Sorry for the dumb and newbie question since I'm sure all of you already know how to pipe like this but I find these swirls soooo beautiful!! Whenever I attempt to pipe like this the buttercream just falls flat and not swirly like the one in the picture. I use the Wilton large open star tip and still to no avail :(
Either you don't have the right tip, or the buttercream isn't stiff enough, or both.
It looks like the swirl is done with a 1M tip. It may just be like GeminiBaker said, the frosting is not stiff enough. Definitely needs to be a crusting buttercream to stand up like that.
It looks to me like this is actually two separate swirls. See (where the arrow is pointing) how the buttercream curls under slightly? That wouldn't happen if it were one continuous swirl. If I were trying this, I'd start by piping a large central star with a 2D tip on the cupcake, surrounding it with a single swirl, and then starting a new swirl directly on top. I think a 1M would work too, but with the 2D I get a more defined swirl due to the more closed tip. Just my take on it.
Thank you jselle! That helps