After the amount of questions I’ve received in the last week on how I frost my cupcakes, you’d think the repair of the economy depends on it or something. Newsflash: it doesn’t.

The way I frost my cupcakes is really no big secret. It’s because I’m, um… lazy. Like, really lazy. Cakes are not my thing, and I’d rather spend 45 minutes eating cupcakes than frosting them in pretty ways. Different strokes for different folks, you know? You are probably going to laugh at how I get this pile of frosting on my cupcakes, but… this is really it. If you want some fun and funky and incredibly gorgeous frosting ideas, you must must must check out Amanda and Bridget’s blogs because they take the cake (and cookies)… like, literally.


Anyhoo… this is what I do.

I use this #12 Wilton tip. Always. Hear me? ALWAYS!

How I Frost My Cupcakes I

I should add that this is my sixth #12 tip because someone (me) has crushed 5 others in the garbage disposal. I have other tips but trying to use them gives me the shakes.


I let my cupcakes COMPLETELY cool. This is a nightmare, especially for someone who has the patience of a sleepy, hungry 2-year old.

How I Frost My Cupcakes I


I assemble my piping bag. I use disposable ones because really… I can’t even clean up my room, do you actually think I could be bothered to clean a giant pastry bag? You are right. How Sweet It Is… destroying the environment one plastic bag at a time.

How I Frost My Cupcakes I

I also use disposable ones because again, this isn’t something I’m passionate about. If I did this more often, I’d probably buy some of those real bags. [P.S. ignore the blurriness/unfocusedness of some of these pics; apparently photographing with one hand and squeezing something with the other isn’t my thing either. (that’swhatshesaid)]


I start in the middle…

How I Frost My Cupcakes I


And literally just squeeze the frosting out in the center.

How I Frost My Cupcakes I


And I keep doing that until it makes a big poofy blob.

How I Frost My Cupcakes I

Sometimes, depending on the consistency of the frosting, I will make tiny circles with the piping tip in the middle of the frosting blob to get the frosting out onto the sides. This is just something you have to play with.


Then it looks like this!

How I Frost My Cupcakes I

Yeah… so that’s what I do. That’s it. No secret… I’m just lazy. And hungry.

How I Frost My Cupcakes I

So… I can’t wait to tell you about these cupcakes. I’m actively trying to keep my grubby little fingers off of them. Sinful.

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97 Responses to “How I Frost My Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Katrina — August 8, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    haha, I love using the #12 too. Or anything with a pretty design. I want cupcakes.


  2. #
    Megan @ Sweet B's Homemade — August 8, 2011 @ 1:24 am

    Looks good!


  3. #
    what katie's baking — August 8, 2011 @ 2:00 am

    i think we’re soulmates… i thought i was the only person that said wowza!
    p.s…. i really just want to make cupcakes tomorrow to frost mine like this… i can’t believe it’s so easy!


  4. #
    Devon — August 8, 2011 @ 3:10 am

    I think it was fate that you posted this today! I had decided to make the blueberry cupcakes from a few days ago for a dinner party tonight and frosted them like this! Despite what you say about this being the “lazy” way to frost cupcakes, I got tons of compliments on their look (and taste)! Thanks!!


  5. #
    Miz — August 8, 2011 @ 5:52 am

    we all wanna be you :)
    if by WE ALL you mean me—which I do.


  6. #
    Ellen — August 8, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    Yes!!! I have been wanting to ask this question for a long time now. So glad there were others out there brave enough to ask!


  7. #
    sherrie — August 8, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    i use my fancy pampered chef decorater, but yours just look like a perfect cloud of heaven. mine look like i tried too hard. lol love your recipes and i may attempt the blueberry ones soon. can’t wait to see what this new recipe is all about. btw, i heart your humor! i’m sitting at work lol in my lonely little cubicle about your that’s what she said remark. :)


  8. #
    terri — August 8, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    thank you!!! i have wondered this for a LONG time! i laughed out loud about the 6th # 12….that stupid garbage disposal….i have lost a few myself! have a wonderful monday!


  9. #
    Michelle — August 8, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    LOVE how you describe your technique! I have done this but my friends are used to other tips so they weren’t impressed but I love doing this on top sometimes. I use tip 806 b/c it is bigger and does the job quickly. Other tips I use are 1M and 2D. Swirl around from the outside edge to the middle and it creates a nice effect that is quick and easy!


