Piping Tips 101 + Video

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How to decorate cakes and cupcakes with some of the prettiest (and easiest!) piping tips! Recipe and video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And here’s another baking basics post! This one will be lots of deeee-licious fun.

(Also! See you on Facebook LIVE at 1pm ET for another baking tutorial show. Here is Wednesday’s live video if you missed it.)

I felt extremely inspired the past month. After looking at all of your beautiful April Baking Challenge photos and creations, I really wanted to explore frosting decoration further with you. But first, a quick and very honest backstory. I’ve never felt super talented at cake and cupcake decorating because it’s extremely intimidating. Do you feel the same way? Bored with my usual swirl and knife-swiped frosting looks, I began playing around with different piping tips. As I started using new tips, my confidence shot up. And, as it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised with how EASY it was/is to create beautifully decorated confections.

6 months ago, I would have laughed if someone asked me to create a plate of cupcakes like this:

How to decorate cakes and cupcakes with some of the prettiest (and easiest!) piping tips! Recipe and video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

But I just threw myself into it and had FUN! And you can too. These piping tips aren’t scary. It just takes a little practice, some visual guidance, and a really dependable frosting recipe. I have all of that here for you today, including a quick video for you to see how it’s all done. I get many questions about this weekly, so I’m glad we can finally tackle it– together!

Let’s begin with my favorite piping tips. I gravitate towards the following 5. Each creates a completely different look, so that’s why it’s a wonderful collection to start with. And these babies won’t break the bank– they’re super inexpensive.

  1. Wilton 1M
  2. Wilton 8B
  3. Ateco 849
  4. Wilton 12 small round
  5. Ateco 808 large round

How to decorate cakes and cupcakes with some of the prettiest (and easiest!) piping tips! Recipe and video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

One note: I like to create TWO looks with the wilton 1M. That’s the tip we all used for our two-toned frosting roses last month, but it’s also the tip I use to create soft-serve looking swirls. Just like you see here. 🙂

Watch as I use each piping tip so you know how to do it:

Not so hard, right? Some are a simple swirl and others are starting in the center and gently pulling straight up. Let’s look at a photo of each finished look– in the order they appeared in the video above.

1. Wilton 1M – rose. Start in the center and just pipe a flat swirl.

How to use the Wilton 1M piping tip on sallysbakingaddiction.com

2. Wilton 1M – tall swirl (looks like soft serve ice cream!). Start in the center and move slowly around, building a tall swirl on top of itself.

How to use the Wilton 1M piping tip on sallysbakingaddiction.com

3. Wilton 8B – this one is my new favorite. Start in the center and swirl upward.

How to use the Wilton 8B piping tip on sallysbakingaddiction.com

4. Ateco 849 (also used here, here, and here!). Just press the tip in the center and lift up while pushing frosting out.

How to use the Ateco 849 piping tip on sallysbakingaddiction.com

5. Wilton 12 small round tip – my usual (see here, here, here, here, and here). This is the best tip, in my experience, for salted caramel frosting and cream cheese frosting. Just press the tip in the center and lift up while pushing frosting out.

How to use the Wilton 12 round piping tip on sallysbakingaddiction.com

6. Ateco 808 large round – looks like a fluffy cloud! Start in the center and swirl upward.

How to use the Ateco 808 piping tip on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll also need piping bags. You can use disposable piping bags or reusable– whichever you prefer. I have both and don’t really have a preference. The reusable ones are really easy to clean. Remember to watch this video (from the April Baking Challenge recipe) for how I fill the bags. The tall cup trick really helps!

And, of course, here is my favorite vanilla buttercream you can use.

Now go pipe some frosting LIKE A BOSS! ♥ ♥

Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

SHOP THE PIPING TIPS

Here are the piping tips I used in today’s post and video:

Wilton 12 Tip | Wilton 1M Tip | Wilton 8B TipAteco 808 Tip | Ateco 849 Tip | Disposable Frosting Bags

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

How to decorate cakes and cupcakes with some of the prettiest (and easiest!) piping tips! Recipe and video tutorial on sallysbakingaddiction.com

53 Comments

  1. I just piped vanilla buttercream on my Black Forest cupcakes the other day….I think I used tip #21….they came out so cute and it was so much fun! I am usually a put the icing on with an offset spatula kinda person.
    I will be piping icing more often…so, these “tips” about tips is fantastic..
    Thanks, Sally

  2. Sally, you’re my go to resource for all things baking! I have a specific problem with piping that I’ve been unable to find an answer to. Every time I try, I’ll get through a couple cupcakes or so. Then frosting will stop coming out the tip and will instead start coming out between the bag and the top of the tip. My tip seems properly fitted according to the instructions and it happens whether or not I use a coupler. I’m at a loss and very much hoping you can help! Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Gabrielle, It could be that you are cutting too much off the tip of your bag. Cut only enough off so that it doesn’t block the openings in the piping tip but it still covers most of it. Also make sure that your frosting isn’t too thick causing too much pressure to be needed to squeeze it out!

  3. Hi Sally, I am a total newbie to frosting so thank you sooooooo much for your video. What size bags go with the tips you recommended please; I would prefer a reusable piping bag; I can’t wait to try this out!!

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