Simple Steps to Cupcake Confection Perfection

Jealous of the cupcake designs you might see in a grocer's bakery? Quit your longing for lavish store-bought decorations and pick up these tips from Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, the brains behind "Hello, Cupcake!" and their latest, "What's New, Cupcake?"

The writers and expert decorators stopped by our studios to show NBC DFW's Deborah Ferguson how to create pro designs like cupcake "mums" and a "lo mien cupcake." Check out the videos embedded below for the video versions of how to put these designs together.

A couple of top tips:

  • Most of the decorative items used by Richardson and Tack can be found around your kitchen already. For example, marshmallows cut at a 45-degree angle and dipped in colored sugar form the pedals on the mum-like design.
  • Speaking of colored sugar; if you don't have the hue you need, drop some food coloring in a small pile of sugar and give it a little "sugar shake." You'll end up with a bright bunch of stylish sweetener.
  • Those special piping bags for icing? Forget about them -- Richardson and Tack use simple Zip-Lock bags with a small cut to create their streams of icing.
  • Finally, we've been vindicated; our pro cupcake decorators say it's totally okay to use the simple boxed cupcake mix and canned icing.

For more cupcake decorating tips, or to pick up one of their super-cute books, head to the official "Hello, Cupcake!" website.

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