Are you looking for some vanilla cupcake topping ideas?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
I’ve rounded up 15 of the best vanilla cupcake toppings to help you take your cupcakes to the next level.
From classic frosting and sprinkles to more unique toppings like caramel and chocolate ganache, there is sure to be something on this list that you’ll love.
So go ahead and give one (or all!) of these toppings a try the next time you make vanilla cupcakes!
See Also: 10 Frosting Ideas for Vanilla Cupcakes
15 Best Vanilla Cupcake Toppings
Toppings are what take a vanilla cupcake from ordinary to extraordinary.
See Also: 12 Lemon Cupcake Frosting Ideas
The right topping can add flavor, texture, and visual appeal to your cupcakes.
And with so many great options to choose from, the possibilities are endless!
Here are 15 of the best toppings for vanilla cupcakes:
There are tons of sweet and delicious fruits that make great toppings for cupcakes, but my personal favorite is fresh strawberries.
Not only do they taste amazing, but they also look beautiful when used as a decoration.
When working with fresh strawberries (or any other type of fruit), there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, be sure to wash the fruit thoroughly before use.
- Second, cut the fruit into small pieces so that it will be easy to work with and will fit nicely on top of the cupcake.
- Third, if you are using a frosting that is not very sweet, you may want to consider adding a little bit of sugar to the fruit so that it will be sweeter.
Here are some ideas for how to use fresh strawberries as a topping:
- Top each cupcake with 1-2 whole strawberries.
- Slice the strawberries into thin slices and create a design on top of the cupcake using the slices (e.g., create a flower or star shape).
- Chop the strawberries into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of the frosting (this is also a great way to use up any leftover strawberries that you may have).
No matter how you choose to decorate your cupcakes with fresh strawberries, I’m sure they will taste delicious!
Sprinkles are a classic – they’re pretty, they come in every color imaginable, and they add a bit of fun to any cupcake.
But if you’ve ever tried to put sprinkles on a cupcake, you know that they can be pretty tricky.
Here are a few tips and ideas to help you out:
- If your sprinkles are stuck together, give them a quick blast with a hairdryer – this will separate them and make them easier to work with.
- To get an even coverage of sprinkles, first coat the top of your cupcake with a thin layer of frosting – this will act as a ‘glue’ for the sprinkles. Then, pour your sprinkles into a bowl and dip the top of the cupcake into the bowl, turning it until it’s completely coated. Gently tap off any excess and voila! You’ve got a perfectly sprinkle-covered cupcake.
- If you want to get really creative, you can use different colors of sprinkles to create patterns or designs on your cupcakes. Just remember to use a light hand – too many sprinkles will overwhelm the cake itself.
With these tips in mind, have fun experimenting with sprinkles and see what kind of creations you can come up with!
Frosting comes in many different flavors and can be made from scratch or bought in a can.
It is the perfect topping for cupcakes because it is easy to spread and can be decorated with sprinkles, chocolate chips, or other small candies.
When working with frosting, be sure to have a smooth surface to work on.
If your cupcakes are not level, you can use a knife to even out the top before adding the frosting.
Start with a small amount in the middle of the cupcake and spread it outwards towards the edges.
Use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to pipe on the frosting if you want a more decorative look.
You can use chocolate as a vanilla cupcake topping in many ways.
- One way is to pipe melted chocolate on top of the cupcake in a design.
- Another way is to drizzle melted chocolate over the top of the cupcake.
- You can also use chocolate chips, chopped up chocolate bars, or even cocoa powder to decorate the tops of your cupcakes.
If you are using melted chocolate, be sure to let it cool slightly so that it isn’t too runny.
You can put it in a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a small hole cut in one corner and pipe it onto the cupcake in whatever design you like.
If you are drizzling it, simply pour it over the top of the cupcake in a back and forth motion.
You can also dip the top of the cupcake into melted chocolate or sprinkle cocoa powder on top of vanilla frosting for a Chocolate Cupcake!
Fondant is a type of icing that can be rolled out and used to cover cakes or cupcakes. It has a smooth, velvety texture and can be tinted any color you like.
When working with fondant, be sure to keep your work surface clean and dusted with cornstarch or powdered sugar.
This will prevent the fondant from sticking.
To tint the fondant, simply knead in your desired food coloring until it is evenly distributed.
To roll out the fondant, use a rolling pin dusted with cornstarch or powdered sugar. Roll out the fondant to about 1/8 inch thick.
Cut out circles using a cookie cutter or knife. Place the circles on top of your cupcakes and press gently to adhere.
Use a piping bag filled with melted chocolate or royal icing to create decorations on top of your fondant-covered cupcakes.
Let your imagination run wild!
Just look at how beautiful these buttercream flowers are!
They are perfect for decorating cupcakes, cakes, or even cookies.
I recommend making these when you have extra time because they do require some patience and practice.
But the end result is so worth it!
It’s hard to go wrong with cake crumbs as a topping for your cupcakes.
They add a nice crunch and can be easily customized to match the flavor of your cupcake.
Here are a few tips for working with cake crumbs:
- If you want a finer crumble, pulse the crumbs in a food processor until they reach the desired consistency.
- For a more textured topping, leave the crumbs larger.
- Cake crumbs can be mixed with other toppings like sprinkles or chocolate chips for an extra special touch.
- If you’re using store-bought cake crumbs, make sure to check the ingredient list to ensure they don’t contain any allergens.
I usually prefer soft, colorful candies for cupcake toppings because they add a nice pop of color and texture.
Some of my favorites are gummies, sprinkles, and crushed candy canes.
If you’re using hard candies, I recommend crushing them into smaller pieces so that they’re easier to bite into.
