For anyone who ices cakes or cupcakes, one of the biggest pains of the whole process is putting the frosting into the piping bags. I tend to struggle with it, getting it all over. Perhaps some people don’t have issues with it, but for me, it just doesn’t work! Baking and making beautiful cupcakes should be easy and fun.
When I was taking a cake decorating course my instructor had a wonderful tip. I’d never heard of doing this before, so for some of you this may not be new, but it was for me. Please excuse some of the blurry pictures. I didn’t realize how blurry they were until I was ready to use them. You’ll still get the point.
After you’ve mixed up your frosting to the piping consistency you want, you’re all ready to put it into the piping bags . . . what you will need to simplify the process of filling piping bags . . .
1. Lay out a strip of plastic wrap onto your preparation surface.
2. Put about 1 cup of frosting into the middle of the wrap.
3. Lengthwise, fold the wrap over the frosting, overlapping the sides.
4. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap – making it look like there is a tail on each side.
5. Fold over the twisted ends, making a frosting filled pouch.
If you are making frosting ahead for the next time you bake – which I do sometimes – now would be the time to put your “plugs” of frosting into a freezer bag, label it, and freeze it. If not . . .
6. Take the tails from the plugs and lay them out.
7. Snip off one of the tails about 1/4 of an inch from the frosting. Leave the other tail attached.
8. Insert the plug into your piping bag, cut side down towards the tip. Leave the long tail hanging out the wide end of the bag.
9. Pipe the frosting onto your cake or cupcakes, and when you run out just grab the “tail” of the 1st plug, pull it out, and replace it with the next one, and continue with your decorating!
At first it may feel like you are taking up quite a bit of time prepping these plugs, but for me the time is worth it when compared with the mess of filling these piping bags as I go. Another benefit is that you can make the plugs in a size that are comfortable for the hands to grip. I know that sometimes my hands cramp up if I get the bag too full.
Enjoy the tip, and happy decorating!