Swirled Icing for Cupcakes

For this technique you will need white decorator’s icing make sure it is as white as possible.  As for equipment, you’ll need some disposable icing bags and icing tips, I used 1 M and #18 and optionally a coupler.  You’ll also need a small, clean paint brush or a toothpick and some paste food colors. (It must be paste. Liquid won’t work.) Finally, grab a tall drinking glass, which will help to hold the bag for you.

Insert the tip into the bag. Drop about a pea- size amount of food coloring on to a plate.  Dip the brush or toothpick into the food coloring and starting at the tip of the bag and going up about 3-4 inches. If using 2 or 3 colors, paint two stripes of each color, alternating them.  Be sure to leave some space between each strip.

Fill the bag with icing.  The stripes of color will be very easy to see now.

Fold down the top edge of the bag.  Give it a gentle squeeze so the frosting moves into the tip.The food coloring will add a strip to about 12 cupcakes. You’ll need to start with a clean bag each time you need more icing and paint fresh stripes on it.


  • If you make the cupcakes ahead of time, do not store them in airtight containers.  Believe it or not, while the top of the cupcake will feel tacky, the cupcake itself will dry out. If you have fancy fondant cupcake topper it may soak up some of the moisture, thus ruining the cupcake.
  • How do you keep those cupcake wrappers from pulling away from the cupcake?  Baking the cupcake fully is the key.
  • If using a box cake mix follow the directions EXACTLY.  Mainly the mixing time. If you don’t mix long enough the ingredients may not mix together completely and the result will be inconsistent, lumpy batter.  If you mix too long your cake will be too dense.
  • You may also use Wilton Sparkle Gel in place of the paste colors for a pastel effect.