round tip frosted cupcake perfection has eluded me for quite some time. the 1a tip is pretty unforgiving, showing every imperfection of piping. i practiced and practiced, and the results were still less than great. i was about ready to give up on georgetown cupcake-esque toppers.
it turns out the secret to super smooth swirls is a looser frosting consistency than i normally use. for traditional cupcake swirls i prefer a thicker icing (what i always just considered “normal” frosting) that will hold up rather than collapsing on itself, and retain it’s shape. by contrast, the trick for a 1a tip is to add just enough milk that allows the frosting to flow ever so slightly on itself, but with just enough stiffness that you can swirl it, and it won’t flow off the cupcake.
| ingredients |
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar
milk, to thin
*note: other cream cheese frosting recipes may also contain butter, which will keep your frosting a little more pliable. i prefer this version for the round tip, as it will crust at room temperature (meaning it will solidify and set firm on the outside.) once i have the frosting piped the way i want it, i don’t want it going anywhere. all about control issues over here. #sitstay
| method |
in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for a couple minutes, until smooth. scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. add vanilla extract and beat an additional minute. flip mixer to off or low, and add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low until combined. at 3 cups, turn mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy. check consistency. if it’s too runny, add additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. if it’s too thick, use a little milk to thin.
you’ve hit the right consistency when you pull the paddle out and the frosting gives and flows a little (the equivalent to soft peaks), but is stiff enough to stay on the paddle without running off.