I have a cupcake fiend as a friend, and last month it was her birthday. As I'm quite lovely, I decided to make cupcakes and take them into work for her. Now, many times I've thought about making cupcakes, with beautiful swirly icing but then I've chickened out last minute and just made my standard fairy cakes. Fairy cakes, however, would not cut it this time - they had to be cupcakes (I wanted the "Cupcakes!!!" reaction). So, I started the same as I normally would, making small sponge cakes, and then I prepared some butter icing, got out my shiny new piping set and set about icing them. Things I've learnt now are - material piping bags are notgreat for butter icing (it all just melts through); piping icing is harder than you'd expect; my strength gives out just when I need it (I'd be squeezing the icing and get to the last bit and then become all weak and feeble).
I experimented with different nozzles, and different flavours (I put some strawberry flavouring in both the icing and sponge mix of the second batch) and I definitely improved as I went (the pink ones were my second attempt).
I'd very much like to get more practice, so there'll definitely be a cupcake round 2, maybe this time with chocolate flavouring, or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting - the possibilities are endless!