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Cupcakes for Every Occasion

MISSION, KS -- (Marketwire) -- 01/03/13 -- (Family Features) Maybe it's the single serve proportions, perfect cake-to-icing ratio or approachability of this iconic treat, but America's love affair with cupcakes is holding strong. These tasty treats can be adapted to any occasion, and whether it's a favorite holiday, birthday bash, girl's night out or just because, the color, sweetness and fun of cupcakes makes people smile.

Think of cupcakes as a blank canvas easily personalized with the right tools. For example, Wilton has products to make it easy for bakers and decorators of all skill levels to make their cupcakes amazing, no matter the occasion. Wilton's new book, "Cupcakes!" is available at your nearest craft store and www.wilton.com, and showcases unique tips, techniques and products for swirling your way into cupcake greatness.

  • Play Dress Up. Add personality with playful baking cups -- from vibrant stripes to pretty polka dots to festive flowers. Top off your favorite cupcakes with cookie decorations; try a Shamrock for St. Patrick's Day or an apple for an unexpected teacher's gift on the first day of school.

  • Entice with Icing. Play with icing color to add visual interest -- think icy blue for a wintry treat or pale yellow for autumn. Sprinkles are an easy way to make icing sparkle. Sugar gems create an eye-catching crystal effect, and seasonal toppings add an extra special touch.

  • It's Hip to be Square. Round out your cupcake repertoire with Wilton's Square Cupcake Pan and baking cups; the square shape is a fresh take on everyone's favorite treat.

Colorful Cupcake Trio
Each cupcake serves 1

You'll Need:
Pink Wave, Black and White Doily Kit or Warm Stripes Square Baking Cups
Favorite cupcake recipe or mix
Ready-to-use White Decorator Icing
Rose Icing Color (Ombre Cupcakes)
Pink Sugar Gems (Sugar Striped Square Cupcakes)
Lemon Yellow Icing Color (Zebra Lace Cupcakes)
Zebra Icing Decoration (Zebra Lace Cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place wave or solid black baking cup in standard muffin pan; place square baking cup in square cupcake pan.

Prepare cupcake batter per package or recipe instructions. Pour cupcake batter into prepared pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center of cupcake. Remove pan to cooling grid; let stand 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely.

Rose Ombre Cupcakes
Divide icing, and tint six shades of rose from dark to very light. On top of cooled cupcake, using a tip 12 and the darkest rose icing, pipe large dot in center; add ring around dot at edge of cupcake. Switch to a slightly lighter shade of rose icing and, with tip 12, add another large dot to center top of cupcake, make a second ring around the inside edge of the first ring. Continue piping next three shades of lighter rose icings with tip 12 and create smaller rings of icing on the inside edge of the previous ring. Once at the center using the lightest shade of rose icing, pipe one last ring around top with tip 12, adding a swirl.

Sugar Striped Square Cupcakes
Using white icing and tip 12, cover top of cooled cupcake with large zigzag. Top with Pink Sugar Gems.

Zebra Lace Cupcakes
Tint icing yellow. Add tip 12 swirl to top of cooled cupcake. Add Zebra Icing Decoration.

Swirl Like a Pro
To prepare, start with cupcakes that have been baked according to package directions, in the baking cup of your choice, and fully cooled. Place a coupler and a large round tip (like a 12 or 2A) on your Wilton decorating bag; fill with the icing of your choice.

1. Hold the decorating tip approximately 1/4 inch above the cupcake at a 90 degree angle to the cupcake. Starting at the center, pipe a large dot of icing onto cupcake top.

2. Pull the dot of icing to the outer edge of cupcake and begin piping a spiral of icing around the cupcake top, working inward and upward.

3. Once at the center, stop pressure and pull tip away. It's as easy as that.

For more unique decorating ideas visit www.wilton.com.

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