Cupcake Piping Tutorial

Piping Tutorial

Welcome, welcome!

It’s school season again and with that comes all the bake sales, birthday parties, and endless need for cupcakes!  Or if you’re in college, what better way to win the man of your dreams than with a cupcake? And if you’re a guy, well we ladies love a man who knows his way with a piping bag 🙂

You’re not Martha Stewart?  That’s okay!  Today you’ll learn to how pipe the perfect cupcake!

First, you have to know how to easily fill your piping bag.[end-story]

How to Fill Your Piping Bag:

(Directions are below the photo strip.)

How to fill a piping bag

1. Pick our your tip and drop it into your piping bag! My favorite piping bags are Ateco Flex Bags, they’re easy to clean and easy to handle.  All you need is one and you’re set for life!

2. Fit the tip snug into your piping bag.  And make sure all the openings aren’t blocked by the bag.  (When you buy a new bag you usually have to trim the piping bag with scissors to get it to fit.)

3. You can do this by hand, but it’s easy to use a cup.  Put the bag into a tall cup and fold the outside of the bag over the lip.

4. Take a big scoop of frosting and scrape it into the glass, use the lip of the glass to scrape off the frosting.  Don’t over fill your bag, it’s much easier to re-fill than to struggle with a very full bag.

5. Lift the bag out of the glass.

6. Twist your bag to keep your frosting in.  (Some people like to fold their bag, but I find twisting to be easier.)

7. Tah-dah! You’re done and ready to get piping! Remember when you pipe, squeeze from the top, near the twist with two fingers sort of “clamping” the twist to keep it secure.  If you don’t secure that twist with some fingers, your frosting will gush out!


The Perfect Bakery Swirl:

(Directions are below the photo strip.) Wilton 2D Piping Tip

How to pipe a cupcake

1. Start at the center of your cupcake.

2-3. Pipe a large circle around the top of the cupcake. (It doesn’t have to go out to the liner, it will just be your biggest circle.)

4-5. Continue piping smaller and smaller circles on top of one another.

6-7. Release pressure (aka: stop squeezing the bag) then lift up!


How to Pipe a Rose:

(Directions are below the photo strip.)  Well, first of all you need the right tip.  A Wilton 1M tip is the standard one to use, but you can get a similar effect with any “closed star” tip too!

How to Pipe a Rose

1. Start at the center of your cupcake.

2-5. Pipe a spiral around your center point.  Small circles to bigger circles. (The Bakery Swirl pipes big circles to smaller, the Rose piping is the opposite.)

6-7. Release pressure (aka: stop squeezing the bag) then pull away!


There you go!  Don’t you feel like a pro now?  Well, you probably should practice a little bit, so go make some cupcakes!  PS: I have the CUTEST Halloween treats coming to the blog next week.  I couldn’t bring myself to post them quite yet, seeing as it’s the middle of September.  AND we have 2 giveaways coming this month too!  One of which starts with a “Kitchen”….and ends with an “Aid”  🙂  

37 thoughts on “Cupcake Piping Tutorial

  1. 1
    Genia says:

    The suspense!! Thank you very much for the tutorial, it’s a huge help! I’m baking cupcakes for fund raiser coming in October, and they;ll need to look their best to bring in lots of $$ for the JDRF.


  2. 2
    Rachel says:

    Hey, love this tutorial!!
    Also, will people outside of USA be able to enter your giveaways? Eg people from New Zealand. 🙂


    • 2.1

      I will figure that out! If by chance the answer it No… do you have a friend in the US? All you would need is a US mailing address! So send it to a relative or friend and they can send it on to you maybe!

      • Rachel says:

        No I doooont, aaaahhh never mind, if by chance I do win, I could just organise international shipping!!.


  3. 3
    Laura says:

    I always feel like my cupcakes never turn out very “pretty,” so this tutorial is awesome. Thanks for the tips!

  4. 4
    Andrea says:

    Just wondering what size icing bag you are using in the photos above? I like to have a good amount of icing in the bag, because I hate stopping to refill. The bags I use now seem too small. Thanks for your help.

