Food & Entertaining - Food Tips

How to: Frost a cupcake

Learn the perfect way to ice your cake and eat it, too!

Like all the best things in life, BabyCakes NYC frosting requires careful handling. I was so concerned that each cupcake leaving the bakery be perfect that for a year after opening, I frosted each one personally. After our first hectic holiday season, that practice was tossed out the window, and these days I have a team of frosters who run circles around me with the tricks I've taught them for working with this delicate confection. Now it's your turn. Put on your favorite frosting tunes (Fleetwood Mac works well, or you can buy my brother Frankie's hit song "BabyCakes NYC Wassup" on our website) and get to it.


Prepping Your Frosting
•    Remove the frosting from the refrigerator and stir with a palette knife. If the frosting is too stiff, let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes or so. Don't let it come to room temperature, though, or it will begin to melt.
•    If the frosting is too soft, add melted coconut oil,
1 tablespoon at a time, until a consistency similar to that of cream cheese or peanut butter is achieved. Because coconut oil becomes solid when chilled, it thickens cold frosting instantly. Cool, right?

Applying Frosting
•    Scoop up a generous tablespoon of frosting with a palette knife or a frosting spatula.
•    Starting at the center of the cupcake and moving outward, spread the frosting in a tight circular motion.
•    Create a waved look by dipping a knife into the frosting and, holding the knife still, spinning the cupcake a full rotation as you pull it away.

Piping Flowers and Designs
•    Chilled frosting can also be piped onto cakes and cupcakes from a pastry bag fitted with the decorative tip of your choice. Please note: The heat of your hands will eventually melt the frosting, so be careful to squeeze from the end of the bag, not the center.



Excerpted from BabyCakes: Vegan, Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York's Most Talked-About Bakery by Erin Mckenna. Copyright 2009 by Clarkson Potter. Excerpted with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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