In 2008, just moments before the cupcake craze erupted (do you even remember a time before red velvet?), sisters Sophie and Katherine Kallinis abandoned their jobs in fashion and venture capital to open Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C. What started as a single-store operation grew into so much more—today, the duo manage a total of six shops and ship their in-demand baked goods nationwide. Having perfected a moist, rich batter recipe and all-important cake-to-frosting ratio, Georgetown Cupcake seemed like the obvious bakery to tap for tips on decorating adorable summer desserts.
Sophie and Katherine recently dropped by InStyle HQ to show us how it’s done. They presented three variations, all using buttercream frosting, edible luster dust ($5; kmart.com), and fondant to achieve the perfect summertime look. Read on below for a few pieces of sage advice, and then watch the video above for the full tutorial.
A small fondant decoration is “elegant and easy to make at home,” says Sophie. The ingredient can be found at craft stores and the baking aisle of many grocery stores, and can be dyed with a drop or two of food coloring. To prevent sticking, work with the fondant on top of powdered sugar or parchment paper.
Nail Their Signature Frosting Swirl
To begin, fill a plastic bag with your frosting of choice and cut the tip for piping purposes. Support the bag with one hand while applying pressure with the other hand and make a circle with the frosting, starting at the center of the cupcake. To finish, end with a burst of pressure in the middle.
Use High-Quality Ingredients
Sophie and Katherine advise home cooks use premium butter, like Plugra European style butter ($5; parthanonfoods.com), for the buttercream frosting. “Butter has a taste and you can definitely taste it in frosting,” says Katherine. They also suggest incorporating high-quality vanilla in the form of fresh beans, paste, or high-grade extract (like Nielsen-Massey, $54; jet.com). For dulce de leche, which is used to fill their Triple Caramel Beach Cupcake, the sisters prefer the brands La Salamandra and Roland.
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