How to Prepare a Decorating Bag

How to Prepare a Decorating Bag

Decorating with a bag and tip is one of the most fundamental skills in cake and dessert decorating. Here are some basics to get you started.
  • Skill LevelBeginner


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  1. Fitting a Bag with a Tip and Coupler: If you plan to use the same bag of icing with different tips, prepare your bag with a coupler.

    Drop the base of the coupler to the end of the decorating bag. Use a pair of scissors to mark a spot on the bag, about inch before the first thread on the narrow end of the coupler.

  2. Push the coupler base back into the bag and cut at the mark. You should be able to push a small part of the coupler out of the opening of the decorating bag.
  3. Place the decorating tip over the base extending from the bag.
  4. Put the ring over the tip and twist it on to lock the tip in place.
  5. Fitting a Bag with a Tip: If you plan on using a bag with just one tip, or are using a larger tip such as 1M, 2D or Tip 789, prepare the bag without a coupler.

    Drop the tip to the end of the bag, as far as it will go.

  6. Mark the halfway point of the tip. Slide the tip back out and cut at the mark. You should be able to push the tip?s opening out of the bag.
  7. Filling a Bag: The key to filling a bag properly is making sure that you don?t overfill. A bag with too much icing is harder to squeeze and also harder to control. Start with about 1/2 cup of icing for best results.

    Fold the top of the bag down (about halfway) to create a cuff.

  8. While holding the base of the bag, use an Angled Spatula to fill the bag with icing.
  9. Pinch the top of the bag to wipe the spatula clean as you remove it from the bag.
  10. Gently squeeze the icing towards the bottom of the bag.
  11. How to Hold a Bag: To achieve even piping and prevent fatigue, pressure must come from the entire palm area, which is why it?s essential not to overfill.

    Twist the top of the bag. If desired, secure with a Bag Tie or a rubber band to prevent the icing from oozing upward.

  12. Place the bag in the palm of your hand; position the twist of the bag in the crease between your thumb and forefinger.
  13. Close your hand around the bag and use your entire palm to squeeze.
  14. Place the index and middle finger of your other hand on the coupler to steady your decorating bag.


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