How to decorate a cake - piping

Points to remember

  • Place required nozzle in piping bag. Fill with icing, twist and hold the end with one hand (usually your writing hand) and rest the tip of the bag in your other hand. Squeeze the icing at the top of the bag to make it flow through.
  • To make dots, hold the bag vertically with the nozzle close to the surface, squeeze a little icing out to make a dot the desired size, then to finish, stop squeezing, push down and then draw up sharply.
  • To write lines, hold the bag at a 45 degree angle, a little away from the surface, squeeze the icing out with a constant pressure, and let the line of icing fall naturally into place as you guide it. Try not to pull the piping bag before the icing has met the surface, as you'll get an uneven thickness.
  • To pipe swirls on cupcakes, use a large star or plain nozzle, hold the bag vertically and pipe a ring of icing around the edge of the cupcake. Pipe a small spiral overlapping the ring, stop pressure when the bag is in the centre of the swirl, then push the bag down and draw up sharply to finish.