All cakes are wonderful, but when piped with stars, hearts, or friendly faces, they're truly something to celebrate. After practicing the basic techniques, Josie, 7, Devlin, 9, and Max, 10, create their own icing art on cupcakes -- an activity that's ideal for a kid's party. Or children can work on a special project -- their own birthday cake, or one for a sibling or parent. All that's needed is pastry bags, tips, and couplers (plastic pieces that let you change tips easily). Mix up our Fluffy Buttercream in different colors. You can do the baking a day ahead, but it's best to ice and pipe the cooled cake the day of the party. Your kids can build on our ideas to form brilliant designs from their own imaginations.
A Few Tricks
If you practice on parchment paper, you may scrape off the frosting and use it again. Bayley wrote letters on a piece of paper, then placed it underneath the parchment to use as a guide.
Before piping, poke holes into the surface of the frosting with a toothpick to sketch out shapes and letters. If you don't like the look of your toothpick pattern, just smooth over the frosting with an offset spatula and try again.
To make a design that's nice and neat, press a cookie cutter lightly into the frosting, then pipe over the imprint. Josie uses this trick to pipe a pair of pink hearts and a star.