Carnation Cupcakes – Perfect For Spring

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Last month my husband and I took a cake decorating class.  Every Wednesday evening my in laws took care of the kids and we spent two full hours, kid free and knee-deep in sugar.  It was fun, though likely more fun for me.  I enjoyed learning new skills and being able to put them to use.  Hubby went for me…because I said pleeeese.  Well I finally was able to put my icing work to good use as yesterday was my Mother In Laws birthday.  So gluten-free carnation cupcakes were on our dessert menu!.

carnation cupcakes 2

These are my favorite cupcakes to make.  They are simple and pretty much fool-proof.  All you need is the proper tools.

The Tools: 

  • Baked Cupcakes (I use a box mix – all anyone cares about is the icing anyway)
  • Decorators Icing (store-bought or home-made, see recipe below for home-made version)
  • Wilton Decorating Bags (piping bags)
  • Wilton Tip #2D
  • Food Coloring or Wilton Color Gel
  • Small Spatula or butter knife

The How To:

Premake your cupcakes and allow them to cool completely.  Make your icing and keep it at room temperature.  Mix your icing with the colors that you want for your Carnation Cupcakes, the more color you use, the richer color you’ll achieve.  Mix until the color is uniform (or not – different shades is cool too). Using the small spatula, spread a thin layer of the icing on top of the cupcake.  Don’t worry about what it looks like, no one will see this.  You will notice that the icing doesn’t like to stick to the cake…this is normal, and is the nature of working with this icing.  You’ll get used to it.


Snip the end off one of your piping bags and place Wilton tip # 2D inside.  It’s a big tip so no need to use a coupling.  Push the icing all the way into the tip, and give it a squeeze to make sure all the air has escaped.

With the cupcake in one hand or on a hard surface and the piping bag in the other begin squeezing the icing onto  the cupcake.  Turn your hand a 1/4 turn each time (from 9 o’clock to 12 o’clock) and lift off the cake as your squeezing.  If the flower lifts off, squeeze just a little bit more.  For the Carnation cupcake you’re going to do this many times.  Begin on the outer edge of the cupcake and work your way to the center.  Once you’ve covered the whole cupcake, you can go over any spots you may have missed, or add more to build the height of the cupcake.



When you are all done, you’ll have a pretty tray of Carnation cupcakes!

carnation cupcakes 1

Decorators Icing 

  • 1 C Shortening
  • 1 Kg (about 4 cups) Icing sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp milk
  • vanilla or flavor

Cream shortening with electric mixer, add icing sugar slowly.  Once all mixed together add your flavor and your milk, one tbsp at a time until you reach desired consistency.


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  1. These are so pretty! I’m usually not very neat when putting frosting on anything.. lol. I get more on myself. This looks pretty easy!

  2. Karen Evans says:

    I love cupcakes and these ones look so good!!

  3. When I saw the picture I couldn’t believe it was a cupcake! I just got some new decorating tools so I’ll have to try this.

  4. Wow! Those are so beautiful! I’d love to make these with my girls.

  5. Awe, those are so beautiful and perfect for spring.

  6. Love cupcakes.

  7. vesper1931 says:

    Wow, the icing looks so complicated but easy (?) to do

  8. kathy downey says:

    I love cupcakes and these look to pretty to eat !

  9. Wow they’re absolutely gorgeous!

  10. Monique L.S. says:

    These look delicious, and the icing decoration is beautiful.

  11. Lynda Cook says:

    wow very pretty, you did an awesome job, I would never be able to do that I’m not that talented and would get very

  12. These are beautiful!!

  13. Beautiful! I have always admired gorgeous decorating but have never really tried to do it. You make it seem almost simple.

  14. I love these cupcakes- perfect for any spring celebration- great idea!

  15. That looks awesome, I’m going to try this, thanks!!

  16. Bobbijo Pentney says:

    These are so pretty, I don’t know if I could do it.

  17. Looks beautiful, may be try one day!

  18. They’re beautiful and so easy to do. I have all the decorator tips to do this.

  19. Beautiful Easter/Spring cupcakes.

  20. wow that looks amazing

  21. Ooohh… What a great idea! I love this! I think I’ll use this with multi-color pastel icing for Easter.

  22. angela m says:

    They look wonderful , thanks for the how to

  23. Jen C AKA @JusticeSadie says:

    Ohhh So Adorable! These would be Great for Easter. Thanks for the share!

  24. I love the detail on the cupcakes,so cute for spring!

  25. Ronald G says:

    They are very pretty…but when do we eat?

  26. mildred floyd says:

    they look yummy

  27. OMG, they look so pretty I would have though they would be so much hard to get the look! Great info.

  28. Jeanette Jackson says:

    These look too pretty to eat but I think I can manage it

  29. thomas rusinak says:

    instead of water colors i am now making cup cakes!!!

  30. dorcontest says:

    Those are so pretty. Thanks so much for the recipe and the tip :) YUM :)

  31. Cheryl Grandy says:

    Beautiful cupcakes! When I was a little girl, my mom took a cake decorating class. I loved it – there was a new pretty cake to eat every week. How nice that your husband went with you so you could spend the time together.

  32. Elizabeth r says:

    They look great

  33. nenasinclair says:

    These are beautiful! I really doubt that I could make them look even close to resembling yours, though!

  34. Beautiful! I need to get this tip and try it!

  35. Carol M (Lushka S) says:

    Very pretty, perfect for Easter

  36. Piroska says:

    What gorgeous cupcakes! Perfect for Spring. Love the colours!

  37. MMMM…what else can I say!

  38. I love cupcakes and these look so good

  39. mrdisco1 says:

    those look fantastic!

  40. Those cupcakes are so sweet! Great idea.

  41. Anne Taylor says:

    I just love these cupcakes! They are so whimsical!


  42. I like that there is shortening instead of butter… I can almost convince myself this is healthy icing, LOL.

  43. I love them, so pretty! Thank you for sharing, I pinned this!

  44. Your icing looks beautiful. How many times did you have to try before you got the icing to look so good? I’d so love to take a cake decorating course, maybe one day soon I will.

  45. Lovely cupcakes!

  46. These are so pretty – almost, but just almost :), too pretty to eat!

  47. Amy Lovell says:

    these r gorgeous!!! thanks

  48. Darlene Schuller says:

    wow what stunning cupcakes!! You creative little thing you !

  49. Heather Swanson says:

    They look lovely

  50. Those looks amazing! Thanks for the great tips.

  51. Those are gorgeous!

  52. Wow these came out so pretty. I love these! Great for a little girls party too. Love the colors you chose.

  53. Elaine Buonsante says:

    What gorgeous cupcakes! Thanks for the directions for these beautiful creations.

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