Before decorating any cake or cupcake, make sure the cake is cooled down so it does not melt the frosting or distort any designs. If when evening your cake, you find that crumbs come out easily, you can always frost it with a base coat, let it chill, and then frost it again, covering the crumbs. Another option is to seal the cake. To do this, boil a cup of preservatives with a cup of water and brush it over the cake. Once it dries, it acts as a seal over the cake, gluing the crumbs in place while you decorate.
Decorating a Cupcake without pastry bags and decorating tips
Don’t have pastry bags or tips? Its no big deal, all you need is a knife, small offset spatula or zip lock bag and tape
Using a Zip lock bag and Tape
Cut a bottom corner of the bag. If a certain design is desired (i.e. shell or star), place tape on the edge of the bag and cut the corner in the desired shape. Fill the bag with frosting and push the frosting down so that all air is squeezed out.
*You can also decorate with two-tone frosting using a pastry bag or zip lock bag. All you need to do is spread thick lines of the colored frosting over each other in the bags. As with normal frosting, ensure the frosting is pushed towards the edge and air is squeezed out. After the tip is cut, squeeze out the frosting to test that the colors come out as you want it. If you have trouble keeping the frosting neat, you can always fill multiple bags with different color frostings and place them into a bigger bag and cut the edge.
For a Flat Spread
Place a generous serving of frosting on the center of the cupcake. Working away from the center, push it to the edge of the cupcake working your way around the cupcake in a circular motion. When you are done, pull the spatula to the edge leaving it flat and not lifting as not to create peaks.
For a Mountain-Like top
Use a larger serving of frosting on the center of the cupcake. This time, slightly angle the spatula down from to center of the cupcake to the edge of the cake and spread the frosting in a clockwise like motion. Remove the spatula in a similar motion as above.
Creating an Edge around the cupcake
Place the item you would like to edge your cupcake with in a shallow bowl or in a plate. While the frosting has not yet set, roll the edge in the item, making sure to gently press into the plate as to smooth out the item.