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15/04/2023
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Mihai Aurel
Video: How to frost a cupcake

EVER WONDERED HOW WE GET THAT SIGNATURE HUMMINGBIRD SWIRL? IN OUR LATEST VIDEO, OUR EXPERT BAKER SHOWS YOU EXACTLY HOW TO FROST A CUPCAKE USING ONLY A PALETTE KNIFE.

 

It takes our most skilled bakers no time at all to frost a whole tray of cupcakes and this is because they have their palette knife skills down to perfection.  

When you learn to ice a cupcake without a piping bag, it cuts your decorating time down and makes washing up a piece of cake. No pesky bags or nozzles required.  

Personally, we also think the swirl looks great and it’s our favourite style of cupcake frosting. If you wish to write on a cupcake with a small piping nozzle, just follow steps 1-2 below and flatten the top into a flat dome shape instead of a cone.  

We like the swirl method the best because it ensures every last bit of the sponge is covered with smooth, fluffy frosting and this prevents it from drying out.  

Watch our video to find out how to frost a cupcake, Hummingbird Bakery style:

Four steps to frosting the perfect cupcake:  

  1. Use a food portioner (as we do in our bakeries), or a heaped ice cream scoop, to get an even quantity of frosting on each cupcake. This will help to keep them looking uniform. We use food portioners to scoop out all of our frostings and cake batters, so we have our cupcakes, frostings and sponge layers as equal as possible.
  2. Take a clean palette knife and lead with the edge of the knife against the frosting, drawing it down slightly towards the paper case to smooth it into a cone shape and cover the whole sponge until none is left exposed.
  3. Clean your palette knife against the bowl and hold the tip flat against the tip of the frosting cone. Press and twist to create a swirl.
  4. Decorate with your favourite sprinkles or toppings.

 

Expert tips for easier frosting:  

  1. Loosen up your frosting with an electric hand-held mixer or electric stand mixer, adding a dash of milk if necessary if it is too stiff. Frosting should be soft and spreadable but not melting, it’s best to use it freshly whipped where possible. If your frosting is too warm, allow it to chill in the fridge for a little while before whipping up again.
  2. Don’t overbeat cream cheese frosting, no more than five minutes is necessary to combine the cream cheese with the other ingredients or it will go runny. Buttercream frosting should be whipped for more than five minutes; it will just get fluffier the more you whip it.
  3. Our bakers choose either a straight or cranked palette knife depending on whichever they prefer holding, there is no correct palette knife to use.
  4. Don’t give up. It is not as easy as it looks! It takes a lot of cupcakes for our bakers to learn to frost correctly, so keep trying and you will eventually get the hang of it.
  5. If you can’t manage to get your frosting as neat as you would like… cover it up (we won’t tell!). Add sprinkles, sweets, cookie pieces, a dollop of jam or blitz leftover sponge in a food processor (if it is Red Velvet or chocolate flavour, for colour contrast) and sprinkle liberally over the frosting to hide any imperfections. You can also use the tip of the palette knife to create swirls or spikes all over, which is far simpler to execute with style than our trademark swirl. Get creative…

 

More videos

For more baking videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel here.  

Baking giftware 

Get your kitchen fully equipped to bake up a storm with our range of beautiful retro baking utensils, aprons, cake stands and more.

Exclusively available from Amazon UK.  

Bestselling cookbooks     

For our famous frosting recipes and favourite cupcakes, our bestselling cookbooks are the best way to perfect your American cupcakes. Start your baking adventure and order your copy here.  

Happy baking! x

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