There are so many cake and cupcake decorating techniques that seem really complicated, but are actually totally achievable. This is one of those surprisingly easy techniques to master and makes for super adorable and fun cupcakes.
Watch the step-by-step video below on how to achieve beautiful two-toned cupcake frosting. You could of course use three colors instead of just two for an even bolder effect! Below the video I’ve included photo breakdowns of each method so you can see how it looks up close.
Then I’ve broken down the ingredients, tools, and directions at the bottom of the post in a printable recipe format so you can take it into the kitchen with you. The exact tools I use are also linked below. Enjoy!
By the way, you don’t have to use food coloring here if you don’t want to. Get contrasting colors by using different buttercream flavors, such as chocolate or strawberry. Get my Best Buttercream Recipe here (that video has been viewed over a million times!!).
Method 1: Double Bag
The standard method for getting two toned swirled cupcake frosting, we simply place two smaller piping bags into a larger one. I used two 12-inch disposable piping bags inside an 18-inch disposable piping bag, but you could use whatever you have that’s most similar in size.
Method 2: Plastic Wrap
This is the perfect method for those of you who don’t have piping bags or decorative piping tips in your kitchen. All you need are things you probably already have: plastic wrap and a freezer bag! It seriously couldn’t be easier. I used Americolor gel food coloring in Deep Pink.
Method 3: Spatuala / Spoon Striping:
I love this method of carefully placing various colors into sections of your piping bag with a spatula or a spoon. The colors blur together slightly and create a really pretty ombre or watercolor effect. Plus you only need one piping bag!
Be sure to let me know what cupcake or cake decorating techniques you’d like to see next time!!
How to make 3 Ways to Make Swirled Cupcake Frosting
1 batch of buttercream frosting
Gel food coloring (I like Wilton or Americolor)
Decorative piping tips (I used Wilton 1M)
Double bag technique
Fill two small disposable piping bags with different colored or flavored frosting. Use scissors to snip holes in the bottoms of both bags. Insert both bags into a large (16”) disposable piping bag fitted with a decorative tip, making sure the two bags are aligned by squeezing and twisting the large bag. Squeeze out a test pip to ensure the colors are coming out evenly.
Plastic wrap technique
Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Spoon one color or flavor of your buttercream frosting in a log down the center. Repeat with the second color or flavor, spooning it parallel alongside the first color.
Fold the plastic wrap over to shape it into a two-toned log. Twist the excess plastic to seal the buttercream inside. Drop the plastic wrap log into a large pastry bag fitted with a decorative piping tip, using the excess plastic wrap to pull the log through the opening of the bag. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before frosting your cupcakes. Squeeze out a test pip to ensure the colors are coming out evenly.
In a large piping bag fitted with a decorative tip, use a spoon to scoop one color of frosting into one section of the bag, using your finger on the outside of the bag to help scrape it off. Repeat with your remaining color(s). Ensure you’re aligning the frosting so it starts at the same place in the bag. Squeeze the bag to slightly blur the colors together for a rainbow type effect. Twist the bag and frost your cupcakes. Squeeze out a test pip to ensure the colors are coming out evenly.
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