The Trick You Need To Start Using When Decorating Cupcakes

Amelia Simmons may have invented the cupcake in 1796 when she wrote the first cookbook in America (via Connecticut History). But it was Carrie and Miranda who made the dessert the it-treat of 2000. During Season 3 of "Sex and the City," specifically the episode "No Ifs, Ands or Butts," the two enjoyed some gourmet cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery while they dished on Carrie's new boyfriend, Aidan.

But you don't need Manhattan's fab four to tell you that cupcakes are a superior dessert. There's no need to cut the cake into even portions to keep children from arguing about who has the bigger piece. They're relatively small treats, which makes them suitable for people on diets as well as diabetics, who have the potential to safely indulge in sweets as long as they're modestly-sized (via WebMD). You don't have to commit to one flavor of cake or icing. And if you're worried about not being able to pipe perfect buttercream swirls, you don't have to! There's something fun and challenging about turning cupcakes into unique works of art — and this trick will give you smooth canvases for your edible masterpieces.

How to make a perfect flat top cupcake

Creating a flat surface on a cupcake is easy. According to The Kitchn, all it takes is some icing and a baking tray lined with a silicone baking mat.

Bake your cupcakes according to the directions. If they come out of the oven with domed tops, cool the cupcakes upside down. They should flatten right out. Once your cupcakes are cooled, add a blob of frosting to each one, then flatten by flipping them upside down on the mat-lined tray. While the cupcakes are still upside down, place them in the freezer until the icing is firm. The firmness will help the icing stay smooth and level and make it easier for you to add additional decorations.

If you're pressed for time or lack freezer space, you can also achieve flat-topped cupcakes by baking them low and slow. She Who Bakes recommends baking them at 284 F for 35 to 40 minutes.

When you're ready to decorate, you can add a pop of color by topping them with Fruity Pebbles, M&Ms, or sprinkles (via Delish); create some adorable picnic pals (via Wilton); or disguise them like yummy corn on the cob (via Martha Stewart). As Bob Ross once said, "This is your world. You're the creator. Find freedom on this canvas. Believe that you can do it, 'cuz you can do it."