What piping bag should I use? Can’t I just use a Ziploc bag?
What Piping Bag Should I Use?
Let me first say yes you can just put icing into a Ziploc bag and cut the end off, however, you will have less control of the frosting and if you wanted to change out the tips for a variety of design you will not be able to without using a piping bag with a coupler to change out the tip. So yes, you can use one in a pinch, even I have used just a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off. I do not recommend it though because it is a bit messy.
Reusable Or Disposable Bags?
Choosing whether to buy a reusable or disposable really comes down to how often you are going to be using them. There are some advantages and disadvantages to both that I will talk about at a later time. At Great 8 Cupcakes, we used both types depending on where we were using them. Like in the bakery we used the reusable bags, but when we did deliveries we would use the disposable bags.
Care For Your Reusable bags
To keep your reusable bag as long as possible I recommend that you clean it as soon as possible after using. Use hot water and a dish soap like Dawn Ultra. I like to turn the bag inside out and soak the bag for at least 5 minutes to let the hot water work loose any dried icing. I then use a soapy washcloth to clean the remaining icing off turning the bag right side out halfway through cleaning. Then rinse the soap off with warm water and let the bag air dry. The best way to let the bag air dry is to stand it on the larger opening and letting the cone shape keep it up.
How To Fill Your Bag
I have seen a lot of different items that say they help you fill icing bags and I have tried several, but I find it faster and easier to just hold the bag and use a spatula to fill the bag. The reason I don’t like using the different items that are you can’t really move them around there mostly just straight up and down and you have to move the icing over your countertop. Remember to put a coupler on the bottom of the bag before filling your bag. Using a coupler makes it so much easier to change the design in the same color frosting without having more than one bag of the same color frosting.
Hold the bag in you left-hand if you are right-handed fold the top over your hand. Grab your spatula get a large amount of icing on the spatula and put the bag at about a 35-degree angle. Then flip the spatula over and use the spatula to push the icing into the bag. Repeat this until the bag is 3/4 of the way full. Any fuller and you will have frosting coming out the back all over your hands while you are trying to frost.
How to Pipe Icing
For most cases, you want to hold your bag of icing at about a 45-degree angle and push the icing from the top of the bag to the bottom. Keep in mind that your hand will heat up the icing as you work, so it is not a bad idea to have a back up if you are doing a lot of work on a cake with one color. For cupcakes hold the bag straight up and down. I use one had to squeeze the bag and the other to guide it where I want it to go. The key to good icing work is practice. The more you do it the better you will get.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment below or email me here.