Cupcake - Bakery - Tools

How to Use Piping Tips

When it comes to the decoration of cakes and cupcakes, piping bags and tips are an absolute must, regardless of your level of baking expertise.

Anyone may learn this essential skill! In this complete tutorial post, I’ll show you how to use a piping Tips and give you much more cake-decorating tips.

We’ll discuss piping tips, including how to use them and the one every baker needs. I’ll even show you how to fill piping bags with several frosting colors for striped or blended baking. Let’s begin!

Different Piping Tips and How to Use Them

Open Star

Roses, rosettes, and frosting swirls can be piped with the utmost success with jumbo open-star tips like the Wilton 1M. 

To create a traditional rose, begin in the middle and pipe a flat swirl outwards. Start in the middle of the cupcake and work your way slowly upwards to create a tall swirl.

Closed Star

Closed star piping tips, often called drop flower tips, pipe simple flower and star shapes with one tip. These are great for piping small and medium stars, swirls, and more. 

Ateco 846, 848, and 849 wide-closed star piping tips are go-to for cake and cupcake decorating. Also useful for swirls and roses is the Wilton 8B.

Use Wilton Size 2D for ruffles. Press the tip to the cupcake center and pull to squeeze out the frosting.

French Star

If you want to pipe wide star shapes and swirls with deep holes, you can use a French star tip instead of an open star tip. 

It is also a well-liked option for piping out pate a choux and pastry cream in a decorative pattern. Check out the Ateco 864 if you need a bigger size.


Layer Cakes and larger regions benefit from jumbo open spherical piping tips without defined edges. Pipe big, pillowy swirls on cupcakes by starting in the center and swirling up. 

For writing on cakes or spinning, smaller round tips like the Wilton Size 5 work best. The smallest sizes are best for icing sugar cookies (1-3).

Petal and Leaf

Petal and leaf tips are used to pipe various kinds of petals and leaves, which are typically found accompanying flowers. Their names hint at this function. 

A leaf tip, such as the Wilton Size 352, has an opening shaped like a V. In the meantime, a petal tip, like the Wilton Size 104, has the shape of a teardrop.

Basketweave and Multi-Opening

A basketweave tip has one flat edge and the other ridged edge. You will have a different appearance every time you use them, depending on how you apply them. 

In addition to making woven patterns, they can also be used to make house shingles. In some circles, a multi-opening tip is sometimes called a grass tip.

Types of Piping Bags

Disposable Piping Bag

Plastic piping bags can be discarded after use. Use and grip them easily. In bulk, they’re cheap. Not washing the buttercream out is convenient. They’re not eco-friendly. Disposable piping bags are best for beginners.

Reusable Piping Bag

Pastry bags, or “featherweight” reusable piping bags, are usually nylon. They hold more filling due to their thickness and size. They cost more but last longer. Beginner cake decorators should avoid these because they’re hard to clean.

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Put Together a Piping Bag and Tip

A coupler simplifies pipe tip swapping on a bag with many tips. A coupler has two different parts and comes in normal and large sizes. First, insert the base into the bag before adding frosting. Second, the ring secures your tip.

A coupler is unnecessary if you don’t change tips. Put your tip into the decorating bag and use knives or a pen to make a line about halfway up. Push the tip through the aperture after cutting the bag at the line.

How to Fill a Piping Bag

Put the piping tip in the bottom of the bag before filling it. If using a new piping bag, cut the tip and wriggle it in. Avoid cutting so much that the tip slides!

The bag can be filled by holding it in the middle and folding the top half over your hand. Scoop the filling into the piping bag with a spoon or spatula.

Twist the bag top once and carefully “burp” it to remove any air bubbles before piping.

Cleaning and Storaging Piping Tips

Before using your piping tips again, clean and store them after piping a storm. After removing as much icing as possible, use the foolproof piping tip cleaning method:

  • Soak tips in hot, soapy water. The frosting’s butter greasiness is reduced by hot water.
  • Next, wash them under hot water to remove icing. I use a toothpick to clean small spaces. After cleaning with a cloth, air-dry the tips before storage.
  • Piping tips should be stored upright to maintain form. Containers or specialized storage units can organize piping tips. I mark my pipe tip containers by kind.


What is a 1M piping tip?

When it comes to frosting cupcakes, the Wilton 1M piping tip is by far the most popular choice. Only one tip is required to make the traditional swirl, ruffle, rosette, and beehive patterns.

What is a pipe in piping?

A pipe is a segmented tube or hollow cylinder that is usually but not always circular in shape. Its main purpose is to move things that can run. Pipes can be made from metal, plastic, or any other material that works.

Why is piping used?

Putting together a narrow tube from a thin strip of folded fabric, generally bias binding, and sewing it to the edge of a fabric is what piping is. Add cord for extra body. Piping outlines or strengthens the lines of a clothing style.

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