One of the quickest ways to dress up a cupcake or a cake is by adding a pretty rose on top. The rose acts kind of like the bow on top of a present - the present looks okay without it, but adding one turns it from drab to fabulous.
Check out this video to learn how to create a buttercream rose using a rose tip.
Gabrielle Feuersinger, owner of San Francisco's Cake Coquette, demonstrates the art of the frosting rose. The only special equipment you'll need is a pastry bag, a rose tip, and a pastry nail (which looks like a small pedestal). It may take a little practice to perfect your rose, but playing with frosting is fun.