traditional tool for answering the issue of how to fill a cupcake. They’re inexpensive and make the procedure a breeze. Simply snip off the tip of the pastry bag and fill the cupcakes with your favorite fillings.
How do you decorate cupcakes without piping?
Scrape the frosting over the top of the cooked cupcake and smooth it with the back of the spoon. I like to form a spiral with the spoon on top of the cupcake. This spoon-spiral method is used by several well-known bakers! It is a simple method for frosting cupcakes without using a piping bag.
How do you frost cupcakes in a ziplock bag?
Make a triangle out of the square Ziploc bag. Duct tape the edge to keep it in place. Fill a piping bag halfway with frosting. Cut a corner of the frosting and pipe it onto a cupcake.
What can I use instead of a piping bag?
In a pinch, plastic bags make excellent piping bags. Don’t worry if you don’t have a piping bag or a squeeze bottle if you have a recipe that asks for a chocolate drizzle or if you want to make some fancy plating of that last supper sauce. In a pinch, a food-grade plastic bag will suffice.