I have to apologize.  I took a little poll on my i am baker facebook page and asked you which tip to tackle next.  The tip with the highest votes was the 2D.  But after extensive testing, it came out virtually the same as the 1M tip I had used in my post.  Come to find out that half of my 1M tips are closed stars and half are not. (they came that way!)  So going forward I will be recommending Ateco tips (my favorite brand) and referring to their tip numbers.  I will also share a link to where you can get them!

For these cupcakes I used the Ateco #869 tip.

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


I really love this tip and love the graceful scallop that you get when using it.

So lets start with that!

the first is the scalloped flower technique

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


1. Start at the outer edge of your cupcake and apply pressure to your pastry bag.  The bag should be upright.

2. While applying pressure, let the scallop “fill in” a bit, then move tip towards the center of the cupcake, releasing pressure.

3. Repeat this process around the entire cupcake.

4. For the center dollop, press tip into center of cupcake, apply slight pressure and quickly release upwards.

Variation: Use two colors, one for the scallop petals and one for the center dot.  

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


Pink, red, white with a yellow center, this cupcake is the perfect way to give mom flowers!  Edible flowers that is, by far the best kind.

The next technique is the side swirl.

I love how this looks but completely failed at getting a proper image of myself piping it.  (It was very difficult to hold a cupcake and try and take a picture at the same time, my apologies in advance!)

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


1. Start by holding your tip at about a 45 degree angle (can also be perpendicular to cupcake, or level with) and apply pressure at the very edge.

2. Similar to the flower cupcake above, you are piping a scallop, but this time its “on it’s side”.  Apply pressure at the edge, then move tip towards the center of the cupcake, releasing pressure.

3.  This technique works best when holding the cupcake and turing it as you add each scallop petal.
4. Repeat around entire cupcake, letting your final swoop end in the very center.

Variation: Using a small french tip looks really lovely!

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


This specific one took me about 4 cupcakes before I got it to where I liked it.  I highly recommend practicing and getting comfortable with it.

the next technique is the spiked petal flower.

So easy. So fun!

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


1. Starting at the edge of the cupcake, hold bag completely vertical and apply pressure.

2. Let “spiky petal” fill in for about one second, then quickly move tip up and release pressure.

3. Repeat around entire cupcake as well as the center.

Variations:  Do three dots instead of seven; making each “spiky petal” bigger.  Or pipe out “spiky petals” in rainbow colors!  You can also create a tall, long spike by slowly moving your tip straight up still applying some pressure.  When it is the height desired, quickly release pressure.

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


This technique is especially beautiful when it is vanilla buttercream piped onto a rich dark chocolate cupcake.

the last technique is the fat frilly.

I just thought of that name and am sorta loving it.  “I’ll take the fat frilly please!”

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


1.  Start by applying pressure to the frosting bag in the center of the cupcake.  Tip should be straight up and down.

2.  Apply more pressure and raise tip just slighty.

3. Let frosting spill out and fill in by using pressure only, do not move tip around. (If you can see in the images above, my tip barely moves throughout the whole process.)

4. Release pressure and lift tip straight up.

Variation: Use two-tones of color in frosting.

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


I am ALL about this technique.  Its adorable, easy, and means you get a big ole portion of frosting on your cupcake. #winning

So which was my favorite?

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial


Fat Frilly of course!  How can you go wrong with a name like that?

four cupcake decorating techniques using a large french star tip #cucpakes #cupcakedecorating #pipingtutorial



I used the Perfect White Cake Recipe.

I share some of these techniques  (as well as others!) in my new book surprise-inside cakes.  Every cake has a fun and creative frosting technique with detailed step by step instructions on how you can achieve it!  You can get a copy of surprise-inside cakes here!

Share with your friends!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I am so going to try this ASAP. I’m always looking for cupcake frosting techniques, and the French star is my favorite pastry tip. 🙂 Love the yellow color, it’s so springy.

  2. Hi Amanda! I have your book, but have to confess I don’t remember seeing the section on using this tip. I’ll look when I get home. 🙂 One thing came to my mind, since I have all Wilton tips…it would be nice to see the opening of this tip so I could compare it to mine. Love your designs!

    1. Hi Linda! Thanks for getting the book! I used a tip and method similar to this on the Rainbow Cake! There are two different version. If you click the link above to the Ateco tip you can see what it looks like. Thanks!

