An invaluable tool for piping buttercream or icing onto cakes, desserts and biscuits, filling doughnuts or creating pastry shapes. An easy to use fluted bag is one of Kimberley Wilson’s must-have pieces of baking kit. She put popular models through their paces.
If you’re a regular baker, you’ll understand the benefits of a good piping bag. They’re ideal for creating neat buttercream rosettes on cupcakes, little turrets of frosting on cakes, royal icing designs, filling profiteroles or creating biscuit or pastry shapes. Once you’ve mastered the art of spooning your mix into the bag and squeezing neatly, you’re on your way to a professional finish.
If your skills are a little rusty, follow BBC Good Food's video guide to piping for top tips.
What Kimberley looked for…
Ease of use: A bag of decent size with high grip quality.
Quality: The durability of the bag and whether it held under the weight of the contents or split under pressure.
Usefulness of attachments: Any nozzles included in sets were assessed for practicality.
Ease of cleaning: Non-disposable piping bags should be of use again and again, so how easily can they be washed up?
Kimberley’s top piping bags…
Best… Starter kit
Kimberley says: "This 7-piece kit includes a reusable bag and 6 stainless steel tips suitable for piping pastry, cream and choux, although it’s not suitable for fine pipe work. The very large nozzles make it difficult to use all of the mix, so there is a little more wastage with these tips than with smaller ones."
£12.99, from Lakeland
Best… For the advanced baker
Kimberley says: "This is a lovely kit for anyone wanting to get adventurous with icing. The lined cotton bag provides good grip and comes with 14 stainless steel tips (though, unfortunately, no wide star). It comes with a dinky little tin to keep it all in, with room for any more tips you add to your collection."
RRP £7.99, from Kitchen Craft (available nationwide)
Best… Stand-alone bag
Kimberley says: "This flexible polyester bag doesn’t come with any extras, but it was really good quality and easy to use. It has a heat-sealed edge that wont leak at the seams. It might be a little large for piping cream for cakes or choux, but that’s not its purpose."
£5.69, from Lakeland
Kimberley says: "This bag had a lovely grip and comes with eight stainless steel icing tips that performed well. Although the very narrow neck made it tricky to invert the bag for cleaning it is dishwasher safe."
£8.00, from Sainsbury’s
Best… For filling
Kimberley says: "Five of the nozzles are stars so you’d need to be a serious star enthusiast to make full use of them. However, to make up for it this cotton bag comes with a syringe tip, making it ideal for filling doughnuts and profiteroles, and it made light work of my éclairs."
RRP £14.95, from Kitchen Craft, available nationwide
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Put your piping set to the test by rustling up one of our delicious baking recipes. Our bakes & cakes hub should be your first pitstop...