  10. #
    Elisabeth — August 8, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    I had SOOOO wanted to ask too! I’m supposed to make a couple hundred cupcakes for a low key wedding and I knew this had to be easy so I was hoping to learn (and then convince the bride that this is the way to go) ;) You just *had* to make a special batch of cupcakes to blog this didn’t you? ;) Going to see if I have a #12! Oh, and just so you are not alone, I destroy the planet too, one disposable pastry bag at a time too!!!


  11. #
    Lauren — August 8, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Do you use the same tip for filling or do you use a different bag?

    I’m totally with you when it comes to cleaning up. My mom actually has a Wilton set with re-useable bags and I still find myself buying the disposable ones. Plus, the longer things sit in the sink filled with water, the looser the batter gets/easier it is to clean… Right?!!


    • Jessica — August 8th, 2011 @ 11:29 am

      If I fill the cupcakes I use the same one!


  12. #
    Alysha @ She's on the Run — August 8, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    That frosting looks amazing…yum! And thanks for the tutorial. Although cupcakes are easy to bake, it’s hard to frost them!

    Alysha @ ShesOnTheRun


  13. #
    Chocchipcookie — August 8, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    Love it!! Pls can u post the recipe for these cupcakes too they look uber chocolatey!!! I have cheecked the tripe section but none of those cupcake are look remotely as chocolatey! Thanks :-)


    • Jessica — August 8th, 2011 @ 11:27 am

      A few of the recipes in my recipe section use this recipe: peanut butter hot fudge cupcakes, dark chocolate cupcakes with bacon, root beer float cupcakes – this is a new recipe I will post soon, but it has the same base.


  14. #
    sunshine — August 8, 2011 @ 10:54 am
  15. #
    teresa — August 8, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    That’s the HAPPIEST~yummiest blob of frosting ever!
    Love that big~ole fat #12 tip!
    Yes indeed~Amanda and Bridget ROCK the icing world!
    But you know I’m LOVING “the big blob” effect!
    I totally~totally get what you mean about those other tips giving you “the shakes!”
    I had to SMILE!
    Icing cookies {tediously} wears me out…and makes my hands and fingers and legs hurt!
    LOVE your technique!
    It’s so YOU!
    And I adore you!


  16. #
    Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke — August 8, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    Thank you!! That is really simple. I’m impatient too so I get it, I’m more about eating than flashy cupcakes.


  17. #
    Karen — August 8, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    I have a Cuispro batter dispenser which I absolutely love. I discovered recently that I could fill that sucker up with frosting and it works just as great blobbing it on top of the finished cakes as it does of filling the cups with batter. I think they look pretty but not too pretty. I never want it to seem like I tried too hard. I do love the even more effortless look you’ve demonstrated here too.


  18. #
    Ann — August 8, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    [that’s what she said] OMG! You are hysterical! My sister just told me about that a week ago and I’m constantly saying “so she says….” I have to call her and tell her I read this on a blog post! YOU have made my day!


  19. #
    Carie — August 8, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

    So I was watching Cupcake Wars the other day and I heard to most wonderful combination of words ever put together in one phrase…salted peanut butter frosting. And then I saw it on a dark chocolate cupcake. Almost fell out of my chair. I HAVE to figure out how to make this.

    [thatswhatshesaid] ha!


  20. #
    Kristen — August 9, 2011 @ 1:02 am

    Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait to see this recipe!


  21. #
    Alexandra Fields-Gerrity — August 9, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    I’m also lazy – so I won’t read all of the comments to see if someone else said this – but – I use ziploc bags instead of the throw-away pastry ones. They’re cheaper. Just cut the bottom corner off and put the tip in (THAT’S what she said). :)


  22. #
    Sandi Healey — August 10, 2011 @ 1:11 am

    Im sure your cupcakes are great, I love frosting, and it may seeml ike a small thing, but I took offence to your comment about destroying the environment one bag at a time. Really? If everyone did just a few little things to help reduce, reuse, and recycle, it WOULD make a difference.


    • Jessica — August 10th, 2011 @ 6:41 am

      We do recycle – I was being facetious.


  23. #
    Julia — August 11, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    I tried to follow these directions and ended up with chocolate frosting that looks like turds. Literally. I think maybe my frosting was too thick? Could that cause turdlike appearance?