  3. What kind if frosting is that? My frosting never holds up, especially if I add food color 🙁

    1. I’ve noticed that if you use the Ateco gel food coloring, the frosting holds up much better than if you use liquid food coloring. Also, a tip that I wish someone had told me prior to making my first batch of frosting… leave your butter out overnight. If it is too cold it will separate when mixing all of the ingredients together.

  4. I loved them all, and the color is great. I might just have to try some next week. I have graduation next Saturday and we are doing a couple different kinds of cup cakes. These would be a fun addition. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Amanda, I too had the situation with some of my 1M being open and some closed. Thought I was losing it. Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one with the issue.

    Love these. Can’t wait to try.

  6. You’re just so lovely Amanda. These are some cute, cute piping techniques!

  7. Love the new different techniques. A cake supply shop told me once that Wilton often ships out tips that are not opened for the the open stars and you just have to manually open them. However, if you order 3 and one is not open, you instantly have a closed star tip .

    I can see your posts being inundated with questions of “What Wilton tip would that be?” You probably know off the top of your head the equivalent Wilton tip number. It might help to mention both tip numbers but still place the link to the Ateco tips.

    1. Hi Georgia! I am being very conscious about not giving out Wilton numbers. Wilton has been stealing my ideas and sharing them for a number of years now, and even after continued attempts for me to contact them and rectify the situation, they refuse. They just did a huge show and labeled Buttercream and “decorating the sides and top of the cake the same” as hot trends. They invited many bloggers, but not me of course. Come to find out they were teaching my cake designs at the show. As you know, I have been doing cakes entirely covered in buttercream designs for years. My rose cake, hydrangea cake, mini heart cake, “this and that” cake, ALL have been shamelessly copied and are now taught in courses by Wilton. I refuse to give them one more cent of my money and will most definitely not give them a shout out on my blog. They, as a company, should be ashamed of themselves. I DO NOT recommend purchasing Wilton tips.

      1. Hi Amanda –

        I am fairly new to your blog, and am enjoying everything! 🙂 Since Wilton has been the giant in hobby/home cake decorating for decades (I started decorating cakes in 7th grade – 1978), I have many of its products. In the last 10 years, I have been branching out, though, due to my youngest daughter’s food allergies (lots of Wilton food products are produced where nuts are produced). This is the first time I’ve heard about Wilton stealing ideas/designs… I am not challenging you at all, just trying to wrap my brain around this. Are you saying that you have copyrighted designs Wilton has used/is using without permission?

        1. Just remembered another question… are the Ateco tips/couplers interchangeable size-wise with Wilton tips/couplers?

          Thanks! 🙂

        2. Hi Natalie~ No, I am not saying I have a copyrighted design that Wilton has stolen. (as far as I know they have never stolen an image, I am only referring to cake decorating ideas, which cannot be copyrighted) I am saying that I share many different cake designs on my blog, some of which are new and have not been done before, and then the next season those very same deigns end up in a Wilton coarse or on their website. I have more examples than I can count. It all started with my Rose Cake. I published that in 2011, Wilton began (as in started, they had never done it before) in 2013. Same with a number of other cakes I make. I have always been a fan of Wilton, have always tried to support them, and even thought I could work with them! I reached out. Offered to share ideas and work together. Turns out they dont need to work with me when they can just get whatever ideas they want from looking at my blog. Its been many years of frustration and I have just gotten to a point where I can no longer support them. I am not asking anyone else to care nor to boycott them as I am choosing to. Everyone should make choices based on what they think is best! But for me, knowing what I know, having the proof I have, I cannot support a company that is acting as unethically as they are. I believe that most Ateco tips will work with Wilton coupler sets.

      2. I totally seen that was happening and I 100% support you Amanda..
        I will buy the Ateco tips as I don’t really care where I get them as long as I can get the designs to turn out.. I struggled with the # 27 Wilton tip giving me the right rose look I wanted and was getting frustrated
        that I couldn’t find a open star tip just lightly smaller then the 1M
        I will be reviewing the Ateco site – especially when you tell me how to use the darn bag properly… 🙂
        your awesome and everyone knows who’s designs Wilton is snatching up.. to be honest they aren’t as beautiful as yours anyway…!!

    2. that would be great help for those of us already having numerous Wilton tips…
      and not sure the cross over..

  8. Hey! I absolutely love your blog. The next day off I have from work, I’ll be tackling your heart inside cake. That is the cutest thing ever!

    I’ve been getting my tips at http://www.webstaurantstore.com/. They have such amazing prices! Right now most of their Ateco tips are $.99. Your creativity and design has really inspired me!

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