To decorate cupcakes, use pieces of candy and chocolate chips to create animal faces and patterns on top of the frosting. Decorate simple frosted cupcakes with cookie crumbs, powdered sugar and sparkling sugar to make them look impressive with minimal effort.
Use strips of licorice to create a basket-weave pattern on a frosted cupcake.
Press chocolate chips, flat side up, into the frosting to create the ears, eyes and nose of a panda. Add dots of white frosting to the eyes.
Dye shredded coconut with green food dye, and sprinkle it over a frosted cupcake to give the appearance of grass. Gently press candy flowers into the grass, or pipe them on using colored frosting.
To make simple cupcakes that look like they came out of a bakery, cover them with traditional buttercream frosting. Fill a plate with crushed cookie crumbs, toasted coconut flakes or sparkling sugar, and gently press each cupcake, frosting side down, into the plate. Press halved cookies, small paper flags or small plastic toys into each cupcake.
To make cupcakes look elegant, cover them with chocolate frosting. Hold a clean, lacy stencil just over each cupcake. Gently shake a sifter of powdered sugar over the stencil; the design stands out against the dark frosting.