GIVEAWAY!! Sugarlicious sneak peek prize pack AND piping frosting on cupcakes

UPDATE: Congratulations to Marlene, Kristy, Adrienne, Monica and Lindsay! (Also known as the 5 numbers that the Random Number Generator chose to win.) Thank you all for your participation, there are lots more giveaways ahead! I was surprised at how many frosting pipers were in the bunch. Sara-Jayne, best of luck to you, how exciting! And congratulations to your daughter, Susan1961! An ice cream scoop? Yeah, gotta agree with you Mia and Deniece that’s a no no. Ack, Trish and J Moore reminded me I meant to pull out the big tips, 1M, out for these! That’s my favorite…  And if you want to see a trick for filling a frosting bag, check out this video link left in the comments. I’ve never seen anything like it, so genius! It’s by Karen’s Cookies: CLICK HERE to see the video.


Another week, another giveaway to celebrate the almost-release of Sugarlicious!! (To learn more about the book, CLICK HERE.) This week I’m giving away five more of the super sweet Prize Packs my publisher created. In addition to the little 16-page sneak peek booklet of Sugarlicious, you get these prizes:

The Prize Pack includes:
an adorable apron
a hot pink oven mitt
a cutie spatula
a kitchen-friendly booklet with some recipes
some handy post-it notes for your Sugarlicious notes
And this week I’m giving away FIVE prize packs!
I’m also throwing in some cupcake liners and a few tips.
(scroll to the end of this post for details)

This week, let’s discuss cupcakes!! I’m pretty sure we can stop talking about cupcakes as a “trend,” too. Cupcakes are cute, decorate-able, portion-controlled perfection, and they are here to stay. But I do have a very important question for you.

 Pipe vs. Spread
How do you frost cupcakes?

Now I’m not averse to spreading frosting on cupcakes with a spatula. Gosh, it’s how I was raised. But once I started getting into piping, I spread no more. I find it’s so much quicker and easier to pipe frosting with a bag and tip.

how to pipe frosting on cupcakes

you will need:
frosting (or storebought, but NOT royal icing)

food coloring (optional)
decorating bag
decorating tips

rubber band

a word about supplies:

decorating bags. I use 12-inch disposable decorating bags, available at the craft store. It’d be easier to use larger bags because you’d be able to pipe on more cupcakes without refilling, but I use the 12-inch for cookie decorating and I don’t like to buy more than one box. So I refill every few cupcakes.

couplers and decorating tips. You’ll find these in the craft store, too. I use standard size couplers and tips. But for cupcakes, you can use the larger sizes if you prefer. It’s actually much easier to go larger, but I’m cheap, I mean frugal, and just my cookie decorating supplies, so that’s why I just use the standard size of both of these. Just make sure that whatever tips you buy fit on the couplers you buy. (So standard/standard or big/big.)

frosting. I use this recipe for frosting (not the royal icing). But you can use store-bought, too. You may want to thicken it a bit with confectioner’s sugar. For piping cupcakes, a little thicker than the spreadable consistency in the can is preferred. You want the frosting to be thick enough to hold it’s shape (scoop a spoonful and make sure it doesn’t move) but not so super-thick you can’t squeeze it out of the bag.

UPDATE: A reader asked a fabulous question, why not royal icing?? It’s all about consistency. Royal icing dries very hard (my recipe dries well enough to handle, though the other ingredients make it a little different from traditional royal icing and it doesn’t dry very hard), so it’s ideal for cookie decorating, as you are then able to handle and package your cookies. However, hard icing not so ideal for cupcakes. Better to use a butter-based frosting for those.

step one: assemble the decorating bag. Assemble the decorating bag with a decorating tip (see below for tips on tips) and coupler. To do this, remove the ring from the coupler. Fit the coupler in side the bag with the smaller end pushed towards the point. Snip the bag beneath the edge of the coupler so the coupler fits fully inside the bag. Put the decorating tip on the edge of the coupler (over the snipped bag), and secure with the ring. Fold a cuff and put the bag in a tumbler with the cuff over the rim (I use my daughter’s Backyardigans cup). Fill with frosting, uncuff and close tightly with a rubber band.

step four: pipe the frosting
To pipe, hold the bag with your dominant hand by the rubber band. Steady the bag by placing your other hand on top of your dominant hand and squeeze with consistent pressure. Start at the center of the cupcake, move to the edge and pipe round and round in a spiral and pull away quickly at the top.

Which tip to use??

You can use pretty much any of the fancy schmancy type tips. Don’t worry too much about which one, since they all look pretty cool. You got your open star (with teeth), closed star (with teeth turned in), petals (long and flat), round (um, round)… I’m partial to the open stars, less teeth, the bigger the better. Below are a few examples…

now let’s get to the GIVEAWAY!!
How do you frost your cupcakes?


So this week I get to give FIVE of you the awesome Prize Pack,
and I’m throwing in some cupcake liners, too!

to ENTER to WIN:

the sneak-peek thingamajig AND 
 the awesome Prize Pack that includes 
an oven mitt, spatula, apron, a few recipes, post-its AND 
cupcake liners AND
three decorating tips, bags and couplers

(reminder, the sneak peek is NOT the book itself which is available February 7th)
leave a comment here before
Thursday, January 26th, midnight, EST 

(Sorry folks, funds are limited so I have to keep this US addresses only!)

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


  1. Sara-Jayne says

    Hello! I'm 38 weeks super-pregnant and my baby boy is due on your release date! I would SO love to win! I am in the UK, BUT My friend in the USA would take delivery for me and send it on; she knows how much I love your work! Congratulations on the book by the way, I cannot wait for it to be released :) Thank you for always making my day prettier with your work :)

  2. Bakingmomof4 says

    I want to win. I have your book pre-ordered and I can hardly wait until it arrives!! WOO HOO! Love all your work!!

  3. Amy Sims says

    LOVE to pipe frosting onto my cupcakes. It's SO much easier! Can't wait to see your book…it'd be awesome to get a sneak peek!

  4. Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more says

    I pipe now too, so much easier, but I pipe from the outside in. I get to make a bit of a mountain of icing that way:)

  5. AHM514 says

    Thank you so much for the post! I had one of those AH HA! moments. I always fight with the bag as I try to fill it, I never thought to put it in a cup, with the bag opened & rolled over the sides! Genius! (and why didn't I think of that ha ha!!!!) We appreciate your give-aways as well!!! Thanks a million!!!!!!

  6. Jeanetta says

    I have pre-ordered your book from Amazon and can't wait until it arrives! In the mean time I'd love the sneek peek and the prize.
    Your work is fantastic and I've followed you for over a year. I also use your icing recipe and love it. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Jeanetta (

  7. Gina says

    I'm still battling the piping technique. I follow your instructions to the "t". Would love to win your wonderful prizes. You are the best. Can't wait to get your book next month.

  8. Pauline says

    I would LOVE to win this. My new years resolution this year is to learn to decorate cookies/cupcakes. This would come in VERY handy at my house right now:)
    Thanks for this awesome giveaway.
    Pauline at tinkertoys dot net

  9. Amanda says

    I use both methods of frosting cupcakes. For me it really depends on the occasion. I am adding to my piping tip collection and I would love to win a few more!

  10. Anjali says

    I love making and decorating cupcakes. I mostly pipe the frosting unless theme requires flat surface then I spread. Love your blog and look forward to winning this lovely giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity and good luck with the release of Sugarlicious book!

  11. b stapleton says

    I love to PIPE. Then, if I want it smoother I just smooth with my spatula. Less mess that way. I learned the bag in a cup trick in a decorating class years ago and it just rocked my world! Awesome tip.

