Talk Takeaway: Cooking with Duff Goldman

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 10:45am

For The Talk's Food Festival, owner of Charm City Cakes West and Duff's Cakemix in Los Angeles, Duff Goldman stopped by for a Talk Takeaway: Cooking segment.  Here are his tips for decorating cupcakes.

Monster Cupcake:

To make this one you have to use a special tip for the piping bag. It's the same tip that you use to pipe out grass.  You use that tip and pipe out the bottom part – the jaw of the monster – and then grab a chocolate chip cookie and make sure it's a soft one and cut 1/3 of the cookie off and stick the cookie sitting over the monster's jaw.  Then pipe the rest of the hair on.  Use little candy eyes– put those on – and that's the candy monster.


The biggest thing that makes you successful with this cupcake is making sure that the buttercream is a specific temperature – the buttercream needs to be nice and warm.  If it's cold, it will come out clumpy.  The buttercream needs to be warm so it pipes nice and smoothly.

Sprinkle-Dipped Cupcake:

These cupcakes are really quick to make, and it's very effective.  It's a process you would see in a pastry shop or factory.  When you do it at home, it's a simple thing that creates a really beautiful cupcake instantly.  You take the warm butter-creamed cupcake and then dunk it in the sprinkles and "voila!"


When piping buttercream for a sprinkle-dipped cupcake, you want to make sure that the icing is smooth and you don't want a lot of ridges.  The icing doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, but you want it relatively smooth.  If a cupcake has a ton of ridges then those crevices won't get sprinkles.

Spray-Painted Cupcake:

The spray paint is safe, relatively easy and it's cool because it's edible. This is something a three-year-old can do.  All you have to do is pipe the buttercream and let them go to town with the edible spray paint.


With the spray paint, you don't want to spray too close or spray too much.  You want to have some finesse.  You also want to use colors that are on the same side of the color wheel – like red, yellow and pink.  Or purple and green.  The colors that are closer together work better than the different colors.

Glittery Girlie Cupcake:

These are a little more freeform.  These are the competitive cupcakes that are open to interpretation. Use whatever you want on these cupcakes: premade fondant flowers or get creative with different colorful buttercream and different piping tips. You can use different piping tips on the same bag. Use edible glitter – people love this!  The glitter is fun and you can even use it as makeup!


The glitter is a delicate thing.  You pinch it, wiggle your fingers and sprinkle it on the cupcake.

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