Perfect Frosting Swirls

filed under: Decorating on November 23, 2015

Piping the perfect frosting swirl has never been easier!


4 from 1 vote
The Perfect Yellow Cupcake with a delicious Whipped Chocolate Buttercream!
Perfect Whipped Buttercream
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Piping the perfect frosting swirl has never been easier!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Perfect Whipped Buttercream
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 c 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. McCormick® Pure Almond Extract
  • 32 oz confectioners' sugar sifted*
  • 2 -4 tablespoons whole milk or heavy whipping cream
  • pinch salt
  • *You can use as little as 4 cups if you want to decrease sugar
  1. Beat butter in bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. (about 3 minutes)

  2. Add vanilla and almond extract.
  3. With mixer on low, slowly add in confectioners' sugar , milk, and salt; frequently scrape sides and bottom of bowl.

  4. Once incorporated, whip frosting for at least 3 minutes on medium high to high. (My mixer went for 7 minutes)

  5. If frosting is too thick to spread, gradually beat in additional milk.
  6. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.



Sweet Video on How to Pipe the Perfect Swirl! (My trick makes it perfect every time!)

I have seen people do this type of swirl for a couple years now, but coud never get mine as uniform or perfect. It was frusting to say the least!

Once I found a way to make my swirls consistently uniform I knew I had to share it it with you.

Sorry it’s so bright!!! I am a one-man show and only have myself to blame. 😉

Here is the recipe I use for a perfectly pipeable American Buttercream. If you want yours to be even smoother, make sure you use a heavy whipping cream and use 1-2 tablespoons MORE than you would normally use. (after you have tested of course)

Recipe from Whipped Vanilla Buttercream.

I use a large open round tip, like a 2A.

To make this cupcake simple place your buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with the large open round tip.

Starting in the center pipe out a dollop. You can do this technique one of two ways:

  1. Pipe continuously like I did in the video.
  2. Pipe around once and stop. Start again on the next level up so that you are building up your swirls.

Sweet Video on How to Pipe the Perfect Swirl! (My trick makes it perfect every time!)



Now that you know how to make the perfect swirl, can we please all agree to NEVER do it in chocolate???

The dreaded chocolate swirl.

I don’t think I have ever seen a chocolate swirl that looks appetizing. Is it just me?

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  • Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says:

    Oh my gosh, you open round tip cupcakes never look like this! Now I have to try the little swirl in the middle first!

    • Amanda says:

      It totally works!!!

  • Aaryne @ Just Like Perfect! says:

    Ha! You are too funny 🙂 That chocolate swirl is definitely not making me want to eat one…

    • Amanda says:

      Right?!?! 🙂

  • Connie Weaver says:

    What tip did you use ?

  • Kim says:

    Can you add food coloring to this? Will it ruin the texture?

  • Kayla S says:

    Can this recipe be cut in half? I need to frost two dozen mini cupcakes for my sons class party tomorrow but don’t want to make a whole batch and waste any.

  • Jaime says:

    How much does this make? Could I double it?

  • Amy W says:

    My daughter’s favorite emoji is the poop one. She would love those chocolate cupcakes. LOL. And with the emoji movie now they would be a hit!

  • Liss Ronk says:


    Mind. Blown.

  • Brandy says:

    Any substitution for whole milk or cream?

  • Judiy Hatfield says:

    Love your website going to give these a try I have never decorated cupcakes this way they are beautiful
    Thank you for your help

  • Julie Vansickle says:

    Thanks so much for sharing how to make this icing. Now I know you said never to do it in chocolate, but…I’m wanting to make my daughter those poo emoji cupcakes for her 30th B-Day and I need a good chocolate recipe that pipes like this and tastes yummy. We live on a cattle farm and as you can tell from my email address we joke around a lot 💩 😁Would you happen to have a recipe for that? If so I’d really appreciate you sharing it with me so I can make her cupcakes taste spectacular! Thanks in advance for your consideration and help.
    Sincerely, Julie

  • Mari-jo says:

    How much butter please? 1c2? Thanks

  • Michelle Dorman says:

    I do make them with chocolate and just add the little candy eyes on the side and sometimes add other features to make “emoji” cupcakes. they are a big hit.

  • Cindy Umberger says:

    Enjoying all your icing recipes and tips and with your trial and error is exactly how I work. I am relearning all my techniques since I have been raising my children and a military wife. I took cake decorating in early 90’s at a college in Cali. Loved it and was good at it. Am relearning all techniques ,recipes and designs. Do you have a direct webpage or Facebook page so I dont have to go through pinterest. Some of the links will not load. Thank you for your talent and humor!! Hope to hear from you soon.thanks for your time ♡ cindy Umberger

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.