  12. StarvingBitch says

    Of course I want to win. I like to pipe frosting as well, I'm still learning, boy on TV decorating cakes and cupcakes looks so easy but it's not that easy. At least not for me, I know practice makes perfect. I try my best! I may take a cake decorating class down the street from my house to get the hang of it.

  13. Katie says

    I currently spread frosting, but am hoping that after the cake decorating class I take in a few weeks I will be better at piping!

  14. Its All About Creating says

    I'm so happy to be able to leave a comment today. It wouldn't work yesterday for some reason, so yay for today. Thank you for the giveaway and opportunity to win. Congratulations on all your hard work paying off! Thank you for the tips today-great post!

  15. Robynn says

    Great tutorial! I frost my cupcakes the old fashion way with a knife. But I am going to try piping the frosting next time. Looks very easy.

  16. Yuliah says

    I like to frost my cupcakes with either the star or open tips. But by the time we add some sprinkled, or sugar decorations, it kinda doesn't matter. I love experimenting w/ ideas, so thanks for sharing!

  17. Mia and Deniece, Boulder Creek Cupcakes says

    I pipe my cupcakes, so much quicker than spreading, which is how I grew up doing cupcakes. I think just about anyway you do your cupcakes is great except when people use an ice cream scoop and just but a giant glob on top. That really bothers me =)

  18. Adrienne says

    YAY! I love this giveaway! Congratulations on your book, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! :) Oh, and I pipe my cupcakes – it's so much more fun!! :)

  19. Trish - Sweetology101 says

    Great cupcake frosting tutorial..I need to branch out of the 1M that is for sure…I like the ruffle feel of the 2D tip too….I am getting SO excited for you!!

  20. Karenduch says

    I used to just use a knife, but I have branched out to decorator tips (actually is less messy and faster! not to mention prettier!) or candy and cookie decorations (reindeer over the holidays!). Thanks for the opportunity!

  21. Mrs Scratch says

    In the past, I've always just spread…but now I am inspired to pipe. I have all the tools, so hopefully it will work. Thanks for the tips on how to fill the bag. That always seems like the messiest part.

  22. Danielle says

    This book looks awesome! I would love to win. By the way, I pipe frosting onto my cupcakes. Love the neater look!

  23. Anonymous says

    What an exciting prize package…I would love to win. I spread the cupcakes still most of the time but love the look of piping it. Congrats on your book! Thanks for the chance to win!

  24. Anonymous says

    Would love to win this for my daughter as she is getting ready to leave for culinary school and decorating is her passion.

  25. danielle040575 says

    Hoping to win!
    I usually pipe icing on cupcakes. I did find a neat technique that was intended for cookies, but I think it applies to anything iced.
    It makes clean-up a breeze, especially when using non-disposable bags.
    My daughter and I love to bake, and hope to win your book!

  26. J Moore says

    Hopefully I will win this week :0) I frost my cupcakes using the same techniques you use. I like using a 1M or 2D tip with a large coupler and disposable piping bags. Congrats again on your new book!!
    email: jmoorecoupons (at) aol (dot) com

  27. kim gasaway says

    Thank you! My cupcakes were not so cute, and now I know where I went wrong. Your giveaway looks super fun. I hope choose me!

  28. Beth Jackson Klosterboer says

    I haven't made very many cupcakes as of late but will be making some soon and plan to pipe on the frosting. It looks so much prettier that way.

    Beth @ Hungry Happenings

  29. karenb says

    Piping Frosting is definitely the way to go!!! It's very fast, easy and looks "professional!" And, best of all, no messy, sticky fingers!!

    Looking forward to your book!!! I pre-ordered it on Amazon as soon as you announced it!! Would LOVE to get a sneak peek!

