Q. What’s a quick and easy decoration for cupcakes that looks like it took hours?
Abby Moule says: I find fruit and chocolate are the quickest decoration with the most effective result.
Melt some dark chocolate until all the drops are not quite melted. Mix these in and keep mixing until the chocolate gets thicker – this helps the chocolate 'temper' and heat through properly, which is essential for this application as the chocolate will dry hard and remain shiny in room temperature conditions.
Do the same to a small pot of white chocolate drops. Use dry strawberries, dip into the dark chocolate more on one side than the other and lay onto parchment paper to dry for a few minutes while you continue with the other strawberries. Make a baking parchment piping bag and pour in your white chocolate, snipping off a tiny end. Drizzle the white chocolate all over the dark chocolate covered berries then place on to iced cupcakes and away you go! The whole process will take you five minutes and your guests will be amazed!
Bea Vo says: The decorations I find look the best are lustred fresh fruit. Just get the the best strawberries, raspberries and cherries you can find and dust them with a bit of gold lustre dust (you can get this in cake-decorating shops). It looks so chic!
When piping cupcakes, I always use an extra-wide star tip as it's very forgiving - you don't see many misshapen lines.
Juliet Sear says: A great idea is to use silicone push moulds. They're widely available, look really detailed and take a few seconds to pop in and out of the moulds with some sugar paste, marzipan or chocolate paste. Try making lots, it only takes a few minutes to make a batch, then use them in large collections on cakes or cookies, for example floral ones all together look lovely and impressive even though minimum effort is required!