Food, Food News, Foodie Corner

Build Me Up, Butter Cup

Profile photo of Zahra Anwer

Zahra Anwer

Associate Editor at Destination Riyadh

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Your guide to frosting it ‘till you make it.


Some folks like dressing themselves up, others like dressing up desserts. Our team is a fun mix of both, and so faced with a chance to up our baking and styling game, we couldn’t say no (there may have been a promise of unlimited icing and cream too).

We got invited to an exclusive cupcake decorating workshop by Magnolia Bakery, where the noobs and pros in our team got to unleash their creativity. Here’s what we learned, thanks to their amazing chefs:

1. Buttercream formula

Pulling off a perfect buttercream, gets half your job done. It has to be fluffy, colorful, airy and spreadable.

Buttercreams can be spooned and swirled on to cakes and cupcakes in a number of ways. You can either apply it with an offset spatula or simply use a piping bag.

Tip: If the buttercream is stiff, add a bit of more milk.

2. Whip it till it hurts

It’s all about beating well and incorporating enough air till it becomes fluffy airy and smooth. Your frosting should be like toothpaste. That’s the ideal consistency to easily swoosh the frosting on each cupcake.

3. Let it fall like a teardrop

That’s the case at Magnolia Bakery, where that scooped swirl is so uniquely handcrafted without using a piping bag. 

Use an offset spatula to scoop up some frosting and gracefully dab the frosting onto the cupcake, rotating the cake as you dab it. Coordinate your dab and cupcake turns. The buttercream will slide off the spatula in a teardrop-like shape and it will form a plateau of icing on top as you turn the cupcake

4. Twist it like Beckham

Dab the frosting from the top smooth it out. Using your spatula’s end, press down starting on the outside edge and applying even pressure while swirling towards the center. This gives the frosting that perfect swooped fancy look at the end. If you are using a piping bag, hold the bag in your hand at the fold – this will give you the best support when you spoon your frosting! Attach your frosting tip of choice and you’re ready to fill your bag with frosting!

5. Sprinkle your sparkle 

When your love of sprinkles equals your love of frosting, use this method. Once you have topped your cupcake with a scoop of icing, all you have to do is sprinkle or dip the whole top into a bowl of your favorite sprinkles

Location: Magnolia Bakery, Fiorenzza Plaza

Instagram: @magnoliabakeryksa

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