  30. Amanda says

    I love the pink houndstooth cupcake liners!
    After visiting this blog almost daily I finally faced my fears and tried the marshmallow fondant. It was a success! I was able to make fondant topped cupcakes as the favors for my godchild's Baptism. :)

  31. Christina says

    I would l♥ve to win!!! I pipe my cupcakes too. If I win I would share with my daughter, she is 12 years old, and has is spending lots of time in the kitchen with me. Baking is such a wonderful way for my daughter and I to spend time together. Congratulations on your new book. I will definitely be picking up a copy 😉

  32. Monsters33 says

    I use a good old spatula but it looks easy enough to pipe it on. I'll have to try it!

  33. Mac says

    I just started piping my cupcakes. I use to use just a spatula and I course your awesome frosting, but decided to step it up now that my daughter is growing up and actually cares about presentation rather than just te taste.

  34. Holley and Brandon says

    I would love to win! I'm just getting into cookie decorating and I'm so glad I found your blog. Can't wait for your book!

  35. Katherine says

    I would LOVE to win this amazing prize pack :)! I just stumbled onto your website and I LOVE it! I am definitely a "piper". There is a time to spread and a time to pipe and I mostly pipe. I am also addicted to mini-cookie cutters because the shapes fit so perfectly on my cupcakes!

  36. Barbie bakes says

    I LOVE your blog and the recipes and the ideas and the PINK! I like to pipe on my cupcakes….spreading tends to pull the cake off and not as pretty! I'm SUPER excited to get your book….and LOVE the pink!

  37. Kate says

    I would love to win this package. I have a cookie cutter club meeting February 4th with a country theme and we are suppose to wear an apron. I don't own an apron. If I win the apron everyone will ask what my apron means and I can tell them about your new book. They love that kind of stuff. Hey it's Kate the lady that makes the peacock cookies.

  38. Sarah Mae says

    I use a spatula but only because I don't have decorator bags or tips. I'd love to invest in some someday, but I am disabled and unable to work, so it isn't in the budget right now. Piping makes them so pretty!

    sarah_mae_ at hotmail dot com

  39. All Alone N Sad in Life says

    I am new to baking and blogging (is that what you call it?). In fact, yours is the first one I have subscribed to. I love the cover of your book and the beautiful and delicious looking things you make.

    I do have a question: Why NOT royal icing? And what is royal icing?

    I would love to win, but will be happy to know that you and your site (blog?) are here for me to come to for help and ideas.

    Congratulations and a Happy Life to you (all)

  40. Anonymous says

    I would love to win! I have just recently had the time to read more blogs (since been laid off, after 20 years). My husband is encouraging me to follow my love of cooking and mainly baking and see what I can do with it! It would be wonderful to have these beautiful items!! xoxox You have a very wonderful blog!!


  41. Susan1961 says

    I used to always spread my frosting until I started decorating cookies just recently! Now I pipe…I think it looks prettier & we eat with our eyes too:)

    I'd love to win!! Congrats on your book…it's like delivering a new baby! (My daughter just found out she is pregnant with baby #3 yesterday so I have babies on the brain!!)


  42. annc999 says

    What a GREAT giveaway for bakers like me. I would love to share this with my son's girlfriend, as she is learning to bake and loves it.

    Thanks for your kindness and generosity.

  43. Fátima says

    I enjoyed your tutorial on how to pipe very much. I usually use the round tip but I would like to try using the petal tip. I want to win!! Congratulations on your book.

  44. Kristina says

    These prizes are adorable! I love to bake and I love the decorated cookie! My baking buddies (aka my neighbors, best friends, basically sisters) bake cupcakes all the time! The girls always let me pipe the frosting on because its my favorite part! (besides tasting) Would love to win! We are 18, 13 and 10 and someday hope to own our own bakery! Thanks you for your tips and blog! Love it!

  45. Patty Solorzano says

    I'm from central america and I definitely admire your work of art! I'm getting ready to buy your book on february! I have family in california who would receive the delivery and send it down here to me! i really want to win!!!