  5. 5
    Kristin says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I love making cupcakes but just never seem to make the icing look nice.

  6. 6
    Heather M. says:

    Just curious…how do you clean your piping bags? I’d like to try the one you recommend. (I’ve always used the disposable parchment bags because it’s so convenient to just toss them after…however, they just don’t hold a lot of frosting.)

  7. 7
    Kimberly says:

    Lizzy – I am new to this – do I need to get a coupler to use with the Ateco bags or just the bag and the tip?
    I am so anxious to get started!!! Thank you so much for your blog. I look forward to reading it each morning!

  8. 8
    Nikita says:

    Lizzy, I bought your cookbook ‘Your Cup of Cake’ and I absolutely love it! Like other people, every time I made cupcakes I never felt like they were very cute! I couldn’t ever get my frosting to be the right consistency and I never knew how to pipe. Thanks to this tutorial and the tutorial’s in your book, my cupcakes look FABULOUS now! Thank you so much! I’ve always had a love for cupcakes, but now it has been renewed again! Thanks for all the fun times!

  9. 9
    Ruthie says:

    I’ve always loved make it cupcakes but I always had problems making them look nice. Thanks for the tips!

  10. 10
    adhelle says:

    Thanks for your tutorial.Finally !!!! job well done.Luv your blog

  11. 11
    Mary says:

    Thank you, Lizzie, for a great tutorial. I have your cookbook, Your Cup of Cake, but I hate to get frosting on it every time I’m baking and want to refresh my memory on your awesome techniques.

    Now I can just open my ipad and bring up your tutorial. I love being able to hear your words and seeing your actions to get just the right look on my cupcakes. We learn by seeing and doing and now with your help it makes the job much easier. Bravo!!

  12. 12
    Vincent says:

    It’s even easier if you leave the cupcake on the table and hold the pastry bag with two hands. There’s more control that way, especially if you have a shaky grip. Or use a small bag you can hold in one hand.

  13. 13
    Queen Hotchibobo says:

    Thanks for these instructions! No wonder mine didn’t look as pretty as yours. I was doing it wrong. 🙁 But now they’ll be perfect! 🙂

  14. 14
    cupcakeME says:


  15. 15
    Barb says:

    Hi Lizzy,
    Just LOVE your book and blog! Are you planning to write another book? I hope you do! My cupcakes are looking wonderful from your great advice.. Barb

  16. 16
    Donna Hardin says:

    What is the tip size? Thanks!

  17. 17
    Janette says:

    First of all I have to say how much I love your site! It is my go-to place for cupcake recipes! Anytime I use another recipe than yours I am always disappointed with the results.

    I have a question about piping. Whenever I try to use the Wilton 2D, my frosting seems to come out in stringy looking strands, which is obviously not ideal 🙂 Is this because my frosting consistency is wrong? Perhaps more (or less?) icing sugar?

    Thanks for your help!

    • 17.1

      What I like to do with my 2D tips is take a butter knife and spread out the spokes just a little bit extra. The strings happen because it clogs just a little bit, when you open up the spokes they are MUCH less likely to clog.

  18. 18
    Julie says:

    Hi—in step 2 of “How to Fill Your Piping Bag,” how do you “trip the piping bag with scissors?”

  19. 19
    Beth says:

    Hi Lizzy,

    Could you tell me the best tip and size to use for frosting cupcakes for a wedding. Your tutorial with the swirl above looks to be about what I’m trying to achieve.

  20. 20
    Madita says:

    Thanks for this amazing tutorial.
    I’ll have to try this out as soon as I can.

  21. 21
    crystal ross says:

    Thank you for sharing the steps on how to use the tip and fill the bag, also how do I make the frosting, or icing for the cake .

  22. 22

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    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog writers?
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  23. 23
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    Hi there, yeah this paragraph is genuinely nice and I have
    learned lot of things from it about blogging. thanks.

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