Piped Frosting: Use a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip to pipe a swirl of frosting on top of cupcakes. Start at the outer edge of the cupcake and work toward the center of the cupcake in a circular motion, piling frosting as you go.
Fancy Piped Frosting: For this classic cupcake design, use a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a spiral of frosting, starting at the outer edge and working toward the center of the cupcake, gradually piling the frosting into a peak. Add candy or fruit for a pretty garnish.
Swirled Frosting: Fit a pastry bag with a star or round tip. Spoon one color of frosting on one side of the bag. Spoon a second color of frosting on the other side of the bag so the frostings are side by side. Pipe frosting into the classic cupcake swirl or create new designs. Finish with a sprinkle of shaved or grated milk chocolate.
Basket-Weave Frosting: Use a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe three lines horizontally across the top of the cupcake. Pipe three short lines over the top of the first horizontal line, from the top of cupcake to the top of the second horizontal line. Repeat with the remaining two horizontal lines, piping in between spaces of the other lines to get this look.
Spiked Frosting: For this design, fit a pastry bag with a small to medium star tip and fill it with stiff frosting. Squeeze the bag while slowly pulling up to create clusters of spiky stars.