Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating with a full step-by-step video tutorial showing you how to make beautiful, elegant, and gourmet chocolate cupcake toppers with NO special equipment or skill required. Free tracing template too!

Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating with a full step-by-step video tutorial showing you how to make beautiful, elegant, and gourmet chocolate cupcake toppers with NO special equipment or skill required. Free tracing template too!

How to make GORGEOUS and elegant chocolate cupcake toppers with no special equipment!

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.

Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating with a full step-by-step video tutorial showing you how to make beautiful, elegant, and gourmet chocolate cupcake toppers with NO special equipment or skill required. Free tracing template too!

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!!

Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating with a full step-by-step video tutorial showing you how to make beautiful, elegant, and gourmet chocolate cupcake toppers with NO special equipment or skill required. Free tracing template too!

How to make
Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating

Recipe By Tessa Arias, Handle the Heat
Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Tempered chocolate (tutorial here)

OR

Melting, decorating, or dipping chocolate, melted (should contain NO cocoa butter)

Directions

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.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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18 Responses to “Easy Chocolate Cupcake Decorating”

  1. #
    taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — February 5, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Okay these look so good and make for a perfect touch to any Valentine’s Day! Love love love it!

  2. #
    Robin — February 5, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks for the video. Can’t wait to try my hand at these.

  3. #
    Angela — February 6, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing going to try this coming weekend. Looks amazing and fun to create!

    • #
      Tessa — February 7, 2016 at 9:41 am

      You’re welcome! Have fun πŸ™‚

  4. #
    Patty K — February 7, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    So pretty, Tessa!

    • #
      Tessa — February 8, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Thank you, Patty!

  5. #
    Trephon Kaladelfos — February 8, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for the video looks fantastic

  6. #
    belkocm — March 17, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Love the site Tessa! What is your go to source for chocolate?

    • #
      Tessa — March 18, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Thank you! Usually whatever is the best option at the grocery store. Often Ghirardelli. I don’t like to use anything too fancy since I know most of my readers will only use what’s easily available.

  7. #
    Arias — April 7, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Hi, thanks for this! Would bakers chocolate be okay? Also..if I want to make these the night b4 an event will they still be okay?

  8. #
    Ashley — January 20, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Hi, Tessa. You are my dang hero! I made those chocolate cupcakes w/ the swiss buttercream and people oooh’d and aaaah’d over them! Thank you! Now, I have a quick question. I’m making cupcakes for a bridal shower and not sure if the chocolate design toppers will fit in the carrier on top of the cupcakes I’m making. What do you think would be the best way to safely transport them to their final destination where I can finish decorating them?

    Thank you for all the recipes and ideas!

    • #
      Tessa — January 22, 2017 at 11:49 am

      That’s wonderful to hear! I think the best way to transport them would be on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. If it’s warm at all, make sure they’re nicely refrigerated before transporting too. Good luck!

  9. #
    Cody — January 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks for this article. I’m making cupcakes using buttercream frosting with a melting chocolate initial on top. I was just wondering how it will hold up and for how long? Will the frosting make the chocolate soften and fall? That’s my fear.

    • #
      Tessa — January 26, 2017 at 11:11 am

      As long as it’s not really warm or humid, they should be fine. If you’re worried, refrigerate the cupcakes and take them out about 1 hour before ready to serve or present so they stay nice and solid.

  10. #
    Jennifer — May 25, 2017 at 7:58 am

    I would love the templates-making fairy cupcakes and this would be perfect

  11. #
    Asana — May 31, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Would like template for love letters

  12. #
    lastcupcake — July 9, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Tessa! I think your decorations are awesome! I’m going to try them out today πŸ™‚
    Regarding the chocolate cupcake recipes that i have used in the past, I have always found that when the cupcakes were cooling the paper patty pan comes away from the cake itself (I have only ever encountered this with chocolate flavoured cupcakes). Would you be able to refer me to a chocolate cupcake recipe that will not have this problem?
    Thank you!

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