  46. gramm44 says

    I use a spatula but after reading your directions I'll certainly try piping them. Used your cookie icing recipe "Almost Royal Icing" during the holidays and it worked just great. So much better than just royal icing. My grandchildren had a ball decorating all those cookies and with the new icing recipe they even tasted good.
    Hope I win.

  47. Theresa C. Eldridge says

    Love your site and want this book! AWESOME giveaway, my fingers are crossed! Thanks for the chance and God bless!

  48. mary says

    I have found it's so much fun to pipe the frosting on that I tend to do that more. And I have to admit that I haven't tried different tips, so now I'm going to give that a go as well. Thanks!

  49. Meari says

    I always wondered how bakeries make the cupcakes look so nice. Now I know. Can't wait to try this. I think I like the star tip the best! Thanks for sharing. ☺

  50. Jenn Bontrager says

    Please enter me in your drawing! And I agree with you. Once I started piping frosting on my cupcakes there was no going back. It just gives it a cuter look in my opinion! Can't wait to see your book.

  51. Tanja - In love with a cupcake :) says

    I pipe, crazy flowers, grass, swirls, stars … it takes forever, but it's the best part of baking cupcakes :) Oh yes, if I do win – it's not for me but my very dearest friend, I have only seen once in 8 years .. Love my best friend, Susan from Provo Utah ..

  52. Amanda Joy {Joy in the Jumble} says

    I just discovered your blog through pinterest, and am now a new follower. Congrats on the new book. I look forward to following.

  53. April says

    I just found your blog, and am loving it! I'm just getting into piping, and LOVE IT!!! My 5 year old daughter also love to pipe, and she's pretty good! We'd love to win some goodies, and we are ordering your book!

  54. Missy says

    So far, I've only been a spreader, but I'd love to master the piping method since they look so much prettier. I love this prize package

  55. linnetknits says

    I've always been a spreader but have been thinking I need to start piping – this would push me over the edge! Doesn't it take more frosting that way? It looks like it would. Thanks for all the help and the chance at the lovely giveaway!

  56. Anonymous says

    I'm a novice at piping but would love to practice some more. Pick me!!!
    P.S. thanks for the opportunity to win!

  57. Shari says

    Wonderful giveaway. I would love to give all this girly pink equipment to my granddaughter for her birthday. We spend many happy hours together baking on the weekends. Her favorite color is pink. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  58. Helenna L. says

    I found your blog because I would love to learn to pipe frosting!! Like your fabulous giveway, so thought I would leave a comment!! Thanks for the tips on piping and the giveaway!!

  59. Kimberly Crouch says

    Would really like to thank you for the super tips, I have learned from your site. It’s so nice of you to share. Yes, I would love to win your prize. Thanks with a millon cupcakes. <3

  60. Amanda says

    I frost my cupcakes with a freezer bag. I don’t have a decorating bag or tips, but they manage to come out cute anyway :)

  61. Gina says

    I love using the open star to decorate my cupcakes. Piping is much more fun and faster than spreading. And prettier. Great giveaway. Hope I win.

  62. charity says

    so, i know your give away is over, bummer, i just found you. but anyhow, im glad i found you, i am thinking about starting an online bakery and your piping techniques are just what i needed, i can bake like no other but dont have much experience piping(none that were possitive yet) but reading this i see the error of my ways and when i make cupcakes this weekend im gonna try it your way! Thank you for this post!!!

  63. says

    Hi there
    Have been obsessively reading your website in preparation for my daughter’s upcoming FIRST BDAY!!
    New to baking….!!
    Question- for cupcakes, which store bought icing do you recommend?


    • meaghanmountford says

      Hi Estee! Thanks so much! For store-bought, I just use Dunkin HInes or Betty Crocker or any of the tubs of frosting, however, to pipe the frosting on with a tip, you will have to thicken store-bought icing. Blend in confectioner’s sugar (more than you’d think, it takes quite a bit).

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