Jan 29


Valentine’s {Love} Cupcakes

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Disco Dust.

I’m definitely a sucker for it.

I’d use it on almost every cookie if I could (but I try to restrain myself), but when I found these sparkly LOVE stickers at Michael’s Craft Store I knew I had to make a sugar version of them.


I ended up making simple royal icing decorations (also known as transfers, runouts or floodwork), instead of cookies, for these Valentine cupcakes.

If you’d like to try making these cupcakes and icing decorations, check out the how-tos below.


For the Valentine {Love} Cupcakes, you’ll need:



For the Royal Icing {Love} Toppers, you’ll need:

  • Piping Tip #2
  • Piping Bag
  • Coupler
  • Parchment Paper or Transparency Sheet
  • Shortening


How to Make {Love} Sugar Decorations:

I used my KopyKake projector to project the Love stickers so I could trace the image, but if you’ve got drawing talent you won’t need the projector. 😉  If you’d like to see a KopyKake projector tutorial, click here. These shapes are so simple that you really don’t need the KopyKake though; you could just trace them!  I projected them because I was able to change the size and make them bigger that way.

So, let’s begin!

  1. Cut the transparency (or parchment paper) out just larger than the size of the image you’re piping.  Lightly coat transparency, with a small amount of shortening using some paper towel.  This helps make the royal icing shape easier to remove when it’s dry.

2.  Pipe royal icing outline

3.  Flood or fill in your outline

4.  Gently shake the transparency left to right to help the icing smooth over.

5. Shake disco dust onto your wet icing

6.  Pick transparency up and pour excess disco dust back into container.  Some disco dust sticks to the shortening but you can probably do a better job than me if you’re not rushing.

7.  Make extras of your shapes as royal icing transfers can break easily, especially if they’re a delicate design.  These ones weren’t too breakable as they were a bit larger.  (I think I’d make them smaller next time though; they’re a bit too big for the cupcakes now that I see them on top).

8.  Let icing dry for at least 24 hours.

9.  Gently remove icing decoration by peeling the backing away

10.  Place on cupcakes, cakes, cookies etc.

It may look like it took a long time to make the “LOVE letters’ with all the pics, but they’re actually quite quick and easy to make.  Once I made and colored the royal icing, creating (doubles of) these took about 10 minutes.  Then it was just a matter of letting them dry for 24 hours and making the icing and cupcakes.

Here’s a slideshow of the whole icing decoration process if you’d prefer to see it that way:


(Click here if you can’t see the slideshow).

I made the pink ‘letter O’ reverse the original sticker as it was easier to make that way.  For a visual how-to view the slideshow below.


(Click here if you can’t see the slideshow).

To see another post on how to put disco dust on cookies, click here or to see another post on making royal icing transfers, click here.

If you prefer video, HERE’S one in which I show how to make a royal icing transfer.

If you have any questions or comments, please drop me a line below and come join me on facebook here.

Enjoy making your ‘love letters‘!  😉



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  1. glenda
    February 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    OVER THE TOP !! What a perfectly wonderful idea ! And by the way, IMHO, those letters are not too big…they are ADORABLE !
    Thanks for sharing your ideas ! ♥♥♥

  2. gaby
    February 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    love love all your tutorials!!! thanks for sharing it with us!!!

  3. sandy blue
    February 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    @ marian:
    i would think the decos would peel off the parchment paper easy without the use of shortening. ive used parchemnt for cookies and they just slide right off.

  4. Realbakerinoc
    February 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    How far ahead can you set the letters in the cupcake? Doesn’t the buttercream icing start dissolving the royal icing? I’ve had that problem with cookies before…
    Great tutorial btw!!

  5. February 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks @ sandy blue!

    @ Realbakerinoc: Read the bottom of this post here: https://sweetopia.net/2011/01/how-do-you-store-royal-icing-and-how-long-can-you-keep-it/ (near the image of the iphone)

  6. Lisa
    May 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi–I’d like to try this-but what happens if the cupcakes have to sit out in the heat for a while? Will the letters slowly fall down as the frosting gets softer? Also, would doing cookies instead of just royal icing be better because it’s less breakable? I have to transport these after making them. I guess I could insert it at the location but then we still might have to move them to another room. Are your letters inserted just into the frosting or into the actual cake? Thanks so much! Lisa

  7. marian
    May 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Lisa: I’d advise putting them in at the location, as last minute as you can, yes. They are fragile, so if you’re worried about transporting, yes cookies are better.
    Unless your frosting really turns soft and mushy due to the type of recipe and humidity combined, your cookies/transfers will not ‘fall’ much.
    These letters are only inserted into the icing.

  8. Tess
    June 27, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    Hi, what is the RI that you used. Egg whites or meringue? Which is better?

  9. marian
    June 30, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Hi @ Tess: I use royal icing with meringue powder. If you’d like to try the recipe it’s in the recipe section (at the top of the blog). Let me know if you have any questions! xo

  10. Anonymous
    July 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    What a pity you did not watermark your fotos.
    This wouldn’t have happened:
    (This FB page is popular for not giving credit!)

  11. marian
    July 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    @ Anonymous: Thanks for letting me know!

