There are no hard and fast rules about cupcake frosting

When I make cupcakes for the family I tire of decorating them the same way and look for unusual cupcake frosting recipes.

I love the look of a plate of cupcakes with vanilla glace frosting and a cherry on top. Pink food colouring added to the frosting also looks great. Frosting piped onto a cupcake, with a sprinkling of candy confetti, shredded coconut or chocolate is always popular.

And who can say “no” to a butterfly cake that has jam, lemon curd, or cream as its center? When dusted with icing sugar, butterfly cakes become irresistible.

If I’m invited to an afternoon tea and want to take a plate of cupcakes that will look spectacular, a really easy alternative is to use fondant as your cupcake frosting and decorations.

4 ounces/100 grams of room temperature butter/margarine

8 ounces/200 grams of icing/confectioners’ sugar

Flavouring of your choice.

If the tops of your cupcakes are not flat, slice through the peaks so that you have a nice level surface to work with. Decide on two colours (I love pale lemon and chocolate) and carefully work a couple of drops of colouring into fondant – you don’t need very much fondant. When the colouring has been kneaded in, roll fondant to the desired width and use round cutters to cut circles big enough to fit over the tops of your cupcakes. Be creative with your designs. You can cut shapes in the contrasting fondant or you can use a third colour (white is always a good choice) to add dots, lines, flower centers etc.

There are so many different cupcake icing recipes. Often it depends on the “look” you are after and the type of occasion you are decorating for that determines which recipe you will follow. Is it a casual family affair, a children’s birthday party or an engagement party? The frostings that I use (with the exception of fondant) can be piped or spread onto the tops of cupcakes. Listed below are basic icing recipes. You can vary the flavours and add colours to the recipes to match any cupcakes.


Almond paste can be used to coat cupcakes before frosting with royal icing. Also great for fillings in chocolates, cakes and pastries.

Brown sugar icing perfectly enhances a variety of cakes and cupcakes ranging from pumpkin, banana and carrot to chocolate, vanilla and caramel cakes.

Buttercream frosting is, as the name suggests, a very buttery cupcake frosting that tastes yummy and can be easily coloured to suit the look you are after. Buttercream is great for piping as it holds its shape very well.


Chocolate fudge frosting, whether used as a filling or a topping, it makes a chocolate cake look stunning and irresistibly scrummy.


Chocolate ganache is another cupcake frosting alternative. A ganache has a beautiful rich, smooth texture that transforms a cupcake into a magnificent dessert. It is easy to make and I guarantee you’ll receive compliments from everyone who tries it.

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