Take 2 equal quantities of buttercream. Keep one part uncoloured, and add a dash of gel colouring to the other and mix in well. Take a disposable piping bag and fill half with the neutral buttercream, and the other half with the coloured buttercream. Take the nib of the piping bag, dab a small blob onto the top of the cake and pull up, creating a small peak. Do this repeatedly to cover the top of the cupcake.
Alternatively you can create a classic rose swirl: start in the centre of the cupcake and pipe a spiral shape over the top of the cupcake.
Fill a disposable piping bag with uncoloured buttercream and pipe a dome of buttercream onto the cupcake. Then roll in dessicated coconut to create a snowball effect.
Candy Cane Topping:
Finely crush some candy canes. Fill a disposable piping bag with uncoloured buttercream and pipe a dome of buttercream onto the cupcake. Then roll gently in the crushed candy canes.
Recipe courtesy of Edd Kimber