Welcome to another post in my Cupcake Academy series! Today I’m covering tips for using piping bags that will hopefully help everyone, especially baking and cupcake decorating beginners, to make beautiful looking homemade cupcakes and cakes.
I know that when I started out, it was this aspect that I found most frustrating – trying to work out HOW people were producing these beautiful looking cupcakes – of course the answers were all out there on the interwebs, but what I’ve done is collected all my knowledge about getting the best out of piping bags in one place. Enjoy, and if you know of other sneaky tips and tricks, please let me know them in the comments!
- Get the right equipment. I swear by these great piping bags by Lakeland (actually not the ones pictured in the photo above) They’re (very) large so you don’t have to refill constantly if you’re making a big batch, and they’re really strong too (I have had cheaper piping bags split on me). I prefer to use disposable ones for easy clean up.
- To fill your bag, snip off the end and insert your nozzle, (these are my favourites for a classic swirl and a rose swirl) and then place the bag inside a tall glass as shown above, folding the top half of the bag over the outside of the glass. Find out more about nozzles in this post – I love the Wilton 2D and 1M tips.
- Using a spatula or metal spoon, push your frosting into the bottom of the piping bag, trying to keep it away from the sides if you can.
- Fill the bag no more than two thirds full – this is very important, don’t be tempted to try and squeeze all the frosting in there – the frosting will end up leaking out of the top and going everywhere, trust me, I know! Remove from the glass and twist the end of the bag. Squeeze out some frosting into a bowl before you start piping to work any air bubbles out of the bag.
- Holding the twisted end of the bag in your hand, apply pressure and pipe away!
Another tip – frosting, especially cream cheese frosting, warms up quickly when in a piping bag, so keep the frosting in the fridge and top up your piping bag when you run out to make sure your frosting holds its shape.