Once you've learned how to use a piping bag it's possible to create all sorts of beautiful toppings for your cakes. Here's how to get started.
When it comes to baking, you may sometimes feel put off attempting a recipe if it calls for you to use a piping bag, or you may just forgo the pretty decorating for something more simple.
Luckily, using a piping bag is neither as hard nor as daunting as you may think! After reading our tips and advice on how to use a piping bag, you will be decorating like a pro and can truly step up your decorating game.
Let’s start with the basics – filling your piping bag
This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised at the amount of people who forget to position the piping tip in place first!
Using a pair of scissors, snip off the end of the piping bag and push the tip into place. Don't snip too much, as you won’t want the tip to push through completely.
Hold your piping bag in the middle and fold the top half down over your hand, which will give you control as you fill it. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, place the bag into a tall glass and fold the top half of the bag down over the sides of the glass.
Using either a large spoon or a spatula, transfer the frosting into the piping bag, only filling around two-thirds full. Next, twist the top of the bag, helping push out any air that may have got caught during the transfer process.
Voila! You are now ready to use your piping bag.
How to use the filled piping bag
When it comes to actually using your piping bag, it is best to hold it at the top where it is twisted. You should hold the bag with your dominant hand and allow your other hand to just guide the tip and hold it steady.
Always pipe at a perpendicular angle so that there is space for the frosting to form the shape it is intended to, dependent on tip style.
To actually begin piping, use your dominant hand to squeeze from the top until the frosting begins to come out; remember to take your time and use your other hand to keep your piping bag steady.
When you are finished creating the shape of your choice, cease applying pressure and lift the bag up, repositioning where the next shape is required.
Depending on the tip type you are using, you may need to vary the levels of pressure you apply to help create different patterns.
The type of tip you use will depend on what you want to create!
Small piping tips are great for more intricate work on cakes, cookies and cupcakes; these tips can help create dots, lines, words, stars and can even be used to fill pastries.
If you want to use combinations of patterns and designs, you may want to consider a tip coupler which allows you to switch tips without needing to change the entire piping bag.
Try out your skills
Here are a few recipes to put your piping skills to the test!
Cyd is a native of Upstate New York, born to a family of women who love to cook and host parties. She shares her love of all things food, home and entertaining on her blog, The Sweetest Occasion and on Instagram.How To Guides, Frosting, Cakes, Baking