Dear readers, I have to let you in on a little secret.

Piping icing on cupcakes is beyond easy.  I didn’t clock it, but I’m willing to bet it takes less time than icing them by hand.

We’re going to learn how on some “red” velvet cupcakes that didn’t end up as red as I wanted.

To get the job done, we’ll need cupcakes, icing, and a few supplies.

A Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off,

A large decorating tip (this is a star), and a large coupler.  Some people don’t use a coupler, but I like the way it secures the decorating tip in the bag.  All of these items are available at craft stores, and none of them is more than $3.00.

Fit the tip on top of the larger piece of the coupler,

and place it inside the bag, till the tip is peeking out of the corner.

Then, screw the smaller piece of the coupler over the outside of the bag,

till you have one, secure pastry bag.

Fold back the top of the bag,

and grab a bunch of frosting.  Wooden Nickels would call this a glurp.

I add enough glurps that I have about half the icing in the bag when I start.

Real time check–this should take you no more than 3 minutes.

Then, and I’m sorry I didn’t snap a picture of this, smush the bag around a little bit to work the icing.  You want to get any potential air bubbles out.  Once you’ve had your fun, twist the top part of the bag and squeeze down lightly, to start to move the icing toward the tip.

See?  There it is!

Then, working to apply even pressure, start to pipe!  Work in a spiral, starting with the outside of the cupcake, moving in.

This is totally one of those, if I can do it, you can, moments.  I cannot do anything remotely related to art.  I can’t draw.  I don’t paint.  I am not the slightest bit crafty.  But this is easy.  Squeezy.

Get it?

It takes no more than ten seconds per cupcake to get these iced.

Which, if I can do mental math, means that you’ll have 24 cupcakes iced in 4 minutes.

You can use the time you saved to shake colorful sprinkles on top of your cakes.

The star tip I used on the red velvets is my all-time favorite, but I have two others I use as well.

This is an open star tip, and will give you the swirls you saw on my champagne cupcakes.

And this is a round tip, which helped my Snickers cupcakes look just how I wanted.  I want to get one that’s even larger, so I can pipe Georgetown-Cupcake-esque swirls all over my creations.

The only possible glitch I could foresee in your piping plans would be not having enough icing to get through your cupcakes.  Piping icing uses more per cupcake, and not every recipe accounts for the difference.  In general, go by any photos you see accompanying your recipe.  If you see piped icing in pictures of cupcakes on someone’s blog, that means your recipe should leave you covered.  On the other hand, if you see cupcakes that were iced with a spatula, you may want to increase the icing recipe by half to make sure you’re covered.



4 thoughts on “Piping

  1. I’m pretty sure you painted some awesome water lillys with some sorority sisters in the not so distant past… At lesser that’s what my expert Facebook stalking tells me 😛

  2. I beg to differ on the crafty comment. I consider good cupcake decorating a craft! And the cupcake pictures leave me a little bummed that I’m baking an apple pie today rather than cupcakes…..

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