6 ways to frost cupcakes without tools!

It is something of magic, really, to mix random things like eggs, flour and sugar to get delectable cupcakes. Cupcakes are great without frosting, but there’s no denying that decorating them quickly elevates the experience.

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I recently baked some vanilla and coconut cupcakes and wanted to frost them to make them extra special. We had a problem, however: I do not own frosting piping or frosting tips. So I had to get creative. It ended up not too shabby, I think. Here are a few ways I’ve frosted/iced cupcakes, both this time and from previous posts.

1. Chocolate glaze

I winged my chocolate glaze using butter, cocoa powder, icing sugar and milk. I dunked and twisted the cupcakes into the glaze upside down, then put them in the fridge for  5 minutes for the glaze to cool and harden. The only problem was that they had more of a matte finish than a glossy glaze. I’ll be trying out tested recipes next time.

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Not-so-glazy chocolate glaze

2. Spiky vanilla buttercream frosting

Again, I winged the frosting. I beat butter and icing sugar together with a few drops of milk and vanilla essence. I used a butter knife to spread an even layer of frosting on each cupcake. I then used the tip of my index finger (washed of course) to dab on the frosting and create these cute spikes on the cakes, then refrigerated immediately for 5 minutes to have the spikes set. Thank God for the internet for giving me this tip!

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Spiky frosting

3. Mix media and colour

I mixed the buttercream frosting and chocolate glaze to create a funky look. I spread the buttercream evenly over the cupcakes, then drizzled some chocolate glaze irregularly. Again, I put in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.

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Buttercream frosting with chocolate drizzle

4. Garnish with fruits and herbs

I didn’t have pretty fruits like cherries and berries to garnish with, but I did have mint! Adding some young mint leaves adds colour and sophistication to your cupcakes. Basil too is a beautiful leaf that would work great.

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Chocolate glaze with a dollop of buttercream frosting and mint
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Buttercream frosting drizzled with chocolate glaze and mint

5. Dust with icing sugar

This is my go-to when I am pressed for time. Dusting cupcakes with icing sugar is a neat way to spruce them up, and requires zero skill. It particularly goes well with dark coloured cakes like my chocolate cupcakes. Simply use a sieve to evenly dust the sugar on your cupcakes, like this. You can even use stencils like lace to create patterns.

Centre cupcake dusted with icing sugar

6. Add colour to your frosting

A coloured frosting screams ‘FUN’. You can add food colouring to your frosting, or use natural dyes like beetroot like I did in this post!

Pink frosting using beetroot

  • Find chocolate glaze recipes here
  • Find buttercream recipes here.
  • Find my pink beetroot frosting here
  • Find my chocolate cupcakes here


What are some simple frosting tips you use?

Sending love your way.

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