Cake Decorating Basic

Decorating Bags and Tips

This is where decorating with icing begins! You can become a pro in no time by learning how to use a decorating bag, a coupler, and decorating bag tips (icing tips). With the aid of these cake decorating supplies, you can create the cake of your dreams, with embellishments such as icing writing, floral designs, basketweave and lattice designs, balls, beads, picture outlines and fillings, ribbons, bows, streamers, ruffles and many other special cake decorating effects.


Types of Decorating Bags

Decorating bags hold the icing and the decorating tip. You can choose between three varieties:

Featherweight Bags: These decorating bags are the best in the business. Made from polyester material that is dishwasher safe and available in a range of sizes, featherweight bags feel soft in your hand yet are strong and flexible.

Disposable Bags: Convenient, strong, and of high quality, these icing bags come in value packs and can be used with or without a coupler and fit standard tips. Just use and toss, with no fuss or muss.

Parchment Triangles: Made from grease-resistant parchment paper, these handy decorating tools fold into a convenient disposable decorating bag and are great for small amounts of icing and for smoothing iced cakes.


What is a Coupler?

A coupler is a device that comes in two parts – the base and the ring – and enables you to change decorating tips without having to change the bag. The coupler base goes into the decorating bag with a portion of the coupler sticking out, upon which you place the decorating tip of your choice. You then lock the decorating tip onto the coupler and the bag with the ring. When you are ready to change your decorating tip, simply take off the ring and select your next design.


Decorating Tips

Here is where you can be creative and enjoy hours of fun producing your desert “masterpiece,” or trying out the latest cake design you saw in your favorite cake decorating book or on the Internet. Icing tips or decorating bag tips are small metal cones that produce a wide range of designs as you press icing through them. These tips are categorized by the size and shape of their opening, or by the type of decoration they produce, also known as a “family.”

Common decorating tips include: round tips (ideal for outlining and filling in areas, writing messages, floral work, lace work, and more), leaf tips (that make plain, ruffled, or stand-up leaves), drop flower tips (also called one-squeeze flower tips – perfect for novice cake decorators), ruffle tips (with a tear-drop shaped opening for making ribbons, bows, streamers, scallops, and more), basketweave tips (for woven or ribbed icing designs), star tips, rose tips (used to make a variety of flower petals) and specialty tips and multi-opening tips that produce distinct icing designs such as hearts, Christmas trees, 3D ruffles, beads, scallops, hair, grass, shell borders, and more.

If you plan to dabble in a lot of cake decorating, you might want to invest in a cake decorating tip set, allowing you to experiment with cake decorating techniques to your heart’s delight.