| September 17, 2012

Your homemade cupcakes may taste great, but do they look pretty?

WATCH: The Secret To Making Spectacular Cakes

According to Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake and stars of TLC's 'DC Cupcakes,' "the secret's in the frosting."

"The key to having a nice fluffy frosting is to whip your frosting for at least five minutes on high speed," Sophie says. That goes for store-bought frosting as well. If you don't have the time or ingredients to make homemade frosting, whipping your store-bought frosting for a few minutes will transform it from "brick-like to light and fluffy," Katherine says.

Once you've achieved the right texture, it's time to try the "signature swirl." At Georgetown Cupcake, each cupcake is hand-frosted using a plastic disposable piping bag fitted with a large round metal tip. If you don't have a piping bag at home, you can always use a large Ziploc bag and just "snip the tip," Katherine says. To really sell the swirl, purchase a large metal tip from your local crafting store — it really makes a difference!

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Georgetown Cupcake's "signature swirl" is a "very simple swirl technique," Sophie says. "Start at the center of your cupcake, with even pressure go around in a circular motion and end in the center with a burst of pressure." For the full effect, top with your favorite shape of fondant icing.

To watch Sophie and Katherine demonstrate the "signature swirl" from start to finish, click on the video above. For the full red velvet cupcake and vanilla cream cheese frosting recipe, and some behind-the-scenes photos, see below.

Stay tuned for more recipes and baking tips from Sophie and Katherine on Fox News Magazine!

The Secret to Georgetown Cupcake's Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Cooking Method: 
Cook Time: 
16–18 minutes
Total Time: 
30–40 minutes
12 cupcakes


  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons no-taste red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (for the frosting)
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted (for the frosting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (for the frosting)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese (for the frosting)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper baking cups, or grease the pan with butter if not using baking cups.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed for 3–5 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  5. Using a whisk, whisk together the red food coloring, vanilla and cocoa powder. Slowly add this into the mixer bowl until well incorporated.
  6. Add a third of the flour, followed by a third of the milk, and mix. Repeat. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the last third of the flour, followed by the last third of the milk, and mix until incorporated.
  7. In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar. You will see the baking soda and vinegar fizz up! Mix thoroughly and add this reaction to the batter. Mix until just incorporated.
  8. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a cupcake pan so each well is two-thirds full. Bake for 16–18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. For the frosting, place all frosting ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed at the very end for at least two minutes to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.
  10. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!
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Signature Swirl
BeDazzled KitchenAid
Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting