Topping Yo' Cupcakes Off With Roses

Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes with Rosette Buttercream Frosting
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Why yes, lovely people, those are cupcakes. Not roses. Cupcakes.

Cupcakes that I MADE.

I MADE THOSE.

Bows.

Today, I'm going to teach you how to make them too.

I know it's been a while since I've experimented with an actual Hummingbird Bakery recipe, and I promise that this is the last non-Hummingbird Bakery post that I will post for a while. I made an exception because my boyfriend gave me something for Christmas that I had been coveting for a really long time: a Kuhn Rikon Cookie & Cupcake Decorating Set.

Kuhn Rikon Cookie and Cupcake Decorating Set
(Image from Sur La Table)

With this kit, I was able to frost my last successful Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cupcakes with rosettes:

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Aren't they gorgeous?

Okay, so I can stop bragging, here are the deets:

The frosting I used was Hummingbird Bakery's recipe for vanilla butter cream frosting (available here -- it also works at sea-level!) with a few additional drops of red and blue food coloring.

Prepare your frosting bag/bottle with a star-shaped tip (I used Wilton #5). Start from the middle of the cupcake and simply frost your way from the inside out. Really easy. Seriously. Check out this video for visuals, since you probably don't believe me that it's as easy as that.

You can also get a multi-colored effect by stuffing two different colored frostings into one squeeze bag/bottle. Check out the front rose below for an example:

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I've wanted a Kuhn Rikon decorating kit for a really long time, ever since my initial, disastrous foray with pastry bags. Several years ago, I bought a cheap cake decorating set from Ikea. While the tools themselves seemed like they were decent quality, I was pretty horrible with the pastry bag. Everything -- and I mean, EVERYTHING -- went wrong. I had no idea how to fill the bag with frosting (the bag kept sliding away from me as I used a spoon to try and fill it with frosting. I had no idea how to pipe (the frosting came out in liquidy blobs). I had no idea I needed to seal the bag (the frosting started squeezing out of the non-tipped side). To add insult to injury, the bags were made of some weird polyester fabric, so I had no idea how to clean them. I think I ended up sticking the bags in the laundry and tinting the rest of my wardrobe with a faint smell of cream cheese frosting. Yikes.

The Kuhn Rikon decorating kit definitely simplified the frosting process for me. You can use the little spatula that comes with the kit to stuff frosting into the squeeze tube bottles. After doing so, you simply seal the bottle with the appropriate tip (the kit comes with four different varieties), and squeeze away! The bottles are cleverly designed (they look like an accordion), making it easy to control and regulate the amount of frosting that comes out of the bottle.

My one stipulation with the Kuhn Rikon bottles is that they don't actually hold that much frosting. When I created the rosettes above, I used half a bottle of frosting for each rosette. The bottle openings are also a little narrow, so filling them with frosting can turn out to be a huge mess if you're not careful. Finally, unlike a frosting bag that you can squeeze to death to get out all the frosting (similar to how you squeeze a near empty tube of toothpaste), you cannot do this with the squeeze bottles. A lot of frosting actually ends up getting stuck in the accordion shaped dents, so you end up wasting a bunch of frosting at the end of the process. Also, if you don't have a dishwasher, this same feature makes the bottles a bitch to clean.

But still. Even with those flaws, who can deny these results:

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Totally worth it. Best Christmas present ever. Thanks Erlend!

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