The best place to start your pastry decorating journey is with good equipment. Pastry bags and tips are key for good decorating on pastries ranging from cookies, cupcakes, or cakes.
Piping bags are a very versatile tool within kitchens whether you’re trying to ice a cake or fill baked goods. They come in many shapes and sizes depending on what type of pastry you need iced, the temperature of the food, and personal preference. They come in two main categories, disposable and reusable.
Reusable Piping Bags
This reusable bag is quite versatile. Polyurethane is easy to clean and leakproof making it a reliable option. Because of its material, it can become slippery.
This material is thicker than other reusable options, making it a good option for hot foods yet it’s still flexible for easy use. It’s also stain and odor resistant.
Canvas piping bags are better for thicker foods, but oily foods will leak through. It’s not stain-resistant and will smell over time if not cleaned properly.
Plastic-coated canvas bags are good quality for their price and much easier to clean than canvas piping bags. They are not recommended for high-heat loads and can become slippery while in use.
Although they are more expensive than regular options, polyurethane-lined cotton piping bags are worth the price. These reusable piping bags are heavy-duty and can be used for the highest heat loads. They are leakproof and much easier to clean than canvas bags.
Nylon piping bags are good for piping thick foods, although fatty oils will leak through. They have an extra-flexible construction, making the piping process much more efficient.
Disposable Piping Bags
High-Grip / Tacky Disposable Bags On a Roll
Since these bags are in rolls, it makes for easy storage and easy cleanup. These have high grip making application easier, although they can become expensive over time.
Soft Disposable Bags
Soft disposable piping bags are thicker than other disposable options, and makeup for much easier cleanup than reusable bags; Great for fast pace kitchens.
Striping Bag Inserts
Striping bag inserts make it easy to create multi-colored frosting for your pastries.
Piping tips come in many shapes and sizes. They are either plastic or metal, and each one has its own purpose. Some are used to create star-shaped frosting on cupcakes, while others serve to create lace patterns atop wedding cakes. You can buy them individually or in packs. We could spend all day talking piping tips but to save you time, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite piping tips for their price and reliability.
Plane or Round Tips
Plane or round tips come in many sizes and are used for piping dots, lacework, flower centers, writing, and other details.
Leaf Piping tips
Leaf piping tips are self-explanatory. These are mostly used for leaves after you’ve finished piping flowers, but they can be used in many ways.
Drop Flower Piping Tips
Drop flower tips are created by lightly putting pressure on the bag until a flower shape appears. Then, slightly back your hand out to create a size to your liking. The size of the flower and amount of petals is determined by how many holes are in the tip.
Rose Petal Piping Tips
Piping roses isn’t an easy task, but with enough practice, you can create many different and unique frosted roses. The key is to keep the tip about a quarter-inch above the pastry and move in a steady motion for even swirls.
Grass Piping Tips
Grass piping tips are pretty self-explanatory. These have many holes at the tip, making it easy to frost grassy or hair designs.
Basketweave Piping Tips
These tips are flat, with one side serrated and the other straight. This is used to create a basketweave design that can either be flat or serrated.
Star Piping Tips
There are three types of star piping tips. French, Closed, and Open stars. They all make similarly shaped designs but allow for a wide diversity within your pastry decorating. These tips are primarily used for piping flowers, stars, shells, and fleur-de-lis.
Ruffle Piping Tips
Ruffle tips are typically harder to master. They have a very long nozzle that is used to create designs similar to ruffles, swags, and ribbons.
Petal Piping Tips
Petal piping tips have a curved tip for easy petal designs.
Detail Piping Tips
Detail Piping tips have small openings, perfect for lace patterns or lettering. These are most commonly used on wedding cakes for intricate detailing.
How to Properly Clean Pastry Bags and Tips
Most reusable Pastry bags and tips are dishwasher safe, but there are select few that aren’t so make sure you keep that in mind when buying them. While cleaning, it’s recommended to rinse out the reusable bag before placing it inside-out in the dishwasher. Pin it to the dishwasher to keep it from moving around. Be sure to let the pastry bag completely dry before you put it away otherwise it will become moldy. Be sure your metal tips are free from water to prevent rust buildup.