How to Use a Piping Bag and Tip

piping bag and tip

Ever seen a cake decorating video and wonder what it’s like to use a piping bag? If you want to learn how to use a piping bag and tip you are in the right place!

In today’s post we are going to be learning;

  • What a piping bag is
  • The different kinds of piping bags and tips
  • The supplies you will need
  • How to actually use a piping bag
  • Different ways you can use a piping bag and tips

If you would like to check out some of my other posts for beginners:

Cake Tools for Beginners

Cake Decorating Tutorial for Beginners

Your Questions Answered

-What is a piping bag anyways?

A piping bag is a triangular shaped bag that is used for icing and decorating cakes. The top, widest part of the bag is open and the tip of the bag (the point) is sealed, which you will cut when your bag is either full or you are using a piping tip. Other names for piping bags are pastry bags or icing bags.

-What are the different kinds of piping bags?

To my knowledge, there are 3 types of piping bags you can use.

  1. A Disposable Bag– most common
  2. A Reusable Bag– a.k.a. featherweight
  3. A Parchment Paper Bag– one that you make & is usually used for melted chocolate
piping bag and tip
Left: Disposable | Right: Reusable

-What about piping tips?

There are two size piping tips, regular and large. Each tip has a shape at the tip which changes the way the icing comes out. Most tips are numbered so you can tell them apart. There are various shapes and styles. I show a couple examples of some popular tips below.

piping tips

-The supplies you will need

  • A Piping Bag
  • A Piping Tip
  • Scissors
  • A Glass Cup
piping bag and tip

-How do you use a piping bag?

This tutorial is broken down into 3 parts;

  1. Prepping the piping bag
  2. Filling the piping bag
  3. Using the piping bag

1. Prepping the piping bag

*Open up your piping bag and put the piping tip that you wish to use in the bag. Use your hands to work the tip all the way down to the very top of the bag, as far down as it will go. Use your scissors to mark where to cut, then slide the tip back up a little out of the way. You can also use a food safe marker if you wish.

piping bag and tip
The yellow line indicates where to cut the piping bag with scissors

*Using the scissors, cut where you made a mark and then slide the piping tip back down as far as you can. You want a tight seal so no icing squeezes out here.

piping bag and tip

2. Filling the piping bag

Now it’s time to fill your piping bag with icing. This is where the glass is going to come in handy. You don’t really need a glass, but you will find that it is way easier to fill when you have both hands free. If you don’t have a glass or don’t want to use one, then you can just hold the bag in one hand while filling it with the other.

*Hold the opening of the piping bag with both hands and fold the top over the outside like you are going to turn it inside-out. Place bag in your glass or use your hand to hold where the top of the glass would be.

filling a piping bag

*Fill your piping bag with as much icing as you need or to the top of the glass. You don’t want to over fill the bag because your icing will squeeze out of the top instead of going out the other end. Aim for about 2/3 of the way full. Some piping bags have a max fill line which is great for beginners.

filling a piping bag

*After you have your icing in the bag, go ahead and take it out of the glass. Make sure your piping tip is still all the way down still. Use your hands to work the icing down towards the bottom where the tip is.

filling a piping bag

*When it is just about all the way down, but not coming out the end, close the open end and twist the bag multiple times. You want to make sure it is secure or the icing WILL come out that end.

filling a piping bag
filling a piping bag

Your piping bag is all prepped and ready to use!

3. Using the piping bag

There are plenty of ways you can use a piping bag. You can pipe boarders on cakes, pipe 3D flowers, write words, and even frost a cake from start to finish. The possibilities are endless!

I am going to share with you guys a simple technique that is great for beginners and can be used to ice some beautiful cupcakes as well as decorate the top of a cake.

rainbow cupcakes
cake decorating tutorial for beginners

*Using a large piping tip like a Wilton 1M (refer to above section about different kinds of piping bags and tips), fill your piping bag.

piping bag and tip

*Hold your piping bag straight up and down with the tip pointed downward. Your dominant hand should be holding where the bag is twisted making sure it stays twisted and doesn’t come loose. This hand will also control where your piping tip is. Your non-dominant hand should be towards the tip. Using your thunb and index finger to steady your piping motion. Like any part of cake decorating, this takes practice.

*Bring the tip to where you want the center of the swirl to be. Squeeze the piping bag with your dominant hand (up by the top of the bag) while doing a circle motion with the tip end. As you squeeze, adjust the pressure to the speed you are going. Remember, start off slow until you get the hang of it. Which means you shouldn’t need a lot of pressure.

piping bag and tip

*After you do a complete circle, while you are still squeezing, pull the piping tip up a little bit away from the cake and do another full circle. As you finish, let off complete pressure and pull the piping tip up and away.

piping bag and tip
piping bag and tip
piping bag and tip

You will probably want to practice doing this motion a couple times on a plate or parchment paper before doing it on your cake.

That’s it! A super easy way of adding a little extra detail to your confections! Use different style piping tips to get a different look
simple white cupcakes
piping bag

(2) Comments

  1. Tracy Davy says:

    Excellent job ! We are so proud of you ! You do amazing work !

Comments are closed.