Wilton Cake Decorating Course Update I: Cupcakes

Closeup 2 blue

A few weeks ago, I mentioned via Twitter and Instagram that I’d signed up for Wilton’s Building Buttercream Basics cake decorating course.

I signed up through Michael’s and, because of promotions and good timing, I paid $45 for my tuition and supplies. I’ve been so excited – I’ve always loved baking and been interested in cake decorating, and I’ve only now realized that I have the time to take the course. It’s every Tuesday for two hours, but also requires out-of-class practice and prep.

This week, I had to bring six un-iced cupcakes and a tub of premade Wilton icing to class. I chose to make vanilla cupcakes, and I brought the whole dozen with me.

We began by learning the importance of hand and bag positioning, icing consistency, and pressure. We also learned how to make our own buttercream icing (which, oddly enough, doesn’t contain any butter…but more on that later), which we are expected to do for next week.

After tinting and slightly thinning our icing, we learned how to prepare an icing bag with a coupler and tip and just with a tip, and how to fill it with icing.

Next the instructor demonstrated several techniques and gave us an opportunity to practice them. These included the wavy line, star, rosette, loop, 1M rosette, and swirl. The kit necessary for the course includes a plastic practice board, and I practiced all these techniques on the board before moving onto cupcakes.

All Cupcakes

As you can see, some turned out better than others. My stars need to be a little closer together to better hide the cake underneath. My wavy lines look like frustrated snakes – I think I’ll be avoiding those except as borders. I prefer the look of stars, rosettes, big rosettes, and the swirl. The swirl (closeup in first photo) is my fave because it’s SO easy, but also really impressive. It and the big rosette are the kind of decorations you see on most cupcakes because they’re easy to replicate numerous times without carpal-tunnelling your hand.

For next week, I need to bake a cake, make my own icing, and filling. For a full-on, layered, filled cake. And I’m a bit nervous! Cupcakes are manageable; cakes I’ve never really tackled before.

But I’m ready, and super excited.

Closeup 1



  1. betty crocker says:

    wow looks so nice!! you mentioned that butter cream has no butter but ‘more on that later’ and there was nothing later. shit.

  2. YUM! You’ve done a pretty good job on the icing! I haven’t baked for a long time and I would so go and bake right now if it wasn’t midnight. Can’t wait for your next post!

  3. These are beautiful! I can’t wait to see what you do next week.

  4. Love all of your cupcake designs, but the rosettes are particularly cute

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