It seems a little silly, but even though I’ve been baking cupcakes for years, (even as far back as they were called fairy cakes!), I’ve only just started using piping bags and proper nozzles when frosting cupcakes,  in order to achieve that perfect bakery-style cupcake swirl.

Frosting cupcakes tutorial at

The perfect swirl!

When I first started out, I was a little unsure what nozzle was the best to achieve the perfect swirl and also what effects the various other nozzles on the market produced.

So I got a pack of 7 nozzles from Lakeland and set about experimenting. I also recently bought the Wilton 1M tip that I’ve heard so much about (its supposed to be THE classic nozzle to achieve the perfect swirl) in a set along with the Wilton 2D tip.

Frosting cupcakes tutorial at

All my nozzles – Wilton 1M and 2D bottom left and right

The Wilton 2D tip is the one that gives the rose swirl effect cupcake, like this – I think these look amazing and I’m excited to try it on a real cupcake!

The first nozzle I tested was the Wilton 1M

Frosting cupcakes tutorial at kerrycooks.comFrosting cupcakes tutorial at kerrycooks.comAs you can see it has a wide star tip – the tip you buy doesn’t necessarily have to be a Wilton tip – one of my Lakeland ones gives a similar, if not even better swirl, but it needs to look similar.

Frosting cupcakes tutorial at kerrycooks.comHere’s the first swirl with the Wilton 1M nozzle (on top of a jar of pasta sauce!) – as you can see its *pretty* much the perfect cupcake swirl. Any lack of perfection is down to my technique and not the nozzle. If you don’t already have any nozzles and you’re interested in making cupcakes, this is definitely a great nozzle to get. I got mine on ebay in a set with the 2d for £8 for both, including postage. You can get it here.

You can also see a great tutorial on how to pipe the perfect swirl with the Wilton 1M here on the Wilton website.

Frosting cupcakes tutorial at kerrycooks.comOnto the Wilton 2D!

Ever since I’ve (only fairly recently, in the past couple of months) been seeing amazing pictures (and getting amazing birthday cupcakes from Star Bakery!) of lovely rose swirl cupcakes, I’ve been dying to know how you get this amazing effect. I was very surprised to learn that its (apparently) as simple as a certain kind of nozzle! Of course the technique counts as well – check out my effort below

Mine is fairly awful compared to a really good rose swirl, but this is my first attempt! You can see a really great tutorial on how to do a better rose swirl here at Bella Cupcakes site!

Next up is the first nozzle from my Lakeland set which looks like a spoke at the top. To my surprise, this shape gave a really really great swirl! Maybe even better than the Wilton 1M swirl? What do you think?

Its so swirly whirly, I’m mesmerised!

Next up is the second nozzle from Lakeland which is just a wide hole. I was quite dismayed to see my nemesis (after fondant) – the poo cupcake

Just wrong

I’ve always been mystified in the past when I’ve been into or seen pictures on blogs / of fancy cupcake bakeries where they’ve decorated their cupcakes with this nozzle. There’s only one possible outcome – no matter what fantastic colour your frosting is, it will always look like poo.

  Seriously – does anyone know what you would use this nozzle for – other than an occasion when you’d WANT cupcakes that look like poo, of course!


Phew! Lets get back on track with Lakeland nozzle#3 which looks like a central star tip.

At this point both my hands, clothes, hair and camera are coated in a layer of frosting, as you can see.

Just for you.

You’re welcome!

And here’s the swirl!

Its okay, but I think you’ll agree that the Wilton 1M and the Lakeland#1 tips both give much better swirls.

Next up is Lakeland nozzle#4 which looks quite similar to the Wilton 1M – It also gives a good cupcake swirl!

Good swirl definition

Okay, next is Lakeland nozzle#5 which looks pretty much like Lakeland nozzle#1 except that the spoke is thicker.

If you understand me.

My hands are now completely covered in frosting.

Next up is Lakeland nozzle #6

Its another circle one :-(

You know what that means!

Moving on…

Finally, we have Lakeland nozzle#7!

I still have no idea what shape this was supposed to make even AFTER I tried it.

I mean it was a hot day and the buttercream was definitely getting melty but really…


So there you have it – IN CONCLUSION, the best nozzles for the perfectest, most professional looking cupcake swirl is the Wilton  1M. You can also achieve a similar (or even better?) effect with any nozzle which looks like it has a spoke shape at the end like Lakeland nozzle#1, so I’d definitely recommend getting the Professional Piping Set from Lakeland if you’re starting out, as it’s great value for a lot of nozzles.

Once you have your nozzles, watch and read tutorials, practice practice practice and before you know it, you will be creating cupcakes with the perfect swirl!

I hope this tutorial helps you to achieve a more professional look when frosting cupcakes! Let me know any questions in the comments!

x Kerry

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