  12. Dora Maria Quintero
    July 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Casually, while doing a search I found her video with Royal Icing decorations…..it was love at first sight and since then, I keep all related to this technique….I think I should get the neccesary for try to do something with Royal Icing…I dream to make decorated cupcakes and cookies for my daughter’s party….

  13. missy
    September 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry I didn’t take the time to read all the comments, so you may already know……Eldas Cookies N More is using these photos on facebook 🙁

  14. LeTrice
    October 14, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    is the glitter edible?

  15. Yenny
    November 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Simplemente es adorable tu página, me encanta lo impecable de tu trabajo, te voy a seguir de ahora en adelante, gracias por compartir tus técnicas, aunque no hablo ingles puedo ver y aprender de tus vídeos.

  16. Monica
    January 14, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Does the butter cream dissolve the royal icing?

  17. marian
    January 19, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hi @ Monica: I discuss that in this post here; https://sweetopia.net/2011/01/how-do-you-store-royal-icing-and-how-long-can-you-keep-it/

    Thanks for your comments everyone!

  18. Sheryl G.
    January 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this posting; I had no idea this could be done with royal icing and this opened up a whole new for me. I sat down last weekend and piped 70 teddy bears to attach to onesies cookies that I did for my shower but they weren’t the prettiest, and therefore, I did not use them. I tossed it up to a learning experience.

    I love your website, as you provide wonderful and valuable information to newbies as wellas to intermediate bakers and for that, I am so grateful.

  19. marian
    January 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Well thanks so much, @ Sheryl G.! xo

  20. Heather
    January 25, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    CK products “fine glitter dust” does appear to be edible, because it says to use it on cupcakes, and it is listed as kosher. Maybe this is a good alternative http://www.ckproducts.com/products/5431/4-5G-FINE-GLITTER-DUST-MET-GLD-78-652G-/313

    Here are all of their edible glitters http://www.ckproducts.com/categories/612/Edible-Glitter

    It is interesting they make this distinction. It seems obvious to me that the disco dust product is made of plastic and other reflective materials, just like regular craft glitter.

    The FDA may not have made a ruling on this issue, but the UK’s Federal Standard Agency has. They are now requiring all non-toxic decorating glitter to be labeled “non-edible” if it is not digested by the body. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2133336/Storm-cupcake-How-innocent-question-glitter-edible-The-Great-British-Bake-Off-sparked-national-fairy-cake-pandemonium.html

    I’ll stop bothering your blog now, lol. But I think it is important for this distinction to be made, as many people are being mislead. Edible decorating glitter does exist, but it is not Disco Dust.

  21. Heather
    January 25, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Sorry, it’s Food Standard Agency, whoops!

  22. Heather
    January 25, 2013 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    I know I said I would stop bothering your blog… But I had made a comment earlier saying how I think your LOVE cupcakes are so beautiful and creative. I’m dismayed that that comment did not show up, because I am not trying to attack your work. In fact, I think that this is an awesome way to use the Disco Dust, since you can simply remove the letters before eating the cupcake!

  23. marian
    January 25, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Hi @ Heather: Thanks so much for your kindness about the love cupcakes and for all the info you’ve shared and effort in commenting! I do appreciate it and know other readers will too!

  24. Camila
    January 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Hello! I follow you on facebook … I saw these cupcakes and they are beautiful. I wonder if that use is edible glitter, or just decoration. Thank you very much!

    From Argentina!

  25. January 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Camila: There seems to be debate going on about it and how it’s labelled in each country, but it seems safe to say that to treat it as decoration which is easily removable is best!

  26. Shaunna
    February 4, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I looked at these last year too and finally think I have the confidence to try them out.
    I was told though never to put anything made out of royal icing into butter cream as it will effect the RI and “melt”
    How have you got away with it? Or have I been misinformed?

  27. marian
    February 4, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    HI @ Shaunna: Yes, the grease in the royal icing does affect it, over time. Please see the bottom of this post here where I discuss the issue. xo


  28. Helen (Aunty Bling)
    March 2, 2013 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea. Going to give these delightful ideas a go.

  29. July 31, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I’m sure you may have answered this question before, but I wanted to know if disco dust is safe to eat. Your site is the first I saw someone use it, and when I Googled it to see where I could buy it I saw a review saying it was not safe to consume. So do you use it for just decoration on cupcakes or on cookies as well?

    • marian
      July 31, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Hi Monika,
      It seems lately that I’ve been seeing the same thing. I need to go back and update all my disco dust posts (some have been already), just mentioning that it’s non-toxic (not harmful if ingested), but is really for decorative purposes. I would recommend using it on something that can be taken off a sweet before eaten… like a royal icing transfer, fondant decoration etc. Hope that helps!

    • July 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes this helps a great deal. Thank you so very much 🙂

  30. Cursti
    October 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    This is such a great website with great tutorials and recipes. I’m officially a fan! love it!

    • marian
      October 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Cursti!

  31. jennifer
    December 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Hi..First of all, I love this website, I think it is full of pretty designs and informations about the baking world! I’ve tried using Royal Icing on cookies a few times but they won’t dry even after 1,5 days in an air conditioned room ..any suggestions? Need help ASAP 🙁

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