You could lay a stencil down & dust coco powder over it. That would leave a pattern on the whipped cream. Granted you would have to make the whipped cream smooth & then resmooth after removing the stencil.
Otherwise, I would try the piping. I had never piped until the other day & was quite impressed with my skills. ;) Also, if this is just an experiment cake, this is the perfect time to practice piping. :)
I'm probably getting ahead of myself, since I haven't baked a cake from scratch in over forty years. But I've been almost obsessed the last few days with coming up with an Irish Coffee cupcake. Coffee-flavored cake with Irish whiskey in the batter and a simple whipped cream frosting (since Irish coffee is always topped with whipped cream). Garnish -- my kitchen is totally unequipped to deal with anything like fondant, but I keep thinking of a fondant Irish triskell (a three-pointed design with a spiral inside). Hmmm...how could I do the triskell without fondant?
Maybe I should try baking some chocolate or vanilla from scratch to get back into practice first?
"...there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."
"We're children of a fighting race that never yet has known disgrace." (The Soldiers' Song, Irish national anthem)
"Every day above ground is a good day." (Chef Justin Kennedy of New Orleans, on Chopped)
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