If you’re reading this post give yourself a pat on the back. No please, go ahead. In fact, you deserve a round of applause for at least attempting to upgrade your decorating technique beyond the mediocre frosting spread and dash of sprinkles.
Don’t get me wrong, these tools are fine for frosting a quick treat for yourself and family (and maybe your closest friends, maybe). But anything apart from that I assume you would want your cupcakes to exude a bit more elegance, no?
In comes the piping bag.
Now using these things may get messy, especially when you first start out. I remember my initial encounters with piping bags ending with more frosting piled on my hands than on my cupcake. Yikes!
But that was before I knew these quick and easy tricks to filling and using a piping bag to avoid the mess that will result otherwise:
1. Use a Tall Cup
Place your piping bag in a tall cup and fold the bag over the rim before adding the frosting to it. That way you have a steady platform for filling and can you can use both hands.
2. Use a Frosting Coupler
A frosting coupler allows you to switch your piping tips easily without having to make multiple bags for different piping looks.
3. Use a Spatula
A spatula has the ability to scoop up more frosting at once than a knife or spoon when filling a piping bag. Plus it grips on to the frosting, making sure it doesn’t fall off the edges.
4. Fold the Piping Bag in Half
Whether you’re using a cup or not, always fold the piping bag inside out at least half way before adding the frosting. That way you can scrape the frosting off the spatula by using the edges of the cup or your hand.
5. Twist the Bag After Filling
After filling the piping bag, press the frosting down the bag and seal it by twisting the end of the bag right behind the bulge of frosting. You can also loop a rubber band around it.
6. Use Saran Wrap
This video, courtesy of Lindsay Ann Bakes, says it all.
7. Fill All Bags Before Piping
If you are using more than one color, make sure to fill all your bags up first. That makes the decorating process so much quicker to avoid warm frosting; which leads me to my next point…
8. Make Sure Everything’s at Room Temperature, Including The Room
You don’t want to start piping too soon after everything’s out of the oven. Not only will your cupcakes be too warm, but the temperature of the room, due to the oven, will melt the frosting you’re working with. Instead keep the frosting in the fridge until the room it at a nice temperature. BUT don’t wait until the last minute to remove the frosting from the fridge to begin filling either. Then it will be too dense to work with. I say take out the frosting about 10-15 minutes before you are ready to pipe.
9. Test Before You Pipe
After filling your piping bag don’t rush into piping your cakes. Take some time to test and see if the frosting is piping the way you want it to. Plus, you can make sure you’re releasing any air that may be hiding in your confection (frosting).
10. Use Disposable Bags
Disposable bags are awesome because after you’re done piping your creations, you can just remove your tips and coupler from the piping bag and toss that dirty sucker in the trash.
These tips will definitely help make your piping experience go a lot smoother from now on. And if you are looking for a decorating set to launch your piping career, Wilton has a great 12-piece piping set for the low.