To be perfectly honest, going to culinary school really demystified a lot of things that seemed so incredibly complicated and impressive. A lot of what you see at restaurants and bakeries that looks so elegant and beautiful really isn’t all that difficult to achieve once you see someone else do it. Then it’s no big deal.
That’s exactly how I felt when I learned how bakers make those beautiful chocolate cupcake toppers. So, I thought it would be a super fun video to create especially since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. These methods will work for ANY holiday or celebration and your creativity is your only limit here.
Cupcake Decorating Tips
Tempered chocolate will give you the best taste, but is the most difficult. Lucky for you I have a full video tutorial just on tempering chocolate!
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of tempering chocolate, you can use melting, dipping, or decorating chocolate. If you’re not sure if the chocolate you have is suitable, take a look at the ingredients. There should be NO cocoa butter, that’s how you know the chocolate will set up and firm nicely. I like the Ghirardelli Chocolate Melting Wafers.
For making delicate decorations and words, I really prefer to use a squeeze bottle. I find it much easier to manage and hold than a bag, but either will work. If you want to use the template seen in the video, just enter your email address below so I can send it to you!
PS – here is the exact double Chocolate Cupcake recipe I used to make the cupcakes you see in these photos. It’s the BEST. I also have a detailed tutorial on making Swiss Buttercream (which is what I used here) and American Buttercream. I got ya covered!!
How to make Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating
Tempered chocolate (tutorial here)
Melting, decorating, or dipping chocolate, melted (should contain NO cocoa butter)
For piped designed:
Use a printable guide inserted into a sheet protector or placed under semi-translucent parchment or wax paper to get started, if desired.
Transfer the tempered chocolate to a squeeze bottle or small piping or ziptop bag with a small hole snipped in one corner. Hold bag about 1-inch above the sheet then gently squeeze, tracing the designers. Squeeze with even pressure but stop before you think you should as the chocolate will continue flowing.
Fill any gaps with the tip of a toothpick. Allow the chocolate to set completely in the fridge, about 15 minutes, before carefully peeling and placing on your cupcakes.
For shard or shaped designs
Scoop chocolate onto a small sheet of parchment paper and spread out evenly with an offset spatula, keeping about a 1-inch border on all edges. Pick up and gently drop the parchment on the counter a few times to spread out evenly and release any air bubbles. Sprinkle with sprinkles, decorations, or finely chopped candy.
Allow the chocolate to set just until it’s dry to the touch but still flexible. Use a knife to square off all the edges. Make cuts into the chocolate into shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could also use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. If the cookie cutter is sticking, allow the chocolate to set and harden for a few more minutes before continuing with the shapes.
Allow the chocolate to set completely in the fridge, about 15 minutes, before carefully peeling and placing on your cupcakes.
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