  24. #
    Kelly — August 12, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    Haha, I have the patience of a 2 year old as well. I usually grab a portable fan and aim it at the baked goods to make it all cool faster :) Just an idea!


  25. #
    Nikky — August 14, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    Let me share what we do at Mrs. Fields for the Frosting. Do u get frosting all over ur bag and make a mess. Well lay out a long sheet of plastic wrap. Add frosting on one end leavings about 3 inches before the end of the plastic wrap. take the top half of the plastic wrap and lay it over the frosting and press our all the air all around the frosting. grab on side of the wrap and roll the frosting into itself when its all rolled up, u can twist the bottom half and save for later or cut it and add it to frosting bag.


  26. #
    Nikky — August 14, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Forgot to add. U squeezes the frosting out of the wrap into the bag. As u need it. I know when I do frosting at home I do this too.


  27. #
    Katie — August 15, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    OMG, I use a 1M but I really want to change now :)


  28. #
    Yael — August 22, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

    wow that’s really clever and looks different. And as to the environment police, get a life!


  29. #
    savvyblackbird — August 26, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

    I love the way your cupcakes look! I’m with Alexandra on the ziplock bags. Easy peasy, plus if you have extra frosting or want to take a break from frosting for a while, it’s easy to store the frosting bag in the refrigerator or freezer–just wrap the tip in plastic wrap and tape it on. Buttercream frosting freezes like a dream–it will be easier to pipe intricate designs with colder frosting, but I think room temperature would make the puffy look you want on these cupcakes.

    I also like those hard plastic spring loaded frosting gun kits. The problem is there isn’t a big variety of tips although most do have a large circle one since it’s so good for filling cupcakes and even deviled eggs. I also like that I can let it soak in hot water and then put it on the top shelf of the dishwasher.

    I tried the reusable Wilton bags, but they were impossible to get clean. There was always a greasy feel to them, and I was afraid of that grease film going rancid and imparting a bad taste to my frosting–not to mention it just skeeved me out to not get them clean.

    Julia, the consistency does have a lot to do with how creamy frosting will look. Try adding a Tablespoon of milk or hot water at a time and whip the frosting with a stand mixer or even hand mixer–stand works better, until it’s the consistency you want. The frosting will stick to the beaters but will hold it shape and look really pretty and be easy to spread.

    My MIL makes the best buttercream frosting. She uses the Wilton recipe, but after all the ingredients are mixed completely, she turns her kitchenaid stand mixer on high using the whipping attachment, and whips the frosting for 10-15 minutes, scraping down the sides every couple of minutes. The frosting is so light and airy because extra air has been whipped into it, but the frosting still holds its shape and can be piped into almost any design. Extremely intricate piping, like lacework or edging for flooding cookies is better done with royal icing because it dries hard. I rarely need that, though, so I always use my MIL’s method, even when I do an all butter buttercream and follow a different recipe. Her method keeps the frosting from being so “gunky” and overly sweet. People that don’t like buttercream love my MIL’s frosting.


  30. #
    Annie — November 29, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    Hi Jessica,
    I’m making red velvet cakes for an office holiday party/baking contest. I’m NOT an avid baker, though I love to bake, and this will be my first time frosting cupcakes! EESHK! I was nervous but knew you would have a great, simple tutorial :) I’ll sprinkle some crushed up candy canes to make it look pretty and festive ;) I really love your blog — happy holidays!


  31. #
    Amy — December 6, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    I love your description of yourself: the patience of a tired, hungry 2 year old. As a mother of a two year old (not to mention several others), I had an immediate image in my mind of my daughter waiting to frost cupcakes so she could eat them! Not something I’d want to tangle with – ever!


  32. #
    Bianca — May 4, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    I put 5 of my tips through the dish washer and they turned weird. I can see the brass on some of them. Are they okay to use or should I replace them? I ask because I saw your tip has the same thing but in a lesser way.


  33. #
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  34. #
    Tirzah Gresley — February 6, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

    That was the BEST thatswhatshesaid I have ever heard and I thunk its so gutsy awesome that you included it. My mom says wowza and I thought she made it up. You don’t look old though so it can’t be a generation thing… and your cupcake frosting looks really good. I’m going to make it before my husband comes home from work. Have you blogged about your motivation/inspiration to fitness train?



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