You can do this by putting them into a zip-top bag and bashing them with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
Just be sure to clean up any sharp edges so that they don’t end up in your mouth!
Once you’ve got your topping ready, it’s time to start decorating!
I like to use a small spoon or chopsticks to carefully place the topping onto the cupcake, but you could also just sprinkle it on top.
If you’re using gummies or other soft candies, be careful not to press too hard or they’ll squish right through the frosting.
Homemade Sauce or Drizzle
If you don’t mind spending a little more time in the kitchen, then I highly recommend making your own sauce or drizzle to top off your cupcakes.
Not only will this give you more control over the flavor, but it will also allow you to be more creative with your presentation.
There are two things to keep in mind when working with this topping, however.
- First, make sure that the sauce or drizzle is not too thick or thin. You want it to be of a consistency that will allow you to easily pipe it onto the cupcake without it running down the sides.
- Second, if you are using multiple colors, start with the lightest color first and then build up to the darkest. This will help prevent any colors from bleeding into each other.
Nuts are super delicious on top of vanilla cupcakes, and they can really add some extra flavor and texture.
I like to use chopped nuts, but you could also use whole nuts or even nut butter.
- If you’re using chopped nuts, make sure they’re not too big or they’ll be hard to eat. You want them to be small enough that they’ll melt in your mouth as you take a bite of the cupcake.
- If you’re using whole nuts, I recommend toasting them first. This will give them a nice flavor and make them less likely to fall off the cupcake when you take a bite.
- If you’re using nut butter, it’s best to pipe it on top of the cupcake so that you get a nice even layer. You could also just spread it on with a knife, but it might be harder to get an even layer that way.
And of course, how could I forget about dried fruit?
Dried fruit is a great way to add natural sweetness, color, and texture to your cupcakes.
I like to use it as a topping, but you can also mix it into the batter or frosting.
Dried fruit is easy to work with – simply sprinkle it on top of your cupcakes after they’re frosted.
You can use any type of dried fruit that you like, but some of my favorites are raisins, craisins, and diced apricots.
If you want to get really creative, you can even mix and match different types of dried fruit to create your own unique combination.
One thing to keep in mind when working with dried fruit is that it can be quite sticky.
If you find that the fruit is sticking to your fingers or the cupcake liner, try dipping it in a bit of flour before adding it to the cake.
This will help to prevent the fruit from sticking and make it easier to work with.
Whether you make your own or use store-bought, marshmallows are a great topping for vanilla cupcakes.
They come in all sorts of colors and can be flavored to match any cupcake.
You can even find them in fun shapes like hearts or stars.
- To get started, you’ll need a piping bag fitted with a star tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a zip-top bag with the corner cut off.
- Fill your piping bag with marshmallow fluff and pipe it onto your cupcakes in a spiraling motion, starting from the outside and working your way in.
If you want to get fancy, you can toast your marshmallows before piping them onto the cupcakes.
This will give them a nice golden brown color and add a bit of crunch.
- To toast them, hold them over an open flame with a pair of tongs until they’re browned all over.
- Let them cool slightly before using them as a topping.
You can also dip the tops of your cupcakes into melted chocolate or candy coating and then into crushed graham crackers or nuts for an extra special treat.
Caramel is super delicious on pretty much anything, but it can be a little tricky to work with.
Here are some tips for using caramel as a topping on your cupcakes:
- If you’re using store-bought caramel, heat it up slightly so that it’s easier to spread.
- If you’re making your own caramel, be careful not to overcook it or it will be too hard to spread.
- Let the caramel cool slightly before spreading it on the cupcakes, otherwise it will just slide right off.
- If you want to get really creative, try dipping the cupcakes in caramel or drizzling it over them in a design.
Ganache is a mixture of chocolate and cream that can be used as a topping or filling for cakes and pastries.
It’s rich and decadent, and it pairs well with all sorts of flavors.
When it comes to making ganache, you’ll want to use a high-quality chocolate.
I prefer dark chocolate, but you can use milk or white chocolate if you prefer.
The key is to find a chocolate that you enjoy eating on its own.
Once you have your chocolate, you’ll need to melt it down so that it’s ready to use.
The best way to do this is to place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water.
Stir the chocolate until it’s melted and smooth, then remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Now that your ganache is ready, it’s time to start decorating!
If you’re using it as a topping, simply spread it over the top of your cupcake and allow it to drip down the sides.
You can also use a piping bag to pipe ganache onto your cupcakes in any design you like.
Lastly, we have whipped cream.
This is such a versatile topping!
You can pipe it, spread it, or even dollop it on top of your cupcakes.
If you want to pipe it, you will need a piping bag and a star-shaped nozzle.
Fill your piping bag with the whipped cream and then pipe it onto your cupcake in a circular motion, starting from the outside and working your way in.
If you want to spread it, simply take a knife and spread the whipped cream on top of your cupcake in a smooth, even layer.
And if you want to dollop it, just place spoonfuls of whipped cream on top of your cupcakes and then use a knife or spatula to lightly swirl it around.
Whipped cream is also great for making decorations on top of your cupcakes.
You can use it to make flowers, leaves, or any other design that you can think of!
Just pipe it onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper first so that you have something to work with.
Then use a toothpick or skewer to create your design.
Once you’re happy with how it looks, carefully transfer it onto your cupcake.
15 Best Vanilla Cupcake Toppings
- Fresh Fruit
- Buttercream Flowers
- Cake Crumbs
- Homemade Sauce or Drizzle
- Dried Fruit
- Chocolate Ganache
- Whipped Cream
- Choose your favorite topping from this list to add to your vanilla cupcake.
- Prepare the rest of your cupcake.
- Enjoy in no time!