Tools Needed for decorating cupcakes: Cupcakes, buttercream frosting, food coloring (to color your buttercream), melting chocolate, scissors, off-set spatula, piping bag, parchment paper, silver and gold dragees and tips (see notes below for specific tip numbers). Cupcakes-make from scratch with a recipe you find or buy a box of mix from grocery store. Buttercream , melting chocolate, parchment paper, and food coloring -use recipe or buy frosting at a grocery store, food coloring colors to use include red, green, and you’ll want to make a skin toned color. Scissors, off-set spatula, piping bag, silver and gold dragees and tips-purchase at any crafts store.Buttercream Frosting: There are many recipes for buttercream frosting and this is Kelly Delaney’s favorite because it is easy to make and tastes great. She highly recommends it for decorating your cakes. Frosting is also available in grocery stores, but if you have the time you may wish to try making your own.
l pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites
1. Whip butter in a 5-quart bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and egg whites in another 5-quart bowl.
3. Set the sugar and egg whites bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (ban marie) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm (testing like a baby’s bottle, warm to touch on your wrist).
4. Remove from stove and whip on electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.
5. Switch the whip attachment to a paddle attachment. Add whipped butter, a little at a time, mixing until well incorporated. (The longer you mix it, the lighter and better the buttercream is to work with.)
Note: The frosting can be made 72 hours in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, 2009.
1. Take your piping bag and rub to open. With scissors, cut an opening at the bottom. (Tip-never cut too big, you can’t go back once you’ve cut, but you can always make bigger if need be).
2. Place coupler inside bag where slit is and fold bag down like making a cuff on a pant leg, fill with white frosting and squish bag down so frosting is at bottom of bag.
3. Pipe frosting onto cupcake by squeeze bag and releasing.
4. Take off-set spatula and smooth over top of frosting like you’re creating a mushroom then use the off-set spatula around the sides of the cupcake to remove the excess frosting and to clean the cupcake up. (Tip: wipe the excess frosting from your spatula onto the edge of a bowl. You can always re-use this frosting).
5. Put green colored frosting into a piping bag and place a leaf tip (#67) into the slit with coupler over it.
6. To make your wreath, hold the piping bag, go counter clockwise, and apply pressure and squeeze and break to make a leaf. Go right around in a circle, one leaf at a time.
7. Use your silver dragees to garnish. Please one on each leaf.
8. Put red colored frosting into a piping bag and use a round tip (#3) to pipe on the “red ribbon”. Start counter clockwise and apply a little pressure. Go right around just like a shoe lace. Recipe courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes For Occasions, 2010.
If cake decorating is something that you have always wanted to try, but have never dared to try, now is the time. There are many cake decorating classes being offered at local community colleges throughout the country, but Kelly Delaney, Owner of Cakes for Occasions who received her culinary education from the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland and the Cordon Bleu in London., will show you the tricks and techniques in a series of videos she has made for your benefit. There are three Christmas related cupcakes – a Christmas Tree, a Santa Face and this week’s Christmas Wreath.