Liv Hanson, The Whimsical Bakehouse, presented “Small Wonders-Cupcake Art” at ABE's Cake Décor Demo Theatre. The four ways to ice a cupcake are to spread or flat ice the cupcake, pipe the icing on, dip the cupcake or se a glaze. One simple icing technique is to use a star or round tip placed near the outer edge and go around the cupcake until reaching the center.
For a more elaborate cupcake, Hanson suggested using variegated buttercream. Fit a bag with petal tip No. 104, and align a stripe of white icing with the narrow end of the tip. Fill the remainder of the bag with another color. Then, with the wide end of the tip facing the center of the cupcake, hold the bag flat and pipe large petals around the cupcake. For the next row of petals, hold the bag at 25° angle as you pipe with the narrow end of the tip up. For each successive row of petals, angle the bag more. Then, pipe a small bud in the center.
To create a sunflower, use leaf tip No. 352. Begin piping 1/4 in. to 1/2 in. in from the outer edge of the cupcake. Hold the bag at a 35° angle, and pipe a row of yellow v-shaped petals by squeezing the bag and pulling out, lessening the pressure as you go. For the second row of petals, increase the angle of the bag and pipe another layer. Fill the center with chocolate or use tip No. 132 to pipe chocolate dots for the seeds of the sunflower.